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    BIG HEART: Horsham’s Austin Simpson has spent the past four years growing his luscious locks for Variety’s Hair With Heart program. Yesterday, Austin said goodbye to 65 centimetres of hair, which will be used to make a wig for a person who has lost their hair due to a medical condition. Austin was a ‘little sad’ to lose his ponytails but is happy his hair will go to a good home.
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    FRESH CUT: Horsham’s Austin Simpson is sporting a new look after losing his long locks for Variety’s Hair With Heart program. Austin’s hair and financial donation will go towards a wig and ‘giving kids in need a fair go’. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Austin Simpson's dramatic chop for great cause

Horsham’s Austin Simpson can barely recognise his reflection after undergoing a dramatic chop for a good cause. 

Austin, 11, has been growing his luscious locks for the past four years for Variety’s Hair With Heart campaign.

His hair, which measured 65 centimetres at its longest part, will be used to make a wig for someone who has lost their hair due to a long-term medical condition.

Along with two impressive ponytails, the Horsham West Primary School student will also donate more than $2500 raised throughout his campaign. 

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Austin’s mother Brigitte Higham said her son originally planned to cut off his hair in the lead-up to Pimpinio’s round-one match of the 2020 Horsham District Football Netball League season.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the season’s postponement, and eventual cancellation, the family had to resort to plan B.

“When they announced the revised junior season was cancelled, Austin said enough was enough and he couldn’t continue to grow his hair until next year,” she said. 

“It is very difficult to maintain – it is long and curly, knots easily and takes a lot of work.”

Austin said although it was difficult to watch his long hair being lopped off, he now felt ‘great’.

“I was a bit upset at first but it’s going to someone else, so that’s good,” he said.

“I’d like to do it again, but my stepdad said no because I can’t look after it myself and Mum has to do everything.”

Ms Higham said she was still coming to terms with her son’s new look.

“I didn’t cry, but I might tonight,” she said.

“Austin found a comb somewhere in the house and has been combing what is left of his hair while looking in the mirror. I think it is going to take a while to get used to it.

“He is feeling the cold now, so I bought him a beanie. We might also need to get him a smaller bike helmet.”

Ms Higham said she was proud of her son’s efforts.

“He’s been through a lot to do this,” she said.

“He has been bullied, often gets mistaken for a girl and has had his hair pulled while playing footy. But he was determined to do this for a good cause and I am very proud of him.”

People can continue to donate to Austin’s Hair With Heart campaign for the next two weeks by visiting website

– Sarah Matthews 

The entire August 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!