When my 5-year-old daughter, Hayley, recently told me that she wanted to donate her hair to charity to help sick children, my heart instantly melted. I couldn’t believe how brave it was of her to make such a big decision at a young age, especially given the fact that she’s known for her signature long brown locks.
I enthusiastically supported her choice to give back and assumed we’d go through Locks of Love, an organization that’s synonymous with hair donation. But in doing my research, I uncovered that as much as 80 percent of the hair donated to Locks of Love is unusable for wigs. Knowing this was a big deal to Hayley, I wanted to be truthful when I told her that her hair donation would make a difference in the life of a child.
As it turns out, there are several organizations that accept and use all hair donations, each with different philosophies, and requirements for growing your hair and prepping it for donation. Here are the few we are considering for the big cut in 2019:
Children With Hair Loss is a non-profit that provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and adults facing medically-related hair loss.
Length requirements: 10 inches or longer
How to donate: Visit a Snippet’s Mini Cuts location in the city or the suburbs, and not only will they mail the donation, but they’ll cut and style your child’s hair for free. Not close to a Snippet’s? Search for other salon partners in your neighborhood. Donations are also accepted by mail; send this completed form along with your hair donation directly to the organization. Within 10 weeks, your child will receive a certificate of donation.
Crowns of Courage provides halo wigs to children experiencing chemotherapy-related hair loss at no cost to the family. Unlike traditional wigs, halo wigs are attached to a soft, breathable cap, allowing for more comfort.
Length requirements: 9 inches or longer
How to donate: Donations are accepted by mail. Send your donation along with this form to Crowns of Courage.
Hair We Share provides customized, human hair wigs to children and teens suffering from cancer, Alopecia, other medical causes of hair loss and accident, burn or head trauma victims. Hair We Share provides these wigs free of charge to anyone whose financial means doesn’t allow them to purchase one.
Length requirements: 8 inches or longer
How to donate: Hair Donations are accepted by mail only. In addition to the hair donation, Hair We Share requires a monetary donation of $125, which goes towards their unique Ponytail Tracking Program. This program allows donors to receive communication and photos (when possible) from the wig recipient.
While Matter of Trust does not support children who have experienced hair loss, they do accept hair donations for a good cause — its Clean Wave Program. The nonprofit environmental organization uses hair clippings to soak up major oil spills and help keep storm drains and waterways clean.
Length requirements: 3 inches or longer
How to donate: Donations are accepted by mail as the need arises. Visit the Matter of Trust website for more information.
Wigs For Kids provides Hair Replacement Systems and support for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and other medical issues at no cost to families.
Length requirements: 12 inches of longer
How to donate: Visit any KidSnips location on a weekday and they will cut your child’s hair, send in the donation and restyle their hair for free. KidSnips will also give each donor a Wigs For Kids certificate to commemorate the occasion. Wigs For Kids also accepts hair donations by mail.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.
This story originally published on De. 26, 2018. It has been updated with the most recent information.