When you're thinking of giving your locks the big chop, consider donating.

By Daley Quinn
March 24, 2021
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After a full year of the pandemic and too few (if any) visits to the hair salon, it might be time to cut off all the hair that's grown during quarantine. If you're ready for a big chop, consider donating to an organization that creates wigs for those going through radiation or anyone suffering from hair loss. 

Smiling young woman holding up her cut ponytail in a salon
Credit: AJ Watt/Getty Images

If you're considering donating your hair to a charity, it's important to know the rules before chopping it off. Every organization's donation process will be different, so make sure you check out the organization's website and follow instructions carefully. Generally, though, you want to make sure that the amount you're cutting off is at least 12 inches, and you cannot donate any hair that's been permed, color-treated, or highlighted. However, if you've dabbled in temporary coloring or highlights that can be washed out, this is generally accepted by most organizations—you need to make sure that all the color is washed out before donating. Don't forget that gray hair can also be donated to most organizations, too! 

How To Donate Hair

Whether you're cutting your hair at home or working with a stylist at the salon, follow the directions below to learn how to donate your hair.

  1. First off, you want to make sure that your hair is clean and completely dry—if you send in wet hair, it will get moldy during shipping and be thrown away.
  2. You want to tie your hair into four sections. To do this, make a center part, and then, starting from the center of the part, you want to part your hair again over the top of each ear. This will create four sections of hair. To create four ponytails, tie the hair in front of each ear into ponytails, and then tie the hair behind each ear into ponytails. 
  3. Once you’ve done that, make sure each ponytail is tightly secured—tie each section of hair with several rubber bands along the length, two to three inches apart, to really make sure that all hair is secured and won’t come out of the bands. Any loose hair that comes out of the bands won’t be usable. 
  4. Then, cut hair above the rubber bands.
  5. Finally, wrap all four ponytails into a piece of tissue paper and seal them into a plastic bag. Then mail your hair donation to the charity of your choice. 

Charities To Donate Your Hair

There are so many hair donation charities out there, and below you'll find a few of our favorites. Be sure to check out their website to read their rules before you get out the scissors.