How to donate your hair to make a wig

Some people have their hair cut off before chemotherapy and ask if they can donate it. Other people, not affected by cancer, ask whether they can donate their hair to make into wigs for people with cancer.

It’s worth bearing in mind that human hair wigs tend not to be the first choice for people whose hair falls out after cancer treatment. This is because real hair wigs are expensive and can take some time to make. Man made (synthetic) wigs are cheaper and are quicker to organise.

But some people prefer human hair wigs because they often look more natural. A charity called the Little Princess Trust uses hair donations to make wigs for children with hair loss. This might be due to cancer treatment or other causes.

Other companies pay for hair donations that they then use to make wigs. People who buy these wigs might have a variety of medical conditions. There is no guarantee that your hair will be used for a wig that a cancer patient will use.

Donating hair

To donate or sell your hair, it has to be long and in good condition. The required length depends on the charity or company you use. Some ask for at least 7 inches (about 17 cm), while others ask for at least 14 inches (about 35cm).

To decide if your hair is long enough, you measure the ponytail of hair that would be cut off (donated). This length does not refer to the length of your hair when on your head.

Using your hair to make your own wig

Some people ask whether they can use their own hair to make their own wig. This might not be possible for everyone because:​

  • your hair has to be long and in good condition
  • you might not have enough to make a full wig
  • it can take hair from several people to make one wig
  • it is expensive and can take about 2 months to make a real hair wig

Talk to a specialist wig maker if this is something you want to consider.

Charities and companies

Banbury Postiche

They ask for donated hair that has to be at least 10 inches. They pay between £3 and £5 per ounce. Your hair is valued by colour, length, weight and condition by one of their hair room technicians.

Phone: 0129 575 7412 (for hair donation) or 0129 575 7408 (general) 

Little Princess Trust

The Little Princess Trust accept hair donations from people wanting their hair to be used to help children who have hair loss due to cancer treatment or other causes. Your hair has to be at least 7 inches. They ask that you grow it longer (for example, 12 inches) if you can.

Telephone: 0143 235 2359

Bloomsbury Wigs

Bloomsbury Wigs run Hair Harvest, which buys hair to make their wigs. Your donated hair has to be at least 14 inches. You send your hair to them and they pay depending on the length. You can find out about the process and prices on their website.

Phone: 0207 404 6040

Hair merchants

Let us know if your company accepts hair donations. We can add your details.

  • Chemotherapy-induced alopecia advice and support for hair loss
    H. Roe
    British Journal of Nursing,  2011. Volume 20, Issue 10, Pages 4 -11

  • Hair camouflage: A comprehensive review
    S Saed, O Ibrahim and W F Bergfield
    International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 2017. Volume 3,Supplement 1, Pages S75 – S80

Last reviewed: 
04 Apr 2023
Next review due: 
04 Apr 2026

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