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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Before: Ashlynn Johnson admires her waist length hair for the last time.

Joshua Thomas - Gina Burdziakowski cuts 13 inches off Ashlynn Johnson's hair.

Joshua Thomas
Gina Burdziakowski finishes Ashlynn Johnson's cut. Johnson cut her hair to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society, to donate to Locks of Love, and to honor her great-grandmother Carole Lee.

Joshua Thomas
Ashlynn Johnson shows the 13 inches of hair she cut to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society, to donate to Locks of Love, and to honor her great-grandmother Carole Lee.


Nine-year-old cuts hair and raises money in honor of great-grandmother

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Updated: 10:07 AM


C-S-E Editor

PALATINE BRIDGE -- Nine-year-old Canajoharie resident Ashlynn Johnson had her hair professionally cut for the first time last Wednesday. The nervous young girl took one last look at her naturally blonde, waist-length hair before having it cut, all the while proud of her decision, knowing that it was for a good cause.

Two years ago, while walking to support The Breast Cancer Society in honor of her great-grandmother Carole Lee, Johnson told her mother, Darcie, that someday she'd like to donate her hair not only in honor of her great-grandmother, who unfortunately passed away only 11 months before Ashlynn was born, and to raise money for breast cancer research and prevention, but also to donate the hair to Locks of Love.

Darcie explained, "She wanted kids that have cancer to have beautiful hair, and she decided that the perfect time to cut it was the 10th anniversary of her grandmother's passing to honor her."

On July 9, the exact anniversary of Lee's death, Ashlynn had 13 inches cut. Though Darcie explained that it's the first time her daughter had a professional haircut, there was one incident when a three year old Ashlynn cut her hair herself.

"She cut the whole middle section of her bangs out, and another piece, and we decided then she wasn't going to be a hairdresser," Darcie joked, adding, "We told her that if she did it again, we'd shave her head bald."

Darcie's mother, Robin, noted that she did the exact same thing when she was three -- like mother, like daughter.

When Ashlynn set her initial fundraising goal, she originally overshot, thinking that a goal of $500 would be a high mark. Since then, she's solicited donations through local publications, on Bug Country radio, personally, and online, raising about $800 towards her goal.

Ashlynn will be taking donations until July 31 at

Johnson said that it "feels good" to have raised so much money, her family noting that her great-grandmother would undoubtedly be proud.

Minutes after her haircut, by Gina Burdziakowski (who provides free cuts to those donating their hair to Locks of Love), of Gina's Mane Attraction, Palatine Bridge, Johnson admired her new hair -- a bob that's shorter in the back -- in the mirror. Though she commented that it "feels weird" to have so much less hair, she had a huge smile on her face, not only loving the haircut, but knowing that it wasn't cut for nothing.

Thanks to Johnson's selfless decision, those in need will be helped and her great-grandmother's giving spirit lives on.

Joshua Thomas - After: Ashlynn Johnson takes a close look at her new bob haircut.


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