The sight of Asha Mandela’s hair is like something out of a movie, hardly believable until you get a second look. At 55 ft., 7 in., one of her dreadlocks is longer than the length of a bus. The rest of them officially measured 19 ft., 6 in. in 2009 for the Guinness Book of World Records, though they are longer now. They weigh a whopping 39 pounds.
She is 47 and happily married to her 3rd husband. She has been keeping the dreads for 25years now. Meanwhile, doctors have advised her to cut her hair for health reasons. > She stopped cutting her hair in her 20s > The uncut locks is about 25 years old > Her hair weighs about 39 pounds (17.7 kg) > Though she underwent a bilateral mastectomy followed by chemotherapy in the late 1990s, miraculously, her hair didn’t fall out >
In 2008, she was the first person to obtain the Guinness World Record for longest dreadlocks, and a year later, she broke her own record with a strand measuring 19 feet, 6 inches. In 2010, Guinness decided to retire the category, since dreadlocks can be lengthened by twisting in extensions, making Mandela the first and only record holder. It takes her two days to wash and dry her hair and it can get easily trapped in doors or snagged on bushes.
She has to put it into a baby sling when she leaves the house. “My hair has become part of me. It is my life. I will never cut it,” the 50-year-old mother from Atlanta, Georgia tells Bancroft Media. “Cutting it would be like taking my life.”- Asha Mandela.