A real-hair wig allows a woman to look in the mirror and see a familiar face while she fights to regain a sense of normalcy in her life.

Creating a real-hair wig takes approximately three to four months, and each wig requires at least six ponytails to make.

As Pantene Beautiful Lengths wigs are created, they are distributed for free through select American Cancer Society wig banks across the country. Women facing cancer can find out about the availability of a Pantene Beautiful Lengths wig by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-877-227-1596. The Society can also help callers with a number of resources providing educational and emotional support.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. Visit the Society’s website at www.cancer.org to learn more about its mission and activities.

Our campaign is the first in the country to encourage women and men to grow, cut and donate their healthy hair to make free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.

Hair provided by generous volunteers like you will be used to craft beautiful, high-quality wigs by our partner, HairUWear®. Then it will go to a woman affected by hair loss from cancer.

Instructions for Donating Your Hair

In order to make the most beautiful, realistic and durable wigs, donated hair must meet the requirements below.

Donated hair must be a minimum of 8 inches long (measure hair from just above the elastic band of the ponytail to the ends).

Wavy/curly hair texture is fine—you may straighten hair to measure.

Hair should be freshly washed and completely dry, without any styling products.

Hair may be colored with vegetable dyes, rinses and semi-permanent dyes. It cannot be bleached, permanently colored or chemically treated.

Hair may not be more than 5 percent gray.

Here’s why:

It takes at least six ponytails to make a Pantene Beautiful Lengths wig; in general, each ponytail comes from a different person and is a different color. Even though some hair colors may look similar, including gray hair, each is completely unique.

For a realistic-looking wig that has consistent color throughout, donated ponytails must be processed and then dyed to the same shade. It is critical for each ponytail to absorb dyes at the same rate in order to create wigs of consistent, natural-looking color.

Gray hair, as well as some chemically-treated or permanently-colored hair, does not absorb dye at the same rate as other types of hair. It is much harder to color and, once colored, fades more quickly.

Most permanently colored hair, once it is processed and recolored, is too fragile and breakable under the rigorous processing required during the production of a Pantene Beautiful Lengths wig.

In appreciation of the sacrifice that a hair donation requires, Pantene Beautiful Lengths only accepts hair it knows can be used for its intended purposes.

If You Want to Donate & Cannot Attend Relay For Life

Note: It is helpful to have someone cut your hair for you if you cannot attend Relay For Life and have it cut at the event..

Hair must be clean, shampooed and/or conditioned, without any styling, hairspray or additional hair products.

Gather hair at the nape of the neck.

Create a ponytail with an elastic band. Ensure the band is tight around the hair to keep the hair together after cutting. If the hair comes out of the band, it will not be usable. A second hair band can be placed around the middle of the ponytail to help keep the hair together.

Ensure that the elastic band is just below where you want to cut your hair.

Measure the length of the ponytail from the elastic band to the tips, ensuring hair is at least 8 inches long. Donations shorter than 8 inches will not be used, as it’s too short for making a wig. If your hair is not 8 inches, continue to grow your hair out. There is no maximum length requirement.

Cut the hair just above the elastic band such that the elastic band remains on the ponytail after cutting and keeps cut hair together. Do not wash or style the ponytail in any way after it has been cut off.

Place the ponytail, kept intact with the elastic band, in a zipper-lock bag and seal tightly. Please ensure the ponytail is complete dry before sending.

Place the plastic bag with the ponytail in a padded or plastic envelope and send to:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Attn: 192-123

806 SE 18th Ave.

Grand Rapids, MN 55744

If you would like written acknowledgement of your ponytail donation, please remember to include your full name and return address with your hair donation.

Thanks for your generous donation and for participating in Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Since Pantene started the Beautiful Lengths program back in July 2006, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. Every year, we receive page after page with messages of hope and gratitude, of love and of loss. We receive boxes of photos of women, children, and even men holding their ponytails, sporting a new short style, with notes attached in memory of their loved ones. These photos, letters and cards are moving and inspiring in the purest way.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Beautiful Lengths has collected over 400,000 ponytails. It takes between six and eight ponytails to make just one wig, and we’ve helped donate 24,000 wigs to date, with more to come. If you think you have some hair to spare, consider the following statistics:

The average person has about 100,000 hairs on their head.

Considering the growth of all 100,000 strands on a person’s head, the average person grows 138 feet of hair per day.

One hair fiber grows approximately 0.5 inch per month.

High School Comes Together to Donate Hair

To Steven Juster, a high school teacher, an angel is your average high school student. What started as a pep rally announcement to inspire students ended up being his biggest motivation of all. Juster mentioned Beautiful Lengths to students as a way they could give something back without having money to make charitable donations. He reached out to Pantene to have a representative give a few words of encouragement at the pep rally. Excited, Steven asked teachers and students to see if anyone would cut their hair in front of the assembly of students. One inspired colleague decided to donate her waist-long hair for the cause. She was the first of the 67 people that volunteered and the reason Steven began calling the Pantene Beautiful Lengths donors “angels”—a title that caught on.

For eight years, Steven has been organizing opportunities for students to cut and donate their hair in front of their classmates, friends and families. The overwhelming enthusiasm and selfless generosity displayed by them is what Juster believes makes them angels.

Lined up in a gymnasium, their hair tied back, their eyes closed, hundreds of young people make the decision to chop off their hair, knowing that it will go to someone who needs it—someone who deserves it. High school stereotypes and standards are neutralized as students collaborate on a common front to selflessly help people who couldn’t ask for a greater gift. Juster is inspired by the kindness and maturity of his students to commit to such a touching cause and share their personal motivation and sadness in front of thousands. “My real motivation is giving students an opportunity to do something wonderful”. And he has.

In his own right, Steven Juster also serves as an angel. His efforts with Beautiful Lengths and his encouragement to high-schoolers is admirable. He serves as more than the announcer and the organizer—he serves as a personal mentor, there to listen to the hurt behind the students’ stories. “I am always as happy as our saddest donor.” Juster receives hair donations throughout the year from people who recognize him as someone whose dedication to the cause lives long beyond the one-day event. His involvement with the program has helped thousands of kids reach out to people in need. Juster claims that everyone smiles after they get their hair cut—and everyone that gets their hair cut for the cause is an angel.

Tips for Caring for Your Hair to Make Future Donations

Pantene Celebrity Stylist Danilo gives great advice for growing long, healthy hair:

DO use a conditioner after every wash to help keep hair moisturized and protected against damage.

DON’T use a brush on wet hair when you step out of the shower; once hair is washed and conditioned, use a comb with smooth, wide-set teeth to gently detangle hair, working from tip to root.

DO use a spray, leave-in conditioner for extra protection when using heated hair appliances.

DON’T attempt to blow-dry soaking wet hair immediately; to expedite your blow-out process and help prevent thermal damage, towel-wrap your hair for 10-15 minutes and remove excess water before using a blow-dryer.

DO look for new technology in your drying and styling tools to help minimize damage.

DO use a root-lifter spray to achieve volume; avoid excessive teasing of hair, as it can uplift cuticles, making them fragile and susceptible to breakage.

DON’T overbrush hair; despite the common myth that 100 strokes a day are good for hair, this can lead to breakage. Regular, gentle brushing promotes hair health and natural oil distribution.

DO use deep-conditioning treatments once a week, or as often as needed, to help minimize split ends and keep hair in top condition.

DON’T wait more than eight weeks to get hair trimmed; regular salon visits are essential in keeping hair healthy and beautiful.


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