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How Abbey’s first haircut will make such a difference


When you’re 10-years-old and having your first hair salon haircut, chances are you’re not concerned with where the hair ends up.

However, for Garden Suburb youngster Abbey Relf, that was the motivating drive behind a decision to chop her locks last week.

Abbey wanted to donate her hair to Sustainable Salons to become a wig for children with alopecia.

Having avoided anything but trims to the golden trusses for over a decade, the Year 4 student had what her mum, Belinda, described as “a lot of hair”.

“She’d never wanted it cut,” Belinda said.

“It was hard enough just getting her to agree to a trim every now and then.

“So, when she said she wanted to cut it all off, I just thought she’d change her mind.”

A head-strong Abbey, however, was determined to play her part.

Abbey had watched a children’s news program at school a fortnight earlier and her mind was made up.

“It was the day we were meant to have ‘tabloids’ [alternative sports day] but they were cancelled because of the rain, so instead we watched a BTN show,” she said.

“It was about a girl who donated her hair for another girl who had alopecia and I thought: ‘I can do that’.”

Belinda went ahead and made an appointment at Koko Hairdressing.

“We took a book along because we were worried Abbey might get upset if she watched it being cut,” she said.

“She just looked down at her book and then, when it was finished, she looked in the mirror and stared at herself.

“I didn’t know if she was happy.”

In fact, the cheeky youngster was quietly pleased with her new look.

“I was shocked and surprised,” she said.

“But I like it – I was happy.”

Abbey’s hair will now be donated to Sustainable Salons, which collects ponytails at least 30cm in length and distributes them to charitable organisations and local wig-makers to become wigs for those suffering from medically-induced hair-loss conditions such as alopecia and cancer.

At least 4,000 ponytails are needed each year to make enough wigs for those living without hair as a result of medically-induced hair loss-conditions.

Sustainable Salons has collected more than 43,700 ponytails since the program launched in 2015.

Behind the News (BTN) ABC Brittany Evins Tuesday 4 August 2020. Video: ABC

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