Hair donation is a selfless gesture that can help make wigs for people who lost hair due to medical conditions like cancer, alopecia, or hair loss caused by burns, trauma or other medical reasons. The more hair that is donated, the more wigs that can be made. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all hair donations meet the requirements to make wigs.
If you are planning to donate your hair, it is vital to know how much hair is needed to donate. This guide will help you understand the requirements and guidelines set by various hair donation organizations.
The minimum length required to donate:
The minimum length required to donate hair is one of the most important requirements. Generally, the length of hair should be a minimum of 8 to 12 inches long, depending on the hair donation program. Hair donation organizations measure the hair with a straight ruler or a ponytail ruler from the top of the ponytail to the tip of the hair.
The organizations request for the hair to be freshly washed and completely dry, without any hair products or treatments, and tied in a tight ponytail or braid before cutting. Hair that is dyed, permed, or chemically treated may not be accepted, so it is best to check with the hair donation organization before donating.
The ideal hair type for donation:
The ideal hair type for donation varies between different organizations. Generally, hair donations should be natural, unprocessed, and undamaged. Hair that is curly, wavy, or straight can be donated, but mixed hair types may not be accepted by some organizations.
Organizations like Wigs for Kids prefer hair donations that are not overly layered, as this can make it difficult to create a high-quality wig. If the hair is too thin or too thin at the bottom, it may not be suitable for wig-making.
How much hair is needed to make a wig:
The amount of hair needed to make a wig varies depending on the organization and the length and thickness of the hair. Generally, it takes between six to ten ponytails of hair to make one wig.
The average human head has around 100,000 to 150,000 individual hair strands, and it takes approximately 200 strands of hair to make a single hairpiece. A full wig, on the other hand, can require up to 400 hairpieces, which means around 80,000 strands of hair.
|Hair Length||Hair Required to Make a Wig|
|Short hair (8 to 12 inches)||6 to 10 ponytails|
|Medium hair (12 to 18 inches)||10 to 12 ponytails|
|Long hair (over 18 inches)||12 or more ponytails|
Where to donate hair:
There are many organizations that accept hair donations for creating wigs. Some of the most popular hair donation organizations include:
- Pantene Beautiful Lengths: They focus on creating wigs for women with cancer. The minimum length required is 8 inches.
- Wigs for Kids: They create custom-fitted wigs for children with alopecia or medical hair loss. The minimum length required is 12 inches.
- Locks of Love: They provide hairpieces to children under the age of 21 with medical hair loss. The minimum length required is 10 inches.
- Children with Hair Loss: They create wigs for children with hair loss due to medical conditions. The minimum length required is 8 inches.
How to donate hair:
If you are interested in donating your hair, the first step is to choose the organization that you want to donate to. Each organization has different requirements, so it is essential to check their website for specific instructions. Some organizations may require you to fill out a form or include a donation along with your hair.
Once you have chosen the organization you want to donate to, it’s time to prepare your hair. As previously mentioned, your hair needs to be a minimum of 8 inches long and freshly washed, with no styling products or chemicals. The hair should be tied in a tight ponytail or braid, and then carefully cut.
After cutting your hair, it is essential to package it carefully. Place your ponytail or braid in a plastic bag or an envelope and send it to the hair donation organization. Some organizations may provide free shipping labels, while others may require you to cover the cost of shipping.
Q. Can colored hair be donated?
A. It depends on the hair donation organization. Some accept colored hair, while others do not. If you’re unsure, check with the organization before donating.
Q. Can I donate my hair if I have split ends?
A. Split ends may not affect the quality of wig making. However, some organizations only accept hair that is healthy and unprocessed.
Q. Can I donate hair if I have gray hair?
A. Yes, some organizations accept gray hair, but it’s best to check with the organization for their specific requirements.
Q. Can I donate short hair?
A. Some organizations accept hair donations as short as 8 inches, while some require a minimum length of 10 or 12 inches. Be sure to check the requirements of the organization you are interested in donating to.
Q. How long does it take for a wig to be made?
A. It varies depending on the organization and the number of hair donations they receive. It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to make a wig.
Q. How often can I donate hair?
A. You can donate hair as often as you like, but it’s best to wait until your hair has grown back to the minimum length required by the organization you want to donate to.
Q. Is there a cost to donate hair?
A. Some organizations provide free shipping labels, while others may require you to cover the cost of shipping. It’s best to check with the organization for their specific requirements.
Q. Can I donate hair if I’m bald?
A. Unfortunately, if you are bald, you cannot donate hair. However, you can still support hair donation organizations by making a financial donation or by volunteering your time.
Q. What happens to the hair if it cannot be used for wig making?
A. Some hair donation organizations sell the hair that cannot be used for wig making to offset the cost of wig production.
Donating hair is a beautiful gesture that can make a significant difference in the lives of people who lost hair due to medical conditions. However, it is important to know the requirements and guidelines set by various hair donation organizations before donating.
If you are planning to donate your hair, make sure that it meets the minimum length requirements, is not chemically treated, and is in good condition. Choose the organization that you want to donate to and follow their specific instructions for hair donation.
Your hair donation can help create a wig and bring a smile to someone’s face, so don’t hesitate to make a difference today by donating your hair.
1. Hair Donation Organizations. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate/hair-donation-requirements-and-hair-donation-organizations.html
2. Donate Your Hair. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.wigsforkids.org/get-involved/donate-hair/
3. Hair Donation Requirements. (2021). Retrieved from https://locksoflove.org/get-involved/hair-donation-guidelines/