Donating Hair – Your Questions Answered

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Since Kate Middleton donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust last year, interest in hair donation has been on the rise. Chances are that you have plenty of questions on the subject, so let’s take a moment to learn a little more about the process of giving your hair to charity!

What is a hair donation?

Hair donation is the process of cutting your hair in order to give it to someone else. There are a number of different organisations and charities out there who can turn your locks into a free or low-cost wig for individuals who are facing hair loss.

Why donate hair to cancer patients?

There are a number of conditions, illnesses and medical treatments that can cause people to either lose their hair or not be able to grow their own hair. Cancer is one of them. Hair loss in cancer patients is generally a direct side effect of chemotherapy. When people donate hair for cancer, the hair donation can be turned into a wig, which can provide confidence, strength and sense of wellbeing to people who are fighting a terrible disease.

Who accepts hair donations?

You can donate your hair with the help of various charities. A popular choice for those who want to donate hair for cancer is the Little Princess Trust. This charity provides free real-hair wigs to children and young people (up to the age of 24) who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.

How does hair donation work?

If hair donation is something you want to move forward with, it’s time to start looking into the process. Put simply, you will have your hair cut, seal it in a bag and post it to your chosen organisation. Usually, your hair will be tied at both ends before being cut to keep it together. It’s important to ensure that your hair is clean before it is cut, but you also want it to be dry – wet hair could become mouldy before it reaches the charity and then it can’t be used. Make sure to read guidelines on your chosen charity’s website before getting started. This way, you can make sure you meet any specific requirements.

Where should you send your hair donations?

Once your hair has been cut, you will generally post it to the charity you intend to donate it to. Remember that the Little Princess Trust is just one of your options. Cancer Research UK supply a list of charities who create wigs for cancer patients. Where you send your hair donation will, of course, depend entirely on who you want to donate it to!

How long does your hair have to be?

The minimum length of a hair donation will depend on the rules set out by the charity you’re sending it to. The Little Princess Trust request a minimum of 7 inches (or 17 centimetres). Other charities may request more.

Will I need to shave my head?

Bear in mind that you don’t have to completely shave your head in order to donate your hair. While any company or charity will be extremely appreciative of long hair donations (and having as close a crop as possible will maximise the amount of hair that you donate), it’s important to remember that any donation that exceeds the minimum measurements can be put to good use.

How many donations does it take to make a wig?

Again, the number of hair donations that it takes to make a wig will depend on who you are donating to. Wigs for children will generally require less hair than wigs for adults. Generally, it is estimated that it takes 10 to 12 donated ponytails to create one wig.

Hair donation can be a brilliant thing to do for others! Hopefully, we’ve managed to give you some answers to common questions on the topic. If you want to support hair donation charities but giving hair isn’t for you, you can help to offset their costs by supporting them through easyfundraising!

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