The World’s Longest Locs

Originally posted at BVHairTalk.com.

They measure 19 feet, 6 inches long. When dry, they weigh four pounds. When wet, at least ten pounds. Asha Mandela has the longest dreadlocks in the world – making her an official Guinness World Record holder.

For Asha, it’s more than just a hairstyle. It is a way of life, and an expression of self.

“When I started growing my locks, I suddenly became very over protective of them as I felt they beheld all my energy, widom, knowledge and understanding and my over all strength. So i twisted, groomed and mantained them for myself…to the present,” she explained in a recent e mail interview.

Caring for hair of that length requires a lot of time, and a LOT of products. Check out how many bottles of shampoo she uses to wash her hair!

Asha swears by Allways Natural Isogro Conditioning Hairdress, and good old fashioned olive oil to massage and treat her scalp.

Look out for more YouTube videos from Asha – she promises a video detailing her hair dying process next.

I think Asha’s locks are beautiful and inspiring, and represent what the true meaning of locks are to those who grow them for spiritual reasons. It’s so more than a hairstyle, for many who grow them.

Longtime Afrobella readers might remember my original 2008 post about Asha, and the follow up Comment of the Week post from Asha herself. Click here to visit her website, and click here to follow her on Twitter. And please feel free to leave Asha your questions or friendly comments below, she’ll definitely be reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. My locks are heavy after washing & they are barely mid back. I just cant imagine them being that heavy. Asha must have some helluva neck muscles.

    • Same here, I just cut mine from my waist to my shoulders and the relief was wonderful!

      • Gee,the weight is a bit much at times especially when its wet…but since i learned a new trick tying them on my back in a sack…lol..lol.well i breathe a sigh of relief too. lol..lol..

        The locks does come with benifits too u know… when am driving i use it as a pillow for my lower back and its brilliant pain relief..lol. then at night i either lay it beside me for company (its like a whole body next to me) lol..lol or i use it as an extra pillow…lol..

        Be Blessed.

        • LOL!!! I use my locs to prop my head if Im laying on the floor or driving, so I know exactly what you mean with having dual purpose hair.

    • Tafari, Greetings…I couldn’t imagine having locks this long too..but i do..lol..lol. i knew it grew fast and was getting way out of hand…but i did not realise they were so long till 2 yrs ago…i think is cuz i knotted them a lot to protect thin areas and also shorten them to keep them out of the way..its not till they were totally let out then i was like….ok
      hmmm. either way its heavy once it grows down the back.

      I must have extra muscles in my neck and don’t realise it huh…lol..lol.. thanks for looking at my video.

      One Luv..

  2. Truly amazing! I couldn’t imagine going through that process & that much shampoo every time I had to wash my hair. I guess it really is a labor of love for her.

    • Andrea, its a tiring process on the days that am stressed..but am used to this routine so i don’t think of it cuz its become habitual..i don’t know what i’ll do without it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read, watch and comment..

  3. Thanks for posting this Afrobella :) Asha’s locs are beautiful. I will start my loc journey when my hair grows out a lil bit more. As your locs grow, your commitment grows, it is indeed inspiring to see such commitment. And people can use this positive commitment as an example & definitely apply it to many areas in life.

    • Olivia, thanks so much for your compliment. Positive communication and commitment applied in our everyday lives..be it in hair or other wise…is very rewarding to us as is also an inspiring example to others.

      Many Blessings.

  4. Christine says:

    You know I just thought of Asha the other day, as I saw an older woman with locs to her knees waiting for the bus on my corner. Now I know that’s no 19 feet, but man, still impressive.

    I won’t lie though, man that seems like an awful lot of work and YES to what Tafari said.

    • Christine, lol..lol r u teaming up with Tafari on my neck muscles..lol..lol.
      I know my locks is heavy but i think cuz its grown on me and not an overnite thing, my neck muscles must have developed to carry it.lol..lol

  5. Oh My Gawsh… Those are beautiful, and I will never complain about washing my not quite shoulder length locs again. I also loved the video Asha has an amazing spirit and it just radiates even on video… I know I won’t be letting my locs get past mid back length, especially after that, but thanks for this post it was great to see.

