Asha Mandela’s 55-foot-long dreadlocks have earned her a Guinness World record, the nickname “black Rapunzel,” and the possibility of paralyzation.
The 50-year-old says that doctors have warned her about how the weight of her hair is effecting her spine.
According to the Mirror, Asha’s dreadlocks, which are the longest in the world at 55 feet, weigh close to 40 pounds.
Asha said: “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… 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.”
That might make some people go running for a pair of scissors but Asha has no plans to cut her hair. The 47-year-old Atlanta woman said that cutting her hair would leave her emotionally paralyzed.
Asha said: “My hair has become part of me. It is my life. I will never cut it… Cutting it would be equivalent to suicide. It would be like being a zombie.”
The IB Times reports that Mandela, who is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, started growing her hair about 25 years ago after she had a spiritual vision about changing her life.
Mandela said: “I started having dreams and visions about changing my lifestyle.”