Rean Carter
Young boy demands to have his 18in-long locks cut for first time after constant playground bullying. PA

A fed-up five-year-old boy has demanded his 18in locks are cut off after being constantly mistaken for a girl.

Rean Carter of Hylton Castle, Sunderland, who has never seen the inside of a barbershop, has hair so long it must be tied up at school.

His reluctant mother has agreed to his pleas and will take him for the big chop over the Easter holidays.

Leeanne Smith, 30, told the Daily Mail: ''When Rean was born he had a lovely little curl of golden hair at the back of his head. I just could never bear to get it cut, not even his fringe.

"Now it flows all the way down his back to his bottom and is very beautiful and soft. When we go out he is often mistaken for a little girl. People say, "Isn't she gorgeous".

It was not until Rean started school and suffered playground bullying that his mum started to have second thoughts.

''It was only when he joined school and had to have it tied back in a ponytail, for health and safety, that some of the other little boys began to make fun.

''They said he could not play with them because he looked like a girl," she explained.

The chop will be sponsored and his hair will be donated to a cancer charity that make wigs.

The money raised will be donated to Sunderland Royal Hospital children's unit, where he was admitted for 10 days in 2010, suffering from impetigo. He has already managed to raise £82 in sponsorship.

''The barber will be under strict instructions not to take too much off. There will be no use of clippers," Smith added.