First off, let me start by saying that going from hair almost reaching your waist to hair brushing your shoulders is the weirdest and best feeling in the world! I absolutely love my short hair and can’t believe I was so nervous for it. It takes two seconds to brush, it feels healthy, it is light as a feather in comparison and I can actually curl or crimp it without it falling out in 5 minutes.
I have now had two experiences of growing my hair out super long, almost down to my waist (which is about how long I can stand it) and then chopping it off. Each experience had its own completely different outcome. In this post I want to explain my first experience, in which I Sold my hair for– you guessed it– $650. I’ll also give you advice from my own experience on how to sell your hair in a safe and effective manner, if you are determined to try. However, I will say it’s not for the faint of heart. Next time, I’ll tell you about my more recent experience of how I ended up donating my hair instead of selling it, and why.
Two and a half years ago, I had the crazy idea to try to sell my hair. My husband Chris and I were pretty desperate for money and trying to crawl our way out of debt (doesn’t sound too different to now, but at least we are a bit older and wiser, right?)so I figured, why not? I had never dyed my hair before, (the term for this is virgin, meaning it has never been treated with chemicals and it is completely natural) it was long, shiny and soft, and from what I had seen I could list it for over $900! What did I have to lose?
**Disclaimer: if you want to try to sell your hair, this post will give you advice on the most effective and safest ways to do so. It is still very difficult to pull it off and if you do try, you will likely encounter some creeps. If you are sensitive to such a thing or under 18, I would recommend going the donation route or having someone else be your “seller” and do all of the communications with buyers. There are sadly plenty of weirdos that do not have good intentions when they contact, so you must be extremely careful. I want to write this post so that you can see what is possible but also so that you only walk into this with your eyes fully open.**
To begin, I did some research on Google. I chose one of the many hair marketplaces sites, called hairsellon.com, and planned the ad I would put up. The ads are usually about $25, and then you can pay a little bit extra (usually $6 – $10) to make it a “featured ad,” which will place it into its own category all together and then also put it at the top of applicable search results. So of course I paid this extra cost, and I would recommend doing so to anyone trying to place their own ad. It is certainly a big value for the low cost.
I listed it for $850, because I had seen several ads with hair similar to mine for over $900. I figured I could always lower the price if I didn’t get the interest I wanted.
I knew the very basics of which type of ads would be the most attractive, I knew I couldn’t just slap some picture up there. It would need to be super pretty and make the hair shine. So I decided to hold a hair photoshoot, which my photographer friend knocked out of the park.
We would go to the field by the road we pass every day which has a beautiful willow tree and try to capture my hair in the light of the sunset. I planned out my outfit and we set off, and she got some really awesome pics. We got some of my face so that I could use them for other purposes, but we were careful to get some without my face for the hair ad. If you want to put one up, please be very intentional about that. There are unfortunately a lot of creeps out there that either want to buy your hair for disgusting reasons, or they don’t even want to buy it but they go to these types of websites for what they will see. Please never add fuel to the fire by including some of your face in the photo for your own safety and privacy.
I put the ad up, explained all of the ways I take extra good care of my hair, and waited for the perfect buyer. I did exactly what I said I would in my post in reality, every single week- I deep conditioned it with mayo, egg whites, avocado and honey, wrapped it in a plastic bag and sat underneath my hair dryer like you would in the salon. (The heat apparently lets the hair strands soak in all of the nutrients of the hair mask!) and it really worked. My hair was soft and silky and growing every day.
I waited patiently for weeks. I would get an email saying that someone was very interested, but that they had lots of questions I needed to answer. These were the buyers I was hoping to hear from, because they were wig makers and would be using it for good reasons. I put in the hard work of answering everything, and then never hear from them again. Their questions were something like this:
Do you have any gray hairs?
Does your hair have multiple lengths?
Do you come from a non-smoking home?
Have you ever dyed your hair?
(By the way, I definitely recommend waiting until any dyed or treated hair has grown out and been cut off, because virgin hair is much more valuable. Also, try to get it cut straight with no layers at all because it will be more trustworthy to buyers.)
So as time went on, every passing week my hair would get more unmanageable and annoying to me. I got more and more desperate to get rid of it. I lowered the price every few weeks, and I decided to put the ad onto Craigslist as well as Facebook. Immediately, the number of emails increased. But not in a good way.
