Boy donates 20 inches of hair from first-ever haircut – The Spokesman-Review

(NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION. To subscribe to Kids & Teens, see purchase information below.) (PHOTO)

Chicago Tribune (TNS)

LAGRANGE PARK, Ill. – He’s nearly 10 years old, but Anthony Hernandez had not yet gone through a rite of passage for many boys – his first haircut.

That was until recently, when Anthony visited the 5 Star Hair Salon in Brookfield, Ill., where he had 20 inches of his curly locks shorn.

“I think I kind of like it,” said Anthony. “I can put gel in it. I can kind of do whatever I want with it.”

The fourth-grader from La Grange Park wanted to grow his hair long to donate it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged youth under 21 who suffer long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

The family, who have four children and one on the way, had planned to get their son’s hair cut when he was much younger, but caring for a sick relative took precedence. Then, after his grandmother died of pancreatic cancer when he was 4, Anthony decided he didn’t want to cut his hair.

“My grandmother died of cancer and I wanted to give back,” he said.

Growing his hair to the point where it reached his waist when it was wet had some advantages.

“It was really nice to have in the winter,” said Anthony. “It kept me warm. I had a lot of hair.”

His father, Gabriel Hernandez said his wife, Jamie, had also grown fond of her son’s long tresses.

“She knew once those curls were gone she’d probably never see them again,” he said.

Anthony attends Ogden Avenue School in La Grange where he said his new haircut got a lot of reaction on the first day of school.

“My teacher didn’t even recognize me. He thought I was an exchange student,” Anthony said.

Gabriel Hernandez likes his son’s new look.

“It’s such an extreme change. But I love it,” he said.

More importantly, he said he’s proud of his son’s desire to do good.

“What an honorable thing to do. He grew it all with the intention of giving it away,” he said.

—-

)2017 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

——-

TO SUBSCRIBE TO KIDS & TEENS ELEMENTS

This column/content is for subscribers only. It is sold separately and is not included in your Tribune News Service subscription. To subscribe, please contact Rick DeChantal at Tribune Content Agency, (866) 280-5210 or rdechantal@tribpub.com, or you can purchase individual columns a la carte at www.tribunenewsservice.com.

——-

PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): KIDS-20IN-HAIR-DONATE

AP-WF-08-31-17 0841GMT