How to Donate Your Hair to Cancer Patients

A List of Hair Donation Organizations

Hair donation organizations provide a way for children, men and women to donate their hair for a charitable cause.  Organizations support children and women who have lost their hair as a result of a medical condition or medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation. These non-profit organizations accept hair donations and use the hair to make complimentary wigs for children and women.  Each wig costs these charitable organizations approximately $1,500 to $3,000 to make.  Fifteen to 20 ponytail donations go into creating one wig. 

Hair Donation OrganizationCredit: Wikimedia

These wigs help children and women cope with the emotional adjustments of losing their hair. A drastic change in appearance can cause a significant amount of psychological stress, including depression, plummeting self-esteem and avoidant behaviors.  A custom-made hairpiece helps decrease these variable and combat additional trauma, as each wig is made to look like the child’s real tresses. 

Some hair donation organizations cater to specific regions, medical illnesses, or certain age ranges. Each charitable organization has its own donation requirements, surrounding length, color and previous treatment of hair.  Read guidelines carefully and visit the organization’s website prior to submitting your hair donation or sponsoring a donation event.   

How to Donate Your Hair for Cancer PatientsCredit: Wikimedia

5 Hair Donation Organizations

1. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a non-profit organization sponsoring children with leukemia.  This foundation hopes to provide hair replacement pieces to assist children in overcoming any emotional stress as a result of hair loss. Their wigs are made to fit the child’s head securely and resemble their previous hairstyle.     

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation accepts hair donations at least 10 inches in length and cut from a braid or a ponytail.  No colored, chemically-treated or dreaded locks are accepted.   Place your charitable donation in a plastic bag, along with the hair donation form, and send to the following address: 30126 Harper Avenue; St. Clair Shores, MI 48082.  The foundation will donate hair in memory of a loved one or send you an acknowledgement of your donation.

Hair Donation EventCredit: Wikimedia

2. Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids is a charitable organization that makes complimentary wigs for children that cannot afford to purchase their own hairpiece.  Most children receiving these wigs have lost their hair as a result of receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatments due to a cancer diagnosis.  Every hair prosthetic piece provides a child with a custom-made wig that fits snugly on their head.

Wigs for Kids collaborates with salons across North America for a free donation haircut.  To donate your tresses to Wigs for Kids, your locks must be at least 12 inches in length, tightly bound and placed in a plastic bag.  Donated tresses cannot be chemically processed or bleached.  Gray hair will be accepted.  Send your hair donation to: Wigs for Kids; 24231 Center Ridge Road; Westlake, Ohio 44145. If you live in Canada, you can send your donations to: Carlo Turvani - Transitions Salon; 244 Grantham Avenue; St. Catherines, ON L2M 4Z4.

Wigs for Kids will send you an acknowledgement of receipt for your hair donation within 6 weeks. 

3. Locks of Love

Locks of LoveCredit: Locks of Love

Locks of Love is non-profit organization that sponsors children ages 6 to 21 years of age that suffer from alopecia areata or experience hair loss as a result of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Children that have lost their hair from burns, dermatological conditions or other trauma also qualify for sponsorship. 

Locks of Love accepts donations from anyone with unbleached hair at least 10 inches in length. Tresses must be cut from a braid or ponytail. Permed or color-treated hair is acceptable.  Dread locks are not accepted. Hair shorter than 10 inches and gray hair are sold to other manufacturers to reduce the cost of making the wig.  Send your charitable donation to: Locks of Love; 234 Southern Boulevard; West Palm Beach, FL 33405. 

4.   Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Pantene Beautiful LengthsCredit: Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Pantene Beautiful Length is a non-profit, charitable organization that partners with the American Cancer Society.  Pantene Beautiful Lengths donates free hair wigs to women and children undergoing chemotherapy.  The wigs are distributed via the wig banks sponsored by the American Cancer Society. 

Pantene Beautiful Lengths requires all donations to be at least 8 inches in length.  Locks that has been chemically treated or bleached, or consists of more than 5 percent gray hair, is not accepted. Tresses meeting the aforementioned specifications should be sealed in a zip-lock bag and mailed to: Pantene Beautiful Lengths; Attn: 192-123; 20770 Westwood Drive; Strongsville, OH 44149.

5. Angel Hair Foundation

Angel Hair FoundationCredit: Angel Hair Foundation

The Angel Hair Foundation is a non-profit organization that sponsors children living in the state of Oregon that are dealing with a medical condition that causes hair loss. According to the Angel Hair Foundation, workers from the foundation meet with the child to gauge an appropriate length and color for the wig.  The foundation makes each wig to meet the child’s needs, taking into account any allergies and medical complications. The Angel Hair Foundation sponsors every child that qualifies and provides each wig for free. 

Anyone can donate their locks to the Angel Hair Foundation.  Requirements for donating hair include a minimum length of 8 inches, locks cut from a ponytail or braid, and banded by a ponytail holder at each end.  Chemically-treated hair and gray hair is accepted, as long as it is in good condition. You can send your hair donation along with a short donation form to: Angel Hair Foundation; 2783 Suncrest Avenue; Eugene, Oregon 97405. Upon receipt of your donation, the foundation sends you a certificate of appreciation.

Other Considerations

Some hair donation organizations allow you to deduct your hair donation from your taxes, although others do not.  Check with your chosen organization prior to making your charitable donation to confirm whether a tax deduction is possible.

References

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation: Donate Your Hair

Wigs for Kids: Donate Hair

Locks of Love: Hair Donation Questions

Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Donation Requirements

 Angel Hair Foundation: Hair Donations