Snip, snip, snip: Donate your Hair

So what’s new? Well, I had about ten inches chopped off my hair. The resulting ponytail(s) will be used to help create a wig for a cancer patient. If you’re interested in possibly doing this yourself, the wigs are made from multiple hair donations of at least eight inches, and go to patients via the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, and the Canadian Cancer Society. Donating your hair is a unique way to give and show support for the cause.

The timing actually worked out to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the month of October. Random neck/shoulder soreness one day, about a week and a half before my appointment, likely signalled that the mass of hair was getting too heavy for me, anyway.

If this sounds potentially interesting, but you feel it would be really difficult to grow out your hair for the purpose of donating it, note that this program has a lower minimum requirement of eight inches for a donation (versus ten inches for other programs).

How to Donate

Your hair should be clean and dry when it’s cut (and mailed). I think it’s easiest to wash it yourself before you head to your appointment, or the day/night before, but if that’s not possible, remember to factor in drying time.


Rubber bands or hair elastics,
A zip lock bag to keep the ponytail in,
A long ruler, if you have one.

I brought along an 8.5 x 11 inch page, so at least the hair stylist could reference and measure against the short side of 8.5 inches before making the cuts.

IMPORTANT HAIR NOTES for the Beautiful Lengths requirements:
No hair dye, no bleach, no perm; and not more than 5% grey hair.

How you’re supposed to know what five percent of your hair is, without counting it, I dunno… I hoped for the best, since I do have a little grey.


Beautiful Lengths – Canada
Beautiful Lengths – USA

Donating hair in ponytails to Beautiful Lengths for a cancer wig

To be on the safe side, these ponytails are in the 10-11 inch range (can you imagine the disappointment if you found that not-quite-eight inches was cut?) Your hair stylist cuts above the elastic, so that the hair is kept neatly together. Put the ponytail(s) into a zip lock bag, once they’re cut off.

My hair was to the elbows, and it took me about 17 months to grow it out. So, I’m not too sad to feel it and see it gone. A literal weight off my shoulders, but now I’ll likely be wearing scarves until next summer.

The back of my neck misses the extra warmth, haha. I picked up a tissue cashmere scarf wrap thing (it’s a very thin weave, one ply, I think) that should get good use going forward. My version is a budget-friendly find from an ebay seller; I think Muji, Nordstrom or Club Monaco might carry something the same or similar.

— I donated hair to this program once before, several years ago. It’s good to see they’re still around. Fun fact – it takes at least eight ponytails to make up one wig. —



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Shoulder haircut: Donate your hair to Beautiful Lengths


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