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Claire Aviles before her haircut

Let me start by saying that I love change. For a lot of people, cutting off anything more than two inches of hair is a huge decision, but for me, two inches is nothing. I love my hair, but I have never been too attached to it.

In fact, the first time I met stylist John Hebert, I had decided to cut off eleven inches of my hair for Locks of Love. I was John's first Locks of Love client, so he had no idea what to expect. I think he was a little surprised when I didn’t burst into tears as he cut off the first of three 11-inch ponytails!

After over a year with my long, curly hair — probably the longest period of time that I had gone without a big cut — I decided it was time for a change. I called John and scheduled an appointment, eager to try something completely different.

Before the Haircut

Typically, when I get a haircut, I leave my hair long with lots of layers to enhance my curls. Most of the time, I love it — it's super easy to maintain and style. I would simply wash and condition my hair, add a styling gel or crème and let my curls air-dry. It's the perfect, no-hassle routine.

But after almost three months of Texas heat and pool chlorine, my curls needed some major TLC. My hair was dry and very fragile. I wasn’t even wearing it loose anymore — it was so hot that I had resorted to a messy chignon to keep it off my neck.

I decided that a simple, two-inch trim wasn’t going to be enough. I was ready for a drastic change, both for myself and for the health of my hair.

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