Scenario: After months/years of being annoyed at the frizzy mop of hair on your head, you happen to mention to someone working on a head shaving campaign looking for promotional ideas that you’ve always threatened you’d shave your head out of frustration, but never had. Then, without it being true, they announce it to a room full of people that you’ve agreed to do just that.
Fact: This is how I first donated my hair and “shaved my head”. It wasn’t quite shaved that time but was super super short.
I’m a creative person with ZERO creativity when it comes to what sprouts from my head, so for years after the initial donation, it was a grow-cut-donate cycle until I just stopped cutting it entirely. I’m about due.
Whenever someone in my group of friends or someone they know decides to go this hair route, they inevitably get referred to me to field questions on the matter.
Here is the run down:
Where do I donate?
I always recommend going to the Canadian Cancer Society first. Over the years they’ve had multiple suggestions but they’ve partnered with Pantene Beautiful Lengths since 2007. If you choose somewhere else, please do your homework. Some places can be pretty sketchy with their business practices.
How long does my hair have to be?
It depends on where you’re sending your hair. I’ve seen minimums as short as 6 inches and as long as 10 inches. I have never seen a maximum, so when in doubt keep growin’ it out!
Do I have to shave my head completely?
No. If your hair fits the length requirements without shaving, you’re cool. I had a friend who had hair almost to her butt and she left the salon with it at her shoulders.
Do I have to get it cut at a salon?
Short answer, no. Long answer, I’d recommend it for two reasons. 1. If you don’t know how to cut hair (most of us) then you might end up looking lopsided. 2. Sometimes the salon will take care of mailing it and you can just go home without any worries.
Will it matter if I have layers in my hair?
Yes. Separate your hair by length before sectioning it off and cutting it.
- Bring a ziplock bag with you. Your hair will not be accepted for a donation if it’s been contaminated (by dropping it on the floor, being loose in your purse, etc).
- If you’re willing to go super short/shaved, invest in a bunch of elastics so your hair can be cut at its longest.
- Coloured, treated, or predominately grey hair can only be donated at specific places so be sure to check with your organization of choice.
- Depending on the time of year or how short you go, you might feel cold. All. Of. The. Time. Invest in a scarf or a toque.
And for people who don’t have enough hair to donate, there are great programs like Green Circle Salons that use hair clippings from normal trims and cuts to aid in oil spill clean up in waterways around the world. Check for participating salons near you or get yours to sign up!
Whatever you decide to do, get your style on!