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by Helen Holt

A Timaru woman has sacrificed her bottom-length dreadlocks to raise money for the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS).

Rosa Ellen (62) has raised $6678 so far through silent auctions and generous donations, but money is still coming through.

“Since I shaved, old friends see me without the dreads, and when I tell them why, they’re like ‘Oh that’s so great. Here’s some money for the cause’.”

Her head was shaved on April 23 at a fundraiser event, which included a silent auction.

She was grateful to everyone who attended and donated, she said.

“It was such a cool night.

“We had so many vegan and cruelty-free products donated to us for the silent auction.

“It was very much a group effort. We had Sharon from Cocoon salon doing the shaving, and Tara from NZAVS who gave a talk about where the money would go. I just provided the entertainment.”

Before the shave . . . Rosa Ellen grew her dreadlocks for the last seven years. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Whaea (Auntie) Ellen had grown her dreadlocks for the last seven years, but she said she wanted them since she was 14.

“So when I got older I thought ‘Right, I’m going to do this’.”

She went to a salon in Christchurch every seven weeks to maintain her hair and had pieces from her son and daughter’s dreads sewn into her hair.

“I said to myself when I was 59 that I would shave my dreads at 60, but then they just flourished, and I realised I couldn’t part with them.”

Whaea Ellen is a member of many anti-animal cruelty organisations and has been vegetarian since 2016 and vegan since last year.

“Since I shaved, I don’t miss them, because I’m just so happy with the result.”