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Dreads for wishes



young woman with blonde dreadlocks below waist standing in colourful dreadlock salon

Kalen Stevens-Heap of Vancouver, B.C., long-time dreadhead and Knotty Boy customer, 'sold' every last one of her 69 golden waist-length locks to raise funds for the Children's Wish Foundation. Her effort was in memory of her best friend Alice Dietrich-O'Connor, who passed away in 1998 at age 15 from osteosarcoma cancer.

A few months before Alice passed, The Children's Wish Foundation granted her wish and sent her on a wonderful trip to Banff, Alberta. Kalen decided to do what she could to give another child an opportunity like the one Alice had, by giving up a piece of herself: her hair.

We bought one of her beloved locks, and helped her make the transition from long to short hair as pain-free as possible.

smiling young woman sitting in salon chair with apron having her dreadlocks cut by two hair stylists as Make A Wish representative looks on
pile of long blond cut off dreadlocks on a wooden floor
Kalen - the woman having her dreadlocks cut - feeling her hair without dreadlocks as the two stylists who cut them applaud
plastic shopping bag of cut dreadlocks
kalen leaning her head back on a salon hair washing sink with eyes closed
kalen smiling at camera after wash and blow dry with short haircut
Kalen reacting to her haircut after wash and blow dry and some highlights
kalen looking away from camera in mirror at the front of her new hairdo
kalen smiling as it sinks in that she now has short hair, hands clasped in front of her
Kalen with large bouquet of flowers leaving the Knotty Boy Lock Shop


After raising over $2,000 for her cause, on March 26, 2006, Kalen arrived at the Knotty Boy Lock Shop and Salon where balloons and homemade carrot cake (who knew it was Kalen's favourite?) were waiting to welcome her and celebrate the special occasion. Knotty Boy stylists Becca and Zoe donated their own time for the task of cutting off Kalen's dreads, following it with a deep-clean, scalp massage, and a cut and colour to give her a fresh, brand-spankin' new look - from which she can start growing her locks again, of course!

Surrounded by friends, supporters and Knotty staff - some of us teary-eyed - Kalen was transformed from a flowing dreadlocked beauty into a new, adorable, short-haired pixie version of herself. Her locks were then gathered up to be later ceremoniously burned on Denman Island with her sister, in memory of her friend Alice. It was a wonderful day for all of us present, and we at Knotty Boy are so happy to have been a part of it with Kalen.

Update: Kalen's moved on but her committment to enriching the world she lives in has not. Check out her latest venture here!.

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