Woman With Longest Dreadlocks in the World; Hair Could Potential Paralyze

 Woman With Longest Dreadlocks in the World Could Potential Paralyze Her

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.

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.

While Mandela refers to her hair as “her baby,” there are physicians who call it a health hazard. “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.”

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About Tamara

Tamara is the Founding Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as her personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.


  1. Miller Ta says:

    The hair more important than her health? Come on people…

  2. It’s her hair. She should do as she pleases. If she feels that she gets strength from her hair, so be it. Remember Sampson in the Bible? He cut his hair, his anointing left, and he eventually died because of it. Love her commitment!

  3. this sounds like a mental health issues manifesting as a hair issue. she need to see a psychologist in addition to doctors to see WHY she thinks cutting her hair is the equivalent to suicide and she’d be like a zombie. i understand and respect growing your hair for religious purposes but this doesn’t seem to be the case at this point. all the best to her–

  4. Ew.

  5. Super long hair like this is like an unhealthy obsession to me…

  6. If the doctors have told her that the weight of all the hair could cause some serious health problems for her and she does not listen then that is on her. Let her deal with rolling around in a motorized wheelchair CARRYING her “baby” in a bag IN HER LAP, because she won’t be walking anymore. It won’t be anyone’s fault but her own.

  7. I do wish and want long hair too, but not at the price of my health! If my hair is causing me health problems, I would cut it. Even if she cut her hair to her ankles or knees, perhaps she could maintain her world record. No amount of hair is worth having major health issues over.

  8. Risking life and limb quite literally for vanity…don’t understand :-(

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