Many men, myself included, grew out our hair during the lockdowns and quarantines over the past year, but now that the world is opening up again, we’ve got no idea what to do with it all. Fortunately, hair donations exist, and it’s a great way to make a positive difference. Can we men donate our hair, though?
Men can donate hair too. There is no restriction on men donating hair as long as the hair itself fits the proper criteria for donation set by the charity. Donated hair must be tied in a ponytail at least 12 inches long, and it should be free of highlights, dye, or a perm.
This article will discuss how men can donate their hair and why we should consider doing so. Read on to learn if your hair will be accepted for donation, and which charities you should donate it to, as well as who will end up receiving it.
Why Should I Donate My Hair?
There are many reasons why you should donate your hair. The most important reason is that you’ll be making a difference and doing a good deed. Many people, especially children and financially disadvantaged adults need wigs because they suffer from medically-related hair loss. Your hair donation can help them.
Each wig takes roughly eight to twelve ponytails of hair to make. Every bit here genuinely helps. Even if you donate just one ponytail of hair, you have made a difference. There’s no real loss to you here either, since your hair will just grow back.
Otherwise, it’s a good excuse to grow your hair out for a while. For most men, we give up on long hair after college. Now growing long hair for hair donation is an opportunity to try a new style. Some businesses might even let you break their uniform policy if you notify their HR that you’re growing your hair to donate it, but please check first.
Long hair is also a conversation starter. Most men like to keep their hair short, but you’ll stand out and always have something to say if you grow your hair long to donate it. A donation will also make you look like a nice guy because you’ve committed yourself to this generous act.
Donating hair is also a good life experience. Since many men go bald and you might be one of them, growing out your hair and donating while you have a chance is a great thing to do. You definitely won’t regret it.
Hair donation also gives somebody a chance to enjoy having hair as much as you do. Artificial wigs can’t be curled or straightened and often can’t be styled with products either. For many people who use them, this is a serious disappointment and loss. Giving the gift of genuine hair lets another person enjoy a more normal and fulfilling life.
What Kinds of Hair Can Be Donated?
Typically, charities will accept all textures of hair. After all, all sorts of people need wigs. However, there are still other criteria that your hair will have to fit before you can donate it.
If your hair has been permed, dyed, or even highlighted or otherwise color-treated, it will not be accepted, though. However, charities will accept your hair if had been temporarily colored, as long as that color has been washed out beforehand. Naturally, grey hair is usually allowed, but be sure to check with your charity of choice first.
Your hair has to be healthy and clean before you donate it. Keep good care of your hair while going it and have your dead or split ends trimmed off before cutting your hair to donate it. Your hair must also be completely dry and free of any styling products when you donate it.
The hair you choose to donate must have been cut recently. Because hair grows more fragile over time, charities can’t accept over a year old hair. Only cut your hair off when you’re ready to donate it. Although it will keep for months, this isn’t worth it unless you have to have shorter hair again immediately.
Keep in mind that your hair has to be at least 12 inches long to be accepted. If you have curly hair, put it out straight before measuring it so you can get an accurate length. Your hair can be layered, but then even the shortest pieces must be 12 inches.
Even if they are long enough, charities do not accept offcuts or hair from the floor. Ensure all hair you donate was in the ponytail or braid when it was originally cut. If you want to donate offcuts or short pieces of hair, look for a charity that specifically accepts that.
Lastly, remember that each charity is different, and the recommendations given here aren’t absolute rules or always true. Be aware if your charity of choice has any additional specifications, exceptions, or differences before cutting.
How Do I Donate My Hair?
Firstly, make sure your hair is long enough. The standard minimum length is 12 inches, but specific charities will accept shorter hair. Growing your hair out also does take time since most people’s hair only grows at a rate of about 1/2 an inch per month.
You can either visit a salon or cut the hair at home once you’re ready. If you want to cut your hair at home, get somebody to help you. If not, tell the salon you want to donate your hair so they can collect it for you properly. You don’t want to waste any hair by making a stupid mistake now, especially since you spent so long growing it out in the first place.
Regardless of what you choose, pull your hair into ponytails and tie them with rubber bands. Use more than one rubber band if necessary to make sure your hair is tightly secured. Typically here, four to six ponytails are best as this will yield the most hair overall. Tying too few ponytails can result in over 4 inches of hair loss, which neither of us wants.
Make sure to cut off the ponytails above the rubber bands. Once you’ve done that, wrap all of them in a dry paper towel or section of tissue paper and put that in a zippered bag. Remember to fill out the needed forms before mailing your hair to the charity’s address. Although it isn’t demanded, adding in a small donation is appreciated too.
Specific charities also operate hair donation salons. Check if there’s one near you, as that can make this process a lot easier. A good salon will know exactly what specifications your hair must have and how to cut it properly too. They’ll even do it for you and give you a good haircut to boot.
