Donating Color-Treated Hair: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re interested in donating hair for charity, many organizations you can find. However, some people who might want to donate hair have color-treated hair and may have trouble finding organizations that accept your highlighted locks or dyed hair. So you might ask yourself if there’s a way to remedy this problem?

Before looking into donating color-treated hair, you should consider finding out which organizations can accept it and what guidelines you must follow. By following these guidelines, you can still donate your stylized hair.

 

What Qualifies as Color-Treated Hair?

Color-Treated Hair

Color-treated hair results from cosmetically changing your hair color to restore your natural color, hide gray hair, or pick a new color to suit you. Some examples of the types of color-treated hair you can get include:

 

Can You Donate Dyed Hair and Color-Treated Hair?

Donate Dyed Hair and Color-Treated Hair

Contrary to popular belief, there are several places and organizations where you can donate color-treated and dyed hair. Several hair donation organizations, such as Children with Hair Loss and Locks of Love, accept color-treated or dyed hair.

When finding an organization that accepts dyed or color-treated hair for donation, research if you’re allowed to do it. Some organizations turn down color-treated hair because its chemical treatment could lead to damaged or dried-out hair and lower its quality for donation.

In some cases, organizations may ask you to wash out temporary highlights or dyes thoroughly before donating them.

 

What Guidelines Do I Follow to Donate My Hair?

Before donating your color-treated hair to the right organization, there are other factors you must consider before preparing it for donation.

Find Out What Kind of Hair They Accept

While some organizations accept color-treated hair, others may have more restrictions on what can and can’t be accepted. People with dyed hair, chemically-treated hair colors, permed or gray hair should check if their hair meets the organization’s guidelines.

A general rule of thumb for donating hair is to keep your hair clean, dry, and fresh. For organizations that allow color-treated or dyed hair, the hair needs to be in good condition to be accepted. If your dyed hair has very few split ends, it’s good to go.

Some places can accept hair that’s entirely gray or has a small percentage of gray, while other organizations specializing in donating hair for kids don’t accept gray hair at all.

Some places that accept dyed or treated hair might not accept hair that’s bleached or gray. These rules also apply if you’re donating dreadlocks.

 

Find Out the Minimum Length for Your Hair Donations

minimum length for donating hair

Regardless of what type of hair you want to donate, you’ll need to know what length requirements you need to fulfill. Organizations typically accept a donation with a minimum length of at least 8 inches, while others require a length of over 10 inches.

If you have curly hair, you must straighten it out to measure its correct length for approval. It would help if you also tied your donated ponytails or braids into sections to prevent them from losing any inches before sending it out.

 

Only Donate Recently Cut Locks

When donating dyed hair, you typically need it to be recently cut. Many organizations won’t accept cut hair done years ago as a donation due to the hair damage that violates manufacturing wigs’ guidelines. It would be best if you didn’t use any locks of hair over a year old.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about donating color-treated hair.

Where to donate color-treated hair?

Many charitable organizations accept color-treated hair, as long as the hair is healthy. However, many organizations will have issues with bleached hair. Examples of institutions that receive healthy, color-treated hair include Hair We Share and Children with Hair Loss.

 

Can you donate bleached hair?

The vast majority of hair donation organizations will not accept bleached or over-processed hair. Bleach is highly damaging to hair, so it would be extremely difficult to make a quality wig with bleached hair successfully. In addition, the recipient of a wig made from bleached hair would then have to deal with the extra maintenance required to keep bleached hair healthy.

 

Can you donate hair dyed with henna?

Most hair donation organizations will have the same policies for henna hair dye as they do for other hair dyes. When reviewing the organization’s policy on color-treated hair, look closely at the types of hair dye they permit. The policy may differentiate between temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent hair dyes. Most henna dyes would fall under the semi-permanent category.

 

Can you donate hair with split ends?

You can donate hair with split ends. As long as your hair is healthy, not over-processed, and at the appropriate length, it can be donated. Any aesthetic issues with the hair, such as split ends, will likely be addressed when the hair is turned into a wig.

 

How should you pack your hair for donation?

Your donated hair should be clean and dry. The hair should be tied in either a ponytail or braid—you should not be packing loose hair strands. Gently wrap the donated hair in a layer of tissue paper and then place it in a sealable plastic bag.

The tissue paper and plastic bag will keep the hair clean and protected. Keeping the hair tied in a ponytail or braid will prevent the hair from becoming tangled or disorganized.

You will likely have multiple ponytails or braids to donate, and they can all be wrapped in the same piece of tissue paper and placed in the same bag, space allowing.

 

Can men donate hair?

Men can donate their hair. All of the same rules for hair donation apply to a male donor, including policies on perms, color treatment, bleaching, and dreadlocks.

 

Can you donate afro hair?

While in the past, there have been some complications with making wigs out of natural afro hair, advancements in wig production methods make it possible for individuals with afro hair to be donors.

For instance, the United Kingdom-based charity The Little Princess Trust announced in 2021 that they were now working with a wig manufacturer that could accept afro hair.

 

Can you donate grey hair?

Yes, most hair donation organizations, such as Hair We Share, Children with Hair Loss, Locks of Love, and Wigs for Kids, will receive grey hair.

 

Can you donate layered hair?

Yes, but the shortest layer should meet the minimum length required by the charity, which will generally go from 8 inches to 12 inches.

 

Final Thoughts

When you want to donate your hair for charity, there are many components you need to look over before donating color-treated hair. It’s crucial for the hair’s quality to match the necessary standards to give hair to those in need.

While donating color-treated or dyed hair might be challenging to some, it’s not impossible. You need to keep track of how you treat your hair and see how each organization sets up its donation guidelines.

If you’re ready to donate your color-treated hair, track your length, keep it healthy, and donate it as soon as you can. It’s an excellent way to give yourself a new look and help others, even when you have hair with unconventional colors.