How to make money selling your hair
Fancy making some extra cash from your fabulous head of hair? We’ve got the tips you need to read before you let anyone near you with those scissors.
If you’re short of a bob or two, a pair of scissors is all that stands between you and a couple of hundred quid – right?
But while selling your hair isn’t exactly a quick way to make cash (unless you’ve already got a head of healthy locks ready for snipping), there’s some easy money to be made if you’re planning on growing it anyway.
Here’s what you need to know to get ahead of the hair market.
What you need to know about selling your hair
This is what you need to know if you want to sell your hair:
1. Human hair is in demand
Whether it’s for weaves, wigs, or extensions, human hair is in demand – and it’s not just about fashion, either. People can lose their own for all kinds of reasons, from aging to illness or just the luck of the draw. Human hair is preferred for wigs and extensions instead of synthetic for the same reasons it looks good growing out of your head: it looks natural and it’s easy to wash, color or style. Human hair has also been used in a whole variety of neat and nightmarish ways, from mopping up oil spills to supplementing pet food. Whatever the reason, there are lots of places to sell your locks.
2. It’s what’s on the top of your head that counts
Just in case you’re wondering – wig makers want the hair from your head. There are places to sell ‘other’ types of hair, but we’ll let you sniff those out for yourself…The good news is that hair harvesting isn’t just for girly girls – there’s no reason why guys can’t get in on the act, too. If that sounds wonderfully egalitarian, bear in mind that demand for hair from different ethnic groups varies massively around the world, with one UK hair handler stating they pay less for Asian hair than Caucasian. It’s a buyer’s market.
3. Grow it long and to an even length
You might have seen adverts offering up to £200 for your greasy locks, but if that sounds like a shortcut to easy money… it’s not. Read the small print and you’ll find payment typically starts at around £15 for at least 10 inches of hair. That’s roughly equivalent to starting with shoulder-length hair and cutting all but a few inches off – and you’ll earn less than the price of the average haircut. The weight of your hair also makes a difference, with fabulous, full locks being in more demand than finer types. This is one time it pays to be thick! Avoid getting your hair layered, too. Most buyers want hair that’s the same length all the way around, but it is worth getting a cheap trim once in a while to keep the split ends away.
4. You need to plan ahead and keep it healthy
So, the money’s not great – unless you plan in advance. And, given hair grows just six inches a year (if you’re lucky), we could be talking serious preparation. For starters, the big money is in long hair: you’ll need at least 16 inches of even hair (it won’t work if you have layers) to make between £50 and £150. Note the range, too – how much you actually get depends on how the buyer assesses the condition of your hair. Wash your hair with a shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates, as this tends to dry hair out. Washing your hair every day will also cause the same problem, as you’ll strip it of its natural oils. If you can, try washing it just twice a week to keep it shiny and strong.
5. Don’t use heat on your hair to style it
To stand a decent chance of selling your hair, it’s got to be in excellent, natural condition: not colored, lightened, chemically treated, or damaged in any way (including sun damage). Untreated hair (or “virgin hair” as it’s known on the market) sells for much more than any that’s been colored, permanently straightened, or permed. While this doesn’t mean you can’t have done those things in the past, it does mean you’ll have to grow your hair out and lop off those bits before you can concentrate on harvesting the good stuff. Yeah, this really is a long game.
Donate your hair to charity
Okay, this route will earn you extra brownie points rather than extra cash, but if you’re feeling generous you could also donate your hair to charity. Apparently, even the likes of Kate Middleton and Harry Styles have donated their locks.
Certain charities collect human hair to make into wigs for people undergoing chemotherapy. They are given away free of charge – wigs made out of real human hair are expensive, remember.
For example, the Little Princess Trust provides wigs for people under the age of 24 who have lost their hair to chemotherapy. The donated hair still has to meet certain requirements, which are usually very similar to those of regular buyers, so double-check whether your hair meets the standards before giving it the snip.