Selling human hair

I’m confused by this column, especially given that today there are organizations like Locks of Love that are willing to accept donations of clean, American (as well as other nationalities, I’m sure) hair that is ten inches or longer and that use that hair to make wigs for children with hair loss. Their website also mentions that “hair that is short, gray, or unsuitable for children will be separated from the ponytails and sold at fair market value to offset the cost of manufacturing.” Obviously, they would not bother to do that if the hair had no fair market value, would they?

So, apparently, something has happened since 1978. I can’t imagine that Americans have started shampooing less, so have the shampoos improved since then, or has something else happened to make American hair acceptable to wigmakers again?

This is already being discussed in the thread hair to a wigmaker. But yeah, I had the same question. :slight_smile:

I think it is three points.

  1. He was wrong, they always accepted any hair, but paid less for hair that has been shampooded regulary.

  2. They have developed new methods to repair human hair, making it more acceptable for wig use.

  3. The gift people are willing to accept slightly less high quality hair.

Cecil wrong?! Never!

Yes, it does appear that shampooed hair, while perhaps worth less, is not completely worthless as Cecil’s column implies.

And, yes, I am aware of the other thread. Simulpost, I’m afraid. Sorry.

I have extremely healthy hair, that grows very quickly (my one good gene), and I donate to Locks of Love almost yearly. I had wondered about selling it, so was surprised at his answer. I see I’m not the only one, and apparently it has been a long time since it was written. Does someone else have information this?

See my reply in the thread that blahedo linked to above.

It appears that wigmakers today don’t just want any old dirty hair–they want hair grown to their exact specifications, so they “farm” their hair. They contract with people (sometimes whole villages) to grow their hair the way they want it to be grown–kept covered from the elements, etc.–and, once they feel the hair is ready, they come in and “harvest” it.

The other problem is that Americans generally want too much money for their hair. The charities have gotten around that problem by asking for donations. I guess that they are willing to work with the more random conditions of the hair–they do get it free, after all.