  6. Erica,thanks for watching my video…so you won’t be letting yours grow past your mid back huh…lol..lol..

    One Luv..

  7. Literalist says:

    To grow you hair this long seems a little like lunacy. I cannot see the benefit of growing hair this long. Where do you work. How do you function? How do you walk. The nails are another thing altogether. Combined, they scream ‘pychosis’

    Am I the only one who thinks this?

    • Literalist…. you are not the only person who feel or thinks this way about my hair…you and everyone else who see it this way …are all entitled to your opinions.I am an individual who has choosen to let my hair grow into long locks…thats my decision.I am gainfully self employed…walk really well…and my nails? its my style also that don’t make me any less a lady or a human being.

      If my outward appearance screams “pychosis”…then you should study medicine and become an MD since there are a lot of me out there from different races and background..and you can become very rich treating us….your first patient should be “Crystal gayle” for she has carried long hair for many years…is she walking bent? is she having trouble functioning? and is she “pychosis” ??

      I pity your simplicity !!!!

    • Literalist – to each his or her own.

      I think the video clip proved Asha has found ways to fit her hair into her life, in fact her hair enhances her life. Also, I generally don’t try to mentally analyze people I read about online. I’ve interviewed Asha more than once, and not only is she intelligent and kind, she isn’t judgmental. I admire that.

    • Psychosis? Wow! You need to shift your thinking. We are all free to form our own style contrary to any norm that YOU may believe.

      People who are outside of the box are often criticized with ignorance & intolerance. Wake up.

  8. Do you have a particular diet you follow that stimulates such fast growth of your nails and hair? If so please share! thanks!

    • Stacye, LOL..LOL i don’t follow any special diets…as a matter of fact, i should cuz am begining to gain weight…lol.lol I have always had fast growing full head of hair but really, i’ve done nothing special.

      Thanks for asking..lol.

  9. Wow this is fascinating. Just tonight I put off washing my dreadlocks not feeling like enduring the weight of wet hair and the length of time it would take to dry. I like her attitude and it shines through as well in her responses to comments as well: she’s all peace and love.

    • she really is! And I am glad the comments on Afrobella are warm and encouraging – Asha is all peace and love and deserves the positive energy!

    • Purple, thanks for watching my video…

      I enjoy the overall maintainence of my locks…but like every one else i do have bad hair days where i get lazy and frustrated. On my hair wash days, i try to get it done no later than 2.pm which gives it enough time to get dry enough where i don’t go to bed with wet hair. with locks its very uncomfortable to sleep when its wet.its never totally dried for bed but at least its not wet and clumsy…you know what i mean ? I have never used a hair dryer or blower to dry my locks…hate it… I use Bath sheets and after wringing the water out, i wrap them in the towel like i did in the video and let it hold for like 20-30mins..the towel absorbs all the water so i then lay it out next to me either on the sofa or lounger..if am on the PC, i drop them on a sheet on the floor and they keep my company really well till they dry…lol..lol

  10. This definitely squashes the myth that black women cannot grow long hair! I am natural for 5 years, locked for 2 and I love it!!! My concern however is the weight of the locks destroying the hairline…not good! My friend has locks past her butt but hairline is gone! This also happened with another friend who had a weave, same thing happened to her; weight of the weave took her hairline out! But great story, beautiful hair!

  11. Jackee…thanks for watching the video and thanks for your comment . A lot of people don’t realise that kinky don’t just mean nappy and short…some of us actually get good growth. My hair was always full and grew a lot..but being careful and dedicated allowed it to get to this length…its tough but good….lol..lol..

    Honestly,i don’t have a receeding hair line…nor is the weight pulling out my hair…. about 8mths ago i was using hair remover on my arms and tru habit brushed my hand against my head not realising i had hair remover at the front of my hair till 2 of my precious babies dropped out…i cried blood…its taken a while to fill back in and thats why the hairline looks like that….

    One Luv ***

  12. Rebekah says:

    Well there you go…black folks sure can grow them some long locks….Miss Mandela hail to you my Queen.

    • Rebekah…Thanks for taking the time to comment. Its is very surprising how many people there are who actually thinks that Black hair can’t grow long…much less my own .

