Nine-year-old Peyton Eyanson has been growing his hair out as a labor of love.

According to his mother, Jessica, Peyton has always had a longer cut, but usually it’s a clean cut. His last haircut was before school started last year in August.

“He really liked his hair longer, and soon decided that he wanted to grow it out so he could donate it. He has seen me cut my hair and donate it several times, so I think that’s where he got the idea,” Jessica said.

Like his mother, Peyton said, “I wanted to help people.”

“The organizations that I have donated to usually want 10 to 12 inches or more,” his mother said. After a little research, the Eyansons found the nonprofit organization, Children With Hair Loss, ( out of Michigan, that accepts hair that is at least 8 inches in length or longer.

“CWHL provides a complete care kit along, with a human hair replacement, to those experiencing hair loss due to a medical condition. They also provide support and education to their recipients and to their volunteer cosmetologists and barbers. CWHL services and products are provided free of charges to recipients annually until the age of 21,” Jessica reported.

While Peyton was growing out his hair for a good cause, not everyone was excited about it. Peyton said he was told by many to “cut your hair; boys shouldn’t have long hair.” His mother said he even got bullied once, but that didn’t dampen his spirit or his goal. He was also often mistakenly called a girl because people are simply not used to seeing a young boy with long hair.

“They have the old social norm stuck in their heads — girls have long hair and boys only have short clean-cut hair,” Jessica said. “He was constantly told, on nearly a daily basis, that he needed to cut his hair. He would politely say ‘no, thank you’ and continue on with his goal.

Some people tried to bribe him to cut his hair, which if they persisted, his mother said, he would tell them why he had long hair and about his goal.

“I supported him 100 percent with his decision to donate his hair. When he would be called a girl, we talked about it, and I would ask him if he wanted to get his hair cut. He would always reply, ‘not yet,”’ she said.

On July 10, the day for the hair cut arrived. Peyton cut off his long locks for a great cause. His hair was separated into about 10 ponytails and his very proud mother was given the scissors to cut the last ponytail off. “It was a great experience for the both of us. I’m thankful for his kind heart and willingness to help others when he can,” she said.