04 Oct 2022

Caring Derry girl Olivia says 'so long' to her locks 

Parents 'enormously proud' of 'caring and thoughtful' Olivia

AFTER: A delighted Olivia shows off her new look.

AFTER: A delighted Olivia shows off her new look.

A young Derry girl has had her extra-long locks chopped off so she can donate her hair to a charity that provides wigs for sick children – and it was her hairdresser mammy who did the honours.

Kind-hearted Olivia Horton made the bold move in aid of the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs from real hair for youngsters who have lost theirs as a result of cancer treatment or other conditions.

It's the second time the 12-year-old, who is starting her second year at Thornhill College, has had her striking auburn hair cut off for the charity, having first done it four years ago when she was aged just eight.

BEFORE: LONG: Olivia's hair was below the waist.

Her mum Roslyn, a qualified hairdresser, said: “It was Olivia herself who suggested we do something for charity when she first did this in 2018. We sort of stumbled across the Little Princess Trust online, and she loved the idea of her hair being used to help other little girls who were unfortunate enough to have lost theirs.

“She is such a caring and thoughtful person, and both myself and her daddy (William) are enormously proud of her.”

But Roslyn admitted that, from a mother's point of view, it wasn't easy coming to terms with her daughter's decision.

“I wasn't keen back then,” she said, “and I wasn't too fussed on her doing it this time, either. I think her long hair is beautiful, so I tried to talk her out of it for a few weeks.

“However, Olivia takes after me in that she is very headstrong when she makes her mind up. It's her choice when all is said and done, and she's doing it for a really good cause.

“I can't deny I had mixed feelings when I finally took the scissors to her hair, but it was a nice thing at the same time that I was the one to do it.”

Said Olivia: “It had gotten so long that it was getting caught in things all the time. I would be sitting on it, and so my neck was getting yanked really hard when I threw my head back.

“And there's a certain door handle upstairs that has ripped out a chunk of my hair quite a few times.”

The momentous cut took place on Sunday in the living room of the family home in Dunmore Gardens, Creggan.

Roslyn cut four plaits, each measuring 22 inches in length, from Olivia's hair, with the whole lot weighing in at an impressive eight ounces (half a pound) on the scales.

In addition to the hair donation, the family has set up a GoFundMe page that has already surpassed the 2018 amount raised of £495. The total currently sits at £560, with that figure expected to rise as the page stays open until next Friday (September 9).

And Olivia added that she is delighted to have her new-look hairstyle in time for her first day back at Thornhill tomorrow (Thursday).

Mum Roslyn gets to work.

She said: “One of our teachers is always stopping pupils who have long hair hanging loose and telling them to tie it back; I think she must have about 200 bobbles. So she will be pleased!

“I actually feel lighter now that it has been cut – and it will be great to run about and not have to worry about being attacked by door handles!”

Anyone wishing to donate to Olivia's fundraiser can visit: 5afa9411.

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