6 Places to Donate Hair that Make Free Wigs for Cancer Patients, Those with Alopecia,

6 Places to Donate Hair that Make Free Wigs for Cancer Patients, Those with Alopecia, and other Medical Conditions

How and where to donate hair for cancer patients and others suffing from medical conditons that cause hair loss.

Donating hair for cancer Credit: Bigstockphoto

Having a full head of healthy looking hair can make dealing with a serious illness such as cancer or alopecia just a little bit easier. A wig can make the patient feel more normal and healthy, which can greatly help them fight the disease that took their hair. However, wigs made for cancer and other patients are more than just a wig. Most of these wigs are actually a prosthesis custom made to fit each child or adult’s head. Each wig is also custom made with the patient’s needs in mind. A cancer patient may need a wig to fit over hair that is slowly growing back in patches. A child needs a wig that stays on and looks natural even when that child is upside down on the monkey bars, climbing trees, or playing tag.

The complexities of these prostheses make them an expensive and time-consuming wig to make and different than a fashion wig. This is why several organizations have dedicated their services to taking in hair donations and giving free wigs to patients who need them. It can take several weeks, 6 to 30 individual ponytail or braid donations, and $800 to $3,000 dollars to make one wig. Growing children may need several wigs over time as they fight their illness.

Your donation to any of the places to donate hair below of your ponytail or braid will certainly go for a good cause. And unless you’ve been through the same, you will probably never know the joy and confidence you will be giving a child or adult with your donation. Although the locks itself is the most important component to making the free wig for cancer patients and others, if possible do consider sending a monetary donation along with your ponytail if you can. This will help offset the costs of making the wig.

Each hair donation organization has its own requirements for the type and condition that can be used. Unless otherwise noted below, these are the main criteria for all such organizations. Take note of these as charities are usually forced to throw out hair that is unusable. You want to be sure that the sacrafic of your long locks does benefit the organization and the people it serves.

The hair must be washed and dried within the last 24 hours before cutting for donation. Do not use any styling products before cutting and donating. Shampoo and conditioner are fine to use.

You can pull curly hair straight to measure the length. It must be at least 8 to 12 inches long depending on the organization. Ponytails 7 inches or less in length cannot be used by any wig charity.

Pull your long locks into a ponytail before measuring and cutting. Once cut, mail it as a ponytail or braid with a band tying both ends and a third band securing the middle. Donating hair for cancer If it exceptionally long, use more bands to secure the entire lenth of the braid or ponytail to ensure it does not become loose, tangled, or otherwise damaged in the mail.

Put the ponytail or braid into a plastic bag such as a sealable Ziplock bag. Use a thick bubble envelope or small box to mail so that it does not become damaged during shipping. Any hair that comes loose in the mail may not be usable by the organization, so make sure it well packaged.

Bleached or highlighted hair, dreadlocks, or any locks not contained in a ponytail or braid cannot be used. In most cases, chemically treated hair cannot be used. There are some exceptions to this for some organizations as noted below.

If it can’t be used, most organizations have no choice but to throw it away. Do understand the criteria so that your locks do not go to waste. Every organization lists the details on their website for all to see.

Where to Donate Hair? Do I need to go to a special event or salon?

It doesn’t matter if you live in California, Arizona, Illinois, New York, Kansas, Washington, Montana, or any other state without a nearby hair donation charity. You can donate your hair to any of the hair donation charities from any location. Also, anyone can cut your locks for a donation, although a stylist with experience will probably make the best cut. You can then mail the ponytail or braid yourself. You don’t have to go to a special salon or charity event for any of these charities listed below.

Choosing Where to Donate Hair

Choose from any of the places below. The best place to donate hair will depend on your personal cause and conditon of your hair as some cannot accept color treated, permed, or grey hair. If your long locks can be accepted by any of these charitable organizations, then choose one that has a mission close to your heart.

Places to Donate Hair: All are nonprofit organizations and donations are tax deductible (consult with your tax professional for more information).

Angel Hair for Kids is one of A Child’s Voice Foundation’s many programs serving financially disadvantaged Canadian children suffering from a disability or illness. This organization provides wigs for any Canadian child who has a loss of hair to due to an illness such as cancer or alopecia and who’s family cannot afford to buy a wig. Before getting a wig, a salon professional works with each child and family to ensure the custom made wig fits and suits the child’s individual needs.

Angel Hair for Kids requires that the ponytail be a minimum of 12 inches long and not be chemically treated.

Mail donations to:

Angel Hair for Kids

3034 Palstan Road

Probably the most well-known wig donation for cancer patients organization in the U.S. is Locks of Love. Locks of Love works with both U.S. and Canadian youth under the age of 21 who are in need of a wig or hairpiece due to any medical condition, not just cancer. Children can receive a free or greatly discounted custom wig depending on their situation.al

Locks of Love will take colored or permed hair that is at least 10 inches long. This organization will also accept grey hair, but do know that it will be sold to help cover the costs of making the wigs.

Mail donations to:

234 Southern Blvd

West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Wigs for Kids is one of the first such organizations to make free wig prosthetics for children. At the time, over 25 years ago, there was a lot to learn to make a wig from real hair so that it stayed on an active child. The hair stylist turned Wigs for Kids founder, had to learn how to custom fit and sew the wigs. Today, Wigs for Kids helps children (age 18 and younger) suffering hair loss due to any medical condition such as chemotherapy, alopecia, and burns by giving then free wigs if they cannot otherwise get a wig.

Hair must be at least 12 inches long.

Mail donations to:

24231 Center Ridge Road

Westlake, Ohio 44145

Pantene has partnered with HairUWear and The American Cancer Society to take hair donations, create wigs, and distribute them to anyone (adult or child) in need of a wig due to cancer. Pantene Beautiful Lengths accepts the hair donation, HairUWear creates the wigs, and the American Cancer Society distributes the wigs through its network of wig banks located throughout the U.S.

Hair only needs to be 8 inches long. Pantene Beautiful Lengths cannot accept it if it has been permanently colored or is more than 5 percent grey.

Mail donations to:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

43 Butterfield Trail Suite A

El Paso, TX 79906

Based in Oregon, the Angel Hair Foundation provides children and teenagers living in Oregon and suffering from any medical condition that results in hair loss with a wig. Children being treated for their medical condition in the state of Oregon are also eligible for a wig through the Angel Hair Foundation.

Angel Hair Foundation can take hair that is at least 8 inches long, chemically treated hair if it is in healthy condition, and grey hair.

Mail donations to:

Angel Hair Foundation

2783 Suncrest Ave

Eugene, OR 97405

Wigs 4 Kids is a Michigan based organization serving kids 18 and under who are living in Michigan. Most recipients are cancer patients, but children suffering hair loss because of alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, lupus, and any other medical condition are also eligible.

The poneytail must be at least 10 inches long.

Mail donations to:

30126 Harper Avenue

St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

Children With Hair Loss (CWHL)

Children With Hair Loss provides free wigs to kids up to age 21 for any medical condition that causes the hair loss. Financial questions are not ask of wig recipients but this does require regular fundraising. Do consider sending a monetary donation with your pony-tail or braid to help cover the costs of making the wig.

Hair must be at least 8 inches long. They do accept chemically treated and grey hair.

Mail Donations to:

Children With Hair Loss

12776 Dixie Hwy

South Rockwood, MI 48179

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