Shear joy: Carmel firefighter donates hair to kids’ charity


When COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and closures began sweeping across the nation in March 2020, several Carmel firefighters decided it was as good a time as any to grow out their hair.

Three years later, on March 14, the last of those firefighters finally said goodbye to his new do, shearing off more than a foot of hair to donate to a charity that is special to him.

Matt DeRyckere underwent the transformation at Carmel Fire Dept. Station 341, where he is a firefighter/EMT. The last time he had a haircut was February 2020.

“Once it got kind of long, I was like, ‘I think I can keep this going until it’s long enough to donate,’” he said.

CIC COM 0328 CFD Haircut 1
Matt DeRyckere gets his hair cut by Angie Edwards, a Carmel hair stylist. (Photo by Edward Redd)

DeRyckere donated his hair to Children With Hair Loss, a nonprofit that provides free naturally made hair replacements to children. He wanted to support the organization after spending time at Riley Hospital for Children, which treated his son before his death in 2019. Since then, DeRyckere has attended Riley events and fundraisers, looking for opportunities to help children in need.

“Being at these events, you see kids with no hair, whether it be from cancer treatments or alopecia or burn victims,” he said. “I just thought it was something that’s somewhat easy to do. It doesn’t cost anything to grow your hair out.”

DeRyckere said he hopes his donation will make life a little easier for a child facing a difficult time.

Learn more about donating to Children With Hair Loss at