Charity Spotlight: Donating Hair to the Canadian Cancer Society

A New Hairstyle For A Good Cause

I went to Citrus Hair Salon in Yaletown today to donate my hair and donated about 10-12″ to the Canadian Cancer Society. The funny thing is, I’m not missing my long hair – now isn’t that curious!

Citrus Hair will 1) cut, 2) wash & dry (and trim) and 3) style your hair for FREE if you donate your hair to CCS. They send hair donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, which will, in turn, pass on my locks (or combine it with other people’s locks of hair to create a wig) to one of the following charities that donate wigs to those living with cancer:

Guidlines for donating hair:
  • The hair needs to be at least 8-10 inches (donated portion) – 8″ for women; 10″ for children
  • CANNOT be coloured or permed
  • Grey hair is ok
Note: It takes approximately 12 donations of unprocessed hair and costs about $1,200 to craft a single hand-sewn wig for a child, so it’s not possible to find out who received a wig made with your hair. If the donated hair cannot be used, it will not be returned to the donor.

Address: 103 – 1168 Hamilton St
Phone: 604-688-1332
Facebook: citrushair
Twitter: @citrushairsalon

Business Hours
Mon & Tues & Sat: 10-18:00
Wed: 10-19:00
Thurs & Fri: 10-20:00

Why I Wanted To Donate My Hair

I was 7 or 8 when I first saw this episode from Charlie Brown. It seemed to be a happy, funny episode until I realised what was happening. At 23:35, that was the scene that really got me: bullying. It hurt so much to see someone bullying another because she did not have any hair. I burst into tears. How could anyone be so mean? Despite the happy ending (when Janice’s hair grew back), I could not stop crying. I remember trying to clean my teeth and tears were still gushing from my eyes. Clearly, that scene had a huge impact on me and I never forgot it.

My First Experience Donating Hair

The first time I’d donated my hair was 4 years ago, in April 2008, when I’d donated around 10 inches (min. was 8″) of hair to Angel Hair at my university’s Cuts for Cancer event. I was excited to finally have hair long enough to be donated and to make one child or many children very happy. At the same time, I was terribly nervous. The day I turned 12, I was finally allowed to do whatever I wanted with my hair – I was allowed to grow it out past my shoulders. Since then, I’d only had trims every once in a while and can count only 3x when I had my hair cut to shoulder length (twice to have it permed within 1 year, once to bring my hair back to its natural healthy state). Since then, I refused to have it any shorter. My hair has always been my pride, my most beautiful prized possession (I sound vain, do I not? :P). (Not to mention that I’d always believed myself to be ugly or unattractive and my hair was the one thing that seemed to turn out well.)
When the locks came off, my excited smile turned upside down. Where was my hair? What would keep me warm from the chilly wind? What could I twirl around my finger when I was nervous? Gone. My hair was just past my ears, which had not been the case since I turned 8 (thank God!), and now seemed to cling to my face more than ever. I had to get used to not being able to braid my hair or put it in a bun. Suddenly, I found myself extremely boring. Nevertheless, it was telling people why I had done it that reminded me that I’d completed a wish/dream/goal of mine.

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