Hairstyle in honor of ailing sister goes viral

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

Newton County’s Ethan McMullan might have this year’s most popular haircut on the Internet.

Sister Alana McMullan was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early March and had surgery to remove the tumor. Two days later, Ethan got his hair cut to resemble Alana’s scar. Alana posted pictures of her scar and Ethan’s haircut on her Twitter account @alanamc_12.

The post went viral, getting 104,000 likes and 13,800 retweets. It was so popular that it first drew interest from buzzfeed.com. Next, The Meridian Star picked up the story. Just this last week, People Magazine picked up the story and the story is making another lap around the Internet. Ethan said has been interviewed by Fox News and even gotten calls all the way from the United Kingdom.

“It’s been crazy, the amount of response it has gotten,” Ethan said. “Everywhere I go, people recognize me as the guy who got his hair cut for his sister. It doesn’t matter where I go, someone will say something about my haircut. I didn’t think anyone besides the people we know would know anything about it.”

Former Newton County football standout Duke Hudnall, now a barber in Hickory, came up with the haircut. This past weekend, McMullan had the cut redone.

“Even Duke was surprised it got so many likes,” McMullan said. “I was doing it because I didn’t want her to think that she was alone. We have a hashtag, #noonefightsalone. We have had a bunch of relatives who have had cancer and have just adopted that policy. I just felt like it was the perfect thing to do so she didn’t think she was alone in this.”

Ethan, who is a freshman football player at East Central, said he has gotten plenty of compliments on the cut.

“I’ve had guys come up to me at school and tell me they like the haircut,” McMullan said. “They didn’t even know why I had my hair cut like that. But when I told them why I was doing it and the meaning behind it, they liked it even more.”

Ethan said Alana is scheduled to start chemotherapy this week and he’ll be with her on that one as well.

“I told her I would shave my head if she started losing her hair,” McMullan said. “That’s the least I could do. I’m just doing what I thought was right.”