Big hair today shorn tomorrow: Youngster to shave hair for charity

James Browne is ready to lose his foot-high afro in the name of charity
James Browne is ready to lose his foot-high afro in the name of charity
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IF HIS brother’s experience is anything to go by, it will certainly prove to be hair-razing. A youngster sporting a foot-tall afro is gearing up to chop his large locks in the name of charity.

James Browne, ten, aims to raise more than £700 by proving to be a snip off the old block of his elder brother, who went from bushy barnet to buzz-cut six years ago.

Craiglockhart Primary pupil James, a keen sportsman, believes that banishing his afro will also increase his swimming and footballing abilities.

His mum, Juliana Abizie-Browne, said his hair was so big that it had become 
unmanageable.

She said: “Despite the fact he absolutely loves it, it is 
starting to cause some unforeseen problems in that he is a very keen swimmer and he now can’t see where he is swimming as it completely covers his face when wet.

“James is also a keen footballer and golfer and hopes this haircut will greatly assist him in both sports. In fact, his football coach John McKenzie is fully expecting him to gain some extra pace without the weight of the afro.”

Mrs Browne, 44, explained that she often braided James’s hair into tight “corn rows” to tame the mass, but that the pain was rather extreme.

He has now decided to raise money for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, after facing a few hairy situations over the years.

She said: “Six years ago his elder brother John, who was 14 at the time, had a huge afro and decided to cut it for the charity Children With Leukaemia, raising £630.90. He too suffered from extreme pain when he had the afro braided into corn rows and at one point we even had to take him to the Sick Kids at 3am.

“James has decided to raise funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation as he, like most other ten-year-olds, has been a fairly regular visitor to the Sick Kids over the years, mainly for minor things like stitches in head wounds. The time he has spent there has, however, exposed him to other kids who have had far more serious illnesses and he wants to be able to help in his own little way.

“His target is to beat his brother and hopefully raise £700. At the moment he has raised £555 so he is well on the way.”

James said he was looking forward to being able to see again.

He said: “Right now when I have it in corn rows it’s quite painful. I want to play football and go swimming more, but at the moment my hair covers up my goggles.

“I’d like to raise more than £700 – and more than my brother. My brother has kept his hair quite short now and I will too, probably. I wanted to do what he did, though, and raise money for charity.”

The kind-hearted youngster is set for the chop on September 12, and with the help from his headmaster, Derek Law, he will be shorn in front of the whole school. Ola Seidu from Your Choice Barbers, on Gorgie Road, will be closing his shop and going into the school to perform the haircut.

• Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/jamesafroboybrowne.