Published Friday, 10 August 2012
When Jenny Lynn, a civil servant from Carrickfergus, was ready for a new look, she found out how her unwanted ponytail could help children dealing with cancer across the UK.
"After growing my hair for two years, I was bored with the style and fed up with taking care of it. I wore it up so much that I began to wonder what the point of me having long hair was," the mum-of-one explained.
After researching charities that accept hair donations once she'd opted for the chop, Jenny was directed to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for kids who have lost their hair through chemotherapy.
"A woman's hair is one of the few things she can control in her life. It is part of her style, her identity, and losing it would be devastating. Now, imagine if you are faced with the same loss but you are a child.
"On top of the illness and the hospitals and all that, it must just be terrifying. Wearing a wig is probably not ideal for anyone, but it would be amazing if it could provide one minute of happiness or give a sense of control back to a kid with cancer," she explained.
Jenny's hairdresser was surprised to hear of her plans, but was pleased to play a part in the donation and soon her hair, which was below shoulder-length, had been transformed into a pixie crop.
The ponytail is now on its way to The Little Princess Trust, which works with families and wig suppliers across the UK to match up children with their new hair.
The charity, which has given away 1,200 wigs so far, aims to get the hairpieces to kids before their original hair is lost. Monica Glass from the trust said their intervention can help the family dealing with a child going through chemotherapy.
"It's not a cure, but we have received lots of letters and cards telling us of the positive impact our wigs have had.
"It's amazing; we are told it aides recovery and boosts self esteem. And when children are feeling better it means they can resume daily activities like the rest of their classmates," she added.
The Little Princess Trust also provides wigs for children who have lost their hair because of other conditions, such as alopecia, and around 5% of the kids they help are boys.
To find out more about how to donate hair to the trust follow the link to their site.