Jul 10, 2020 1:00 PM

Hair loss, a well-known side effect of cancer treatment, is one of many challenges people with cancer experience. To help with this loss, some people grow out their hair and then donate it to create wigs for people undergoing treatment.

Here are some tips for donating your hair.

Decide where to donate.

There are several organizations that will accept your hair. To ensure you are comfortable with how they’ll use your hair and who receives the wigs, do some research. You may want to ask these questions:

  • What age group do your wigs help?
  • How are the wigs made for each recipient?
  • Are the wigs free to recipients?
  • Is there a medical requirement to receiving a wig?

To begin your search, here are a few options of organizations:

Once you decide where to donate, learn about their requirements.

Every organization has its own requirements, which is why it’s so important to first choose where to donate before cutting your hair. Make sure you and your hair dresser follow the directions and guidelines from the organizations. The following requirements are common:

  • Hair must be a certain length. Most organizations require the ponytail to be longer than 8-12 inches.
  • Hair must be clean and dry before cutting. Don’t use any hair products after washing your hair before cutting it.
  • Have the supplies ready. Most organizations ask that the hair be either braided or kept together with multiple rubber bands.
hair in braid

Send your hair donation

Once you decide on an organization, grow out your hair, and cut it, the final step is to send it in! Be sure the hair is dry and secure in a braid or with rubber bands before shipping. Most organizations require hair that has been cut within a year, so prepare the shipping information and materials so you can mail in your donation as soon as possible.

If you are a cancer patient looking for resources hair loss or places to find head coverings and wigs, visit our factsheets or call or email our cancer learning center at 888-424-2100, cancerinfo@hci.utah.edu.

Cancer touches all of us.

Share Your Story