You can donate your hair to cancer patients, adults, and children. There are various organizations that accept hair donations, but these organizations may have different requirements and may use the donation for different purposes.
Some of these agencies offer wigs to adults undergoing cancer treatment. Others use hair donations for wigs for children with any condition that leads to hair loss.
The requirements for donating hair also differ between agencies: different organizations accept different lengths, but many exclude hair that has been colored or dyed. If you don't meet these requirements, there are still options on how to wear your hair permanently.
If you have seen a loved one receive cancer treatment, or if you have received cancer treatment yourself, you may be tempted to "do justice." There are many ways to help by participating in fundraising or donating money, but if you are a cancer survivor, you may not have enough money or even energy.
Fortunately, donating hair is a non-monetary way to directly benefit people living with cancer. Let's take a look at what you need to know before growing your hair out or cutting those gorgeous locks.
Benefits of wigs
One of the scariest side effects of cancer treatments is hair loss caused by chemotherapy-induced hair loss or a side effect of radiation therapy to the brain. Hair can play an important role in your self-esteem, it doesn't matter. ground.
The advantage of wigs (unlike other hats) is that the wig allows you to walk through life feeling 'normal'. This is not out of vanity, as many think at first. With a wig (and, if necessary, tinted on the eyebrows), sympathetic glances and sometimes whispers can be avoided.
Many people living with cancer want at least one day to be able to feel "normal." Wearing a wig can at least help the look.
Of course, there are other hats for hair loss from cancer treatments , such as hats and scarves, that can be very attractive. Sometimes it is even possible to prevent hair loss with chemotherapy , although it is not always effective, it can be inconvenient and not recommended for people with certain types of cancer.
Why human hair?
Both synthetic and human hair are used to make wigs. Human hair wigs look and feel more natural, but they are more difficult to care for and much more expensive. However, they are a real cure for those facing a life-threatening illness.
The cost of wigs
A portion of the cost of a wig is covered by the benefits of many private insurance plans. This requires that you have a prescription from an oncologist for a "medical cranial prosthesis," a fancy term for a wig. Otherwise, it can be added to medical expenses for tax deduction purposes , if applicable.
Requirements for donating hair
The requirements for donating hair vary, but in general:
- Hair should be clean and dry before trimming, and braided into a braid or ponytail. You should not apply any hair products, such as gel, mousse, or hairspray, and your hair must be completely dry before you pack it for shipping.
- Only your natural hair is accepted; no hair extensions, dreadlocks or wigs.
- Your ponytail or braid should be a certain length. Curly hair can be pulled straight to measure. Requirements typically range from 8 to 14 inches.
- Some organizations accept gray hair and others do not.
- Some organizations accept bleached hair, but highlighted hair is generally not accepted.
- Some organizations accept permed hair, while others do not.
- For confidentiality reasons, donors are not associated with recipients. (Typically, multiple donations are required to create a single wig, so each donation is extremely important.)
- Most organizations allow a regular stylist to cut your hair and then ship it to you. However, anticipate, as some organizations may recommend a salon that will offer a discount for those who donate hair.
- Many of these organizations will give you a certificate to donate your hair.
What if your hair is not long enough?
If you cut your hair and find that it is not long enough, do not despair. Your hair will not become a wig for a child or woman with cancer, but it can still be worn forever. The Matter of Trust is an organization that accepts donated hair only 3 inches long to help clean up oil spills and the like.
Organizations that accept donated hair
The general requirements for donating hair have been discussed above. Some of the specific requirements for different agencies are discussed below, and more information is available on the websites. Make sure you read all the requirements carefully before cutting. You can also contact the organization if you have additional questions.
Questions to ask
Ask these questions:
- Who will receive the wigs? Are they just for kids, for women, or for both?
- Do recipients get the wig for free or do they have to pay a fraction of the cost?
- What conditions allow people to wear a wig? For example, is it provided to people with cancer, burns, autoimmune hair loss, or other medical conditions?
Locks of Love helps to replace hair in children suffering from hair loss for medical reasons. They accept hair that is at least 10 inches long, braided into a braid or ponytail. They do accept gray hair that is sold to cover costs and hair that is permed and colored (but not bleached).
Beautiful pantin length
Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a program sponsored by Pantene and the American Cancer Society. They provide wigs for people who have experienced hair loss as a result of any form of cancer treatment.
Its minimum length is 8 inches shorter than other organizations. Hair can be colored with herbal dyes, rinses, or semi-permanent dyes, but not permanent dyes or bleaches.
Children with hair loss
Children with hair loss also provide hair replacement for all children with medical hair loss and only require 8 inches of hair. Gray hair is accepted, although hair without chemical treatment is preferred.
Wigs for kids
Wigs for Kids offers wigs for children living with cancer and those with alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss). They require 12 inches of hair, but an additional 14 inches is recommended.
Chai Lifeline claims 14 inches of hair and provides wigs for children with cancer.
The hair we share
HairWeShare is a newcomer to hair donation organizations (2014) and offers wigs for people with conditions that cause hair loss like cancer and burns. They only need 8 inches of hair and they accept colored hair (but no highlights).
Cancer advocacy and support
Hair donation is just one of the ways that people can help cancer patients. If you're looking for a much-needed and worthy cause, lung cancer awareness and funding lags far behind other cancers, although lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. .
If you're wondering where to start, it won't take long for you to become a cancer advocate . There are many ways to help, and even an hour a month can make a difference.
Get the word of drug information
Donating hair to help adults and children with medical hair loss is a great way to help those who are struggling with unjust illnesses like cancer or accidents like burns. Many people think that monetary donations and gifts of large amounts of time are much more valuable, but this is simply not true.
By donating hair, you are not only giving away a part of yourself (literally), but you are also doing something that could help someone with cancer today , not in the future when research money finds a better treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Most importantly, you can make a wig from the donated hair. Check with your charity to understand their requirements, as some set a minimum length of 6 to 8 inches, while others may only accept hair 14 inches or longer.
Some wig charities accept donations for gray hair, but check ahead to be sure. Please note that some charities do not accept donations of perm, bleach, or dye. Hair should be washed, dried, gently tied into a ponytail, and packed in a Ziploc bag.
National charities that make cancer wigs include:
- Lifeline tea
- Children with hair loss
- The hair we share
- Love padlocks
- Pantene beautiful length
- Wigs for kids
When making a donation to any charity, please try to select a 501 (c) (3) registered non-profit organization.
The American Cancer Society offers a free wig program through Gift Cabinets, which are stored and maintained by local chapters. The wigs are not made from natural hair, but from top brands like Raquel Welch Wigs and Jon Renau Wigs. For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345).