Curl power! Schoolgirls cut off their hair for charity that makes wigs for cancer sufferers

Curl power! Schoolgirls cut off their hair for charity that makes wigs for young cancer sufferers

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UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 4 April 2012

Two school girls aged just eight and nine have both sacrificed their flowing long hair to a charity which uses it to make wigs for child cancer sufferers whose treatment has left them bald.

Olivia Pickup, 8, from Shepperton in Surrey, decided to give up her long blonde ponytail for a very personal reason – her father Mark has been battling bowel cancer for nearly four years.

Olivia said: 'Every little girl loves to
have pretty hair and I think it must be awful if, as well as being
unwell, you also lose all your hair.'

Olivia before having her hair cut off.

Olivia

Olivia Pickup, 8, grew her hair long for a children's cancer charity after her father was diagnosed with bowel cancer

Meanwhile Lucy Smith, 9, from Oxted in Surrey, decided to lose her curly brown locks as she wanted to show how serious she was about raising money for charity.

Lucy first had to get permission from her school because normally such short hair is not allowed in class.

She asked her friends to film her mother give her a crew cut and post it on YouTube in a bid to raise further awareness.

In
the video her friends and sister can be heard giggling and stifling
gasps as her mother Sue Bradshaw-Smithis cuts off the ponytail with
scissors. She then uses barber clippers to crop her hair further.

Lucy Smith before her hair was shaved off

Lucy Smith after her hair was shaved off

Before and after: Lucy Smith gave up her hair to a children's charity

At one stage mum Sue says: 'Is that too short It’s really short, Lucy. What do you think' But Lucy encourages her to keep going as her friends take pictures and stroke her head.

At the end of the 5 mins 33 secs film,
called ‘Lucy Looses Lots o Locks’ Sue says: 'You actually don’t look that different which is scary.'

Lucy has donated her hair to the
Little Princess Trust which provides real hair wigs to children
suffering hair loss due to cancer treatment. Its patron is TV star Gail Porter who lost her hair to alopecia.

The charity use 120g of donated
hair to make a wig for a child which usually equates to around seven
separate hair donations. It costs 350 to make a wig or 150 for a hair piece.

Lucy also raised money for Cancer
Research.

Thumbs up: Lucy half-way through her hair removal

Thumbs up: Lucy half-way through her hair removal

All gone: Sue makes the finishing styles to her daughter's radical new look

All gone: Sue makes the finishing styles to her daughter's radical new look

She said: 'Lots of people do stuff like bake a cake or do a sponsored
silence. I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided to shave
my head – it makes a bigger statement and people will see how serious I
am about raising as much money as I possibly can.'

So far, she has raised more than 1,000. If Lucy raises 2,000 her sister Ellie has pledged to shave
her hair off as well.

Her mother said: 'Lucy is shy, she is the one who doesn’t put her hand up in class, so this is a big thing.

'Lucy made me aware of the Little Princess Trust. I was really moved by their work. It brought tears to my eyes. I am very proud of Lucy.'

Up till now Lucy has only had the occasional trim since 2006.

Meanwhile Olivia had been growing her hair since last summer in preparation for the big chop. She gave up 10 inches of her waist-length hair.

Her mother Maxine has been helping her raise money and they have so far raised 1,550.

Maxine said: 'Even at the school gates children have been offering their pocket money to help. It’s incredible.'

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Olivia has posted pictures of her hair – before and after – on her fundraising website which is www.justgiving.com/oliviapickup

Lucy's fundraising page can be seen at www.justgiving.com/lucy-smith11