A nine year old girl has an important date with the hairdresser this week which will resonate on multiple levels. Driven by her desire to help young cancer patients whose chemotherapy has led to hair loss, London youngster Sophia Malta is having a colossal 15 inches of hair cut off to donate to the Little Princess Trust charity.
While it’s certainly a big day for Sophia, whose traditional hair cut is never more than just a few inches, it is also a big day for her family, the youngster having been inspired to donate her hair when her grandmother in Brazil lost her hair during cancer treatment.
Classmates helping hair loss fundraiser
It is also a big day for her hairdressers in Willesden, North London, who are sponsoring her, and also Sophia’s primary school, where classmates have pledged donations.
At the time of writing, Sophia had raised around half of her £2,000 goal. She decided to fundraise as well as make the kind hair donation to help cover the production costs of weaving the hair into wigs, and also because the Trust also has to buy some wigs in separately. “Because the wigs costs £350, if you give the money to the charity they may be able to buy not just one but many,” the thoughtful schoolgirl tells local newspaper The Kilburn Times.
Sophia also admitted: “I feel kind of nervous because it’s my first big hair cut. I usually cut three-fingers worth and I just start to cry. So I feel kind of happy I’m doing this.”
Her hair – which fits the criteria required for hair donations given to the charity – will be used by the Little Princess Trust to make a real-hair wig for a child who has lost their hair during cancer treatment.
Helping children with hair loss
In most cases, hair lost in this way will grow back several months after chemotherapy ends, but a wig can help make the psychological aspect of the recovery process a whole lot easier.
The Trust also provides wigs to youngsters who have lost their hair to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, a condition that affects between 1-2 per cent of the population during their lifetime and which typically begins with the loss of small patches of hair on the scalp.
While this can sometimes sort itself out in a number of months, it can also worsen, leading to significant and even all-over hair loss – adults with the condition should seek out the advice of a hair loss expert if they are concerned that they may be affected. The first signs are generally rounded bald patches – one single patch or a number which may join up to form larger patches – that can start in size from as small as a coin.
Sister conditions Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are more extreme still, both of them leading to total hair loss on the whole head (including eyebrows) and the latter extending to hair loss on the body.
Getting rid of her hair to help others is a tremendously brave and big movie for Sophia, who writes on her fundraising page at mydonate.bt.com that “I have to confess, I am very proud of my long hair.”
“I can’t change the world by myself,” she adds, “but together we can change the way some princesses see the world.”
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.