Tuesday, August 20, 2013

HairTroversy: How much hair is too much?

By Tenisha Mercer

In natural hair circles, more hair is good.

But just because something is 'good' doesn't mean that its good for you.

Let's take the case of Asha Mandela of Atlanta. Usually, hair isn't a health issue. But in Mandela's case, it is: Holding the title of the person with the longest dreads in the world, a recent measurement found that one of her locs was 7 feet long. She hasn't cut her hair in 30 years, and her locs weighs 39 pounds and must be carried in a baby sling when she goes out.

But she still will not cut it, even though it poses health risks, though she said she believes her hair helped with her cancer recovery in the 1990s.

"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.
How much is too much?
According to this story in Yahoo, this is Mandela's hair regimen:

Mandela handles her dreadlocks carefully, washing them once a week and conditioning them with natural oils. After washing, her hair can take a whopping two full days to completely dry.

Still it poses health risks.

"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."

Still, she won't cut it, adding: "My hair has become part of me. It is my life. I will never cut it."

I have a fraction of Mandela's hair, so to each its own. Still, I can't help but think that at some point, it becomes a crutch.

Loc wearers, what do you think?

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