Woman with Longest Dreadlocks: ‘I Would Never Cut My Hair’
Asha Mandela (Photo by Jason Braverman/Ladov)What helped 50-year-old Asha Mandela pull through two heart attacks, cancer, and two strokes? Her hair, she believes. “Cutting it would be equivalent to suicide. It would be like being a zombie,” the woman with the world’s longest dreadlocks told the Daily Mail.
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Mandela, who lives with her husband and son in Atlanta, stopped cutting her hair in her 20s. “I started growing my hair 25 years ago, when I started having certain dreams and visions,” she said. Growing dreadlocks was part of a spiritual journey to completely remake her life. Now, Mandela says, she has countless fans who call her a “living legend” and the “ninth wonder of the world.” She has to carry her hair, which weighs in at 39 pounds, in a cloth baby sling when she goes out.
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At first, her family, who originally came from Trinidad, didn’t approve. “My mom told me to remove the mop from my head before I am welcomed in her home again,” she recounted in a 2013 interview. “She said to me, ‘Imagine, I put nice Vaseline and lard in your hair and groom it so nicely … now look what you did to it.’”
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