Aleesha Burns cut her waist-length hair off and donated it to be made into specialised wigs for children living with alopecia. She hopes her story will encourage others to get behind the initiative.
Aleesha Burns cut her waist-length hair off and donated it to be made into specialised wigs for children living with alopecia. She hopes her story will encourage others to get behind the initiative. Dave Noonan

Aleesha chops off locks for a good cause

THE decision to cut the majority of her waist-length hair was an easy one for Aleesha Burns.

The 11-year-old got the chop after learning children living with alopecia were in need of hair for wigs.

"I felt sorry for kids who didn't have hair. I wanted to donate it," she said.

Proud parents Rebecca and David Behrendt said it was true to Aleesha's caring nature.

"We're very proud of her for doing it," David said.

"It's something you wouldn't expect someone so young to do."

This week was Alopecia Awareness Week; drawing focus to the incurable condition where individuals lose hair.

Children's charity Variety runs the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Program, which uses donated hair to create specialised wigs for children living with the condition.

As they are made from real human hair, up to 19 ponytail donations are needed to make just one wig at the average cost of $3500 each.

Donations of hair are integral to Variety being able to continue to provide wigs to children, whose families are not able to meet the expense.

Given that donated hair cannot have been permanently dyed, it is often other kids who are in the best position to donate and thus help other kids.

To donate, hair must be a minimum of 30 centimetres long, dry and clean, tied in a ponytail (or multiple pony-tails for thick hair) and secured with an elastic band.

For more information on donating, visit variety.org.au.

 

What is alopecia?

  • It is a disease that that affects the hair follicles. In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. Some people may lose more hair.
  • The cause is not known.
  • It often begins in childhood and there is a slightly increased risk of having the disease if you have a close family member with the disease.
  • There is no cure.

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