Watching a close friend battle cancer has prompted a Levin kindergarten teacher cut off her flowing brunette locks to be used as a wig to help others.

Jessica Williams, 27, had a teary moment before sitting down in the chair while hairdresser Lisa McFarlane offered words of reassurance.

Her close friend Jennifer, from the Netherlands, had to return home two years ago after being diagnosed with cancer.

Jessica Williams from Levin Baptist Kindergarten.
Jessica Williams from Levin Baptist Kindergarten.

Jennifer had complained of ill health and swollen glands for a long time and when the diagnosis finally came back as cancer she was flown back to her home country immediately.

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Jessica kept in regular contact with Jennifer, and realised that she had lost all her hair while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

That's when she knew she could use her own hair to help others.

"It was her journey that gave me the inspiration," she said.

Her own research led her to Freedom Hair in Dunedin, the only place in New Zealand making wigs, who instructed her on how to prepare her hair for donation.

So Williams, who was a perfect candidate as her hair colour was natural and long, had to make some stark adjustments to her daily routine to prepare her hair for the cutting.

It meant washing her hair with shampoo just once a week and conditioning the ends of her hair every second day for a month, then once a week.

Levin hairdresser Rachel McFarlane gets ready to cut Jessica Williams' hair.
Levin hairdresser Rachel McFarlane gets ready to cut Jessica Williams' hair.

She had to use a special hairbrush to protect each hair follicle and tied her hair in a French plait each day so it wouldn't get in the way at work.

The hair also had to be put in a plastic bag and was not allowed to touch the floor.

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Levin three-year-old Angus Easton caught the hair before it hit the floor.
Levin three-year-old Angus Easton caught the hair before it hit the floor.

Williams has plenty of time to grow her hair back in time to perform Maid of Honour duties at the wedding of her twin sister Susan early next year.

Susan recorded McFarlane cutting her sister's hair and she is going to share the video with Jennifer in The Netherlands.