People started asking me WAY too much about whether I was willing to cut my hair into a pixie cut, or shave it off completely and wear a wig– even when I had said firmly that I was only willing to sell 12-13 inches. They started getting pushy and rude when I said no or when I wouldn’t respond quickly. If anyone like that would start acting weird or aggressive, I blocked them and rightfully so. Please never allow anyone to talk rudely to you in these situations. You are the owner of your hair and it is fully your right to offer only as much hair as you want to, and you do not have to respond when they want you to. Allow yourself to have the power in this situation. I think the best way to do that is to accept the possibility that no one may buy it, and if that happens it’s okay– you will be able to donate it to someone in need instead. But more on that later. Point is, Craigslist may have brought me more exposure, but it never brought anything good and I would not recommend using it for this purpose.
One person that seemed promising at first said that they would send a check and then we had to send a portion of it to his supplier. It seemed rather fishy and silly, but we figured we would deposit it and then see if it was real. Then we would move forward with the sale. We knew we would never snip one little piece without receiving the money first. Please, only cut it when you receive the money in hand and verify it. Buyers only want freshly cut hair, because it loses quality as it dries out, so you don’t want to cut it only to realize you have a fake check, because you won’t be able to re-sell it.
Turns out, the check was completely fake. We refused to give them any of our bank info and only our name and PO box address, but I wouldn’t even go as far as giving out that information ever again. There are SO many crooks out there! I only use Paypal now, and there is no reason anyone should use anything else. All you need is someone’s email and you can send them money or an invoice, so there is no excuse no matter what the may say. Have a firm policy on this and don’t be afraid to let people know it.
6 months had gone by, and I had gotten disappointed and frustrated. No one normal had approached me about it. I had to list the ad three times, so now my expenses were almost $100 to just list it online. I thought I had just wasted my time. Then, a relatively normal buyer contacted me about videos that he does of the different ways salons cut styles of hair all over the world in their own unique ways. He said that I could get one style cut and take a video of it being done at the salon, and then get a different cut that is shorter and make the same money again. It was $650 just to take a video of a professional cutting it and then throw the hair away! I was surprised, but figured I would only move forward with it if the money was truly in my bank account and I felt good about it each step of the way.
I know this still may seem weird, and to an extent, it is. But here are the positives of the situation: the money was absolutely real, no one would be keeping my hair for odd reasons, and it would be a video of a public place. I don’t think I would ever do it again, but at the time it did earn me $650 dollars that I really needed. It went straight to my paypal and deposited cleanly into the bank. Success!
I went to the salon and though they didn’t like the idea of a video, they let us in the end because we offered a large tip. The stylist cut my hair as the pictures called for, which was a mid-length cut past the shoulders. After receiving the video, he emailed and said that he doesn’t want me to use that salon anymore. He was unhappy with the way she did it, for some reason unknown to me.
So, I was left with hair longer than I had intended, but still got the money I had hoped for in the end. I went to the salon again and had them cut it a little shorter than my shoulders so that I could experience the dramatic change I had been waiting for. Overall, I was happy with the outcome and the look. I had finally accomplished selling my hair!
So, still deciding what to do with your super long locks? After all of the drama and tough lessens I have learned attempting to sell my hair the first time, my advice would be this:
- Try to sell it for a low price (under $300) on 1-2 only reputable sites such as (I believe all of these sites are owned by the same company):
- This site did not seem to be very effective, but their ads only cost $10:
- Sell at minimum 12 inches of hair, but no more than you are comfortable with,
- Don’t bother with posting on Craigslist or Facebook, there are very few legitimate buyers on these sites,
- Refuse to use any other method of payment but PayPal no matter what,
- If your post is one month old and you cannot find a buyer, either re-list it or move on to donation. Posts are only effective in their first few weeks, no matter what the website says about your post “never expiring,”
Now, don’t think the story is over: only the first part is. Only a few days ago did I chop off my long locks, once again. This will be a tradition of mine every two years, because I like the excitement of going from super long to super short and back again. This time turned out quite differently, however, and I learned even more valuable lessons that I will be passing on to you. Don’t miss my next post: Selling Your Hair vs. Donating Your Hair.
Your turn: have you ever tried to sell your hair? What about donating it? What lessens did you learn trying this out-of-the-box way to make extra money? Let me know in the comments!
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