How to sell your hair for cash
Many factors can affect the value.
I first read about selling hair in "Les Misérables,"
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.
Leave your hair untreated. Most
wig makers want "virgin" hair that has no chemical treatment. Virgin
hair is generally less damaged, lasts longer in a hair piece, and looks
more natural. If you want to sell your hair, make sure you do not dye,
perm or bleach it.
Grow your hair out. Generally you need at least 10 inches of hair to be able to make a sale for extensions and wigs.
Take good care of yourself and your hair. Healthy
hair that shines fetches 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 strips 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.
List and market your hair. Hairwork and The Hair Trader
are two sites that specialize in hair-trading classifieds. The first
site charges $20 to post an ad, and the second is free. They allow you
to post a description of your hair, pictures and your price. It is
usually recommended that you get paid first, then have your hair cut at
a professional salon, and bundle the hair in a ponytail 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.
much can you make? The price that buyers are willing to pay really
depends on the color, length and quality of your hair. Also, if you
market it well, you will have better results. Some sold listings on The Hair Trader have great photographs and descriptions. For example, one woman 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 more than $1,000
in just a week. It took her four years to grow that hair, but $1,000 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 them, you can always donate them to Wigs for Kids, Pantene Beautiful Lengths or Locks of Love.
These charities provide wigs to children who have lost their hair due
to illness. Since wigs are considered cosmetic, they are not covered by
insurance, and a lot of families cannot afford a wig made from human
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 parts.
Other articles of interest at Wise Bread:
- How big of a house do you really need?
- A simple guide to Series I savings bonds
- Does living frugally hurt the economy?
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A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
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