Donating Hair – My Experience

There are a lot of ways that you can help cancer charities besides writing a cheque. I didn’t want to just give money. I wanted to do something that would give a personal connection to kids and to women who have battled cancer with chemotherapy. I wanted to help them feel better about themselves and get a sense of support. I wanted them to know that a real person out there that they didn’t know was supporting them. So, I grew my hair out to donate it. There are several non-profits that collect donated human hair and make wigs from it. The wigs are provided to women and children who have lost their hair battling cancer.

What To Know About Donation

Each organization has their own rules about hair donations, but most require that the hair to be donated be at least inches long. The hair needs be put into a braid or a ponytail in order to be donated. It’s a myth that coloured hair can’t be donated – most organizations will accept coloured hair as long as it is in good condition, which is an essential requirement.

What Donating Hair Is Like

I have donated my hair a couple of times now. Each time it took a little over a year to grow it out past the 10 inch mark. Donating your hair is a commitment. It means taking really good care of your hair for at least a year. It also means that you can’t change your hairstyle or hair colour on a whim. And sometimes the time commitment of brushing, washing, and drying really long hair is a lot. But in the end it’s totally worth it.

After spending so much time growing out my hair getting it cut off is surprisingly emotional. The first I cried when my stylist cut off my 12 inch long ponytail and gave me a short bob. But immediately after it was cut I knew I wanted to donate again. I loved the thought that a child or a woman who was feeling badly about themselves would get a stylish wig made from that hair so they could feel confident and face the world as a survivor, not as a victim.

Sure, you can just write a cheque to any of the many organizations that help people who are fighting cancer. Money is always welcome and those organizations depend on donations. But if you want to go the extra mile and donate something that’s meaningful and personal think about growing out your hair and donating that. To me it was just hair, but to the woman or child receiving that wig it was a new start and the confidence to feel good about themselves. That’s something that money can’t buy.