Mom lost her hair to brain tumor, son grew hair for wig

  • Mother-son duo Melanie and Matt Shaha live in Arizona.
  • Melanie told ‘Today’ that she lost her hair after undergoing radiation therapy for a brain tumor.
  • Matt grew his hair out for two and a half years, then paid $2,000 to have a wig made for his mother.

An Arizona mother lost her hair while undergoing radiation therapy for a brain tumor, so her son grew out her hair and styled it into a $2,000 wig.

Melanie Shaha, a mother of six, told Today’s Elise Solé that doctors discovered her benign pituitary brain tumor in 2003.

Melanie Shaha and Matt Shaha

Matt (right) is one of Melanie’s (left) six children.

Courtesy of Mercedes Berg Photography


According to the National Cancer Institute, the pituitary gland is a small organ attached to the base of the brain that makes hormones that control “many” body functions like growth and fertility. About 10,000 pituitary tumors are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

Melanie underwent surgery to remove the tumor, which grew to the size of a plum according to ‘Today’, but in 2006 she underwent a second operation after returning home. In 2017, when the tumor reappeared for the third time, he was prescribed radiation therapy.

The National Cancer Institute has said radiation therapy can cause hair loss on the part of the body being treated. The institute notes that hair usually regrows in 3 to 6 months, but receiving a high dose of radiation may cause thinner hair to regrow or not at all.

Melanie Shaha and Matt Shaha

Melanie said she lost her hair after having radiation therapy.

Mercedes Berg Photography


“Having no hair, you stick out like a sore thumb and well-meaning people can say things that break your heart,” she told ‘Today’. “I don’t mind being sick, but I do mind looking sick. I prefer to blend in and not stand out in the store.”

According to “Today,” in 2018, Melanie’s 27-year-old son Matt made a joke that sparked an idea during a family lunch.

“I said, ‘Why don’t I grow my hair out to make you a wig?'” Matt told the outlet, adding that at the time he was growing his hair out because the university he attended had strict rules regarding hair length. .

Matt Shah

Matt (middle) got his hair cut after growing it out for almost three years.

Courtesy of Mercedes Berg Photography


Although Melanie didn’t want to accept her son initially, he persisted and grew 12 inches of hair by the end of March this year, “Today” reported. KSAZ, a local news station in Phoenix, Arizona, reports that Matt grew his hair in the span of two and a half years.

With the help of his colleagues, Matt cut his long locks in March this year, “Today” reported.

Melanie Shaha and Matt Shaha

Melanie and Matt shipped the hair to California.

Courtesy of Mercedes Berg Photography


“We were super excited and when they started cutting, we bawled,” Melanie told ‘Today’.

Then they shipped the hair to Compassionate Creations in Newport Beach, Calif., where it was assembled into a hand-sewn wig, “Today reported.” KSAZ reports that the wig cost $2,000.

Melanie Shah and Mi

Melanie (left) and Matt (right) had the wig cut and styled by a hairstylist.

Courtesy of Mercedes Berg Photography


“The color is spectacular and we had it cut and styled with a hairstylist,” Melanie told ‘Aujourd’hui’. “Matt said it looks good on me.”

“It’s a no-brainer,” Matt told KSAZ. “She gave me the hair in the first place.”

The Shahas did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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