One of the most easily overlooked forms of donation is hair donation. However, it is one of the most meaningful as it creates a very personal and direct impact on the recipient, especially a cancer patient.
There are many reasons for hair loss. Radiation therapy, burns, alopecia, trichotillomania, and other medically related conditions are contributing factors. Donating hair to make wigs for children and adults suffering from all these health challenges is a simple way to make a difference.
If you are curious or actively thinking of donating your hair, here's what you need to consider:
Hair requirement for hair donation differs from charity to charity. Children With Hair Loss accepts a minimum length of eight inches for short wigs. Locks of Love requires ten inches as the minimum and Wigs For Kids accepts 12 inches and above for their wigs. These are just three of charities dedicated to providing free wigs to people in dire need of them.
As good as your intentions are, most charities will not accept chemically treated hair. Locks of Love will accept colored and permed hair, but not if they have been bleached. Children With Hair Loss will accept any type of hair, but they must be in very good condition. Gray hair is welcome but will not necessarily be used in wigs. They will be sold to offset other costs. Dreadlocks are a no-no.
If you meet the requirements, you can have your hair cut anywhere or visit a donation salon if you have one. These salons will know exactly how to cut your hair to maximize length requirements.
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Make sure your hair is clean and dry. Wet hair will develop molds in the shipping process and will unfortunately be thrown out. What a waste.
Make at least four ponytails. Making a center part makes two ponytails. Divide that into four by your parting hair horizontally using the top of your ears as reference. Tie the upper parts of hair by the front of your ear then the bottom half at the back of your ear. Secure your ponytails by using rubber bands tightly wound every two inches.
Once all ponytails are cut, wrap them in tissue paper and seal in a plastic bag. You can then send your hair to the charity of your choice.
Visit the official websites of the charities you have earmarked for your donation. Read up on their FAQ's to know each charity's exact requirements and other crucial information. If you would still like to help, but don't meet the requirements for hair donation, you can send financial aid to help cover the costs of manufacturing the wigs. If you are in the salon industry, you can even partner up with these charities. Wigs For Kids launched a Salon Certification Program for training and implementing donation programs.
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