Education Features

Andrew Barton speaks on his role as ambassador for the Little Princess Trust

April 24, 2023

In this month’s instalment of his thought-provoking series, Andrew Barton looks at the charitable obligations of being a hairdresser and his role as an ambassador for the Little Princess Trust

As hairdressers, we are often approached by clients to support various fundraising campaigns. Although we may wish to support all of our clients –and it can be difficult to say no –these donations can add up considerably and may even put you in a difficult position. Some years ago, I realised it was best if I focused on raising awareness and directly fundraising for the charities that were important to me. This meant I could politely –and without embarrassment –turn down other requests.

One of my chosen charities is The Little Princess Trust. I was drawn to them not only because of the great work they do, but because of their specific relationship with hair. The charity was set up in 2016 in memory of Hannah Tarplee, who two years earlier had been diagnosed with cancer and struggled with traumatic hair loss. Hannah sadly passed, and her grieving parents felt the most fitting tribute was to create a charity dedicated to providing wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment and other hair loss conditions.

The Little Princess Trust was born, and the charity has now donated wigs to more than 14,000 young people. The creation of a wig starts with a generous donation of hair by volunteers (our clients) who decide to cut their long locks.

I’ve cut the hair of hundreds of these selfless supporters; it’s an anxious and exciting moment as they have often built up to it for months, desperately growing extra inches to maximise their fundraising.

Much of the hair needed by the charity is for longer wigs, so hair of 12 inches or more is cherished. As the hair is so precious, we have created a step by step tutorial on how best to cut hair specifically for a donation.

Due to the client’s generous donation, you may wish to consider the following to ensure they feel extra special and enjoy a great experience at the salon.

  • Take before and after pictures and post them on your social media, tagging your client and the charity into your posts.
  • Book a slightly longer appointment time to allow fora thorough consultation. This is usually a very big chop, so empathy is key to ensuring the client is happy with the end result, not just the donation of hair.
  • Get other people in the salon involved with the hair cutting. It’s kind to make them feel celebrated for doing such a good thing, a huge round of applause from the team and clients will add to the excitement.
  • With such a transformation, the client will need advice on how to style their new look. Maybe offer an added colour or styling service to put them at ease.

Beyond creating and donating wigs, the LPT is now one of the most significant charity financers of childhood cancer research in the UK, committing more than £20 million to projects focused on finding kinder and more effective treatments. Like me, you will have experienced clients cutting their hair for this incredible charity; we know that great hair completely transforms how people look and feel, and the donations of these wigs makes such a huge difference both to the young patients and their families.

On behalf of LPT, thank you for reading this feature and for anything you have done to support the charity’s work. If you want to get involved please click here

Andrew Barton speaks on his role as ambassador for the Little Princess Trust 1