TEENAGER Rachael Walker has lost her long locks for charity.
The 17-year-old student decided to shave her below shoulder-length hair to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Rachael, from Houghton, went for a grade one all over in aid of the charity, after losing her grandfather David Lamond to throat cancer six years ago.
Her grandmother Frances Walker also died from cancer before Rachael was born.
Rachael, who is in the sixth form of Parkview Community School in Chester-le-Street, sat open-mouthed as her locks fell in Regis salon in The Galleries, Washington, watched by her friends and family.
She said: “I just thought that while it was growing back, I would remember why I did it - it would not just be a one-off thing today.
“While it was being done, it just felt surreal, like I was watching someone else.”
Hairdresser Steph Ryan, 20, from Oxclose, took the clippers to Rachael’s blonde hair, after cutting and colouring her hair for two years.
The teenager has had nothing more dramatic than in a trim the last four years, but had her mop coloured every shade from black to pink.
Mum Margaret Walker hugged her daughter as the pile of hair was swept away.
She said: “Her grandad was her favourite person in the world. He used to get two buses to pick her up from school every day, from when she was three.”
The family, from Queensway, looks set to raise more than £1,600, with Margaret’s bosses at TSB offering to match the money raised, up to £500.
Father Doug, an estates manager, has also been collecting donations from generous colleagues at Gentoo. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/rachael-walker2.