It was the last act for a West Nottinghamshire College performing arts teacher’s long hair last week as he faced the chop for charity.
Simon Watt, programme area leader and tutor in performing arts, has been growing his hair for the last four years, after a former colleague motivated him to grow it and have it cut for charity.
He was due to have his long hair cut earlier this year, but when the country went into lockdown, a trip to the hairdressers was cancelled, so he’s had an extra six months of growing time!
Last week, Simon’s visit to his hairdressers – Jacks and Buckley in Nottingham – saw him lose his top ponytail which had grown to an impressive 16 inches.
It took his hairdresser Fallon around an hour to wash, cut, blow-dry and straighten his hair ready for it to be sent to his chosen charity, The Little Princess Trust, the charity that provides real hair wigs to children and young people with hair loss.
Simon admits that people at college have struggled to recognise him now with his short cut, especially when he has his face mask on.
Simon said: “When I first started growing my hair for the challenge, we’d just had a baby daughter who was born with such a great head of hair. It got me thinking about what if one day she lost her hair through illness, a charity such as this could help her.
“I feel that if a child has to cope with the trauma of cancer, losing their hair and the embarrassment that goes with it is just more stress. If I can help just one young person be able to have a wig made from real hair, then that’s a great thing.”
Eighteen months into his hair-growing mission, Simon also experienced a family tragedy which further spurred him on with his fundraising. When his dad Brian Watt was diagnosed with cancer aged 70, he began chemotherapy treatment.
Simon said: “Rather than wait for chemo to have its typical effects on his hair we decided to shave his head before that happened. I gave dad his last haircut before he sadly passed away.”
As well as donating his hair to The Little Princess Trust, Simon is also busy collecting in money from family and friends and is already just over the £300 mark. For those wishing to donate to his ‘Cutting Off My Man Bun’ efforts, money can be transferred at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=SimonWatt1&pageUrl=1