Long locks are key to helping others - Limerick girl’s hair was so long she could make two donations

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan



Long locks are key to helping others - Limerick girl’s hair was so long she could make two donations

Hair today, gone tomorrow! Kind-hearted Kayleigh O’Doherty, aged 8, from Kilmallock with her two donations to the Rapunzel Foundation

KAYLEIGH O’Doherty is delighted with a lovely new bob but her hair will help change the lives of fellow children that will receive it.

The eight-year-old’s locks were so long that she was able to make two donations instead of one to the Rapunzel Foundation. 

The charity works to improve the lives of those living with hair loss (alopecia) through fundraising as well as through hair-raising. Wigs are then made for all ages. It takes 20 to 25 ponytails to make one wig so every ponytail is very precious. 

Proud mum, Jennifer said it was all Kayleigh’s own idea.

“Her sister was playing with Knockainey. There's twins there who were playing under 14s. They went to the Feile two years in-a-row with her sister, and they donated some of their hair. She got the idea from that. 

“She said, 'Oh my hair is down to my butt, I'll do the same’. She's mad about her hair and trims up the end of it,” said Jennifer.

Kayleigh, who is from Kilmallock and attends the local national school, got her ‘trim’ in Nicola's Hair Salon in Bruff. Despite the dramatic loss of length Jennifer said there were no tears.

“She can't wait to do it again. Her hair was so long she got to give two donations instead of one. It was down to the small of her back.

“She gave about 16 to 18 inches of hair. She was delighted with herself afterwards,” said Jennifer, who is married to Thomas. They have four other daughters – Jasmine, 20; Nicole, 16; Chantelle, 15 and Lekiesha, 13. They are all very proud of Kayleigh.

Kayleigh may be the baby of the family but she is wise beyond her years. Not only did she want to help the Rapunzel Foundation by donating her hair she also did a fundraiser on Facebook.

“Money was donated and she raised €450. Everybody was very generous,” said Jennifer, who thanked everyone who contributed.

Hair is raised through the Rapunzel Foundation’s Ponytail campaign, where people commit to growing their hair 14 inches or longer with the view to their hair being sent to help make much needed wigs to improve the lives of those living with the hair loss.

“​We who have hair take it so much for granted, think of the feel good factor you’d get knowing you could help someone have hair!” said a charity spokesperson.

And Kayleigh epitomises that.