How to make money selling your hair Easy Steps

Interested in generating some additional income with your luscious locks? We’ve compiled essential guidance that you should thoroughly review before allowing anyone to approach you with a pair of shears.

If you’re looking to bolster your finances a bit, a simple pair of scissors could be your gateway to earning a couple of hundred pounds – sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

Selling your hair might not provide an instant financial windfall (unless you’re already sporting a luxurious mane ripe for trimming). However, if you’re in the process of growing your hair out, there’s an opportunity to pocket some effortless cash.

Here’s the lowdown on how to stay ahead in 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

The demand for human hair is on the rise, not just for fashion but also due to various other reasons. People lose their hair for a multitude of factors, including aging, illness, or simple genetic predisposition.

When it comes to wigs, weaves, and extensions, human hair is the preferred choice over synthetic alternatives. The rationale behind this preference is that it mirrors natural hair, offering a realistic look and allowing for easy maintenance, coloring, and styling.

Interestingly, human hair finds applications beyond the realm of beauty. It has been employed in various unique and even bizarre ways, such as cleaning up oil spills. Regardless of the purpose, there’s a thriving market for selling your precious locks.

2. It’s what’s on the top of your head that counts

Wig makers primarily seek hair from your scalp. However, there are markets for other types of hair, which you can explore independently.

The exciting part is that hair harvesting is not gender-specific, meaning guys can also participate in this practice.

But here’s a little nuance to consider: the demand for hair differs significantly based on ethnic backgrounds worldwide. In some regions, hair from certain ethnic groups is more sought after, which can result in variations in pricing. For instance, in the UK, one hair handler has noted paying less for Asian hair compared to Caucasian hair.

3. Grow it long and to an even length

highland cow

You might have come across advertisements promising up to £200 for your tresses, but don’t be misled by the allure of quick cash. The fine print often reveals that payments usually commence at approximately £3 per ounce of hair. To put it in perspective, this is roughly equivalent to having shoulder-length hair and trimming all but a few inches of it – and the earnings are less than what an average haircut costs.

The weight of your hair is another factor that comes into play, as luscious, voluminous locks are more sought after than finer hair types.

Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid getting your hair layered. Most buyers prefer hair that maintains the same length throughout, but it is beneficial to get an inexpensive trim every now and then to keep split ends at bay.

4. You need to plan ahead and keep it healthy

Indeed, the monetary returns might not be substantial unless you plan ahead. Considering that hair typically grows just six inches a year (if you’re fortunate), it requires considerable preparation.

Primarily, the real value lies in having long hair. To earn anywhere from £50 to £150, you should have a minimum of 16 inches of hair that’s uniform in length (layered hair doesn’t work).

It’s essential to take note of the price range since the actual amount you receive depends on how the buyer evaluates your hair’s condition.

To maintain your hair’s vitality, wash it with a sulfate-free shampoo, as sulfates tend to dry out hair. Washing your hair daily can also have the same detrimental effect since it strips the natural oils. If possible, aim to wash your hair just twice a week to keep it shiny and healthy.

5. Don’t use heat on your hair to style it

To have a reasonable chance of successfully selling your hair, it must be in exceptional, natural condition, which means it should be untouched by coloring, lightening, chemical treatments, or any type of damage (including sun damage).

Hair that is untreated or referred to as “virgin hair” in the market commands a significantly higher price than hair that has been subjected to coloring, permanent straightening, or perming.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have done any of those things in the past, it does imply that you’ll need to allow your hair to grow out and remove the treated sections before focusing on harvesting the pristine strands. This endeavor truly requires patience and a long-term perspective.

6. Find a buyer before you cut it off

Failing to adhere to the rules may lead to regret once you reach for those scissors. Fortunately, there are only a few guidelines to bear in mind:

  • Some companies will only accept freshly cut hair, so refrain from chopping it until you’ve found a buyer.
  • Your hair should be securely fastened, typically in a ponytail, before the cut. Some buyers specify a preference for ponytails rather than braids, but it’s advisable to verify their requirements beforehand.
  • You don’t necessarily have to visit a hairdresser for the haircut, but ensure you understand the expectations before attempting it yourself.

