|Donate Your Hair|
When the hair begins falling out...
Close your eyes for just a minute and picture waking up in the morning and finding locks of your hair spread across the pillow. You finger them in confusion, fear. You run to the mirror and gasp in horror; ugly bald spots where there were once glossy locks of hair. It begins with small shiny spots and thinning hair, but all too soon, your head is totally smooth. Not a single hair on your head.
Your new look is anything but attractive. You never realized how gorgeous hair can be, how much it enhances your features. Without your hair, you feel naked. Exposed. So different.
You’re ashamed to go outside. You don’t want people seeing you like this, and certainly not your friends. People stare at you. They point. Some whisper behind your back; others talk about you out loud, as if you’re not there. You soundlessly cry, “Why me?”
But staying home and shielding yourself from the world is no better. You miss the bright sunlight and fresh air. You miss your friends. You need to go out and spend time with people who are enduring the same hell as you. You want to go on with life, to continue learning, to continue working and advancing. You want to share what you’re going through with others who care. You need the loving, professional support of people who understand you. You want someone to help you pull through this nightmare and understand what it is that you want and need… You need Zichron Menachem.
Donate Your Hair to Zichron Menachem!
You read this and shudder, whispering silent thanks that your hair is still intact, safely attached to you head. It’s still long, beautiful. It still adorns your features. And most important, it grows! It never stops growing!
You—and your hair!—can bring boundless joy to a child with cancer!
Even if you cut it all off, it will still grow back…
What hair type is the best?
In order to make a child with cancer feel as normal and beautiful as possible, the goal is to fashion a wig that looks exactly like his/her hair. The child’s head is measured, and the wig is constructed from hair that is the closest match to his own. A curly-topped kid wants curls. A girl with red braids wants red braids. A teen with frizzy brown hair still wants…frizzy brown hair, even if she’s always complained about it!
That’s why Zichron Menachem needs every type, color, and shade of hair—including yours!
Any hair* can be donated—and will be used—to build a wig for a child with cancer. (*We do not accept severely damaged hair, hair that is completely gray or white or dreadlocks, as there is not sufficient demand for these types of hair.)
How do I donate my hair?
Wash your hair, comb it, and dry it.
Braid your hair into a 30 cm. (12 inch) or longer braid (including ends) and tie it tightly with rubber bands at the top and bottom. If you wish or if you think that it will give more hair, you can divide your hair into several braids and cut them as directed above.
Where do I get my hair cut?
You are invited to walk into any of the salons that participate in ZM’s Donate Your Hair project. The hairstylists will cut the braids designated for donation, free of charge (styling not included) to help you donate your hair to Zichron Menachem.
But you don’t have to visit the salon. Cutting the braids is so easy, anyone could do it. Just snip above the top rubber band and continue with the next steps:
Where do I send my hair?
There is no need to send your hair via registered mail. The hair will not be damaged in the mail and will arrive exactly as you sent it.
I would prefer to personally deliver my hair
Even better! We’ll be thrilled to meet you at Zichron Menachem’s Main Center! Please visit us at 10 Leo Weissman Street, Jerusalem (near Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center).
The Center is open Sunday – Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Please call in advance to notify us of your visit. (02) 679-9711
Click here for a map.
What happens to my hair?
Your hair may become part of a wig for a child with cancer, but it also has a lot more power than that!
Your hair can finance an alternative therapy or drive a sick child to the hospital.
Your hair can be the greatest psychological therapy for a child. It can be a relaxation series. A pain reliever. The most stunning art therapy. A support group. The greatest birthday gift that a child with cancer will receive.
Can I donate my gray or white hair?
If the white or gray is only a small percentage of the hair, we’ll be thrilled to accept it. However, if the hair is totally white or gray, we can sell the hair and use its value to support the costs of the wig making other than the hair. Sending ZM gray or white hair proclaims your agreement to the above.
Can I donate hair that was colored or dyed?
Yes, as long as the hair is of reasonably good quality.
Can I donate my dreadlocks?
We’re sorry, but there is no current demand for dreadlocks.
Can I donate my son’s upsherin (first 3-year-old haircut) hair?
Yes! We’ll be honored to make use of these sweet locks of hair.
Can I donate hair that is tied in a ponytail?
Yes, but please tie it in several rubber bands 2-3 centimeters (1-1.5 inches) apart so that it does not fall apart. Hair that arrives in a clump is unfortunately not usable.
Can I donate my hair, even though it’s less than 30 cm (12 inches) long?
Yes. If the hair is several centimeters (1-2 inches shorter) than the above, it can be used to create a wig. If it is substantially shorter, Zichron Menachem will probably sell it and use the proceeds to fund one of the many special activities that it sponsors for children and teens with cancer.
Should I measure my hair when it is loose or braided?
It doesn’t really make a difference, but it’s usually preferable to measure it after it has already been neatly braided.
How is my hair transformed into a wig for a cancer patient?
Donated hair undergoes sorting and processing. Hair is sorted according to shade and length and then washed and combed with a special comb. Damaged and split ends are removed. Thereafter, the hair is sewn onto long strips of material which are used to construct the wig. Each wig requires a lot of hair—usually three complete ponytails.
Wigs are very expensive, but you can donate the most important component—your hair.
Can I communicate with and/or receive a picture of the child who will benefit from my hair?
The cleansing and processing that the hair undergoes removes all identifying marks from it. Zichron Menachem therefore can not trace your hair to any specific wig, which is why we don’t know who will benefit from your hair. Moreover, although a lot of the hair that we receive is made into wigs; some of it is also sold to sponsor Zichron Menachem Special Activities and Events to benefit pediatric cancer patients.