      Stay tuned to Afrobella and she will always have the updates on my locks…

  13. afrikahh says:

    Afrikan sista,wow what a beautiful creation. bella, thanks for this “gold award” article. Ms mandela is Rupunzel for real.

    • Afrikahh, I never thought of my self as Rupunzel till i did the original Guinness Attempt back in 2008 and the Orlando Sentinel named me “Dreadlock Repunzel” I absolutely love it…lol..lol Thanks for commenting..

      Give much thanks to Sista Bella for taking the time to write about me , She is a true Sista.

  14. Afrobella, I have known Asha since she was 14yrs old in trinidad and she has always been a loving kind friend.

    I am not into locks but she has had my full support from the first day she started, i just didn’t think she would have gone the full route considering the medical crisis she was in for many years. I am so proud of her. Thank you Bella for featuring Asha with a wonderful article.

  15. Diamond Silk says:

    Afrobella, where did you find this gracious DREADLOCK RUPUNZEL? what a virtueous woman. Is Ms Mandela gonna be in the Atlanta Hair show ? I would love to see and read more about her. There is something about this lady thats very inspiring.Does Asha know she is carrying a gold mine?

  16. Auldwin, never in a million years would i have thought you would view this website..much so to even write a comment…ha…well wonders never cease…LOL..LOL .

    So where you been all this time..haven’t seen you in like over a year…gimme a call. Thanks for taking the time to comment. One Luv,

  17. Diamond Silk…kool name…LOL .. The Orlando Sentinel named me the Dreadlock Rupunzel when they first ran my story 2yrs ago… Iam totally feeling that title..lol.lol..

    Wow you think my hair is a gold mine? hhhmmm i must look into that…lol. I plan to do some more videos in the next 2-3 months so yes you will be seeing a lot more of me.

    I thank you so much for your compliments….

    One Luv.

  18. Some of us say we are confident being in our own skin. Yet, the slightest negative comment about my hair from a person I admire sent me reassessing being natural. I had a moment of weakness. :)…Ms Mandela is truly an example of being an independent woman. I love that! She is assured w/her hair & style. Arent we all striving to become independent self assured women?!

  19. Nia….Yes indeed…Yes we all are…& Yes we can…….

    I went tru the weekness stage within the first 3 mths of my locks journey. I weakened to the point of wearing a wig for a short time and convincng myself its now or never and i have to take a stand…my stand as an individual…yet to also become an excample for cultural “locks-have-rights” since we are special in our own way…yet we represent a “village” in every part of the Universe.

    Stand Firm..

  20. AFROBELLA, YOU ARE A NATURAL FORCE TO RECKON WITH AND I ADMIRE AND RESPECT YOUR ENERGETIC VIBES…

    I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR TIME AND SUPPORT WITH THIS ARTICLE.PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS COMPLIMENTED ME ON MY LOCKS
    AND I WOULD JUST BLUSH LIKE A 16YR OLD…BUT NEVER DID I REALISE THE HUGE IMPACT YOUR ARTICLE AND MY YOU-TUBE VIDEO WOULD HAVE ON MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS. I HAVE RECIEVED REALLY GOOD FEED BACK…MOSTLY GOOD COMMENTS AND GIRL HAVE I RECIEVED HUNDREDS OF PRIVATE MAIL ON MY YOU-TUBE MAIL…LOL..LOL I FEEL VERY BLESSED AND FORTUNATE TO HAVE YOU AS MY SISTA AND I WILL FOREVER WILL BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT….

    STAY VIRTUEOUS AND BLESSED..

    From,

    ASHA ZULU MANDELA ***

  21. I am so inspired…I have an album called Scissor free, comb free with photos that inspire me to never cut my locs or comb my hair again. I am going to add a photo of Ms. Mandela to that album. One question…in 2008 her locs were 8 feet, 9 inches…now, are they currently 9 feet 6 inches or 19 feet? It says 19 but how did over 10 feet of growth happen in 2 years?? Either that’s a typo or her hair is more amazing than I thought! Whatever the case, she is an inspiration in hair and spirit!

