What I’ve learnt from 3 years of growing my hair for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer


Have you seen the hashtag floating around on social media #shorthairdontcare ?

Well, this was always my reality, as I’ve almost always had short hair, even as a child as I made washing my hair such an ordeal as I hated getting water in my eyes (mix of eczema, sensitive eyes and being a diva) and disliked getting my hair brushed too! I think it was just easier for my mom to let me have the shorter hair I wanted.

Yet for the past 3 years, as I’ve been growing my hair an extra 12 inches in length, for a charity donation my hashtag became #longhairdontcare instead, as I grew my hair the longest it has EVER been in my whole 34 years of life at the time.

Only now, with ‘the big charity chop’ being two weeks away, my reality has now become the opposite of that hashtag. As now it’s more like #longhaircozicare

I know my Mom will have some difficulty working that out so here it is ‘un-hashtagged’ (I know that isn’t a proper word Mom, but maybe it should be a modern addition 😉) “long hair coz I care” – Let me explain…

what i've learnt from growing my hair for 3 years for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer. blog post by Helen's Journey Blog long hair coz i care

Growing your hair for charity

Well, my chosen charity is called ‘The Little Princess Trust’. They use donated hair to make natural hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair, mostly from cancer treatment but also other illnesses too. They then provide the wig made from your hair, to a child or young person in need, free of charge!

It actually costs £350 – £500 to make one wig! So I’ve set myself the mammoth task of trying to raise the minimum wig making cost – so please if you feel able to sponsor me, any amount is totally appreciated. ❤ Even £1 can help, as when lots of people donate it all adds up! Please click here to sponsor me: Helen’s Growathon BIG HAIRCUT Sponsor Page 

Some may be aware of ‘The Little Princess Trust’ as The Duchess of Cambridge (the UK’s Prince William’s wife) donated her hair to the charity earlier this year.

Years ago my older brother told us all about this charities work & his decision to grow his own hair for a few years to then donate it. To watch him do it was humbling. Yes, we no doubt teased him along the way, like our family does to each other about everything – but done in loving banter of course. However, we were all so, so proud of him for sticking with it & seeing it through to bless a child less fortunate.

He sums up his experience perfectly on his Instagram post:

A mans heartfelt story of growing his hair long for donating it to make a wig for a child with cancer and dealing with adults calling him names

Why choose to grow your hair for charity?

I suffer with chronic illness that affects my physical ability to do daily life activities – let alone extra physical exertions such as marathons etc that a lot of people do for charity.

For some growing your hair may not sound hard, but when washing and drying your hair already wipes you out so much because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia pain in your arms flares up from using a hair dryer and brush when drying your hair – having even longer hair to deal with isn’t such a simple task!

So in the second half of 2015 when my older brother announced he was once again going to grow his hair for the same cause, my older sister and myself said this time we would do it with him too.

fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can make me feel like this after washing and drying such long hair im growing for charity. my donated hair will make a wig for a child with cancer
This Snapchat filter made me laugh, as this is how I feel after washing, de-tangling and drying this long hair due to chronic illness issues – but the effort will be worth it to me, for the child it helps!

It’s a family affair!

I’ve always admired people who did big events for charity. My sister did ‘Race for Life’ to raise money for breast cancer. My younger brother ran the London Marathon when he was 18 to raise money for Christian Aid, he completed the 26.2miles in 3 hours 54 minutes & 19 seconds!

