Lighthouse Christian student donates hair to wig-making charity

Date Published: 
October 21, 2016

A Lighthouse Christian Middle School sixth-grader has been granted a special exception from the Dagsboro school’s dress code for the last year. Dillon Polly, 11, of Laurel, has spent the last year growing out his blond hair to donate to a wig-making charity for children.

Last year, Dillon and his mother, Michele Laux, read an article on a news site about a 9-year-old boy who grew out and donated his hair.

After reading it, they said, Dillon thought it was something he’d like to try. The cause has a special place in the hearts of Dillon and his family.

“Our uncle, he died at 9 because he had cancer, and he had hair loss,” said Dillon.

“After we read the article,” Laux explained, “I told him, ‘That’s what they do with it — they make wigs for kids that lose their hair, just like Uncle Michael.”

Though he died when Laux was a child, in their house there is a photo of him from a time when he was in the midst of his treatment.

“Putting the whole picture together, I think [Dillon] really understood the concept in what actually happened during the process, and that’s when he decided to do it,” Laux continued. “It has a special place in my heart, anyway, for my brother.”

Laux admitted that Dillon faced some degree of teasing during the process.

“He did get teased and mistaken for being a girl,” Laux said, “but he just told them he was growing it out for charity and they were like, ‘Oh, that’s really great!’”

But Dillon said he has really grown to like having his hair long. When it was 10 inches long, he began wearing it in a fashionable “man-bun,” which got compliments. His mother said that he would probably rather keep growing it. Dillon confirmed that, saying, “I don’t want it short. It doesn’t feel right.”

Laux is glad that he stuck with his decision, she said, because there was certainly an “awkward in-between growing-out stage” where his hair was not very manageable. However, as long as he’s at his current middle school, in deference to the dress code, they feel that they should donate to the charity with the smallest hair requirement.

“We love our school, and we appreciate the fact that they gave him the waiver to do this,” Laux said. “The simple fact that his is longer than the earlobes is a huge exception. The principal [gave us] permission… because it was for a good cause.”

As the school encouraged Dillon to cut his hair, the mother-son pair researched various charities and their hair length requirements. Since some charities require 12 inches of hair minimum, they chose to donate to Children with Hair Loss, which requires just 8 inches.

Dillon was to cut and donate his hair before the end of the month, Laux said, to her son’s surprise and apprehension. He went to “Miss Kelly” at the Hair Court in Georgetown last week. He has always gone to Kelly, Laux explained, and she has been trimming it for the last year to ensure it grew out healthy and ready to donate.

Dillon’s hair had to be sectioned into five ponytails before being cut, then put into envelopes to be delivered to Children with Hair Loss.

Dillon has already expressed the desire to grow his hair out again to donate, and to grow it longer next time. Laux agreed that he could certainly grow it longer when he no longer attends his middle school. He said he would love to donate 12 inches.

“I’m very proud of him,” Laux said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing, and I try to teach the kids to give to people who are less fortunate. He’s the oldest of my three, and I try to teach him to lead by example and give to kids less fortunate. I myself have donated a kidney, so they’ve watched me go through that experience. I hope that I set a good example for them and a good foundation.”

In turn, Dillon may set the same kind of example for others that he has followed and plans to follow in the future.