Hair Donation Guidelines
My ponytail is less than 35.5cm (14in), can I still donate it?
The minimum length requirement for all hair donations is 35.5cm/14 inches. 1-2cm shorter is okay to donate, but the longer the donation the better! If you’ve got to wait a little longer for your hair to reach that length, you could consider setting up your fundraising page now! It’s a great way to keep you motivated whilst you patiently wait for your hair to grow.
If you need to chop your hair now, and it’s shorter than 35.5cm/14in, we’d recommend sending it to Sustainable Salons who accepts donations of ponytails from 20cm.
You can post your ponytails to:
GPO Box 322
Sydney NSW 2001
Why does my ponytail need to be a minimum of 35.5cm/14in?
Many of the people that receive the wigs are young women and children. Having the option to wear a wig often promotes confidence and self-esteem. They very much want to fit into normal everyday life and this includes the hairstyles they choose – many prefer longer hairstyles as their peers often have long hair.
Can I donate my hair that's been dyed, highlighted, permed or chemically straightened?
We cannot accept any hair that has been processed or dyed, including semi-permanent, foils, bleach, henna or chemically straightened. The hair must be natural to be used by the wigmaker so they can properly colour match, as dyed hair tends to fade or change colour. Processed hair is also more brittle and prone to breakage both during the wigmaking process and while the wig is being worn.
If your hair was dyed some time ago and it’s only the ends of your hair that remain dyed, we are able to accept the hair, provided the dyed ends are cut off and the length of the donated hair is 14in/35.5cms or longer.
Sustainable Salons accepts dyed hair. You can post your ponytails to:
GPO Box 322
Sydney NSW 2001
Can I donate grey, curly or layered hair?
If your hair is totally grey or has just a few grey hairs that can be easily removed, we can accept it. We cannot accept salt and pepper grey.
We accept curly hair, except very tight corkscrew curls because of manufacturing issues.
And lastly, most of us have layers in our hair, as long as most of the hair is 35.5cm or longer that's fine.
Can I send my hair if I live overseas?
Yes! Variety regularly receives hair from countries such as New Zealand and Japan.
I have a pony tail that was cut many years ago, is it still okay to donate?
Like all items that are stored for a length of time hair can break down and weaken. If it is older than five years old we would recommend not sending it in.
The Big Chop
Who can chop my hair?
Anyone can chop your hair! Whether it’s a hairdresser, a friend or a family member we suggest you bring along a copy of the guidelines which goes through the steps for how to chop your hair.
Should I straighten my hair before it's chopped?
Please leave your hair in its natural state. This allows for the hair to be better sorted and matched with similar hair.
Do you have a list of hairdressers you recommend?
We don’t have a list of hairdressers as such that we recommend. We often suggest asking your friends or family if they have a close relationship with a hairdresser, as they’re often likely to be very supportive (and some may even generously donate their services).
I'm a hairdresser, how can I be involved with or support Hair with Heart?
Thanks so much for your support of Hair with Heart. Many hairdressers keep our guidelines & chop instructions on their wall, in the window and have some available for people to take home.
When it comes to sending in the hair, if people are sending it in themselves, we’d suggested providing them with the guidelines document which has the steps to follow (including the link to our online hair donation form). By completing their own hair donation form they’ll receive a personalised certificate to print off and will be notified once we’ve received their long locks.
If they’re happy to leave it with you, we’re happy to receive these in bulk (no need for individual forms).
We don’t have a formal list of participating hairdressers, as in the past we’ve found this quite challenging to keep current.
For those who want to donate their hair at your salon but don’t quite have the minimum length we require (35.5cm/14in) or who have dyed hair, we’d recommend you send those to Sustainable Salons, which is an organisation which works with hairdressers around the country to reduce and recycle materials from salons, including hair. You don’t need to be a member to send in ponytails individually. They accept hair donations from 20cm in length and that are dyed (and many of which they receive that meet our criteria come to Variety). Their contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 475 679. Their address is GPO Box 322, Sydney NSW 2001
Some hairdressers generously offer a discount or complimentary chops for our hair donors, but this is up to you and your salon.
Sending in the hair
Where do I send the hair?
Variety – the Children’s Charity
C/O Hair with Heart
Locked Bag 2468
Please include your completed Hair Donor Form, so we know who the hair is from. A PDF of the online form will be emailed to you upon completion.
