How to Sell Your Hair
Turn a Quick Trim into Big Bucks
If the thought of selling your hair for cold, hard coin gives you the heeby-jeebies, fear not. I'm a female college student who has sold her hair twice and enjoyed the profits. My Economics 101 professor was technically correct when he insisted that you can't get something for nothing. You can, however, make a lot of money quickly by selling your mop. What's the harm? You're probably paying a couple hundred each year to get it trimmed and shaped up, anyway.
Top Dollar for "Virgin" Strands
Of course, not just anyone can lob off their locks and expect top dollar. To ensure the biggest payout for your locks, hair must be untreated, undyed, well-maintained, free of heat damage, and at least 12 inches in length. Online hair vendors refer to this untreated hair as "virgin" hair. And the bigger it is, the better. If you've battled with thick, curly, or unruly hair for most of your life, you're in luck. The greater the net weight of your final cut hair, the more profit you're likely to make.
There is demand for every natural color, but if you're a natural light blonde, brunette with gold or red highlights, or redhead, you can really set your own price. The market for hair tends to be oversaturated with straight black hair or hair from Asian donors, so hair with varied natural texture is always in demand.
Your potential market for selling your hair consists of dollmakers (both professional and hobbyists, who prize the realistic quality of human hair over synthetic hair), makers of wigs and hair extensions (who seek a wide variety of colors and textures to use for their products), and perhaps less obviously, collectors.
I mention collectors of hair because some buyers who contact you will have no reason for purchasing your hair other than wanting to hold onto it. If that scares you off, by all means, ignore these fellows and sell exclusively to dollmakers and wigmakers. Just remember, if you're selling online, you never can truly tell where your hair will end up, so seller beware.
Cut to the Chase
Before you cut your long hair, put it in braids or secure it in several places with hair elastics to keep it neat. If it isn't bundled neatly, it will become useless to buyers. If the hair is longer than 12 inches, make a clean cut and get to selling.
You can also make contacts online who will cut your hair for you, either in addition to paying you for your hair, or as compensation for photos of the style. You can score a free cut and style by salon professionals who would like to build their portfolio with dramatic before-and after photos. You can walk in with long layers and walk out with a cute pixie and new color, for free or for profit. It's all about making the right connections online. I've included some links below on how you can find buyers for your hair.
As a personal anecdote, I met up with a head-shaving enthusiast online who paid me $1,200 cash to shave my head and keep my hair. He was an amateur with little experience, and I didn't ask too many questions, but his payment was immediate, legitimate, and too generous for me to refuse. And I didn't mind having a shaved head for the rest of the summer. At least it was cool and comfortable.
Name Your Price
On websites like thehairtrader.org or Ebay, you can set your own price and see how well people respond. For healthy hair 10-12 inches in length, the current going rate seems to be around $500 dollars. The first time I sold my 18 inch brown hair, I asked $800 and eventually settled on a $700 offer with a wigmaker. As I mentioned before, my second experience on thehairtrader.org helped me meet someone in my region who traveled to me and paid me $1200 to buzz my hair and keep the trimmings.
Some listings claim to be worth up to $3,000 at sale time, but those claims seem inflated. The most common successful sales are worth between $500 and $1,000. Check out these links below to see current prices, and good luck selling those strands!