Calhoun Primary, kindergartener Naomi Dixon came to the end of a long journey spanning more than three years in hair salon, Anthony and Co.’s, chair Monday.
The six-year-old girl had 10 inches of hair cut off, to be donated to locks of love. Naomi has been growing her hair out for the past three years, half of her life. Naomi’s mother Rita Dixon, explained that Naomi’s inquisitive nature led her to learn about the locks of love program, and later insist on growing her hair for the good cause.
It all started three years ago when Rita and Naomi attended their first Relay for Life event in support of Rita’s friend who was the support leader at CPS for the event.
“There was a little girl who leads the parade for the survivors and she didn’t have any hair,” said Rita. “(Naomi) kept asking me what that was and I tried to explain to her what cancer was in a kid friendly way.”
Through her explanation of cancer and the treatments that cause some patient’s hair to fall out, Rita came to describe the Locks of Love program. She explained to little Naomi the program takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for cancer patients. Naomi decided that was something she wanted to do.
“Every time I came to get my haircut, I begged her to get her hair cut because it’s a nightmare to wash and dry and detangle it. She has refused ever since we went there,” said Rita. “This is her deal. This is what she wanted to do. We would come by periodically and say ‘Anthony, how long is it, can we do it yet?’”
The time did come, three years and an ice storm later, and Naomi woke up Monday morning after a 10-day countdown Rita created in anticipation for the donation.
After her hair was washed and dried, the small ponytail was snipped off by Anthony, who styled Naomi’s now shoulder length hair, and Rita stowed the donation in a Ziploc bag that was later mailed off to Locks of Love.
Naomi hopes that her hair donation will be made into a wig for a little girl, like the one who lead the survivors lap at Relay for Life three years ago. In addition, a friend of Naomi’s has a grandmother who has cancer, explained Rita. Because of this acquaintance, Naomi also said she hopes if not a young girl, then a grandmother would get a new wig from her donation.
“I’m happy and proud as a mom that she thinks, at the age of six, about someone other than herself,” said Rita. “She sees that there are other people besides her.”
With a new do that she loves, Naomi says she plans to continue to grow her hair out and donate it to Locks of Love as long as she can.