    • JHAVIA NICOLE…Greetings, You are right about the documented difference of my locks measurement…its not a typo.. In 2008 when i did the original GWR attempt, i did not let all my locks down..I was so carried away with excitment and panic that i forgot i had tons of knots in my locks to protect them from breakage and in the proccess, shorten them for they were long and out of control. Once i realised my error, i contact GWR and explained to them what happend. They instructed me to re-attempt the record with sufficient proof of my length and in so doing it was again re-verified and re-measured by GWR adjudicators live on the CBS Early show. I have attached 2 links for you to view…one is my website where you will find my complete story on the “about me and my credits” page and the other link is of the CBS Early show for the re-measurement.

      I appreciate you looking at my video and thanks so much for your compliment.

      Blessing,

      Asha Zulu Mandela **

  22. ATTENTION MY BROTHERS AND SISTA’S….

    I am aware that many of you may be wondering about the difference in my locks’s previous and current measurements.Its not a typo, there is a difference in my length due to my error when i attempted the Guinness World Record in 2008.
    My locks has since been re-verified and re-adjudicated by GWR on the CBS Early show. For further information on my Locks Journey..please visit my website to read more about it on the “about me and my credits” page.

    http://www.ashamandela-longest-ethnic-dreadlocks-hairmodel.com/home

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5613712n

    I appreciate the love and support i have recieved from all of you my brothers and sista’s and more so especially from the one and only AFROBELLA…

    One Luv,

    Asha Zulu Mandela ***

  23. WOW!!!!! I JUST LOVE YOUR LOCS!!!!! THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!! I HAVE LOCS TOO AND I just admire your hair. especiall that in my school im the only girl in the whole school with locs so that makes me original and i love yours so much! Peace & Blessings

  24. gumbogirl says:

    Wow! Thanks, Ms. Asha for sharing your experience in caring for such long locs. They look beautiful on you and you seem to have a gracious spirit. I was interested to read that you use natural olive oil for your scalp. I recently began doing the same and noticed a difference almost immediately — reduced dryness, reduced hair loss (I don;t have locs, but am transitioning to natural from texturized hair), and generally softer and and “healthier-feeling” hair. Not sure if I will try locs yet but I greatly appreciate sites such as AfroBella, where I can learn from others about hair care techniques that work for them.

  25. Fraud!

    • RAJA,I believe the band wagon you are on bashing Asha is wrong and uncalled for. I don’t know Asha but i am a licensed AA.locsticion from New Jersey . I have viewed your “bannered” version of this video and others of Asha and based on “my” experience i believe you are wrong about this woman. In my 20 yrs of experience. i have encountered 2 people who tied there locks in knots to shorten them. Its not an overnight thing so it won’t be bulky, its done through the years and blends in .only new knots can be very visable.The areas you pointed out don’t look joined to me, they look tied in a knot to protect it from breaking. I have looked at your version of this video 3 times with my co-workers and again in my opinion, you are wrong.
      GWR has very strict guidelines to follow and was confident enough to accept the proof of this woman’s hair. I think you are wrong to judge this woman in such a harsh manner since you don’t know know all the facts and its nice to bring down our brothers and sisters like that. Wow what a cruel act. May god be with you since you are hurting an innocent sister.

  26. curlncoils says:

    Raja, I have to agree with Ann about Ms Mandela. The differece is, i have met Asha at the Bronner Bros Show and was in disbelief when i saw her hair. Not only does she have a strong presence and beautiful spirit, she allowed me to touch her hair and look at it.
    I am a license hair care professinal from California, my shop was doing classes at the show. I begged Ms Mandela to allow me to touch her hair since they were so well groomed. she said i don’t let anyone put there hands in my hair, but she gave in and allowed me to touch it since as a locsticion i was as curious as hell to get a close up view. I held them and carefully looked and honestly, unless my eyes decieved me, Ms mandela’s locs is for real.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but i really believe these allegations of fraud is really a vicious attack on this woman thats not right at all. If there is an issue with a pic that was used, then address it and move on, but as one sister to another don’t be slandering this woman when you know its wrong. It made me wonder if there is something brewing here thats more than the pic issue like jealousy! I am not one to judge and i am not trying to judge you, but please african people we must unite and not keep putting down our brothers and sisters like that.