ELEANOR McHugh has been growing her hair most of her life.
So it was an emotional moment for the 11-year-old when she had it chopped off for charity.
Eleanor shed tears as family hairdresser Kirsty Pearson chopped off the plait which ran all the way down her back to donate it to The Little Princess Trust.
The charity provides wigs to young cancer patients who have lost their hair.
Eleanor’s godmother Trish MacDougall died from cancer last month, aged 68, so Eleanor felt it was a good time to finally chop her hair off.
She said: ‘It feels strange having short hair. I’ve had long hair most of my life.
‘It felt very weird because I could feel it when Kirsty snipped with the hair coming loose bit by bit.
‘Most of my friends were crying and I was crying and my mum cried.
‘I feel very proud of myself and I feel that it was my duty to do that. I hope it does make a good wig.’
Eleanor, from Peacock Close in Fareham, had her hair cut at her school, Wykeham House, which was raising money for Macmillan Cancer by taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event.
Her school friends all cheered her on and also shed tears as it happened.
Eleanor’s mum Annette, 58, said: ‘It’s amazing. She’s wonderful.
‘She hasn’t had her hair cut properly since she was three.
‘She was very emotional.
‘This morning she said she couldn’t wait to have it cut and then when it came to it, it showed how important it was to her as she cried and cried.
‘I’m so proud of her.
‘I can’t say how proud I am that she’s done it at such an age.
‘She felt it was the right time to have it done.’
Meanwhile, Eleanor’s brother, Corporal Patrick McHugh, a Royal Marines Commando, was also at the school to help raise awareness of forces charities.
He said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic.
‘She’s been very excited about having her hair cut. It was the emotion that got her tears of joy.’
Eleanor is also raising money for the charity and so far has raise more than £500.
To support Eleanor and to make a donation, please visit justgiving.com/Eleanor-McHugh