Sell your hair for cash.  To me, that sounds like some archaic idea only found in the dust-covered books I read during my brief stint as an English Literature major in college. But as it turns out, selling your hair for money is not limited to the depressing plot lines of classic literary works—the current online market for human hair is booming and quite lucrative. Oh, and selling your hair is non-invasive, simple, and most importantly 100% legal.

On BuyandSellHair.com, you can sell your hair to buyers who will then use it to make wigs or hair extensions. Depending on the quality and length of hair sold, sellers can make up to $5000.00 with sales typically averaging around $500.00. Interested? Let’s cut (no pun intended!) to the chase.

Here’s what you need to know about selling your hair:

1.   Keep your Hair Healthy (Warning: May Require Marcia Brady-esque Devotion)

Healthy hair that is shiny and thick garners higher prices. To keep your hair looking healthy, don’t shampoo your hair every day, don’t heat style your hair, and get regular trims to keep split ends at bay. Healthy hair is also a reflection of overall health—so eat a balanced diet, don’t stress out, stay active, and don’t smoke. Keep in mind that even if you take obsessively good care of your hair, you still might not have “great” hair (genetics will keep most of us from booking modeling jobs for Herbal Essences). Unfortunately, dull, frizzy, or thin hair doesn’t sell for very much money—if it even sells at all.

2.  Stay a “Virgin”: Keep Your Hair Untreated

Buyers want people with virgin hair—hair that has never been dyed, bleached, permed, chemically straightened, or otherwise treated. Hair buyers will pay a premium for virgin hair because it tends to make longer-lasting hair pieces.

3.  If Necessary, Exercise Yoda-Like Patience and Wait for Your Hair to Grow Out

Buyers on BuyandSellHair.com typically want at least 10 inches of hair. If you already have really long hair, you may not have to wait for it to grow any longer. However, the hair you currently have is typically not all the same length. Since wig makers usually want hair that’s all the same length, you may have to grow your hair out some to achieve this standard. Hair typically grows at a rate of a half-inch per month. You can try taking Q-10 supplements or prenatal vitamins to increase your growth rate, but they aren’t miracle pills! Remember, patience is a virtue.

4.  The Chopping Block: List and Market Your Hair to Find Prospective Buyers

  • Click Here to go to the website.
  • Register for an account by entering your desired username, email address, and password.
  • The site charges a one-time listing fee of $14.50 for a 3 months. This listing fee transaction can only be paid through PayPal.
  • After the “big cut” make sure you store your cut hair in a tight braid secured by rubbed bands.
  • Have a friend take several clear and accurate pictures of your hair in natural light. Pictures where you are holding measuring tape across the length and around the circumference of your hair are very useful for potential buyers.
  • Click on the orange "Post an Ad" button to begin your listing. Include as much specific information as possible about your hair, and make sure you’re 100% honest.
  • Enter the price you'll accept for your hair in the optional price field on the site’s listing form (browse listings similar to your hair, to get a feel for the going rate). If you are unsure on price, don't list a minimum price and instead wait for offers from prospective buyers.
  • The site takes no commission on completed sales.
  • Once you’ve found a buyer, you and the buyer must mutually agree on how payment will be made (the site recommends PayPal). As with all online marketplaces, you must be wary of scam artists—do not conduct business with buyers who try to send you fake email payment notifications, ask you to pay via certified check or through a shipping delivery company, or expect you to mail your hair based off a pending payment status in your PayPal account.
  • Once payment has cleared to your PayPal account, send your hair to the buyer via the agreed upon delivery method. The site recommends you send the hair insured with delivery confirmation in a padded envelope (if you use PayPal, sending the hair with delivery confirmation will give you seller protection).

5. No Buyers? Consider Donating Your Hair

Feeling charitable? If you can't find a buyer for your hair or you want to cut off a large portion of your hair but have no desire to sell it, consider donating it. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hair pieces to financially disadvantaged children with long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis by using donated hair to create the highest quality wigs. Also, check out Pantene's Beautiful Lengths—a program that partners with the American Cancer Society to make wigs for cancer patients of all ages using donated hair.