Exclusive: A Conversation with Asha Mandela The Lady with The World’s Longest Dreads

October 25, 2015

A while back I talked about Asha Mandela, the lady who is making history for having the world’s longest dreadlocks. At the time Mandela’s hair measured 8 feet, 9 inches long, but since then her hair has grown. Her hair now measures in at 19 feet, 6 1/2 inches.

Asha personally reached out to soulfulbeauty.com to share more information.

“Hi, my name is Asha Mandela… I am the Guinness World Record Holder for the Longest Dreadlocks…. I have been reading your news letters since i won the GWR award back in October of 08. I enjoy your articles and stories a great deal. I would like to let you know that my record has since been updated in November 09 on the CBS Early Show. My locks have been re-measured and are actually 19ft plus long. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share more information with your readers.”

During our conversation, Asha stated hair maintenance can be very tedious and sometimes expensive. She claims when washing her hair it takes 1 bottle of shampoo and 1 bottle of conditioner, and can sometimes take as long as two full days to dry completely.  She also said she washes her hair three time a week in the Summer and twice-a-week in the Winter.

“Once I’m done, I lay it out either on the sofa or on a chair on my patio and relax with a book, or chat on the phone while it dries.. which takes about 2 hours in the Summer and like forever in the Winter,” she said [laughing].

Since starting her own locks more than 21 years ago, Asha said she’s never been to a beauty salon for any hair maintenance. She shared some of her experience having the world’s longest dreadlocks, and provided a few details on what products she used during her early stages of hair growth.

“I have never been to a hairdresser in my life except for verification for GWR, they are very strict and had to be sure my hair is real human hair and that its actually mines,” she said.

“I maintain my hair myself, and really don’t have a daily regimen except to tie it on my back with some fabric like Afrikan women who carry there kids on there back. That keeps it in tack and out of harms way so i can get my chores and errands done effortless.

I used to tie it in a bun on my head but within the last 2 years its gotten heavier and hurts my neck … then sometimes I let it down and it drags behind me all over the house like a trail… but then it would get caught in stuff and pull my neck away [she laughs] so i tried the back tying and its genius…I feel nothing and that’s good.”

When asked about the products she uses to keep her locks looking healthy and knot-free, she responded:

“When I first started 21 years ago, I used Always Indian Hemp and Always Isogro. Those products are brilliant for new locks. After 3 years of growth my locks were thick and the product did not work as it should for me anymore.

In terms of the actual products that I use now, I’m not allowed to say because of current projects that I have going on, but off-the-record, ‘Carol’s Daughter’ is perfect.”