If your hair is especially curly or frizzy, it can be a good idea to straighten it before cutting so you can check its length properly and cut it easier. Likewise, charities will accept braided hair, too, as long as it’s all-natural and not braided extremely tightly.
Also, make sure to donate only your hair. If you grow out your hair alongside friends or family, that’s great but be sure that they package their actions separately and mark them as such.
Who Gets My Donated Hair?
The charity you choose will typically make it very clear what they do with the hair, but all will make it into real hair wigs. As such, read the charity’s website to know on whose head your hair will end up. Some also charge people to buy their wigs, which might not sit well with you. Most wigs are given to children, though, as they cannot afford to buy their own. Some charities also provide wigs to financially disadvantaged adults suffering from medical hair loss too.
One thing to know is that cancer patients are not always the first receivers of real hair wigs. Because a genuine wig is made to order and takes about two months to complete, current chemotherapy patients often prefer to opt for artificial wigs, hats, or other head coverings. Instead, people suffering from other hair loss conditions often get wigs first.
Can I Still Donate Hair During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Yes, you can still donate your hair during the pandemic, although most charities will likely want additional sanitary measures to take place. If you can find a donation salon and are healthy and not infectious, I would recommend donating your hair at a salon as that allows the charity to take care of their specific sanitary procedures themselves.
If you are infected, do not cause unnecessary trouble, and try donating your hair. It will be rejected, and you will also put lives at risk. However, even if you have survived Covid-19, you can still donate your hair once you are healthy and non-infectious, although a charity might ask you to mention that you were infected at some point.
Also, keep in mind that the pandemic will be over eventually. Perhaps think about postponing your hair donation for the time being so you can grow your hair even longer and donate more of it during a healthier time. If you can afford it, also consider a financial donation in the meantime.
Which Charities Can I Donate Hair Too?
Dozens of charities specialize in hair donations and wig production, so this will not be a completely exhaustive list as such. Below are the most notable hair donation charities that I would personally recommend you consider.
Locks of Love
The largest and most popular hair donation charity, Locks of Love, has made thousands of wigs since they were founded back in 1997. They specialize in real hair wigs for children and do so because most other wigs are made exclusively in larger sizes for adults.
Locks of Love will accept hair that has been permed or dyed, but they won’t accept hair that’s been bleached. Although they can’t use it in a child’s wig for apparent reasons, they accept grey hair as they sell it to recoup manufacturing costs. Their minimum length is 10 inches.
Address: 234 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701
Hair We Share
Hair We Share is a charity that produces wigs for both adults and children affected by medical hair loss. Note that they require a minimum donation of $25 along with your hair. However, if you donate $125 or more, you can choose to be a part of their ponytail tracking program. This entitles you a photo of the wig it contributes to as well as a branded t-shirt and the opportunity to donate your hair at only 8 inches.
The standard minimum length for hair donation is 12 inches, and Hair We Share does not accept hair that has been dyed or bleached. However, they do accept permed or artificially straightened hair, as well as grey hair. Although they accept hair you’ve cut yourself, they prefer it if you donate it at one of their salons, available across the United States.
Address: 4 Expressway Plaza Suite, LL14 Roslyn Heights, NY 11577
Wigs for Kids
Founded in 1987, Wigs for Kids is one of the older hair donation charities. They specialize in children’s wigs with greater than average durability and toughness, so the child wearing them can play and do sport normally, which I think is an excellent and heart-warming cause. You can even sponsor a specific child if you’d like to.
They accept ponytails over 12 inches long but prefer a length of at least 14 inches for the best wigs. They accept grey hair but refuse all donations of permed, colored, or highlighted hair. Wigs for Kids does have salons but also accepts mail donations, including anonymous donations.
Address: 24231 Center Ridge Rd, Westlake OH, 44145
Children With Hair Loss
Children With Hair Loss gifts real hair wigs to children and young adults with medical hair loss. In addition to that, they also send a care kit alongside each wig so the child can maintain their wig properly as well. They have several partner salons operating in most states.
Although Children With Hair Loss does accept hair at a minimum length of 8 inches, they request that you wait until you can donate hair of 12 inches or longer. They accept both naturally grey and colored hair as long it is in good condition. In addition to feeling good about yourself, donating to them will also result in you being emailed a nice certificate.
Address: Children With Hair Loss, 12776 Dixie Hwy, S. Rockwood MI 48179
Men can and absolutely should donate their hair if circumstances allow them to do so. Hair donation is a gratifying and meaningful decision that has the potential to change lives. There are many hair donation charities, and the process itself is simple, practical, and an interesting experience. Writing this article even inspired me to grow out my hair to donate it as well!