How Long Does Your Hair Have to Be to Donate It?

By Annmarie Ely

Donating your hair can be an extremely rewarding experience. If you have long hair already or if you are considering growing yours out for a good cause, you will need to know some basics about donation.

Blonde Hair
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A close-up of long ash blonde hair.

Recipients

mannequin
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A wig on a mannequin in a studio.

Your hair will be used to make a realistic-looking wig for someone who has lost theirs due to cancer or another medical condition. Recipients include financially disadvantaged children and female cancer survivors.

Length

young architect in front of her monitor
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A woman with a long ponytail uses her computer.

Gather hair into a ponytail and measure from the elastic to the tip of the hair. In order to donate, your ponytail must be at least 10 inches long.

Cutting

Bridal Updo Series
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A hair stylist braids a woman's long hair.

Have your stylist gather your hair into a low ponytail. Braid the hair and secure the braid with an elastic. Cut half an inch above the first elastic to remove the braid.

Mailing

Envelope
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A padded envelope sits on a table.

Donation forms can be found online. Simply print yours and include it with your donation. Donations should be sealed in a plastic bag and then placed in a padded envelope.

Acceptable Hair

Portrait of a handsome hairdresser blowing hair
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A hair dresser blow drys a womans hair in the salon.

Hair must be clean and dry. Permed or color-treated hair is acceptable. Hair that has been bleached or swept off the floor will not be accepted by most organizations.

Organizations

Happy woman
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A happy woman smiles outdoors.

Two great places to donate your hair are Locks of Love and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Both organizations are nonprofits. Locks of Love serves children who have lost their hair, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths serves female cancer survivors.