Asha Mandela holds the first and only Guinness World Record for the longest dreadlocks. You may have also seen her on TLC’s My Strange Addictions. Her hair reaches more than 50 ft and weighs nearly 40 lbs. Doctors have warned her that the weight of her hair is causing serious damage; the end result could be paralysis.
To say that Mandela has an emotional attachment to her hair is an understatement. Hair that she refers to as her “baby” is carried in a cloth baby sling on her back. As her life source, she believes it has helped her survive two heart attacks, cancer, and two strokes. “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.
This is what Mandela had to say about her condition: “The doctors seem to think I have a curvature of my spine and that it’s the length and the weight of my hair that’s making me curve,” she said. “Some have said my neck has collapsed at the back and that I need to be careful because I could start having spasms in my spine and probably be paralyzed.” But it doesn’t sound as if she is too alarmed by their advice, adding: “My hair has become part of me. It is my life. I will never cut it.”