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Tips for selling your hair

January 12, 2013

Almost 4 years ago, while in London, I had my hair chopped off and sold:

Before:

32109_419873163922_4642273_n

After:
JDP 030 copy

Now that my hair has grown back, I have people asking me all the time if I am ready to go sell it again. The answer, for me, is no. It was a fun, one-time experience, but unless I absolutely need the money someday, I am keeping my hair.

When I first started looking into selling my hair, I found precious little information online. The information I did find wasn’t very helpful, and most sites just wanted you to donate your hair.

So I decided to share the things that I learned from my experience, in case someone out there is interested.

1. The lighter or redder your hair is, the more money you can make. Dark Asian hair has flooded the real-hair market, making it quite cheap. If you have black hair, unfortunately you won’t be able to get much for it, and you will have to sell several feet of hair to even be able to sell it at all. Light brown, or a rich chocolate brown with natural highlights will get you an average price. Natural blonde will get you much more. And red will get you the absolute most, as it is the rarest of hair colors and in very high demand.  (Especially due to the fact that it can’t be easily duplicated in dye)

2. Your hair has to be healthy. If you have spent years dyeing your hair, or even dyed it at all, you will have to admit that in your posting, and since dyeing your hair dries it out and makes it brittle, you will find it almost impossible to sell. Consider growing it out for a while without dyeing it, and then trying to sell.

3. Don’t over-blow dry or flat iron your hair! Letting it air dry is best, and buyers like to see that you have maintained good hair care.

4. Deep condition now and then, especially in winter.

5. Hair from a smoke-free home is a plus. Drug use, and smoking, is a huge negative if you are trying to sell your hair.

6. Grow it long and if possible don’t layer it. I got away with mine being layered, and I listed it as such in my posting, but I think I only got away with it because it was red. Layered hair doesn’t give the buyer as much hair and he knows it.  The longer the better, because of how the wig-making process works, and a lot of length will be lost in that process so they need a lot to start with. Thick hair is best as well. Thin hair won’t sell for much because it will have to be combined with so much more hair.

7. Look around to get an idea of how much is a realistic asking price, but be willing to negotiate when you are ready to sell. I ended up selling for 400.00 less than I had wanted, but the timing was perfect and I held out until the last minute to see if I could make more elsewhere. In the end, I was ready to sell it and didn’t want to spend any more time waiting for a buyer, so I went ahead and agreed to the price.

8. Take several different photos of your hair in good lighting, including some closeups. Your face doesn’t have to be in the picture, but you do want prospective buyers to get a good idea of what your hair really looks like.

9. Be prepared to get a lot of people who are interested, but not in buying your hair. If you start talking with someone who makes an outlandish offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and I would not waste any more time talking with them. A real buyer will be professional and not make odd-sounding requests, or make up weird stories as to why they want your hair. A real buyer is looking to sell good quality hair to a professional wig-maker and you should  be able to tell if that is who you are corresponding with.

10. If you really want to sell your hair, don’t settle for the multitude of offers to have you “model for a class” and get a free haircut out of the deal. You aren’t looking for a free haircut. It might be nice to start getting offers right away, but hold out, eventually a real buyer will come through.

11. Even if a hair dresser or photographer offers a free haircut with the intention of you keeping the hair yourself, so that you can sell it afterwards, consider that a lot of buyers like to cut the hair themselves, or watch it being cut. That way they know that the hair indeed came from your head and is what you said it is, and they know that it was cut properly in order to maximize the length. You might be surprised at how many people try to pass off horse hair as real hair, or try to sell other people’s hair and make false claims about it. A buyer will be more likely to buy your hair if he can see it on you first. Occasionally you will find someone who agrees to buy sight unseen, but I think that is fairly rare these days with all the scams that go on.

12. Decide how much you want to sell before you list it, but consider selling more if it will help you sell it. I listed (a very short) 14 inches, and ended up selling about 20 inches because that was what the buyer wanted.

13. The website I used in 2009 apparently doesn’t exist anymore, so I have no specific websites that I would recommend. There are a few out there, but I would recommend doing your homework on them before wasting your time posting on them. Some are legitimate and some are not. The one I used had been featured on tv and various other outlets and gave me reassurance that it was legitimate.

14. I asked 2000.00 USD for my hair and ended up selling for 1600.00. The listings I see online nowadays have people advertising very low prices ($500 for red hair?) I don’t know if the market has changed in the last few years, or if people are just not realizing they could be asking more. I’d say list a higher asking price and be willing to negotiate. You never know.

15. Make sure you get payment before you have someone you don’t know cut your hair. I had a unique situation in that I was traveling in another country when I sold mine, and didn’t want to carry $1600.0o cash around Europe for two weeks. The buyer graciously agreed to send me a paypal payment from his phone, and showed me his transaction online before he cut it. I had no problems whatsoever, and the whole process was great.

Hope those tips helped someone who is interested. I am more than happy to answer questions if anyone wants to know more about the process.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2013 9:30 am

    These were great tips and insights! I enjoyed reading through the process (even though I was informed along the way…) 🙂

    • January 26, 2013 10:02 pm

      haha I just realized that now that I made the blog private this won’t help anyone. Oh well…

      • January 28, 2013 9:27 am

        Well, eventually your blog will be public again. Maybe then you can just repost it. 🙂

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