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Hair loss is a well-known side effect of cancer treatment and can also be caused by other health conditions. The loss of one’s hair can be a very personal and emotional journey. To support those experiencing this loss, some people grow out their hair, cut it, and donate it to organizations that create wigs.
Here are some tips for donating your hair.
Where can I donate my hair?
There are several organizations that will accept your hair. To ensure you are comfortable with how they will 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?
- Is there a medical requirement for receiving a wig?
To begin your search, here are a few options of organizations:
How long does hair have to be to donate?
Every organization has its own requirements, which is why it’s so important to choose where to donate before cutting your hair. Make sure you and your hairdresser follow the directions and guidelines from the organization. The following requirements are common:
- Hair must be a certain length. Most organizations require the ponytail to be at least 8–14 inches.
- Hair must be clean and dry before cutting. Don’t use any hair products after washing your hair and before cutting it.
- Have the supplies ready. Most organizations ask that the hair be braided or kept together with multiple rubber bands.
How do I send in my hair donation?
Be sure the hair is dry and secured 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.
What hair loss resources are available for people with cancer?
If you have or know someone with cancer, there are many resources available. Start by reaching out to your health care team. Visit our Patient Education Resources website for hair loss resources or places to find head coverings and wigs. For more information, contact our Cancer Learning Center at 888-424-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.