Places To Donate Gray Hair for Wigs [Make the Kindest Cut of All]

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Thinking about cutting your gray hair? How about making it the kindest cut of all? — Donate your hair to organizations that can use it to make free or low-cost wigs for seniors who have lost their hair due to various medical conditions. Here's how to do it and a list of places that accept gray hair donations.

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A wig can help someone dealing with the emotional effects of hair loss including low self-confidence, strength, and optimism.

Here is a quick guide on donating gray hair. But first, 

Why Should You Donate Your Gray Hair?

Hair donation is an often-overlooked form of donation that takes more research than simply finding a donation box. But it makes a tremendous difference for women and children who have lost their hair due to cancer, medical issues, or trauma. Whether someone loses hair as a result of chemotherapy or alopecia (hair loss), it has an impact on more than their looks. 

In fact, research suggests that losing hair while undergoing cancer treatment makes individuals feel ill and has a significant impact on their self-esteem, Alopecia, whether natural or chemo-induced, is associated with increased levels of anxiety and despair, decreased self-esteem, and a negative body image, to mention a few.

Synthetic wigs composed of human-made fibers were the traditional solution. These wigs are widely available, however, they may not look exactly like natural hair. They’re also usually quite pricey. Synthetic wigs for children with chemotherapy hair loss or alopecia may not be available due to their tiny heads.  With natural wigs, kids can feel somewhat normal again. 

Top Places To Donate Gray Hair for Wigs

1. Hair We Share

Hair We Share is a non-profit organization that collects hair donations to make wigs for adults and children who have lost their hair due to medical causes. It donates them freely but requires you to make a $25 minimum gift for wig preparation. Moreover, if you’d like to participate in their ponytail monitoring program, you can make a cash gift of at least $125 to see a photo of the wig manufactured from your hair.

2. Children With Hair Loss

Children With Hair Loss is another non-profit organization that gives wigs to children in need around the United States. It offers short-term and long-term hair solutions for kids suffering from hair loss. The charity survives on charitable donations, community partnerships, and the sale of branded items. If you want to donate your hair, make sure your ponytail is at least 8 inches long.

3. Locks of Love

Locks of Love is the most well-known and long-running hair donation organization. It provides hair prostheses for financially poor children who have experienced long-term hair loss due to illness. Your hair must be at least 10 inches long and tied in a braid or ponytail to be accepted. All hair textures and colors are welcome. Permed or colored hair can also be donated as long as it is not damaged. 

4. Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids was created to assist children who are suffering from the effects of hair loss caused by any condition, such as alopecia, cancer, or burns. They sell hair systems at subsidized rates. They also collaborate with hundreds of salons across the United States to provide free or subsidized services to persons who donate their hair to this worthwhile cause. 

Their systems are so advanced that kids can even swim without worrying about their hair falling out. True to their word, Wigs for Kids want kids to participate in normal activities without worrying about their hair falling out. 10-inch lengths of hair are required for this organization, but they must not be colored, permed, or chemically processed. 

RELATED: How to Not Look Washed Out With Gray Hair

How To Donate Your Gray Hair: 3 Simple Steps

Step 1: Decide Where You Want Your Hair To Go.

Every hair donation organization has its aim and set of objectives. Do some research to make sure you’re happy with who gets the wigs and how they’re delivered. Children With Hair Loss, Locks of Love, and children’s charities are among the most popular. Before cutting your hair, go to the organization’s website to get all the information you need. 

Step 2: Read the Hair Donation Requirements Carefully.

If you want your hair to be utilized, you must adhere to the organization’s contribution guidelines. They all have a minimum length of hair that can be donated, which is usually between 8 and 14 inches. 

You may also need to confirm whether or not an organization accepts colored, permed, highlighted, bleached, or dreadlocked hair. Furthermore, some organizations tolerate gray hair or hair with a particular percentage of gray, while others do not. Be wary of such demands so that your hair does not end up in the trash.

Step 3: Adhere to the Donation Guidelines with Your Stylist

To execute a donation cut, a hairstylist doesn’t require any additional training, but be sure to explain to your hairstylist why you’re doing it and the guidelines of the charity you’ve chosen. They’ll only need to follow a few easy but detailed guidelines for your hair. Make sure you shampoo and dry your gray hair before going to the salon. Fill a releasable plastic bag with the dried product. Finally, choose a haircut that flatters you to minimize regrets when you leave the salon.

A Life-Changing Donation

Hair donation to children and adults with hair loss is a kind gesture with a big impact. By donating your gray hair, you are making a tangible difference in someone’s life right away. Make the kindest cut today!

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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