There have been a lot of rumors going around online lately about how much money you can earn by cutting off your hair! Can you really make money selling your hair online?
I decided to do a bit of research to see if it was true. Here's what I ended up learning!
Why Do People Buy Hair?
It’s a lesser known market, but there is a real need for real hair. The best quality wigs and extensions use real hair, and since you can’t farm hair… this market actually depends on individuals who choose to sell their own hair.
Retail consumers will buy wigs and extensions to expand on their styling options.
Cancer patients will buy wigs so they can look less like a patient and more like themselves.
Seniors will buy wigs when their own hair becomes thin, or when they lose it completely.
These buyers have the choice of synthetic or real hair, and if they can afford it… they generally prefer the real thing.
What’s The Earning Potential?
When pricing hair, there are four main characteristics that are considered: length, thickness, color, and condition.
This is like pricing a car – there are a lot of variables that can affect the price.
The approximate range goes from $100 for a short ponytail to $1,000+ for a long, thick, shiny ponytail. Hair buyers will look at hair ads to find the right fit for their needs, and evaluate the hair using the four qualities listed above.
Let's look into them a bit more.
As we’re selling a product, the more product we have, the more we can earn. For most of us, we can grow about 6” of hair per year. And most buyers want to buy at least 10” in order to have enough product to make a wig or extension.
We’ll need to use the term “earning potential” quite liberally here. We’re looking at a side hustle that will only yield one sale per year – maximum. More likely, you’ll be able to sell your hair every other year.
Hair just doesn't grow fast enough to make this a super high-paying side-hustle. But… that doesn't mean that it isn't viable to a point, either.
If you're going to grow your hair out just to cut it anyway… you might as well get paid for it, right?
For those of us who are hair-insecure, this one may smart a bit. Hair buyers are looking at hair as a raw material to be used in making wigs and extensions. If the hair is thin, they need to buy more of it.
So thicker hair sells for more.
Hair thickness is measured at the base of the ponytail. Whatever the circumference of the ponytail, that’s the thickness.
A ponytail of 12” length, and 1” thickness could sell for $200, while the same length at 6” thickness could sell for more than $625.
They say that blondes have more fun, right? Well, this may be true… but when selling hair, they definitely tend to earn more!
Less common colors, like true blonde and red, command top dollar.
Take a look at how the value of the same ponytail of 12” length and 4” thickness changes based on the color:
- Red $425
- Blonde $350
- Auburn/white/gray $300
- Chestnut $275
- Black $250
- Brown $225
Don’t take it personally if a hair buyer asks if your hair is virgin. When they ask this, they’re actually asking whether you’ve color treated your hair, used chemical relaxers or perms, or flat/curl-iron your hair regularly.
Virgin, or ‘natural' hair, is at its strongest and provides the best possible product for wigs and extensions.
Hair buyers have learned that there is a big difference in quality. Non-virgin hair loses some of its strength and will break more easily, resulting in more ‘dissatisfied' wig owners.
Insider Tip: Keep An Eye On The Calendar
A 5th and final consideration for valuing the price of hair is based on the date you sell. It may be a surprise to some, but selling hair online does have a degree of seasonality to it. Around the holidays, more people sell their hair to cover the additional expenses of shopping for gifts. Sell your hair in the Summer or Fall to avoid the holiday increase in supply, thereby getting a better payout.
The best place to check on a price is hairsellon.com, where you can select the qualities that apply to your hair and check prices based on those. This valuation will be your target sales price as you decide where to sell your hair online.
Where To Sell
Hair can be sold online or through an app. Most platforms will charge a listing fee, which may range from $15-30. This would roughly translate to 10% of your sales price. The longer you run your ad, the higher the listing fee usually is.
Some hair selling sites attract buyers who look for particular types of hair. Pay attention to what type of hair is offered on each site. If your hair looks like the same type of hair that others are selling, then that platform is a good match.
Popular sites that specialize in selling hair:
- BuyandSellHair.com – only paying members can buy hair here.
- OnlineHairAffair.com – you can sell as little as 1” hair (not that it’ll earn much).
- HairSellOn.com – minimum of 6” hair length.
- Hairwork.com – sells human and horse hair, and products made from hair.
- WorldOfWigs.com – rather than sell direct to a buyer, sell to this site and they’ll worry about finding a buyer. Minimum of 12” hair length.
Other sites to try selling on:
- Craigslist – the benefit of Craigslist is that there aren’t listing fees, and the buyers may be open to more hair types than the professional hair buyers. Non-virgin hair might be easier to sell here than on the specialized hair selling sites. You might save on the shipping costs by meeting a local buyer who will agree to pick up.
- Ebay – if you already have an ebay account with a good seller rating, this could be an easy platform to try. There will be some seller fees, but they shouldn't be too bad.
- Facebook Marketplace – a relatively new option that’s integrated with a highly used platform. Many of the items listed here are lower priced… so if you have non-virgin hair, this might be another good choice. Free to list. It may feel a little ‘weird,' but you can share your listing to your Facebook feed and see if anyone you know wants your hair.
Two mobile apps to try when selling hair:
- LetGo – list under the Other category; no fees to sell; upload up to 10 photos.
- OfferUp – list under the Beauty & Health category; no fees to sell.
How To Write A Listing
The best way to attract attention in the hair market is great photography. Think of those shampoo commercials where the hair flows like a shimmering waterfall across the screen. Capture a few shots showing your hair in all of its glory, and you’ll be most of the way done with your ad.
Be sure to check that the photos reflect the color of your hair accurately. One way to make sure that you’re showing the real color of your hair is to photograph it both in natural light and in shade.
A full-length shot and a close-up shot will also help show the buyer what your hair is like.
Hair buyers touch a lot of hair. Take a moment to feel yours and write up a description of the texture, how straight or curly it is, how the color changes in the light, how it behaves in moisture, etc.
Describe your hair routine. How often do you wash it, and what products do you put on it? How do you dry the hair? If you blow dry it, do you use the hot or cold setting?
Another random thing that a hair buyer might care about is your diet. Healthy diets yield healthier hair. Eggs, salmon, avocado, oysters, sweet potatoes, nuts, spinach, and almonds, among others, are foods that help hair growth.
Some buyers will even want to know whether you smoke or drink!
Insider Tip – wait to cut your hair until you have a buyer. Some buyers have specific requests for treating the hair before cutting it. And don’t ship anything until you’ve received payment!
Shipping Your Hair
When you have a buyer and have received payment, there is a proper way to prepare your hair for shipment.
- Cut and braid the hair.
- Secure both ends with hair bands.
- Place in a plastic bag.
Is Selling Hair Online A Good Fit For Me?
As a product that you can only sell every other year or so, selling hair is by no means a regular, viable side hustle. You may be able to make a decent little bit when you do sell the hair… but due to the fact that hair does not grow very fast, you really can't make much meaningful headway on this hustle.
Our Final Opinion On Selling Your Hair Online
Can you really make money selling your hair online?
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