UPDATE: hair is still being collected but she’s close to her goal! Read on to learn how you can help out with this worthy cause: 

Weyburn's Chelsy Praski is collecting hair to make a wig for 18-year-old Abby Thomson of Fillmore, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. 

Working at the Teach and Trim as a full-time Hair Stylist student at Southeast College, Praski just met Abby in February, soon learning about her impending cancer treatments.

"That was it. I was like, 'I'll make you a wig, like, for sure. Nobody would want to be without that'. Her mom was so thankful. They're just such sweet people."

Praski quickly offered to help out with this project because hits so close to home.

"The first time my mom had cancer, she had a couple of wigs, and she said they were really, really warm. So the second time she lost her hair, I cut had my own hair cut off and then I sewed it onto a wig, and that's how that started. I just could not watch her not be herself anymore because she always cried about her hair."

She said with 14 inches of her hair to start with, she learned how to make her mom's wig by watching videos and lots of practice. 

"I sewed it together and made wefts, and then I took the wefts and I sewed it onto the cap, and then she had her wig. She always kind of had short hair, but I just figured from that length I could take some off if I wanted to, and if I screwed up, I'd at least have extra pieces and a little bit more to work with."

Praski said she's so glad to still have her mom, who now watches her son while she finishes her practicum. While the 11-month Hair Stylist course at Southeast College does cover installing hair pieces, she said she'll be taking a wig-making course once she graduates this fall.

"I am hoping to go through school and then maybe start my business with wigs, especially for cancer people, because it hits home."

Praski said she's hoping to help Abby get some hair very soon.

"We really would like to get as many donations as we possibly can to make her feel beautiful. It's going to be a long road without hair," she said, noting Abby could be receiving chemo for up to three years. 

"I'm hoping that we'll collect enough to make it within the next week, so she can at least feel like herself."

Praski said anyone can donate hair for the cause, and the length is not as much of a concern as it is when donating through the Cancer Society, which requires 12 inches or more of length.

"We're kind of hoping between eight and 10 inches at the most would be nice because then it that kind of gives us a little bit more length if we need to shape anything up, but we are also hoping that if anybody has like extra wefts of human hair, that would be mostly important and really helpful, because then we could adjust the colour for her to make sure she's herself." 

She said she hand-sews onto a cap the hair she collects, along with any wefts or extensions she receives.

"Then it just kind of falls really nicely and just mixes it up for her, and we'd probably colour it all the same colour, if that's what she's wanting. It's just kind of up to her. We can tune it up for her and make her look like herself. Abby has very long hair, so we are hoping to have quite a bit of length."

"Considering that I'm doing it by myself, any type of hair is totally okay. We are hair stylists, so we can tweak it anytime. We've got the supplies we need."

"Cancer is hard on everybody. So as long as we could do anything in the community to help out, we are willing to do that."

Praski pointed out that a good expensive human hair wig sells for about $1,500. 

"So that's why I'm doing it all the goodness of my heart, because I know how expensive things are, and what they're already going through, and the treatments, and expense, and the driving. They do not need the extra expense for this."

Hair donations can be dropped off, or cut off in-person, at the Teach and Trim studio at Southeast College in Weyburn. Drop-ins or appointments are welcome.