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Donating Hair to Locks of Love

how to donate hair

Donating hair to Locks of Love was kind of a routine for me years ago. I donated twice in four years back in my teenage years and then a third time as a young professional. But it’s been many moons since then, so it’s high time I do it again.

If you’re like me and have a mane of hair that grows quickly and easily, I encourage you to donate yours, too.

Donating hair is a simple process and such an easy way to do something good with truly minimal effort.

I wasn’t going to post about this because it’s kind of a random thing among my other posts!

But I figured I had to post a photo of the new ‘do at some point, so I might as well try spreading the word while I’m at it.

Also, for the record, your hair literally never looks the same as it does when a professional styles it. Never ever. It’s magic. So please don’t expect to see me like this again!

It’s more like this most days…

Donating Hair to Locks of Love

I donate my hair to Locks of Love in the US, but this is not the only organization that accepts hair donations.

In the UK, The Little Princess Trust accepts hair donations as well. Other organizations in the US can be used – a simple search will show you several options.

The reason I continue to donate to Locks of Love instead of the other organizations is because I chose it so many years ago when I was a young girl.

Locks of Love makes hairpieces for children who have suffered hair loss for any of a number of reasons. I connected with that as a teenager and opted to send my long locks their way.

Amanda Walkins donating hair to Locks of Love (before)
Amanda Walkins donating hair to Locks of Love (after)

I’ve more than doubled my age since then (that’s fun!), but their mission still resonates with me today.

Wherever you live and whatever organization appeals to you, just be sure to review their specific hair donation requirements first.

How to Donate Your Hair

I’m a fan of logistics, so I figured I’d break this down with tips and steps to take. If you also want to donate your hair, whether to Locks of Love or elsewhere, you need to follow some simple rules.

Hair Donation Length

Your donation must meet the minimum length requirements of that organization. You don’t want to risk wasting a donation because it isn’t long enough for them to use!

Carefully read the hair donation requirements and make sure your hair is long enough before getting those scissors out.

Locks of Love requires a minimum of 10 inches of hair to make their hairpieces.

If you can hold off cutting for a while longer or if you’re willing to get a short chop, give them the few extra inches.

Other organizations might accept donations as short as 8 inches, but you have to confirm so you don’t waste your time and efforts. Longer is always best!

Cutting Your Hair

When you’re ready to cut your hair to donate it, you need to do so carefully. First, tie your hair into a ponytail.

In my case, my hair is very thick so I actually have four ponytails in total!

If your hair is layered or angled, try to separate the same lengths into ponytails for ease upon receipt.

My angled ponytails are likely too short for Locks of Love to use in their hairpieces, but they could sell those to offset some costs.

Important: Your hair must be clean and dry before you cut it! This is especially important since a hairdresser’s instinct is to wash and then cut your wet hair.

Remind the salon when booking and again when you arrive that your hair must be cut while dry.

Donating Your Hair

While you have your ponytails cut above the elastic, you might also want to wrap an elastic around the middle and end of each ponytail to keep the hair together more easily.

You cannot donate hair that isn’t in a ponytail or a braid – so don’t bother with that hair on the ground!

Depending on where you donate your hair, you should check the submission requirements.

To donate to Locks of Love, you can print and fill out the Hair Donation Form and mail it in with your ponytails.

Be sure to confirm the submission requirements of the organization where you intend to donate. You certainly don’t want to waste such a donation!

Why Donate Your Hair

Donating your hair to Locks of Love, or to any similar organization, is a simple way to do something good.

I’ve donated four times now and will probably do it again someday because it’s just that easy.

Bonus baby Amanda photos after the first two donations back in the early 2000s!

And, yes, that is my senior photo with the hilarious background and absurdly over-the-top photo editing.

Donating your hair takes minimal effort but can have a huge impact on someone somewhere who needs a confidence boost.

I will never meet whoever gets a hairpiece made from my donations.

In fact, I’ll never know if those donations were used in a single hairpiece or if they were sold to help the organization offset other costs!

But that bit doesn’t matter.

I send off these donations under the assumption that some young child who needs it will receive a hairpiece.

Whether that’s directly or indirectly because of my donation does not matter to me.

I can only imagine that a young child suffering from hair loss might struggle amongst peers – kids can be tough sometimes!

And if getting a hairpiece helps a young kid to feel more confident and comfortable, then it’s truly the least I can do to cut my hair every once in a while.

How to donate hair to Locks of Love - image of Amanda Walkins before cutting her hair
How to donate hair to Locks of Love - image of Amanda Walkins after cutting her hair

It grows back. In fact, it grows back quickly and unavoidably!

So every once in a while, I think it’s a good thing to grow it out and then cut it short to remember how lucky I am to have that convenience and ability.

If you can donate your hair for the same reason, go ahead and do so! It’s a simple act to extend some sympathy to someone else.

And, hey, you’ll also save a lot on shampoo for the next few months!

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How to donate hair to Locks of Love - image of Amanda Walkins holding 4 ponytails of hair to donate after cutting it off
How to donate your hair to Locks of Love - before and after photos of Amanda Walkins

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