3:41pm Friday 9th May 2014
A LARGER than life Cradley Heath hair bear has had his prize perm pruned for charity after accepting a bonkers bet for a joke.
Joey Smalls was chewing the fat with staff at the barbers he co-owns, Xtreme Cutz, when his brother posted his buff-haired bearded picture on the barber's Facebook page.
The snap was accompanied with the challenge: "If we get 500 likes we will shave his hair and beard off - like and share to make Joey look like he actually does cut hair."
Within 30 minutes the likes started to creep up as family and friends logged onto the Facebook to wind Joey up about losing his beloved barnet which had taken him over a year to grow.
Within hours when word began to spread across the internet the number of likes shot up and passed the 500 mark and by the end of the day over 800 people had piled in.
Joey, aged 24, said: "We were a little bored and it was supposed to be a joke, we said 500 because that seemed an unrealistic number to get then before I knew it I had to honour the bet."
After posting a say-no-fro video lamenting the forthcoming loss of his curls Joey had one last night with his favoured follicles.
After having his hair cut and beard shaved, he said: "I started growing my hair a year ago and then had it permed in January and it looked brilliant, I cannot believe it has gone."
However, the big-hearted barber wanted others to benefit from his tragic hair loss.
He said: "Seeing how many people had got involved on the Xtreme Cutz Facebook page I thought we should be able to make some money for charity from it all."
Joey's hair has been kept for posterity and now customers can guess how much it weighs for a £1 to have the chance of getting a free haircut at the popular High Street salon.
All the money raised will be split between Cancer Research UK and the Royal British Legion and the hair will eventually be donated to a wig-making charity.
Joey said: "I still am not really happy about losing all my hair but it serves me right I suppose."
However, now clean shaven and sporting a crew cut Joey could have had it worse - one customer demanded his new hair cut be in the style of Irish duo Jedward.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group