Last year (March 2020), Carly Gorton from Norfolk wanted to donate her Afro hair to Little Princess Trust – a charity that provides wigs for children who have had hair loss due to cancer treatment or other conditions. However, she was told that her hair would be too delicate for the traditional wig-making methods. Despite the charity creating 10,000 wigs from different textures, none were created from real Afro hair. Their Afro-style wigs were made from straight hair that would then be curled.
Determined to succeed in her mission, the 11-year-old urged the charity to find a way and after some research, a way was found!
Little Princess Trust conducted research and trials, enabling prototypes to be developed and approved for use. Carly was then able to donate her hair!
Anna Mudeka, who is Carly’s mother, cut her daughter’s hair at a school assembly. The hair was then donated to the charity helping them make the UK’s first real afro wig that would be used for a child.
In a statement, Carly said: “I’m really happy the Little Princess Trust have finally finished it. It’s really good that we can now see they can take all kinds of hair and have made the first Afro wig in this country. I’m really happy and proud that I get to help someone in this way.”
Ian Morris, from Little Princess Trust, stated, “What’s good now is we’ve gone past ‘no’, and we’re on to ‘let’s do this, let’s try and make this work’. Those challenges will still be there but the people we are working with are very experienced within the Black hair industry. Carly’s hair was a brilliant donation.”
Phil Brace from the charity added: “The commitment and work that has gone on has shown just what is possible when groups of people get together and bring different skills to find a solution. We are so grateful to all those who have worked on the project and have created a fundamental change in wig manufacturing that allows us now to be truly inclusive.”
Carly’s mother said, “History has been made and we are so proud of Carly. Through her sheer determination and everyone pulling together to hear her voice, children of black and mixed heritage can now donate their hair to the Little Princess Trust.”