The woman with the world’s longest hair has found love with a hair stylist whose massive dreadlocks rival her own.
Real-life ‘Rasta-Rapunzel’, Asha Mandela, has locks that measure a lengthy 55ft – longer than a London bus.
Now the 50-year-old, from Florida, has found a match made in heaven with new husband, Emmanuel Chege, a qualified hair stylist from Kenya.
The smitten couple mutually worship each other’s bountiful barnets and say that their beautifully maintained dreadlocks are their crowning glory.
‘It’s really added spice in the bedroom and it does not get in the way of anything at all,’ says Asha. ‘There are times when my hair will be on the bed with us and we can use it for whatever or we put it on the floor if we want it out of the way.’
Asha and Emmanuel met online three years ago after he was struck by pictures of her famous dreadlocks on hair websites.
He decided to contact Asha, and when she visited Kenya on business eight months later, the chemistry between them was undeniable.
And after adoring Asha’s locks from afar, Emmanuel was eager to get his hands on her famous tresses.
‘It was so amazing to see all this amount of hair. It was more than in my imagination,’ recalls Emmanuel. ‘At first I thought maybe her locks were almost to her knees or to the ground, but the first glance when I saw her hair, it was so long, so it was so amazing and her beauty was so amazing too.’
A whirlwind romance followed, and within eight months of meeting, Asha and Emmanuel were married in America.
Now, almost two years later, Asha has entrusted the care of her precious dreads solely to Emmanuel, who has worked as a hair stylist for 15 years. He spends his days lovingly grooming Asha’s 3st dreadlocks. They take two days to wash and dry and require full-time care.
‘My husband helps me with everything with my hair. I’m so spoilt since he’s been taking care of it and I’ve got totally lazy,’ says Asha. ‘He will massage my scalp, groom my hair or twist or wash it. He does a really good job of taking care of it so that’s a plus.’
Emmanuel is also growing his own dreadlocks and hopes to become the male record holder in the future.
Despite dedicating their lives to maintaining their locks, Asha and Emmanuel insist that their efforts are not a pursuit of vanity.
Emmanuel says: ‘The purpose of me having locks is spiritual. I’m a Rastafarian, and locks symbolises a lot.
‘It gives me a lot of positive energy and a lot of positive vibration – it’s like my antennas to the spiritual world. It’s part of my creation and it’s part of my body.’
Asha often carries her hair in a handbag to prevent it trailing along the floor, but when she wears it loose the couple receive a lot of attention.
Asha says: ‘The reaction is always a Kodak moment, it’s always a conversation piece, especially when it’s out. They always want to take pictures.
‘The reaction is always really positive, I’ve rarely had any negatives.’
Asha, who owns her own hair product business, was told by doctors her dreadlocks would paralyse her if she kept on growing them as the weight of her hair is affecting her back.
Now Emmanuel is training her at the gym to strengthen her back muscles and Asha has already lost 80lb.
Although Asha admits her hair can be a hindrance at time, the couple say the positives far outweigh the negatives – especially in the bedroom.