How to Sell Your Hair for Cash
I first read of selling hair in Les Miserables when Fantine sold her head of gold to clothe her daughter Cosette. The hair trade just seems like such an archaic idea, but actually high quality hairpieces are still made from real human hair and there is a huge market for sourcing natural hair. Here are some tips and information on how to sell your tresses for cash. (See also: 8 Fun Ways to Make Money)
1. Leave your hair untreated
Most wig makers want "virgin hair" that has no chemical treatment. Virgin hair is generally less damaged and would last longer in a hair piece. They also look more natural and could stand additionally treatment. So if you want to sell your hair, make sure you do not dye, perm, or bleach it.
2. Grow your hair out
Generally you need at least 10 inches of hair to be able to make a sale. This is because natural hair is usually not the same length and not all the hair is usable. Hair buyers generally want long continuous lengths of hair to make extensions and wigs.
3. Take good care of yourself and your hair
Healthy hair that shines fetch a better price in the open market. Some basic tips I have read are to brush your hair gently, eat well, and do not take any drugs since hair retains traces of the drugs you take. Also, it is best not to shampoo your hair every day because that would strip your hair of its natural oils. Smoking is also detrimental to your hair because the scent usually stays long after you light up a cigarette.
4. List and market your hair
Hairwork [will be discontinued as of 2016] and Online Hair Affair are two sites that specialize in hair trading classifieds. The first site costs $20 to post an ad, and the second offers listings starting at $10. They allow you to post a description of your hair, pictures, and your price. It is usually recommended that you get paid first and then cut your hair at a professional salon and bundle the hair in a pony tail or braid. You could also try to auction your hair on eBay or post a classified ad on Craigslist, but I think your chances are much better on the sites specializing in hair.
How much can you make? The price buyers are willing to pay really depends on the color, length, and quality of your hair. Also, if you market it well you would have better results. Some sold listings have great photographs and descriptions. For example, one woman on specified that she grew her hair with the intention to sell and took very good care of it, and she managed to sell it for over $1000 in just a week. It took her four years to grow that hair, but $1000 is still a good return on something that is fairly painless to give up. It also seems that her research into the hair trade led to a healthy lifestyle, and that is a great bonus for her.
If you are cutting your long locks but do not want to sell it, you can always donate it to Locks of Love. This is a great charity that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer and other diseases. Since wigs are considered cosmetic they are not covered by insurance and a lot of families cannot afford a wig made from human hair. The wigs Locks of Love gives out really provide self esteem for affected children. Their guideline for hair donation is posted here.
In closing, I think if you already have beautiful long hair and need a bit of cash, selling those locks is definitely something you should look into. It is quite profitable and definitely much less painful than selling any other body part.
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