Donating your hair

Cancer Council is often contacted by generous people wishing to donate their hair to help cancer patients experiencing hair loss. While we don't accept real hair donations, we do have a recommendation for where you can send your lovely locks.

Where to donate

Cancer Council recommends donating your locks to the team at Sustainable Salons – a social enterprise that repurposes salon materials to avoid waste and benefit the community. Sustainable Salons accepts hair donations (natural or coloured) of 20cm or longer and works with organisations like the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation and Variety – the Children’s Charity, to distribute your hair to people experiencing hair loss as a result of illness.

Preparing your hair

1. Wash and dry your hair. Do not apply any styling product.
2. Section your hair into small ponytails around your head and secure with elastics. Tie the elastic 1-2cm down from where you will cut. Secure each ponytail tightly, plait the full length of the ponytail, and secure again at the bottom.
3. Measure your ponytail. Hair donations must be 20cm or longer (measuring between the elastics) to be used to create a wig.
4. Cut hair 1-2cm above the elastic. Keep the ponytail flat and dry.
5. Seal the ponytail in a snap lock bag.
6. Place in an envelope and mail to: Sustainable Salons, 15 Salisbury St, Botany NSW 2019
 
For more information visit the Sustainable Salons website.

Why we don't accept real hair donations

Cancer Council provides free synthetic wigs to cancer patients experiencing treatment-related hair loss in metropolitan and regional areas. We don’t use real hair because these wigs cost thousands of dollars to make and require a lot of resources. Synthetic wigs are more cost-effective, easier to wash and look after, and allow us to provide free wigs to even more Victorians who are experiencing hair loss due to cancer.
 
Learn more about our free wig service.

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