On Thursday (December 8), attorney Maria Blagovolina told ESPN that Griner cut her hair a couple of weeks ago due to the prison's frigid conditions.
According to Blagovolina, the basketball star's locs kept freezing following prison showers. As Russian winter approached, Griner decided to go through with the big chop to avoid further issues, the lawyer said.
"It's very cold in there and every time she washed her hair she got cold and would get a chill," Blagovolina said. "She should have waited until New Year's Day."
Griner has had long locs for years, rarely appearing without her hair shorter than shoulder-length.
The basketball pro was seen smiling while donning the new haircut on a flight back to the U.S., which was made possible through a 1-for-1 prisoner swap involving Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
U.S. official John Kirby confirmed Friday (December 9) that Griner had touched down in San Antonio, saying that she was in "very, very good spirits" and "appeared to be, obviously, in good health."
Griner is now expected to be examined by medical personnel in Texas before returning home to Phoenix.