IT was a weight off Laura Houlihan’s mind when, after three years, she got the chop and in doing so, raised over €3,760 (so far) for Marymount Hospice in Cork.
Laura (37) who is from Clonakilty and lives in Cork city, grew her hair to an incredible 15-and-a-half inches over three months, and it was even tipping the base of her back when she finally got it cut two weeks ago.
Throughout this time she didn’t dye or treat it, and her hair has now been donated to the Rapunzel Foundation in Wexford, which makes much-needed wigs to improve the lives of those living with hair loss.
‘I decided to grow my hair after meeting a friend by chance about three years ago, who had done it too, for the Rapunzel Foundation,’ Laura told The Southern Star.
‘Both my dad Justin and my aunt Mary G Deasy died of cancer, and both would have lost their hair, so it sort of struck a chord with me.’
Not cutting her hair for three years was no easy task for Laura, as she had to use a lot of shampoo to wash it and, naturally enough, it took a long time to dry. ‘About two weeks ago I decided it was long enough as the Rapunzel Foundation requires 14 inches of hair and mine was already 15-and-a-half inches by then.’
Laura went to Origin Hair Design in the city, who are affiliated with the Rapunzel Foundation, for the big cut.
‘They plaited my hair first, and then cut it off and sent it to the Rapunzel Foundation, who then sent it on to New Zealand, where it will be treated and then sent back to Ireland,’ added Laura.
As the Marymount Hospice in Curraheen is close to Laura’s heart, she decided to raise money for it through a GoFundMe page, with an original target of €1,500.
However, it surpassed that amount very quickly and she has now changed her target to €5,000 and is blown away by the generosity of those who have donated money.
‘My head feels a lot lighter now for sure, and my small son Darragh misses my long hair but my husband Cormac is delighted that it’s gone,’ joked Laura.
See www.gofundme.com/collecting-for-marymount-hospice for more information.