“Selling Your Hair”—Thoughts from a 25+ year Buyer and Seller of Long Hair – Part 1 of 2
Hello to you all! My name is Lee Coles, and I have been buying and selling long hair for 25+ years, and I have finally decided to share some of my experience and knowledge with those of you who are wanting to sell your hair.
This is, to some extent, being done at the suggestion of the Hairsellon Staff, as I have been helping them along these lines for a number of years by helping to identify fake ads and scammers periodically. I hope you will find this information useful, as well as easily accessible. My hope it that by organizing the following information into subjects and presenting it to you in an easily understandable format, it will help you all to gain a better understanding of what hair is worth, why you might wish to sell it as opposed to donating it, and the ways in which you can both protect yourselves from scammers and get the best deal for your hair. So, let’s begin!
Why Sell vs. Donate Your Hair?
There are several issues associated with this topic, the first is, the reality of just how some “Charities” use the hair they receive and your ability to verify that your hair is going to a specific individual who can benefit from it. Then there is the issue of why cut and sell your hair at all, once you have decided that cutting it and selling it is better, in your case, than donating it. And, finally, there is the issue of why are you cutting it in the first place. All of these issues have a place in the decision making process associated with cutting and selling your hair.
- Not all charities are alike. When it comes to what they do with the hair they receive from donors, some sell or throw out a large number of donations and actually use a very small number of donations. So, be sure to check out just who you are donating to if you decide to donate your hair, and find out if you are able to track the progress of the wig/hairpiece that is intended to be made for the person you are specifically wishing to donate to. If they will not provide you with this information, then do not trust them with your hair, as there is no way to track what they do with it, whether it is to sell it at pennies on the dollar, simply throw it out, or actually use the hair for someone in need.
- Do charities really need your hair? The answer to this question can take a bit of digging to find out, but, again, if the charity has ways of allowing you to know exactly what is happening to your hair and the person you intend to donate it to, then the chances are good that they actually need the hair. However, unfortunately these charities are few and far between. The vast majority of charities do NOT need YOUR hair, though they do need some hair with which to make hairpieces for those who have a need for them. Instead, what ALL charities need is MONEY! This being the case, it is often better to sell your hair and donate the proceeds from the sale of your hair to the charity of your choice. This way, you KNOW what your donation is going to and just what your donation is worth. Selling and donating is something Hairsellon strongly support.
- Why do I want to cut and sell my hair? There are a lot of reasons why someone posts an ad on this and other boards to sell their hair. And, there are a great many reasons why someone would make the decision to cut their hair. The reasons can vary depending on the length being cut, how long someone has had long, or relatively long, hair, health and financial issues, as well as pressure from family and friends. Once someone has made the decision to cut their hair, it is important to be clear on why you are doing so. This can be critical to the success or failure to actually sell your hair for the price you are hoping to get for it.
- I don’t want to cut my hair, but I feel I need to! Some people find themselves in situations where they need to cut their hair, either for financial, health, or other reasons. This can be problematic for the person wishing to make some money by selling it. If you are in this situation, be realistic about your situation. You ARE going to cut it, the only questions that remain are, “How much length am I willing to cut?” and “How much money can I get for my hair?” Depending on the length of your hair and just how much it means to you, the answers to these questions frequently vary. If you truly love your hair, but you feel compelled to cut it and sell if for the money, depending on the length you are willing and able to cut and sell, you may be better off not cutting and selling your hair because you won’t be able to get much money for it. However, if your hair is around 16+ inches, then you may be able to make some quick money by selling your hair, or a great deal of money depending on just how much length you have and are willing to sell. So, be mindful and honest with yourself about the length you are willing to part with and for how much. Buyers who care nothing about YOU will do everything they can to get you to cut as much length as possible and offer huge, and unrealistic, amounts of money if you will simply cut more hair off or shave your head. If you are willing to shave your head, then that would come at a premium price, so expect to get well paid for shaving your head and demand that price up front before cutting any length—(more on scams later!) In either case, if you feel you need to cut your hair, own that, and price your hair accordingly. Price is a very subjective issue, and I will discuss price later. However, for now, realize that you ARE going to cut your hair, and that the issue is not if you will, but how much length will you cut and at what price.
- I might be willing to cut some of my hair, but…. This is where cutting your hair is optional and for whatever reason/s you think you might like a change in style, you might be able to get a good price for it and thus make it worth your while to cut it, or it is something you have been thinking about and you are kind of tired of your current style and length. This is where pricing becomes rather tricky. The important thing to remember, you DO NOT NEED TO CUT YOUR HAIR, but are only considering doing so for the right price and under the right conditions. This position puts you in the driver’s seat, so to speak, of any negotiations regarding length and price for your hair. So, ask yourself, “What is your hair worth to you and what might someone else consider my hair worth to them?” Upon these two questions rest the fundamentals of negotiations for your hair and just how much length, and the price for that length, to list your hair for in your ad. Also, remember that someone you are competing with others who may, or may not, have hair similar to your own who also have decided to try and sell their hair. So, being objective about your own hair can help you succeed in selling it. The better the hair and the longer the hair, the higher the price you can expect to get for it. Make sure you attach photos that illustrate just how beautiful, healthy, thick, and long your hair is. Also, the length is a relative issue too. If someone has 36 inches of total length, but they are only willing to cut and sell 12 inches of that length, then they cannot expect to sell it for the same price as someone who only has 18 inches of total length, but are willing to cut a significant amount of their length for a fair price. So, if you have decided to get a big trim, realize that and consider yourself in the “I want to cut my hair!” section that I’ll be discussing next. Anyway, the point is, if you are contemplating selling the vast majority of your length, then the buyer should realize this and compensate you appropriately, though within limits, of course. So, consider just how motivated you are to cut and sell your hair!
- I want to cut and sell my hair! Okay, so you have decided, for whatever reason, that you want to cut your hair. The questions then are, how dear to you is your hair, how much length are you willing to cut, and for how much money are you wanting to sell it for? Are you one of those people who have had long hair forever and have finally decided to cut your hair, whatever length it is currently, or are you one of those people for whom your hair is more like clothes that you change on a fairly regular basis? If you are of the former group, then you may need to consider that the value you place on your hair may not be what anyone else may place on it. If you are of the latter group, then you may be undervaluing your hair and what you might be able to get for it. So, perhaps speak with a friend whom you genuinely trust to be honest with you about your hair. They may be able to help you look a bit more objectively at your hair and just how much it means to you or is a part of who you consider yourself to be. If it is, or has been a part of your identity, then make this clear in your ad. It may help a buyer understand why you are pricing it the way you are in the ad. If it is not a big part of your identity, then there is no need to mention that, and you are free to ask whatever price you want to for it. Just realize that those two positions are quite different, which position you are coming from and the implications of both positions. If your hair has not been a big part of your life, then expecting someone to pay you a higher price because of your sacrifice, regardless of how willing you are to make it, is unreasonable. And, if it has been a big part of your life, expect some form of compensation for your decision to part with it.
Part 2 coming soon! – Stay tuned for top tips on maximising your hair sale in part 2 of this article!