Once the manufacturer receives the hair or a request. Hair is sorted and unusable hair is sorted out. The donated hair will undergo a chemical bath at a lab or manufacturer which will prepare and sanitize the wigs for use. Then, the ponytails are sorted out so that it will look most natural and blend in together. A large comb with sharp steel teeth called the Hackle is used to comb through the ponytails, in order to sort out the weaker strands and blends the various ponytails. The hair is dragged through the hackle numerous times (followed with twists and twirls) this is known as hackling.
The child’s head will be measured to ensure that the wig will be natural and fit properly. Children cannot typically fit adult wigs because they have smaller heads which is why it is so difficult to obtain wigs (making these organizations important!) Once measurements are made, a cap,cast or even mold is made. Then, the hairs are hand-tied individually to ensure that it looks natural and would move exactly like real hair. Once finished, the hair is given to the child in need and styled to fit their preference.
Depending on the organization, they may tell you how many ponytails it takes to make a wig. It can vary between 6-20 ponytails just to create one wig! This can be kept in mind when looking for a organization to donate your hair. Typically you can find this information in the Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQs) or in the “Donate” section.