Locks of Love is the most famous hair donation program in the United States and Canada. While they don’t have a network in the Philippines, we have a few small groups that accept hair donations and create wigs for cancer patients. I first blogged about Makati Medical Center’s hair donation program back in 2016. Since then, I’ve been getting a lot of queries. This year I’ve updated this post to include other organizations.
1. Makati Medical Center. They used to organize a yearly Gift of Your Hair event, but the last one was in 2019. For 2021, they just announced their “Donate Your Quarantine Hair” drive, and they finally accept curly hair! Click here for details.
2. Hair For Hope. Makati-based salon HEADS by Volu-med started this charity unit in 2017. They have a strict process and don’t accept chemically treated and damaged hair. They can cut your hair for you or you can send them your hair via courier. Click here for their rules. You can donate anytime.
3. Kythe-Ateneo’s Hair2Share. Unlike other groups that organize hair donation events only once a year, Kythe accepts donations all year long. Click here for their requirements.
4. Asian Hospital’s Hair to Go, Life to Glow. The last time they organized this event was in 2018 in partnership with Hair For Hope and HEADS by Volu-med.
5. Cuts Against Cancer. As of March 2020, they announced that they are having financial trouble. They are looking to sell the organization to a company, salon, or org that can continue their charitable work or find sponsors to help defray costs.
Types of hair accepted:
1. Some orgs require a minimum hair length of 9 inches, while other prefer 10-12 inches or more. It’s best to check each group’s FAQs. Don’t insist on donating hair that’s a little bit shorter. Grow it out for a few more months.
2. Uncolored hair is preferred, but some groups accept hair that’s colored with only one shade.
3. Straight or wavy hair. Most drives don’t accept naturally curly, kinky, and permed hair. Boo! But once in a while there are groups that will accept naturally curly hair.
4. Some groups accept rebebonded or chemically straightened hair, while others don’t. Again, check each group’s FAQs.
If you pass the requirements, there are three ways to donate:
1. Pre-register and drop by the hair donation event (in the case of Makati Med and Asian Hospital). Come with clean hair and do not apply any hair products. The volunteer hairstylists will cut and style your hair at the event.
2. Schedule a private appointment with the org’s affiliate hair salon (in the case of Hair For Hope). Some affiliate salons charge a minimum fee, while others will cut your hair for free. Come with clean hair and do not apply any hair products.
3. Get your hair cut by your own personal stylist. Give them a list of guidelines (which you can download from each group’s FAQs page) before cutting. Your bundle of hair must be in a ponytail and in a self-sealing plastic bag before you drop it off or send by courier. Check each group’s FAQs to make sure you follow everything to a T. It would be a waste to cut your long locks only to find out that it didn’t meet the requirements and will be thrown away.
Have you ever donated your hair to cancer patients? Tell me about your experience in the comments section below.
First published: April 10, 2016
Updated: March 6, 2019
Updated: May 19, 2020
Updated: February 4, 2021
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