Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Few Details

In another post recently I mentioned that I wanted to grow my hair out so that I can donate it.  An anonymous commenter helpfully suggested that I check out the details about hair donation since I color my hair.  Evidently each organization has different specifications about what kind of hair they will accept.

I've done a little research & I thought I would share my findings with you just in case you are considering hair donation, too.  It seems like such a simple thing to do to make someone else's life a little better.  Here's the breakdown:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths:
Donated hair must be a minimum of 8 inches long (measure hair from just above the elastic band of the ponytail to the ends).

Wavy/curly hair texture is fine—you may straighten hair to measure.

Hair should be freshly washed and completely dry, without any styling products.

Hair may be colored with vegetable dyes, rinses and semi-permanent dyes. It cannot be bleached, permanently colored or chemically treated.

Hair may not be more than 5 percent gray.

Wigs For Kids:
Make sure hair is a minimum of 12 inches. Pull curly hair straight for a more accurate measurement.

Hair must be clean and dry.

Hair cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted. Temporary coloring or highlights that washout are acceptable.

Locks of Love:
Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.

Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.

Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. If unsure, ask your stylist. We are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process. **If the hair was bleached years ago and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.

Hair that is swept off of the floor is not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.

Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off.

We cannot accept dreadlocks. Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. We also cannot accept wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.

Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is 10 inches.

Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails.

Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure the minimum 10 inches.

10 inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.

Children With Hair Loss:
Hair should be at least 8 inches in length or longer is preferred.

Hair must be clean pony-tailed and braided (this keeps the hair in one direction).

Place rubberband or pony tail holder on each end.

Non-chemically treated hair is preferred (but any hair in good condition will be accepted).

Gray hair is accepted.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation:
At least 12" in length (curly hair can be pulled straight to measure 12")

Chemically untreated from permanents or hair dye.

Do not accept gray hair (not suitable for children)

As you can see, there are several organizations that accept hair donations to make free (or mostly free) wigs for people who have lost their hair due to medical problems.  If I understood all the details correctly, Pantene Beautiful Lengths is the only program that is aimed towards helping women & the rest of the programs are more directed towards helping children.  Based on your personal reasons for donating you may want to consider that.
At this point I am thinking that my hair (if I manage to hang on & get it grown out!) will probably go to Locks of Love. 
Have any of you already gone through this process?  If so, share some of your experience - I'd love to know how long it took to grow your hair out, what organization you donated through, & your inspiration for donating your hair.  I love to hear your stories!


TwoMuths said...

I've donated through Locks of Love before, and it was fine - although I have since found out that they sell some of the hair to cover administrative costs and other non-direct costs. I think if I decided to do hair donation again I'd go with Pantene Great Lengths. But that's just me!

malia said...

Hey Girl! What a great thing to do for someone. When my friend Lucy was going through chemo she got a wig that was made from human hair and looked exactly like her "real" hair... she is not a vain person but I think it helped just to not feel like she had to explain everything every time she ran into someone

Steve n Vickie said...

I wasn't aware that several places take hair donations. When my sister lost hers, I looked into Locks of Love and found out they only do childrens wigs. Also that it takes three locks to make a wig. I never ended up making a donation. What good information you've collected. I may actually make a donation this time around.

Mary Ann said...

Jenny, I was surprised that several of the organizations will sell some of the hair in order to meet other costs. Another intersting fact - they can't accept dreaklocks b/c they usually have fungus growing in them :-0 I'd like to do the Pantene Great Lengths but I can't b/c of how I color my hair.
Malia, I agree that your friend probably was much comforted by not having to explain her situation constantly. I do hope she is in remission now and doing well?
Vickie, I was a little sad to see so many organizations focused on children exclusively. It seems like there are so many people, in all age groups, who have this need. I hope you do get the chance to donate sometime!

DirkVentura said...

It is a little confusing regarding the coloring/perming. My wife would like to donate, but she is not sure if her "coloring" is "permanent", ie. does she qualify for Pantene. How do you tell?

Mary Ann said...

DirkVentura, if your wife has her hair colored at a salon she should be able to get the answer from her stylist. If she colors at home, I would call the customer service number on the box.
I hope she is able to do it! Thanks for dropping by & commenting!