7. Getting a haircut can be traumatic

hair stylist at work

We’ve all experienced the occasional haircut mishap that made us grab a hat in embarrassment. However, if you believe that was challenging, transitioning from having luscious locks to a nearly bald look can be an even more profound transformation.

Regardless of how well you’ve prepared for it, going from long, flowing hair to a close-cropped style will undoubtedly feel quite unusual.

8. Package up your hair correctly

Ensure that you carefully package your hair according to the instructions provided by your buyer. These instructions may have been specified in your contract, so it’s essential to review them before wrapping your hair.

In case no specific instructions were given, place your hair (still secured with the hair bobble) in a sandwich bag or a clean container. Then, seal it within a tightly closed envelope. When sending it, use a tracking code so that both you and your buyer can monitor the shipment.

Remember, there are alternative ways to capitalize on your hair, such as volunteering as a haircut and color test subject (consult your hairdresser), maintaining a beauty blog with hair tutorials, or participating as a hair model.

For those with a creative flair and a high tolerance for the unconventional, you can even craft and sell your distinct paintbrushes, artwork, or jewelry on platforms like Etsy.

Where to sell your hair

Here are the best places to sell your hair:

Consider exploring well-established hair-buying websites such as Bloomsbury and Banbury Postiche to evaluate their offers and receive guidance before committing to a specific platform. Additionally, you can seek out wig makers or hair colleges in your vicinity or inquire with your hairdresser for potential leads.

While it may be more challenging to identify alternative industries that accept hair, they do exist. Industries like false lashes, industrial gardening equipment, and fertilizers all make use of hair.

For a more hands-on approach, you can attempt direct selling through platforms like eBay and Gumtree. When creating listings, ensure that you provide comprehensive details and images regarding your hair’s length and condition. Incorporate relevant keywords such as ‘afro’ or ‘straight’ to enhance visibility.

If you’re prepared for the long haul, consider establishing a dedicated YouTube channel or another social media platform to document the progress of your hair. This approach allows potential buyers ample time to discover your offering, and who knows, it might even lead to a bidding competition. While you’re at it, investigate the possibility of activating your account for advertising to generate some extra income on the side.

Top tips for growing sellable hair

These are the best ways to maximise the amount of money you make from selling your hair:

Understand your goals and the commitment required. If you’re targeting a 15-inch mane of glossy hair, be prepared for the long haul.

To maintain the quality of your hair, avoid using a hairdryer and straighteners, and minimize exposure to extreme heat. Use hair products such as hairspray or wax sparingly, ensure thorough rinsing, and gently towel-dry your hair.

Consider deep conditioning your hair with coconut oil overnight (take precautions to protect your pajamas and pillows), or explore homemade hair treatments.

Protect your hair from the sun by wearing a hat or using heat protection spray, and be cautious about swimming or surfing without a cap (forget about attempting to lighten your hair with lemon juice).

Avoid excessive and vigorous brushing, as it can lead to hair breakage.

Prioritize internal health by staying well-hydrated, consuming fruits and vegetables, and getting adequate sleep. Quitting smoking can also contribute to healthier hair.

Donate your hair to charity

pink hair ribbon

Donating your hair to charity is a compassionate option if you’re willing to forgo monetary compensation. Notably, even individuals like Kate Middleton and Harry Styles have chosen to donate their locks.

Several charities collect human hair to craft wigs for individuals undergoing chemotherapy. These wigs are provided free of charge, as wigs made from genuine human hair can be costly.

For instance, the Little Princess Trust offers wigs to individuals under the age of 24 who have experienced hair loss due to cancer treatment or other medical conditions.

Donated hair must still adhere to specific criteria, typically akin to those set by regular buyers. Therefore, it’s advisable to confirm if your hair meets these standards before undergoing the cut.

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