- Publish Date
- Friday, 21 April 2023, 8:52AM
For the third time in thirteen years, Aevin Dugas has broken the Guinness world record for the largest afro.
The Louisiana woman says she keeps breaking the record to personally vouch for the beauty of natural hair.
“I didn’t decide to grow an afro as much as I decided to go natural,” Aevin Dugas told Guinness World Records in an interview earlier this month. “It’s about pride in textured hair which leads to self-love.”
Aevin remembered growing up coveting Guinness' record for longest hair because some cultures have historically associated straight hair with beauty.
But by the time Dugas was in her 20s, she had come to admire the natural hairstyles that many Black women wore as an expression of identity and pride.
After an unsuccessful trip to a professional hairstylist where she asked for braids like the character Thelma Ann Evans had on the 1970s CBS television sitcom Good Times but instead left with braids so tight that it made even the bottom of her feet ache, she decided that no one would style her hair better than herself.
“From that day on, I knew: ‘You know what? If you want to do your hair, do it yourself – learn it yourself.'" She was comfortable braiding, perming and colouring her own hair by then, and she was certain she could also learn how to cut it without too much difficulty. She did.
She began growing the afro hairdo which is her trademark in about 1999. Its circumference in 2010 measured 132cm (4ft 4in), which gave her the Guinness world record for the largest afro for the first time.
She bettered that record in 2021 with nearly 157cm (5ft 2in) before setting the current mark of almost 165cm (5ft 5in) last September.
The record-setting afro – which is also more than 25cm (9in) tall and 26cm (10in) wide – requires “frequent trims and styling regimens” to maintain.
In her April 6th interview with Guinness, she said she liked how her distinctive hair helps her “become this figure in a room full of people that everyone will notice”.
But she also wears her hair in numerous other styles as well, if for no other reason than to survive south-eastern Louisiana’s infamously scorching temperatures, which regularly soar above 32.2C during the summertime.
“It’s hot,” Aevin said of her record-breaking afro. “It’s not something you wear out in the Louisiana heat just because.”
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