Hair Mail! Donating Your Lovely Locks (or your children’s)

Part of me thought I shouldn’t write this post on Cbus Mom, but then I thought, “I am pretty sure most of my readers have children AND I’m pretty sure this story will resonate with some of those who birthed the children.” During pregnancy the last thing I wanted to do was cut my hair. I was enjoying its luxurious silky shininess because of all the prenatal vitamins I was taking, and even trimming it was a thought I couldn’t bare. I had commented to a friend who had kids about my hair and she said, “wait till the baby comes – you’ll cut it.” And, she was right.

The baby came. Hormones took over. I cut my hair. Well, not only did I cut my hair, but after I did it I complained about it for a few weeks. I hated the “mom helmet” I was given and I dared not return to a salon for fear of them taking off EVEN more hair…really, I just wanted to feel cute after all that baby carrying and birthing…and baby fat. I should have just bought new shoes.

After that little incident (about 4 years ago), I let my hair grow and grow and grow. After it got below my shoulders I decided I would grow to donate. I’d just cut it again when I was ready. My cousin, my brother-n-law, and a few friends had done it and I wanted to do it too. All of us had something in common that was kind of the catalyst – we’d lost someone dear to cancer. Many people lose their hair through chemotherapy treatments, and donating hair of a certain length can help make wigs for cancer patients. My mother-in-law would never wear a wig, she loved her bald head. My grandmother, on the other hand, wouldn’t even run out to the bank drive-through without her wig.

I asked around, did some research of my own, and decided that I wanted to donate to Locks of Love. Locks of Love creates wigs for children who have lost their hair because of sickness – not just cancer, but other diseases such as alopecia. Think back to when you were a teenager. The last thing you’d probably have asked for was to be bald. When I was a teenager the bigger the ‘do the better – especially the bangs – get ‘em up high! I wanted to be able to give that chance to someone else, so I chopped off 11 inches! (For reference, my hair was down to my bra line in the back or the middle of the back)

My stylist put my hair in fourths and said she’d keep the most length that way for donating. I had two ponytails that were 11 inches and two that were 9. Locks of Love takes the minimum of a 10 inch hair donation, and that is when I was thankful for doing my research. Pantene Beautiful Lengths also takes hair donations for cancer patients, and they take a minimum of 8 inches. So, I sent two ponytails to Locks of Love and two to Pantene. I got to help two different charities just because I cut my hair. Pretty cool!

A few things to keep in mind if you are contemplating donating your hair:

  • Try to keep it one length as you grow it out.
  • Do not bleach it. You can color it, but bleaching strips it, and the wig makers have a hard time dying bleached hair for matching purposes.
  • Online they say to throw your hair back in a ponytail and cut it. I loved how my stylist did it, because dividing it into fourths helped keep length for hair that otherwise would not have made “the cut.”
  • Wash your hair before you cut it, but don’t put product in it.
  • Don’t send a wet ponytail in the mail.
  • Put your hair into a Ziplock baggie and send it in a padded envelop to the designated place! Easy peasy!

Here are the places I donated to:

Locks of Love

Pantene Beautiful Lengths (which so happens to be in Ohio)

My friend’s little girl cut her hair and donated to another great hair charity:

Wigs for Kids

Check her out:

One of my close friends did it for 2013 summer!

About cBus Mom

cBus Mom offers suggestions and reviews of kid-friendly activities in Central Ohio. I am a Columbus, Ohio mom and I like to get out and explore with my kids.

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