No Money to Donate to Charity? Here’s How to (Literally) Give of Yourself
Maybe you’re doing ok money-wise, but you’ve got a friend who needs help, or there’s a charity you’ve been dreaming of writing a big check. Got long, luxurious locks?
It doesn’t have to be a terrifying ordeal straight out of Les Miserables! In fact, it can be very lucrative if you understand the market and know what customers want. Here are some simple tips for making sure that you get the most for your charity of choice when you donate your hair.
- Generally speaking, you’ll need at least ten inches of hair, but the longer you’ve grown it, the more you can ask for it.It needs to be virgin hair, meaning that it hasn’t been dyed, bleached, or permed, and some sellers boast that they haven’t even used hot tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers.Taking care of your hair by shampooing infrequently, avoiding cigarettes, and eating a healthy diet will ensure that it’s as shiny, thick, and strong as possible.
How and Where to Sell your Hair
- Decide where you want to sell your hair. Some popular online choices include Hairwork.com, WorldofWigs.com, HairSellOn.com, TheHairTrader.com, and OnlineHairAffair.com. All of these sites will charge a listing fee ranging from a $20 flat fee to $8 for every two weeks your listing is up. In exchange, you’ll have access to as many potential buyers as possible and a safe way to communicate with them. If you’d rather sell it without a listing fee, you can use Craigslist or eBay, or even post it in your local Classified Ads for a lower price.
Shamelessly Advertise It
- Get a friend to take high quality photos from several angles and describe your hair as completely as you can. You’ll want to include the length of hair you are selling, the color of your hair (be descriptive!), the texture of your hair, whether it is thick, curly, straight, or somewhere in between, how often you wash and style your hair, what you use to style your hair, including styling products and heat tools, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, and how healthy your diet is. Don’t forget to include all the details that will make a potential buyer feel they’re getting a rare find.
Selling? Know your Buyer
- Make sure that you get paid before you cut your hair in case the seller has special instructions for you. You also want to be certain that the potential seller won’t back out of the deal. Many potential buyers want the hair they’re purchasing to have been freshly cut, not lying around collecting dust. If you want to know how much your hair is likely to fetch before you even list it, try this quick calculator to determine what potential buyers might pay.
Donating? Choose your charity wisely!
- Unless you’ve already got a good cause in mind, it’s easy to choose a charity that you’ve heard of before and that is related to a cause you’re passionate about, like breast cancer or animal rights. But don’t let months (or even years) of growing your hair out go to waste. First, check Charity Watch, a nonprofit organization that gives charities grades and details how much of their funding actually goes to doing the work and how much goes to overhead (and paying executives).