My Uncle, unfortunately, sufferers from Leukemia and so last year he and his youngest son did a 26-mile bike ride to raise money for Bloodwise (Blood Cancer Research). This year on Sunday 17th June my Uncle, older Brother (but with his freshly shaven head to keep cool after his big hair cut of 12 inches!) and my Cousin-in-law, all do the 26-mile bike ride once again! Here is the link if you wish to sponsor them or know more about it: BLOODWISE BIKE RIDE

So, to me, I saw growing my hair as something I could realistically physically do, without illness making it unbearable or doctors warnings stopping me. I could still achieve this accomplishment and help others in the process. I didn’t think twice about volunteering to join my brother and sister in growing our hair an extra 12 inches and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it right to the end! (well nearly the end, once those scissors touch my hair… eeeek)

long hair coz i care. what ive learnt from growing my hair for 3 years for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer. blog by Helen's Journey Blog

Life lessons growing my hair for charity has taught me…

Who knew how much of a different an experience you get in humidity & heat with long hair compared to short?! Being in a public space such as a bar that gets stuffy & sweaty really gave me a clammy neck! Even in cold weather long hair can feel like a scarf all around your neck and face, keeping you warm and cosy (it can tickle sometimes though lol)!

Also, trying to dry your hair with a hair dryer in a hot country even with air-con on was just like a sauna, my brow was literally dripping! My brain was confused like “hold on didn’t you just step out of the shower? Yet, now I’m sweating like I need another shower?!” 😥

I learnt things about my hair that I just didn’t know until I grew it past my jawline. Like discovering my wet hair jawline down is actually wavy until I brush the curls out. Also, who knew how frustrating and annoying it would be when you brush all your long hair into the perfect ponytail, only for the hair bobble to snap when you go to tie it up in its perfect position! DOH! 😉

I didn’t know hair could get so knotty and tangled! I’d never experienced hairballs or tangled knots in my hair before having such long hair. Finding out about a magical tool people with long hair use for this problem saved me some elbow pain – how marvellous is a ‘tangle teaser’ hairbrush! The amount of time, effort and Fibromyalgia pain flares in my arms that this brush spared me, was a long-haired person’s blessing! 🤣

For the last two years, I have also only washed my hair using all natural shampoo & conditioner – so I learnt about natural hair care during the process of growing it. I feel even better knowing I’m donating chemical free hair too 😊😁

I’ve never really fully appreciated the fact my hair grows quickly and thickly until doing this. Thinking of the child who will end up receiving the wig made from my hair and my effort, has made me appreciate the quality of my hair.

I think I will miss long-haired life and quickly putting my hair up in a messy bun, because another slogan I lived by was #MessyBunGettingStuffDone when you can just get your hair out your face as you mean business with your to-do list!

However, I’ll be very happy to have a cool neck this summer while I think of my long hair keeping a child’s neck warm. Thinking of the smile on their face as they feel hair on their head once again – this will make it all worth it!!!


So on Friday 22nd June I got the big chop done by the lovely Chris at the hairdressers I’ve been going to for 12 years, Heads Hair Co in Birmingham, UK (click on the name to go to their website).

I streamed my hair cut live on Instagram & you can see pictures on my new hair cut on my Instagram feed. Photos of my charity cut were also featured on a Instagram page dedicated to raising awareness of donating hair to charity, click HERE to view the step by step photos.

After the haircut, I needed a way to express the rollercoaster of emotions it sent me on – I did this the way I know how = creatively! I rewrote the lyrics to the famous ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ theme tune to re-tell the story of my charity hair cut. It was so much fun writing it & I’ve had so much great feedback from readers enjoying it just as much. Click HERE to read my post hair cut blog:  MY CREATIVE TWIST ON ‘THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR’ THEME TUNE, TO SHARE THIS REWARDING LIFE EXPERIENCE OF DONATING MY HAIR WITH YOU!

I officially raised £670.04 that was sent directly to the charity – so not only did I cover the entire cost of making my own hair into a wig, but I also contributed to covering the costs of another child’s wig being made! THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored me and supported me, it really is appreciated.

My sponsor page is STAYING OPEN meaning people can still sponsor me at any time & the money goes straight to the charity via my just giving page: Helen’s Growathon BIG HAIRCUT Sponsor Page

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34 thoughts on “What I’ve learnt from 3 years of growing my hair for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer

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