By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Six-year-old William Tyler, a student at Hamilton Elementary in Port Angeles, never in his young life had a pair of scissors or clippers touch his hair, and the thick dark blond locks fell well below his waist.
William was proud of his long mane, said his mother, Elizabeth Tyler.
Despite the daily struggle to keep the boy's hair clean and tangle-free, William loved having long hair and was reluctant to part with it, Elizabeth said.
To give the haircut a reason beyond maintenance, she told him about Locks of Love, a nonprofit company that transforms long, cut hair into wigs for children who have hair loss as a result of cancer, alopecia, lupus or other maladies.
“He was debating whether to cut it, but knowing about Locks of Love encouraged him to go ahead and do it,” she said.
On Saturday, the whole Tyler clan, including grandmother Mary Lynn Igo, made the trip to Shear Elegance, where stylist Janine Ordoņa carefully cut off a thick, 24-inch braid and clipped William's remaining hair into a neatly scissored cut.
The braid will be mailed to Locks of Love, and the family has a treasury of pictures documenting his long hair and the haircut.
However, William said he isn't done with having long hair.
“I'll let it grow out again. I really want to donate again,” he said Sunday.
William said he figured it will take another six years to grow another 2-foot long braid, and he will make another donation when he's 12.
“He's already done the math,” his mother said.
Locks of Love accepts donations of hair 10-inches long or longer.
Hair may be dyed or layered and does not have to be a recent cut as long as it is in a ponytail or braided.
Grey hair or hair otherwise unsuited for children is sold to wig manufacturers to fund the manufacturing process of the children's wigs, which are given to children free of charge.
For more information on hair or cash donations or how to nominate a child to receive a wig, visit at www.locksoflove.org.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.