Four-year-old Luke Donnelly's beloved long hair will soon be appreciated by a child affected by cancer.

Last week Luke's curly hair, which fell to the middle of his back, was cut for the very first time.

When the Hastings boys told his mum, Jo, that he wanted his first haircut, she said it had been quite surprise.

"He loved his hair so much," she said, "his hair was never tied up."

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The youngster, who had decided he wanted a haircut like his older brother Levi, was quite well known for his long hair.

"Having a little boy with long hair, people have quite set opinions about it," she said. "You get lots of comments like 'you're the parent', but it's his hair, I'll cut it when he wants it cut."

Before: Luke Donnelly, 4, Hastings, decided to get his cut for the first time. His mother Jo Donnelly donated the hair to Freedom Wigs Ltd, Dunedin. Photo supplied.
Before: Luke Donnelly, 4, Hastings, decided to get his cut for the first time. His mother Jo Donnelly donated the hair to Freedom Wigs Ltd, Dunedin. Photo supplied.

After following his mother's suggestion that he wait a few days before having his first real haircut, Luke had the chop on Friday.

Ms Donnelly said her son loved his first haircut experience.

"He sat there with a big smile on his face," she said."He looks completely different, he says he loves his 'Levi cut'."

While Ms Donnelly said she was sad to see her son's hair go, she thought another child might appreciate it, and decided to donate it to be made into a wig for a child with cancer.

"It was such beautiful, curly, lovely hair I thought it'd be a shame to just get it swept away," she said.

With strict guidelines around what hair can be donated, the 4-year-old's hair was perfect, she said. They packaged up his hair, and will be sending it to Freedom Wigs in Dunedin.

Ms Donnelly had explained to Luke that his hair was going to help a child who was sick.

"I said 'if you don't want to have your hair, we can give it to someone else'."

Although Luke, who turns 5 next month, did not completely understand, he was happy that another child would be able to have his hair.

"Getting knots out wasn't always a happy experience, but I was quite sad to see it go," Ms Donnelly said. "But he's happy, and it takes the sting out a little."