A few years ago, I decided I should do some good with my hair since it's hidden every day, so I started growing it out all year so I could cut it off and donate it! March 2012 was my first time donating my hair - I had 12 inches to donate! I was planning on donating to Locks of Love, because it was the only hair donation company I knew of, until a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook letting me know about Pantene Great Lengths. His sister had lost all of her hair when she was young and had cancer, so his family did a lot of research about hair donation companies. They found out Locks of Love sells a good bit of their "unusable hair" to companies who then use it to make wigs (doesn't sound too unusable to me), and made $1.9 million from hair sales from 2001-2006 - so there's a good chance your hair may not be used.
As I did research on Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, I knew it was the one I wanted to go with. Another nice thing about Beautiful Lengths is that you only have to cut 8" to donate - far less than the other programs out there. Check out their requirements to see if you're eligible to donate. I can't imagine an easier thing to do that would mean SO much to someone battling cancer.
Ann and I got haircuts together and both cut a LOT of hair off. I think I freaked my stylist out when I told her the main thing (besides making sure there is enough to donate) is that I HAVE to be able to still pull it up once it's cut. Last time I donated, it took a month before I could get it all back. She was also pretty amazed at how quickly my hair grows. We figured out it grew over 12" in 16 months (apparently the average is 1/2 inch per month). Here's the before and after!