Delayed haircuts over pandemic lead to uptick in hair donations

Wigs sit on display at the wig at Carolyn Anderson Premier Salon and Wig Studio.

Hair salons are seeing more people donate their hair after delaying haircuts this past year because of the pandemic.

The longer hair has become a blessing for hair donation centers in the Twin Cities metro area.

At an appointment Thursday, Taylor Malberg is teaching client Katie Pehl how to take care of her new wig at Carolyn Anderson Premier Salon and Wig Studio. It’s the first time Pehl says she’s been excited about any appointment since getting diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas.  

"There are so many appointments that aren’t exciting or fun and this has been such a good experience, it’s been a fun appointment to come to, and it’s great to have something to make me feel good about my appearance again," said Pehl. 

Pehl shaved her head a few weeks ago after starting what will be 20 rounds of chemo. Thanks to the salon’s Angel Hair Program, she says she won’t have to wait long for a new set of locks.

"Within a couple of days once I completed the paperwork," said Pehl.  

The quick turnaround is likely to stay.

"We’ve had a lot of inquiries on Facebook or on our normal clients just growing their hair out," said Taylor Malberg a stylist at the studio. "I’ve done two donation cuts this morning, which is awesome. They had 10 inches or more to give."

Malberg says more people are donating their hair after waiting for so long to get a cut because of the pandemic.  

"The more we’re given, the more we can give back," said Malberg. "It’s a super emotional process that Angel Hair goes through from the consultation to getting them their wig. There’s many happy tears."

Angel Hair staff run on the message that they’re blessed to be a blessing. For Pehl, that couldn’t be truer because her wig is free.  

"I’m glad that organizations like this exist because wigs can be really expensive and there’s already so many costs associated with cancer," said Pehl.