I still can’t believe my eyes when I see these photos. This is the absolute longest my hair has ever been and it really never felt THIS long. Once I saw the photos that Nichole, my beautician, posted on her Instagram (before I even looked in my camera roll) I was blown away.
It just seemed crazy that it got to this point. If you’ve been a long time blog reader, you know I used to rock the short hair. I mean, this blog post is hands down my most popular one. So I’m always reminded of my short hair since I see it pop up time and time again.
Last year around this time my hair was starting to get pretty long. This is a good post to see the length. It was honestly a really great length and I loved it. But I was really wanting it to get longer so I could do really fun braids.
And every time I tried, it just didn’t work. Too many layers, too short. I bought the Barefoot Blonde UP, never used it. It works, just not really a hair extension kind of person. So I just said, forget it, I’ll grow it out even more.
Before I knew it my hair was insanely long and I knew I eventually wanted a bob again. I felt like everyone was chopping off their hair and rocking the new lob and all I kept thinking was “man that’s MY hairstyle! I gotta show them how it’s done!”.
All my friends and family will tell you, the bob is my haircut. So I figured I’d donate it but didn’t know where to start. Years ago, I remember reading Aubrey’s post on donating her hair.
I assumed you had to grow it to chop 12 inches at least, but after reading her post, I realized you didn’t have to!
I was excited to do something nice with all this hair though. There are so many children out there suffering from diseases or cancer treatments and not feeling their best in addition to dealing with hair loss.
It’s crazy how much a great wig, gosh even synthetic wigs, can make you feel a little more normal. I wanted to give this gift to a child and thus my research began.
So I finally sat down with my hairstylist and chatted about what chopping my hair would look like, the length it needed to be and the style we’d achieve after. Once we figured out a hair donation organization I could donate to for colored hair and also just 8 inches, I was ready with my plan.
Okay, to be honest, I swore I was doing the chop at not one but TWO different appointments. I got cold feet and honestly, glad I did.
We ended up taking off nearly 9 inches between having to cut above the
Hair Donation Organizations
There are several major hair organizations out there that accept hair donations. Many you’ve probably heard of like Locks of Love and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. But there are several smaller organizations that honestly, have a much better cause behind them and easier guidelines to follow.
Plus, they’re all free of charge! Pretty much all of these require hair to be clean, dry and in a ponytail or braid. Curly hair can be pulled taught to measure for the length.
Many of these wigs end up going to children suffering from alopecia, cancer and other diseases that may cause hair loss. Let’s chat about the charities and which one may be best for you.
Wigs For Kids
This organization requires hair to be a minimum of 12 inches long and can not be chemically treated AT ALL. No highlights, no color, no perm. Wigs For Kids definitely has the longest and strictest hair donation policy.
Wigs are provided to approved recipients FOR FREE
Children With Hair Loss
This is the charity I donated to because they only required 8 inches and accepted color treated hair. They state on their site that non-treated hair is preferred, but that color-treated hair in good condition will be accepted.
They also accept gray hair. Since my hair barely had any color in it, I’m hoping it all went to a great wig for a child. My guess is they don’t take super bleached, overprocessed and damaged hair.
Wigs are provided to approved recipients FOR FREE
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
As of December 31, 2018, Pantene Beautiful Lengths is no longer accepting hair. Their site states that they “are pleased to share that we are able and committed to meet the future real-hair wig needs of the American and Canadian Cancer Societies for the next four years.”
Locks Of Love
I think this is the most common one and personally, one I have heard of the most. Locks Of Love accepts at least 10 inches of hair and can be colored or treated, but not bleached. It
Wigs are provided to approved recipients FOR FREE.
*I read an article recently about the earnings of Locks of Love and honestly, feel a little weird about them. I think they’re doing great things, but I’m skeptical of what’s really going on with financials.
How To Donate Your Hair
Now that we’ve decided to donate your hair and where to, let’s chat about how it all goes down.
How Many Inches Of Hair Do You Need To Donate
First and foremost, you need to decide how many inches you want to donate and who would take it. For me, I wanted to do the bare minimum because I just couldn’t handle the long hair much longer.
And, I knew I didn’t want my hair to be SUPER short. So 8 inches was where I wanted to fall and that’s how I started to narrow it down.
Grow That Hair!
You obviously want your hair to grow as long as possible before you do the chop. This way you get to donate as much as possible. But you also leave yourself with wiggle room for a great style.
A few ways to boost your hair growth is to go in for regular trims (just a dusting and make it every 12-16 weeks, not 8-10) minimal heat and lots of hair masks. You can take Biotin which can help increase hair growth. But beware, it also makes ALL your hair grow no matter WHERE it is.
Make Your Appointment
Be sure to communicate with your beautician that you’re planning on doing this. It may require a little extra time to measure, cut and also create a new hairstyle afterward with such a drastic change. My hairstylist booked a 2 hour appointment and we used up a good hour and a half of it.
Bring The Hair Donation Form, Ruler & Plastic Bag
Your stylist may have this available (most salons do) but definitely bring the printed out hair donation form and the plastic bag to place the completely dry hair in.
You’ll also want to READ the form to see how they want the hair. Some request a braid, some may just ask it’s tied on both ends, etc. Braiding it can be easier, it stays in place better.
Have A New Hairstyle In Mind
Definitely chat with your stylist about the hairstyle you want to achieve BEFORE you’ve finally cut it all off. Depending on what you like, your stylist may keep the front layers out from the braids. That’s what we did since I needed that length to create my bob.
Communication is key!
Come with photos and have a full conversation of your goals. I recommend talking about this in advance during one of your trim appointments so you can be prepared the day you finally cut your hair.
Do The Damn Thing!
Measure (twice duh) and cut! I have to be totally honest. I teared up a bit when I felt her cutting the braids. But honestly, after looking at those gross photos of my long hair in weird braids, I’m glad they’re gone and serving a better purpose to a young child suffering from a disease who lost their hair.
If you’re growing out your hair and thinking about cutting it, I urge you to consider donating it. Often times people think they can’t donate their hair because they need an absurd amount or virgin hair. And you just simply don’t.
I hope this post helps to show you what can be possible and that you consider making a donation that provides wigs to children who have lost their hair.