Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Hair Harvesting & What You Can Do...

Yesterday I visited the hairdresser to get my hair cut. I wanted to have six inches cut off, so my hair would be shoulder length. The hairdresser was hesitant about cutting so much off, but I cannot manage my hair at its current length. One of the other customers in the shop mentioned I should sell my hair. She had read an article in a paper about people who grow their hair to sell it. Western hair is like gold dust in the wig making industry, so why not make a few pounds. Realistically the amount that was cut off you could do nothing with. But then I went into override thinking well could I save my hair if I wanted a wig made for my head. After all it is my hair and god forbid if the wrath of breast cancer darkened my door again, could my hair be harvested?

On returning home I started browsing the various websites that talk about selling your hair and I was surprised at how much I could earn. This could be from forty to two hundred pounds plus deepening on length, condition and hair type. The fact I have not dyed my hair at forty one or smoked makes all the difference if I wanted to sell my hair.

I find a UK site called Bloomsbury and I email them to get more information on this subject.
I am a breast cancer patient and currently my treatment does not require
 chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but if I was to try salvage my hair, which
 is long. Would I be able to have it made into a wig for personal use? And
how much would this cost me to do?

Sarah M

Within ten minutes I get a reply....
Dear Sarah,
Yes it would be possible to have a wig made for you. The pricing for it
varies from client to client. However, for example, if you were to buy a
whole system from us (not using your own hair) the average price is £1100
(for the base and 6-in of hair). From there it can fluctuate depending on
the type of hair used, the style, density, etc.
If you would like to book an appointment with us, or have any other
enquiries, don't hesitate to call us at 0207 404 6040.
Hope that helps and best wishes,
Bloomsbury of London

It still does not tell me how much if they were to use my hair rather than some strangers for a wig.
Out of curiosity I decide to phone them up to find out what my options are. Bloomsbury answered all my questions and even gave me bits of advice that even I had not thought of. The young woman on the phone explained that during treatment normally doctors advise you to use a synthetic wig because your hair should grow back as normal. But they never mention about your hair becoming thinner etc, so some women save their hair just in case. I mean they talk about egg or sperm storage, but not hair. By saving your natural hair it is giving you options and it is not all about wigs. They advised me that a free consultation has to take place first to check my hair and from there a decision could be made. Personally I feel the options Bloomsbury spoke of are very good and are not spoke about enough.

On keying in certain words into the browser I realise I am not the only one who is asking questions on hair harvesting. There are many other breast cancer women wanting wigs made from their own hair. And they feel the options given like the push to use a synthetic wig is not good enough, after all their hair is perfectly fine...
It works out cheaper in the long run, but could you use your hair if long enough to fund a readymade synthetic wig? The answer is yes you can.

After all you would only bin your hair, so why not make something positive from a negative situation. And get a decent wig rather than a cheap alternative on the NHS.
I found it quite frustrating at first, but understandable because this subject is very sensitive and how could someone approach it without causing upset. Yet I know of plenty women who are not happy with the wigs they are given. Why not be given the option or it be integrated into a leaflet with all the other options with our treatment? Well yes it could be...

I personally would not wear a wig myself because I already have enough issues maintaining the hair on my head now. I know I would lose my temper and most probably sling the wig. Making my own headscarves’ etc to ease the transition would be more suited to me. I don’t mind the Sinead O’Conner look to be honest, less shampoo. As for my hair I would sell it giving half the monies to a BC charity and the remaining I would put aside for a day out.
Cancer treatment brings up all sorts of questions, some we would sooner not discuss because the reality hurts too much, but at some point we have to say you know what yeah... why bloody not...

If you decide you would like to save your hair and it is ten inches long or more then it is easy to do.

I’m sure the BC community or cancer patients would not turn their back on this service if the options out there were discussed more freely.


  1. I read these posts with interest since I decided to sell my hair to Hair Harvest about a year ago. It was just before I had my baby daughter and after I had left work to go on maternity leave. I was considering having my hair cut very short in any event but when I came across the Bloomsbury Wigs website, this made up my mind to have it done and to do some good by letting others have my hair who needed it. I plucked up the courage to make the appointment and found the stylist very helpful. I ended up having as much hair taken off as they could use and had the rest styled in a very short cropped style with the whole of both my ears visible. Over the last year, I have grown my hair a bit though it is still short. I am glad I gave my long hair for a good use - it was the right decision for me so could be for you too. Diana

    1. Hi Diana,

      I'm glad you found Bloomsbury just as helpful in making your decision. I personally had my hair cut recently like I said I would if I had to face the big C again, and my young daughter was there to help put my hair in pigtails etc..

      Sarah M xx