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Giving This Holiday Season: Donating My Hair

It’s the time of year when many of us think about giving back. You can donate money or time, new toys or old coats. But this year, I decided to donate my hair. It doesn’t cost a thing (often the salon will offer a free haircut if you are donating) and it can mean a lot to someone else. Check out the video of my hair donation here:

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Why Donate

There are organizations that accept this donated hair and make wigs. These wigs are given for free or at reduced cost to people suffering hair loss because of cancer treatment or other diseases. Wigs for Kids, Locks of Love and Pantene Beautiful Lengths are three of these organizations.

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Like many of you, I have watched family and friends suffering from cancer. This is a small way that I can help ease the pain for someone who has lost his/her hair during cancer treatment (or battling another disease like alopecia or Graves’ disease). This is my second time donating. I wish I could do it more frequently – it takes me about two years to grow my hair long enough. I am inspired by the many others who have donated numerous times and of course, those fighting cancer and other diseases bravely every day.

How You Can Donate

You can donate your hair this holiday season or anytime. Be sure to do some research before you go to the salon because each organization has their own specific requirements. I’ve broken down some of the information here:

Organization: Wigs For Kids
Minimum Length to Donate:  12 inches 
Ponytail/Braid:
 Yes
Clean & Dry: Yes
Permed : No
Color Treated: No
Bleached: No
Temporary/wash-out Color: Yes 
Special Instructions:
 Yes, see Web site 
Web site:
 Wigs For Kids donation information

Organization: Locks Of Love
Minimum Length to Donate:  10 inches (for longest layer) 
Ponytail/Braid:
 Yes
Clean & Dry: Yes
Permed : Yes
Color Treated: Yes
Bleached: No
Temporary/wash-out Color: Yes 
Special Instructions:
 Yes, see Web site 
Web site:
  Locks Of Love donation information 

Organization: Beautiful Lengths
Minimum Length to Donate:  8 inches 
Ponytail/Braid:
 Yes
Clean & Dry: Yes
Permed : No
Color Treated: No
Bleached: No
Temporary/wash-out Color: Yes 
Special Instructions:
 Yes, see Web site 
Web site:
 Beautiful Lengths donation information

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Photo Credit: waltertyler.com

AJ Smith AJ is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online content. She has appeared on CNN, The Weather Channel, Wall Street Journal Radio and ABC News Radio. Her work has appeared on websites including MarketWatch, Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance and Credit.com. The SmartAsset Managing Editor has degrees from Princeton University and Mississippi State University. AJ and her husband also write and illustrate children's books.

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