Cassville girl donates long locks to Wigs for Kids
By Lisa Schlichtman
With just a few cautious snips of the scissors, Sharayah Seymour traded her waist-length shiny brown tresses for a stylish short summer hair style that now falls just below her ears.
The Cassville 9-year-old was not making a fashion statement, but instead, chose short hair over long to provide wigs for children who have no hair.
For as long as Sharayah can remember, she's had long hair, and after frequent requests, Sharayah's parents, Chris and Angela Seymour, finally gave into their daughter's pleas and let her cut her hair and send it to Wigs for Kids.
"Mom and dad really like my long hair, and I've been begging them to let me cut it," said Sharayah. "I got really excited when I found out my hair could go to a girl who doesn't have any hair so she could have long hair."
Wigs for Kids is a not-for-profit organization providing hair replacement solutions for children affected by chemotherapy, alopecia, burns and other medical conditions. The group provides custom-made hair replacements, which are hand-tied and made completely from human hair. Wigs for Kids is one of two programs recommended by the American Cancer Society.
This past Saturday, Sharayah and Angela scheduled a haircut appointment with Ozzy Crespo at Smart Styles inside the Walmart Supercenter in Cassville. Ozzy is an Exeter High School graduate who has been cutting Sharayah's hair for the past year.
"He was so nervous he nicked his hand," said Angela.
Before cutting Sharayah's hair, Ozzie washed it, dried it completely and then divided the long locks into four ponytails, which he tied with zipties every two inches so the hair stayed together and didn't get damaged.
"It took awhile for Ozzie to decide where to cut to get the most length," said Angela. "He asked her if she was sure before he cut. I think he had more trouble with it than we did."
When the cuts were made, Sharayah was holding two ponytails that were 12 inches in length and two that were 14 and a half inches long.
"It was so short, and I was so excited," said Sharayah. "I could not stop shaking my head because it felt so good."
"She went from pretty to stunning," said Angela, who said she was nauseated at first by the thought of chopping off her daughter's hair.
But with the shorter hair comes plenty of unexpected perks. No longer does Sharayah have to worry about getting her hair caught under her hands when she does a cartwheel or flips on the trampoline.
"And the other night, when she and her dad were wrestling, I didn't hear her holler, 'Stop, you're on my hair,'" Angela jokes.
Sharayah said she'll keep her hair short throughout the summer but plans to grow it longer once school starts. Eventually, she would like to grow it long enough to make another Wigs for Kids donation.
When Angela mails her daughter's hair to Ohio where Wigs for Kids is based, Sharayah said she'll accompany her mom to the post office.
"I want to say 'bye' to it one more time," said Sharayah.
It's still hard for Sharayah to realize her hair is so short.
"On Sunday before church, Sharayah went to move her hair to the side, so I could zip up her dress and then she realized she didn't have any hair to swing," said Angela.
Sharayah will be a fourth-grader at Cassville Primary School in the fall. She is a member of the Kid Kat Choir, earned the distinction of being the Fastest Wildcat in her class and also enjoys softball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading and competing in pageants. She is currently the reigning Miss Missouri Petite Princess.
For more information on the Wigs for Kids program, www.wigsforkids.org.