Starting school is an anxious time for many youngsters and 5 year old Rean Carter of Sunderland England was no different, but Rean had an unusual reason for his anxiety.
Since his birth, his mother, Leaanne Smith, found herself unable to have his hair cut. She was so enamored of his golden curls that she just let them continue to grow. By the time Rean was ready to enter school, his tresses were nearly Rapunzel-like in length.
Children being the little creatures that they are, Rean suffered a great deal of teasing and was repeatedly told he looked like a girl. The school also required him to keep his hair tied up for health and safety reasons. It all came to bear one evening as Smith was doing the family ironing.
Rean began to cry and told his mother of the harassment he was suffering at the hands of his classmates. In spite of her affection for his long locks, Smith realized that it was time to take action.
She took the boy to his uncle, himself a barber and owner of ‘Fellaz’ barber shop. In short order, Rean had a whole new look and a bright smile.
How did Smith turn this into a positive event for her son? She had Rean collect sponsors from friends and family as way of showing support and encouragement prior to getting his hair cut. The effort paid off. Rean was able to raise more than $500 for Sunderland Royal Hospital, a place he spent 4 weeks at during 2010 when he was being treated for impetigo.
In addition to his new stylish look, Rean received a supportive welcome from classmates and teachers when he appeared with his new look.
His mother is also thrilled. She was amazed at the weight of the hair when they collected it and placed it in a bag. It now takes just a few minutes each morning to groom his hair where she once spent considerable time, washing, combing and detangling it each day. She says he sleeps better now too because the hair doesn’t get in his face while he sleeps.
A new look, supportive friends and family, and a lesson in charity have made this child a very happy 5 year old.