We often talk about a new haircut being life changing but this time it really could be. This month and next, ghd is teaming up with The Little Princess Trust to encourage ladies to go for the chop and donate their hair to children who have lost theirs through cancer and other illnesses.
Since being founded in 2006, The Little Princess Trust has provided thousands of free real-hair wigs to young hair-loss sufferers. Anyone can get involved in ghd’s Chop To Your Chin campaign by booking a cut at a participating salon who’ll package up your hair. The minimum donation is 7 inches, but you don't have to cut that much off all over - if you already have shorter layers you can just donate the longer bit.
To prove how powerful a change can be, ghd guest ambassador Patrick Wilson gave our three long-haired volunteers a makeover, and the results are astonishing.
Jemma: 15 inches off
"I was inspired to do this by my friend’s little boy who was diagnosed with cancer and then a brain tumour. He’s been through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and proton beam therapy, and thankfully he’s back on the mend now. If there was ever a living superhero, it’s him," says Jemma McNally, 35, from Liverpool.
Patrick says: "This might look like a one-length style, but there’s an invisible internal layer cut in at the back to give more volume at the crown. To get this luxe finish, I prepped Gemma’s hair with ghd Heat Protect Spray, £12.95, then worked in sections, smoothing with the ghd platinum pink blush styler, £165, then rolling the sections up and securing with a long clip while they cooled and set."
Yasmin: 12 inches off
"Cancer affects so many people, and losing your hair is especially hard for children. You don’t feel like a little girl unless you’ve got nice hair. So I was really happy to donate my hair to such a great cause," says Yasmin Burden, 25, from Bournemouth.
Patrick says: "I used a point-cutting technique to shatter the ends of Yasmin’s new LOB – you still have weight to the hair but there’s more movement than if it’s blunt cut. Yasmine wanted a glamorous finish, so I used the ghd Classic Tong, £120, which gives a round, bouncy curl. I prepped with ghd Curl Hold Spray, £12.95, to hold and protect her hair, then finished with shine spray."
Lauren: 11 inches off
"One of my best friends lost her hair to cancer recently, and this stirred something within me to help. I’ve always said to myself the year I turn 30 or when I have a baby I’ll chop my hair off and donate it to a little girl who deserves it so much more than me. So here I am, 30 with a six month old, doing my bit," says Lauren McDonnell, 30, from West Sussex.
Patrick says: "This is a short, inverted bob, left a little longer at the front. I cut the baseline in quite boxy, then took some of the weight out of Lauren’s naturally thick hair. To create this S-shaped bend, I held the ghd platinum styler vertically as I twisted her hair around the plates. For that “cool girl hair” tousled look, leave the ends of the hair straight and finish with dry shampoo or texturising spray."
Top tips if you're having the snip
Be brave and go for it! 'Cutting your hair opens up the face, and looks fresh and modern,' says Patrick. 'It can be a total style relaunch.'
The end of summer is the perfect time to go for the chop, because you can take off all the sun-damaged ends and faded colour.
Get a good consultation before you cut. Your hairdresser needs to know how your hair behaves, and any issues such as a cowlick. It’s always best to go with how your hair likes to fall naturally.
Agree where the longest and shortest layers are going to sit. Also get your hair cut dry. When it’s cut wet, there’s a risk of having more taken off than you might expect.
Shorter hair dries more quickly but needs different styling as it’s lighter. Learn how to use irons and tongs to add movement, and try dry shampoo on first-day hair to add texture and lift.
*By Lynne Hyland, Sunday Mirror Notebook Magazine