A BRAVE ‘Rapunzel’ sacrificed her locks with her first ever haircut, which is destined to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Barnard Castle Preparatory School pupil Mila Johnson stood before more than 200 classmates and staff while she had almost 2ft of ponytail cut off to help children who have lost their hair.
The six-year-old schoolgirl hopes to raise £10,500 with the sponsored haircut, performed for free by Shine Northallerton salon owner Wilson Derbyshire.
Mila, who is half Russian and known as Rapunzel to her many friends, smiled bravely as 56cm of her 84cm long hair was cut off and re-styled.
“It feels really light without it,” said Mila, who decided to stage the charity event after reading about the plight of children who lose their hair through illness.
“It will be much better to brush and wash and play ball games.”
Her mother Oxana was on hand to support her and finally get the lock of hair needed for her box of keepsakes.
She said: “My heart was racing and I was ready to jump in and hug her if she needed me. But in the end she was absolutely fine. She has been so mature helping to organise the event and, I think, so brave having it done.”
Barnard Castle Preparatory School headmistress Laura Turner told the special assembly that £10,500 would help 30 children obtain real hair wigs, which were very important in restoring young people’s dignity and self-confidence when they had lost their hair through illness.
“We all think Mila has done an incredible job, sacrificing her beautifully long hair for such a worthwhile cause,” she said.
“It is an amazing example of the emphasis we place on helping the wider community and I think Mila is a brilliant role model for us all.”
Mr Derbyshire said he was delighted to cut Mila’s hair, which he said would make an excellent wig.
“I’m so impressed with Mila,” he said. “She was so cool and calm and her hair is lovely, really thick and in great condition.”
He said he also planned to invite Mila to his Northallerton salon for a free shampoo and blowdry as a reward for her efforts.
Watching in the audience was 11-year-old Abi Jones who donated 25cm of her hair to the same cause in the summer.
“I was going to get a haircut and it was my hairdresser who told me about the Little Princess Trust,” she said.
Mila’s ponytail and sponsorship money will be donated to the Little Princess Trust, which pays for real hair wigs for young people who suffer hair loss as a result of conditions such as cancer and alopecia.
Since 2006 the charity has helped more than 2,000 girls and boys across the country by providing the very best hairpieces, which on average cost about £350.
Anyone still wanting to sponsor Mila can do so through her page – https://www.justgiving.com/Milascharityhaircut/ – or drop into the school office to complete a sponsor form.