Sheffield costume worker undergoes her own hair makeover for cancer charity

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After growing her hair for nearly 20 years it was always going to take a special reason to persuade theatre costume department worker Merle Richards to change it.

Inspiration came from the cast of ‘Playing For Time’ - the Auschwitz-based play which visited the Crucible last year and required the female cast to have their heads shaved to play the roles in the concentration camp’s orchestra - a close friend and her long-standing hairdresser.

Merle Richards said: “Both the cast and my friend donated their hair to The Little Princess Trust charity. Once I realised their donations were being used to help young cancer sufferers get over the trauma of losing their own hair I realised I wanted to do the same”

“It was then down to my hairdresser - Kelly Simmonite of Headlines Artisan on Sharrowvale Road - to help do the rest.”

The Little Princess Trust charity launched in 2006 and ever since, it has been providing real hair wigs for kids suffering with hair loss.

28-year-old Merle Richards who lives in the S7 area of Sheffield added: “After nearly 20 years of growing my hair it was a bit of a shock to see it chopped but it’s nice to be able to help someone who’s going through a painful time. Kelly has done a fantastic job on my new look and I’m so happy to be donating 13 inches of my hair to the trust!”

The charity was launched in 2006 by the parents of a young girl named Hannah, who was diagnosed with having a Wilms tumour and after a brave battle, died in 2005. Since its launch, the charity has helped thousands of kids.

Headlines Artisan owner Tony Ball said: “What Merle has done will make a child very happy and the Headlines team takes pride in playing a part in this donation.”

Headlines Artisan is situated at 283 Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield S11 8ZF. Books can be made on 0114 268 6995. More information: www.headlinesartisan.co.uk