Every woman’s dream is to have long and fine-textured hair. For Asha, that dream has become not just a reality but one that comes with a world record, wealth and recognition. Asha Mandela has the longest grown dreadlocks in the world. She broke the record since 2008, and up till date is yet to find a rival. The 50-year-old black Rapunzel started growing her lovely locks 25 years ago, when she first migrated to the U.S. It was due to the stress of constant perming and styling of her hair, that Asha decided to grow locks instead. Today her dreads are long enough to make a child scared. They were officially measured to be 19 feet, 6 inches long, but an unofficial measurement found one of the strands measuring up to a whopping 55 feet, 7 inches.
According to Asha, growing her hair was more of a spiritual journey, and had nothing to do with fashion or style. She felt at a point that her dreads had become a huge part of her, and cutting it would be taking away her life. But greatness like they say isn’t easy: Asha washes the dreads once a week, using up to six bottles of shampoo at a time, then it takes two days for the locks to dry. When wet her dreads weigh 25 pounds.
Asha’s doctors are concerned about the weight of her hair, they say her spine is curving in due to the length and weight of her hair. Some said her neck has collapsed at the back and she needs to be careful else she would develop spine spasms and probably be paralyzed in the nearest future. Meanwhile, the locks carrier does not see her hair as an obstacle to her health, rather, she says it has been a blessing to her life even in her intimate relationships. Asha Mandela is married with a child. She is very protective of her hair and refers to it as her baby. Most times when her hair aid is off-duty, Asha straps the bundle of hair on her back to prevent it from touching the floor. Several Locticians consult Asha for tips on how to grow long dreads, and other hair related issues. She already has a collection of hair products with her name as the brand name. The hair which was once a burden has now become her source of riches and fulfillment.
See more pictures of Asha Mandela and her 19 feet dreadlocks . . .