Boy, 10, Spends 2 Years Growing Hair He Donated to Make Wig for Friend, 12, With Alopecia

Tyler Boone, 10, started growing his hair two years ago, when he noticed Gabby Ruiz, 12, was abstaining from playing with other kids.

Getting a haircut was no big deal for this 10-year-old Georgia boy, who spent two years growing out his hair to create a wig for his friend, who has no hair of her own. 

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Last week, 12-year-old Gabby Ruiz snipped off 12 inches of hair from 10-year-old Tyler Boone’s head.

That’s because Gabby, of Riverview, Florida, has alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. 

“She was quiet as it was, but I think the looks and the stares made her a little bit more shy and to herself,” her mother, Emelia Ruiz, told "She felt different. It takes her a while to open up, so that definitely plays a big part of it."

Gabby was with other kids at a family event when Tyler Boone, who was 8 at the time, noticed she was abstaining from many of the activities. In addition to alopecia, Gabby also suffers from other diseases that make it difficult for her to play like other children.

“He noticed she was bald and wasn’t playing with all the other kids,” said Jason Boone, Tyler’s father. “Tyler was inquisitive, so we explained to him that she has a disease that doesn’t allow her to get in the sun and she can’t grow hair.”

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After several more visits, Tyler decided, “well, I can grow hair,” his dad said.

“Tyler’s a very caring kid; we weren’t surprised," Boone told “We told him, 'you can cut your hair whenever you want,' but he always said, 'no,' and he wanted to do it for Gabby."

"It’s funny, it wasn’t something she was interested in before, but she’s at that age where it’s make-up and hair," Gabby’s mom explained. "We’ve even done henna on her head. Gabby’s not going to have the same quality of life as a lot of other kids, so if it’s going to make her happy, I say let’s go for it."

The Boones live in Atlanta, and fly down to Florida every year for the holidays to visit family.

Two years later, during their annual trip, they decided it was time to cut off the hair, and send it to Children With Hair Loss, a non-profit that would create Gabby’s first human hair wig. 

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"Tyler wanted Gabby to cut it, he wanted her to be there," Boone explained.

After the snip, Tyler was treated to a free haircut by a stylist at J.C. Penney, who rewarded him for his good deed. 

Ruiz said the hair has been shipped off to the organization and the family is expecting Gabby’s first human hair wig within the next six weeks.

"She’s so excited," Ruiz said. "It’s a sweet gesture. It’s nice to be able to see kids do things for other kids."

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