An Edinburgh University student is bracing herself to chop off her luxurious locks this Sunday all in the name of charity.
Claire Horsfield has an enviable head of flaming curly hair and the selfless 21-year-old will be donating every inch of it to the Little Princess Trust.
The trust is a charity that makes wigs for children who suffer from hair loss.
The fourth year medical student, originally from Sheffield, is shaving off her hair to raise funds for two charities that helped her brother, who died of cancer six years ago at the age of 18.
She has raised over £3000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent charities in memory of her “amazing” big brother Eigan.
Eigan was 16 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer.
He underwent multiple surgeries but still remained upbeat and went to school as often as he could.
“He was really funny and really intelligent,” she said. “He was always top of the school for maths and got accepted into Cambridge to study maths.
“We had a lovely relationship.”
At 13, Claire didn’t realise how ill her older brother was.
And she remains proud of how he coped.
She said: “I can remember him being at hospital a lot but he dealt with the cancer really well.
“He was really calm with it all and he didn’t let us see that it bothered him.”
After a two-year battle, Eigan, who was named after a character from the film Pathfinder, sadly lost his fight with cancer and died at home.
The family was devastated.
And Claire vowed she would one day raise money for the charities that helped them while Eigan was sick.
Last year she ran her first half marathon for fun.
But she realised afterwards that she wanted to do something radical to raise funds in memory of her brother.
“My hair is so long and curly, I’m very nervous about it because if I hate it there’s no going back, she said, adding: “But with how much money I’ve raised I’ll get over it.”
And despite the big build-up and emotional roller-coaster, she said: “I’m quite excited too and my friends always remind me how much I hate washing my hair.”
Her boyfriend’s not so keen, though, and has made her promise that she’ll grow it back.
She laughingly observed that she might have picked the wrong week to go for the chop.
“I’ll be freezing in this weather. I’ve only got two hats, I’ll have to go and buy some more.”
She knows her brother would be proud of her for parting with her hair: “He lost his hair during treatment and hated it – for some people it’s not a choice.”
Claire and Eigan’s older sister Lydia will be there to watch as she braves the shave.
She said she is thrilled to have almost raised her £4000 target.
To donate and help Claire reach her goal visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/clairehorsfield.