They say a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and for no one is that more apparent than Asha Mandela, who has been growing her dreadlocks for over 25 years. She believes that not only have her long locks been part of her own spiritual quest to change her life, but they have even saved her life!
Asha began growing her dreadlocks as part of a spiritual journey, and says she had visions that told her to grow her hair. She contends that her mighty dreads, which are so long (one measures almost 55 feet in length) that she needs to carry them around in a baby sling, have saved her from a myriad of illnesses and misfortunes, including not one, but two, bouts of cancer, a heart attack, and a stroke.
Despite the fact that they are all kinds of unwieldy, and the sad reality that this hair weighs about 42 pounds, Asha maintains that she’s never, ever, going to cut her dreads. Her doctors have urged the modern-day Rapunzel to get rid of the hairy monster, warning her of a heightened risk of bacterial infection (ew), and the serious effects of that much weight on her scalp.
Asha, who lives with her husband and son in Atlanta, says, “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.”
Yikes, we get how important your hair is to you, Asha, and we hear you when you say, “My hair has become part of me. It is my life,” but it’s not worth losing the ability to walk over, for goodness sake. Cut it off!