MAISIE Lake wanted to highlight a cause close to her heart.

Her friend Anna Robinson lost her hair through alopecia aged around 13 and wears a wig.

So Maisie set out to raise money for Alopecia UK by having most of her own long brown locks lopped off.

Guy Kremer, the famed Winchester hairdresser, was happy to cut the hair at his salon at Stonemasons Court in Winchester.

Maisie, of Barley Hill, Dunbridge, near Romsey, sat an A-level exam in the morning before doing the head shave in the afternoon.

The Barton Peveril College pupil, formerly at The Romsey and Awbridge schools, said: “I decided to shave my head in support of the charity Alopecia UK after one of my closest friends, Anna, was diagnosed with the condition. It has been something that previously she has felt self conscious about and I found it so hard not being able to do anything to help.

“Anna has grown in confidence and over the past few years, I have seen her grow so much as a person and her bravery, courage and kindness never fails to make me proud. Seeing her go through everything with such strength; it really made me want to do something.

“I think the headshave went really well. It was so lovely having Anna there because I did it for her. Walking around college today I’ve had so many amazing comments. People have been saying that they prefer the shave to my longer hair. I am feeling really empowered with my shaved head and am considering keeping it like this.”

So far she has raised £650 with donations still coming in.

Her mum, Jane Hunt, said: “It was great. I feel very proud of her. She has always wanted to be a little bit different. She is very strong-minded. I know there was no risk involved but most 18-year-old girls would not want to lose their long hair.”

Maisie, a former member of Romsey and Hampshire youth choirs, is a member of the national Youth Choir, has a place for study drama in Birmingham in September.