Our reporter makes her first hair donation, and here’s how you can too.

Our Japanese-language reporter Chie Nomura usually keeps her hair pretty long, but over the past few months it’d crossed over into super-long status. Chie wasn’t necessarily trying out a new look, though, Instead, she was growing her hair out so that she could donate it to someone in need.

▼ Chie, with her super-long hair

Japan Hair Donation & Charity is an Osaka-based NPO that collects hair donations with which to make wigs for people who have lost their hair due to medical conditions or injuries. The program was something Chie had been thinking about for a long while, but the required length of at least 31 centimeters (12.2 inches) for donations had been a high hurdle, since it takes a lot of time to grow your hair out that much and still leave enough after cutting to cover your own head.

But this spring, Chie finally let her hair get long enough to clear the 31-centimeter requirement, and so she was ready to make her donation. While you can cut your hair yourself, JHD&C can also direct you to salons where the staff is familiar with the donation preparation procedure, and Chie opted to go to Luft, a salon in Yokohama near Tanmachi Station.

After confirming the length of Chie’s hair with a ruler, the stylists bound her hair into multiple tails to be trimmed.

After the first one was cut, Chie was startled to see just how much shorter her hair was going to be when it was all done.

As the tails were cut, the stylists laid them down, one by one, in a tray.

Out of curiosity, Chie weighed them, and found that she’d lost about 115 grams, or about a quarter-pound, of hair weight.

Again, you don’t have to go to a salon to get the hair you’re donating cut. However, since it’s going to be a pretty dramatic visual difference, getting it done at a salon has the upside of letting you go right into having a professional give you a new hairdo that works with your now-shorter hair, and Chie opted for a tidy bob.

Once you’ve got your to-be-donated hair cut, the next thing you need to do is send the bundles off to JHD&C. The organization recommends using Japan Post’s Letter Pack, a type of registered-mail envelope, which can be purchased at post offices in Japan.

▼ The Letter Pack Light version that Chie used cost 370 yen (US$2.80).

In addition to being at least 31 centimeters in length, JHD&C asks donations be completely dry, as mold and bacteria can form on wet hair. On the other hand, the organization welcomes donations of hair or any color, as well as hair that has been permed or straightened. Except for “highly damaged hair that breaks when lightly tugged,” all types are accepted, according to the JHD&C website.

If you’d like to follow in Chie’s footsteps/haircut, full details about the donation program can be found on the JHD&C website in English here.

Related: JHD&C, Luft
Photos ©SoraNews24
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