Gortahork schoolgirl Polly Harris will have a brand new haircut going back to school on Monday – along with an inspiring story to tell her friends.

The kind-hearted 12-year-old had her beautiful long blond hair chopped off today for the children’s cancer charity Little Princess Trust.

Before and after: Polly Harris’ charity haircut

This was Polly’s first proper haircut, apart from small trims each year. She had 13 healthy inches to donate to make wigs for children battling cancer in Ireland and the UK.

There was a mix of celebratory and emotional moments in Pelo Hairdressing in Gortahork today as Polly’s haircut was broadcast live on Facebook.

Polly decided to do this act of charity just two weeks ago.

Mum Melissa tells Donegal Daily: “Thankfully we haven’t had any childhood cancers in the family. Polly’s grandad sadly passed away with cancer and it touches every family. Polly decided that if she cut her hair shorter, rather than it going in the bin, she would give it to someone else.”

Not only did Polly donate her beautiful mane today, but she also raised €600 for the Little Princess Trust to purchase another wig children who cannot get suitable real hair wigs.

Polly had another triumph this morning when she reached her fundraising total.

Melissa said: “We have been fundraising for the past two weeks on GoFundMe. Just 48 hours ago Polly was halfway at €250 and everyone got behind her in the last two days. She woke up this morning to find out she was just over €500. The live video brought in even more donations,” Melissa said.

Polly before her big haircut at Pelo

Mary Duffy at Pelo Hairdressing gave Polly a stylish new look and helped add to the excitement of the day. Now, the 6th class Derryconnor NS pupil will be going back to her classmates with an inspirational new do after midterm.

Mum Melissa was full of pride for her daughter. She said: “Hair is such a big thing for little girls, especially as they grow into teenagers. Your hair is your style, and for Polly to do such a selfless thing makes such a big difference to another child who is suffering from cancer and has lost their hair.

“We are all very proud of her,” she said.