Abby West
March 18, 2009 AT 11:02 PM EDT

On the March 19 episode of One Life to Live, the show’s resident heartthrob, Rex Balsom (John-Paul Lavoisier), takes an electric razor to his golden locks in a show of support for his ailing son, Shane (Austin Williams), who’s recently been diagnosed with leukemia. Lavoisier, 29, who’s been on the ABC show for seven years, was more than willing to take on the challenge — even though he’s never cut his own hair and this is the shortest it’s ever been.

“It was a great way to sort of complete Rex as a well-rounded character with heart and soul. It’s a huge adult thing for him to have to face,” says Lavoisier, but he admits the story line has been tough for him. “I like playing Rex comedically, so having to play him sad everyday while filming this has been hard.”

Though the story line plays into the summer, they’re already starting to film the resolution, which involves Shane heading home but not without a few wrenches thrown in.

Take a look at the exclusive footage of Rex and his mom, Roxanne (Ilene Kristen) below.

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