Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that uses donated hair to create wigs for children suffering with hair loss because of alopecia areata, severe burns, radiation or chemotherapy treatments or other dermatological conditions. There’s no need to go to a specific salon. You’ll be fine as long as the stylist follows the donation guidelines.


Salon

Supercuts, a national chain with 2,100 salons in the U.S., is an option if you want to donate your hair. “We can certainly cut your hair to meet any regulations,” a company representative says. However, any hairstylist can cut your tresses and send in the hair. Just take the Locks of Love guidelines with you to ensure the stylist cuts your locks appropriately.

Hair

Locks of Love will not be able to use hair that is in dreadlocks, bleached or highlighted with bleach. It can be permed or dyed as long as it was not lightened first with bleach. Gray hair also can be donated. Although it can’t be used for children’s hair pieces, Locks of Love sells gray hair donations to other wig makers to help offset manufacturing costs. Make sure your hair is long enough. The minimum length is 10 inches, measuring from tip to tip. Layered hair is okay as long as some of the layers are at least 10 inches.

Preparations

Make sure your hair is fully dry and put in a ponytail or braid. Ask your hair stylist to snip above your hair band, at the base of the ponytail or braid, so the hair stays bundled after being cut. You’ll also want to determine a style for your hair after it’s cut. Looking your best afterwards may help stave off regrets about your shorter tresses, especially if you’re accustomed to having long hair.


Donation

Occasionally, a salon may offer to mail your donated strands for you, but you’ll likely have to mail it. Bring a sealable plastic bag to the salon to keep your hair clean and dry. Put the bag in a padded envelope along with your name and address on a sheet of paper inside and mail to Locks of Love, 234 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach FL 33405-2701.