Asha Mandela Making History with World’s Longest Dreads

October 5, 2015

Asha Mandela has hair that could rival Rapunzel‘s. The South Florida woman who started growing her hair 20 years ago now has locks longer than she is tall.

Mandela, 46, said the longest of her locks measures 8 feet, 9 inches long and she is hoping the mass of hair will prove long enough to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest dreadlocks on the planet (the first in a new category), the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Ryan Spinella, executive assistant to the city administrator of Longwood, Fla., was one of the witnesses on hand to verify the measuring of Mandela’s locks.

“I couldn’t say what to compare it with. Just a lot of hair,” Spinella said. “You don’t believe it until you measure it, really.”

Mandela, who is originally from Trinidad, said she first cut all of her hair off and began growing the 20-year dreads while she was living in New York. She said she occasionally considers cutting the dreadlocks but she has become too attached to the style to let it go.

“As much as I love it, I get frustrated with it,” she said. “But then I realize I’d feel naked without it.”

It takes one bottle of shampoo and one bottle of conditioner every time she washes her hair and can sometimes take days to fully dry after she washes it.

Mandela, said she “used to wash it three times a week. Now I do it once a week. It’s very tiring. Sometimes I don’t have the energy.”