10-year-old girl from Norfolk unable to find UK charity to donate afro hair to

  • Watch Liz Summers' video report here

A 10-year-old girl from Norfolk who wanted to donate her afro hair to a charity that makes wigs for sick children has been unable to find anyone to take it.

Carlina Gorton, also known as Carly, from Southburgh, was going to shave off her hair and donate it to charity in the hopes it would help someone who may have lost their own hair through illness or cancer treatment.

A child with cancer who is, like me, mixed race they're not going to have any hair for probably quite a while and I think to have a wig that's not their kind of hair is just wrong so to have hair that feels natural to them, it's probably gonna be a comfort to them and make them feel better.

Carly Gorton

She was told her hair couldn't be used by The Little Princess Trust because they were 'unable to use very tightly curled hair of any origin' due to 'technical reasons with the wig-making process.'

The charity says it's trying to find a manufacturer to use afro hair in it's wigs.

Statement from Phil Brace, Chief Executive of The Little Princess Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

Carly's mum says she couldn't find anyone in the UK to accept the hair.

When she kept asking and we finally gave in,  it was - OK we need to start looking at how to cut the hair - we hadn't actually thought of starting on, do they accept the hair? And it was o' oh, no it's not actually that straight forward... yeah, we were very surprised.

Anna Mudeka, Carly's mother
Carly and her mum are now looking at charities in America who will take afro hair. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The family are now looking at charities in America who will accept Carly's hair.

In America, on Facebook, we've found five different charities already who will take Afro hair... hopefully wig makers that can make afro wigs will come forward.... if in America they can take Afro hair why can't we do it in England?

Carly Gorton

Carly's hair will be going to Wigs4Kids. This is an American charity that provides wigs and support services for free to children and young adults in Michigan experiencing hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns and other disorders.

The CEO of Wigs4Kids, Maggie Varney, says the charity is very grateful for donations of afro hair:

"We never get enough African-American hair. Honestly, I’d say more than half of [black children receiving wigs] like caucasian hair because it’s much easier to work with, but a lot of them don’t. They want to look into the mirror and recognise the person looking back at them, the person that they’re used to seeing. The problem is, we just don’t get enough African-American hair donated, so when we do, it’s like a rare commodity, we’re very grateful for it."  

The CEO of Wigs4Kids, Maggie Varney. Credit: ITV News Anglia

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