What to Know About Donating Your Hair to Cancer Victims

Organizations around the world use real human hair to make wigs for cancer patients and others who face hair loss as a result of illness. If you’re thinking about shaving your head to show solidarity with someone in that situation, maybe just a cut will do. Either way, here’s what you need to know before you donate your locks for the cause:

First, do your homework.
Click around to see which charities accept donated hair and read their fine print. Some organizations require at least eight inches. Others require 10 inches or more. A few charities ask for hair that hasn’t been colored or subjected to other chemical processes. Make sure the charity you select can accommodate what you have to offer.

Consider recruiting a friend. 
Some people find it easier to go through this process with a partner. You and your friend can support each other along the way, posting photos and updates on social media. When the big day arrives, you can go to a salon together and celebrate your experience. Who knows? You might inspire even more people to join in.

Do the math. 
Generally, human hair grows a half an inch per month. With this information, you can determine when your hair will be long enough to donate. To calculate, you’ll need to put your hair in a pony tail and measure it from the rubber band at your scalp to the tip of your pony. Follow the guidelines of the organization you selected before you cut.

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Keep your hair in shape. 
For optimum hair health, be gentle! Avoid chemicals and heat. Try to air dry your hair whenever possible, and forgo those curling irons, hot rollers and flat irons. Even though it might sound counterintuitive, you should still schedule regular trims (every six weeks or so) but just snip off the very ends and let the rest grow.

Choose your new style. 
If you have hair that’s long enough to donate, you’re going to be in for a little shock when it’s suddenly gone. Prepare for this change by studying cute short styles in advance. Gather a selection of photos from fashion magazines, salon trade rags, and Pinterest boards. Then, make an image board of your own. If your new look will require tools you don’t have, acquire them before your cut. And you might consider dangling ear rings to add length where there once was hair.

Prepare for the appointment.  
Make sure your hair is clean and completely dry. Re-read the instructions from the charity you’re working with and carefully follow the instructions. Typically, those organizations want either a braid or a pony tail in a plastic bag. Do it right to ensure that your generous gift gets used.

Enjoy your fabulous new look, and know your beauty radiates from the inside out.

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Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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