The 3 Best Places to Donate Hair: Requirements, etc Detailed

Woman at a hair salon getting her hair cut to donate

If you’d like to donate your hair, you have many different organizations to choose from. When you’re taking the time and effort to grow out long, healthy hair and donating it to a good cause (helping those with cancer, alopecia, severe burns, or other challenges), be sure your donation is going to the very best organization possible.

But where’s the best place to donate hair?

Read on to learn more about the process you’ll go through when donating hair, the requirements for becoming a donor, and the best place to donate hair (based on your hair and who you’d like most to support).

The Best Places to Donate Hair

Though there are many places to donate, three particular organizations are well-known and well-loved: Pantene Beautiful Lengths, Locks of Love, and Wigs for Kids. Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids are non-profit organizations that meet the standards for the Better Business Bureau. Although Pantene Beautiful Lengths is not listed on the Better Business Bureau, it is recognized by, and paired with, the American Cancer Society to create wigs for women with cancer.

The organization you choose to donate your hair depends largely on how much length you have and what kind of recipient you would like your donation to go to. That information is included below, so you can determine which organization is the best fit for you.

Pantene logo

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Note: Pantene Beautiful Lengths is not currently accepting donations.

  • Why donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths: This charity creates wigs that specifically benefit women with cancer. Because of this, they stand out as the only charity that accepts gray hair to incorporate into wigs. Pantene Beautiful Lengths was established in 2006, but has already created over 42,000 wigs and has also paired with the American Cancer Society to make and distribute them.
  • Wigs go to: Adult women with cancer
  • Phone Number: 1-800-945-7768
  • Website: Visit Pantene Beautiful Length
  • Donation Requirements: Accepts up to 5% gray hair; hair must not be permanently colored, bleached, or chemically treated
  • Minimum donation: 8-inch ponytail
  • How to donate: Wrap each ponytail(s) in one piece of tissue paper, place in a Ziploc bag, and then seal one or all ponytails in an appropriately sized envelope. Address it to the following:
    • Pantene Beautiful Lengths
      Attn: 192-123
      806 SE 18th Ave.
      Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Locks of Love logo

Locks of Love

  • Why donate to Locks of Love:  Locks of Love focuses their donations on creating wigs for children with alopecia (a disease which affects over 5.2 million people in the United States), although they also donate to other children with hair loss. Because so many people donate to Locks of Love, the organization has made great strides bringing awareness to this disease. They provide children with high-quality wigs, free of charge, that would typically sell between $3,500 and $6,000.
  • Wigs go to: Specifically geared toward kids with alopecia, but also to kids with other forms of hair loss
  • Phone Number: 1-888-896-1588
  • Website: Visit Locks of Love
  • Donation Requirements: Accepts gray, colored, and permed hair; hair must not be bleached
  • Minimum donation: 10-inch ponytail
  • How to donate: Wrap each ponytail(s) in one piece of tissue paper, place in a Ziploc bag, and then seal one or all ponytails in an appropriately sized envelope. Address it to the following:
    • Locks of Love
      234 Southern Blvd.
      West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701

Wigs for Kids logo

Wigs for Kids

  • Why donate to Wigs for Kids: Wigs for Kids provides wigs for a wide variety of recipients because they don’t focus on any specific type of hair loss. They stand out as a charity with mental health as a top priority. The wigs they create can also withstand physical activity; kids can swim and play sports like soccer and basketball while wearing the wigs.
  • Wigs go to: Children with hair loss
  • Phone Number: (440) 333-4433
  • Website: Visit Wigs for Kids
  • Donation requirements: Gray hair is accepted; hair must not be bleached, permanently colored, chemically treated, or permed.
  • Minimum donation: 12-inch ponytail
  • How to donate: Wrap each ponytail(s) in one piece of tissue paper, place in a Ziploc bag, and then seal one or all ponytails in an appropriately sized envelope. Address it to the following:
    • Wigs for Kids — Hair Donations
      24231 Center Ridge Road
      Westlake, Ohio 44145

Note: We’ve also compiled a more comprehensive list of requirements for donating hair to these and other top organizations so that you can plan accordingly. Your hair only grows about half an inch (1.25 centimeters) per month, and many hair donation organizations require at least eight inches to donate. This means that if you pick the wrong place, it’ll take you at least 1.5 years to correct your decision. So take your time when considering your options.

How You Can Help Without Donating Hair

If you don’t meet the requirements or are simply looking for another way to help, you can always donate money to each organization.

What Happens to Your Hair After You Donate It

When you cut your hair and send it to an organization, your hair is deemed usable or unusable. If it’s usable (if you’ve followed their donation requirements, it should be), it’s sent to the company’s manufacturer, where it is chemically treated and prepped to be made into wigs. Your donated ponytail becomes one of the 20-30 ponytails required to create a complete wig.

In other cases, your donated hair may be sold. This is typically done when your donation does not meet the requirements and is deemed unusable. For example, if you donate a ponytail of gray hair or a ponytail that is too short to Locks of Love, that hair will be sold. But don’t worry, your donation is still valuable, as the money goes toward manufacturing costs.

Watch the following story from Wigs for Kids to better understand what happens when you donate your hair.

In Summary

Donating hair is an easy way to serve others in need. Your thoughtfulness can give a child or adult confidence and a renewed sense of identity. And the best part? As long as you meet the requirements of the charity, you can donate for years to come. For many of us, hair is easy to grow and even easier to give. The best place to donate hair depends on your exact situation, but one of the top three listed above should suffice. Again, there is no universal best organization to donate hair, but based on your hair type and the cause you support most, one is sure to grab your attention.


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