How do I package my hair to send it in?
Make sure your ponytail is clean and dry. Place in a zip lock bag to protect and send in an envelope or post bag (including your printed Hair Donor Form)
What happens once you receive my hair?
Once it arrives at the Variety office in Sydney, our wonderful volunteers unpack and sort your hair. It is packed with other ponytails and sent to the wigmaker.
You’ll receive an email to let you know your ponytails have been received. We choose to work with Freedom Wigs, a wigmaker based in NZ who makes custom, human hair, vacuum cap wigs for adults and kids who have lost their hair due to a long-term medical condition, primarily alopecia. Variety raises money from the hair donations which support the grants and programs we provide to give Aussie Kids a fair go.
How many ponytails does it take to make a wig?
On average it takes between 10-20 ponytails to make just one wig.
Does Variety sell wigs?
We don’t sell wigs. Variety grants wigs to kids who have lost their hair due to a medical condition, including long-term conditions such as alopecia and trichotillomania, and temporary hair loss, including kids undergoing treatment for cancer. The wigs that are granted by Variety include those made by Freedom Hair, as well as other types, depending on the needs and preference of the child, and cover up to $6000.
Am I able to see the wig made with my hair, or find out who the wig goes to?
Due to the volume and logistics of the wig making process (on average 10 – 20 ponytails are used to make one wig) as well as privacy, we are unable to track your hair through to the final recipient. Each wig is also custom made, so when it is used in a wig, depends on the type of hair requested by each client. Your hair will only be used in a wig for someone who have lost their hair due to a medical condition, primarily alopecia.
We’d encourage you to take a look at Hannah’s Story. Hannah has alopecia and was nine when she was granted a wig by Variety. The video shows the impact a wig can have on someone’s life.
Plus it’s a great video to share with friends and family too.
The wigmaker we work with, Freedom Wigs also posts lots of photos of recipients of their wigs on their Facebook page.
I know a child who is in need of a wig, how do they apply?
We’d love to see if we can help!
Click here to view Variety’s Wig Application and guidelines.
Our Kids Support team is here to help too – give them a call on 02 9819 1000 or send them an email. The Kids Support team in NSW looks after all the wig applications for Australia.
How does donating my hair help Aussie Kids in Need?
The money Variety receives for your hair, along with the money you raise by fundraising, is used to help give Aussie kids in need a fair go. Variety supports kids in so many ways, from purchasing a child with a disability a new wheelchair to buying school uniforms for kids who are doing it tough.
How do I set up a fundraising page?
Setting up your very own fundraising page is quick and easy. Click here to get started!
What do I need to do once my fundraising page is set up?
Personalise your fundraising page by uploading a profile photo, setting a fundraising goal and including a bit about why you're chopping your hair! You can continue to post pictures to your page and thank your donors leading up to the BIG cut! We've got lots of resources and more tips here.
What's the best way to kick start my fundraising?
Make the first donation yourself! People will be more likely to support you knowing you have personally committed to the challenge! We’ve found fundraisers who donate to their own page receive 120% more donations than those who don't. It's a simple step to start your fundraising.
What happens once I've chopped my hair and finished fundraising?
Make sure you post a photo or two of your chop or new haircut to your page, and share your page around one more time. People can and often do make a donation after the big chop. The donations from your friends and family come through to Variety automatically, so there’s no nothing you need to do with those!
When you're ready to send in your long locks make sure you complete your hair donation form and follow the instructions.
About Hair with Heart
How did Hair with Heart start?
In 2007, after their daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with alopecia areata, Matthew and Rebecca Adamson established the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Foundation to raise awareness of the condition and funds to supply quality, human hair wigs to people with alopecia.
In 2013, the foundation became part of the Variety, becoming the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Program. Building on the amazing work of Matthew, Rebecca and their volunteers, the program has continued to grow – granting wigs to children with alopecia and accepting hair donations to make into wigs for those whose hair loss is due to a medical condition. In 2016, the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Program became Hair with Heart.
Since becoming part of Variety, hair donations have been received from 29,990 people just like you. Last year, Hair with Heart raised over $1.5million to help give kids in need a fair go.
How does Variety - the Children's Charity help?
At Variety – the Children’s Charity we believe all kids deserve a fair go in life, so we support kids who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs by providing practical equipment, programs and experiences to help them overcome obstacles and live life to the fullest. To find out more about how Variety helps, click here.