A Brooklyn woman has broken the record for the largest afro on a woman. Simone Williams’ afro is a voluminous 20.5 cm (8.07 in) tall, 22.5 cm (8.85 in) wide, and 1.48 m (4 ft 10 in) around. She said she was inspired by the previous record holder, Aevin Dugas, who held the title for eight years.
“She inspired me to make the attempt. I googled ‘world’s largest afro’ and when she came up I was in awe,” Simone told the Guinness World Records. ”At the time, I didn’t think my hair was anywhere close to hers, she was goals! But I was so happy to see that she was recognized and there was a chance for others to be recognized too.”
When she found out she’d broken the record she said she didn’t believe it, but she gasped and dropped to her knees when she realized it was real. She said, “I opened the email to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. I took about 10 minutes to process [it].”
Her natural hair journey began nine years ago after perming and straightening her hair from middle school until college. Williams said the process was difficult at first because she was used to wearing her hair straight and didn’t know how to manage her hair texture. Through practice, patience, and consistency she’s learned how to take care of her tresses.
“I normally wash my hair weekly using very little sulfate-free shampoo,” Williams said. “I use a lot of conditioner because it helps detangle my hair. I section my hair into 4 twists while in the shower.”
Now as she’s been able to figure out how to do her hair she gets a lot of attention from people on the street.
“When my hair is fully styled and big and voluminous I get a lot of stares, a lot of comments, lots of compliments – I want to think that everything is positive, but there are some people who stare like they have no idea what’s going on or what they’re looking at,” Williams said.
She continued, “Rocking a natural ‘fro is something that really symbolizes your pride in being Black. And I feel like whenever I wear my hair very big and beautiful, I just feel that pride within me.”
For those who are looking to go natural, she suggests being patient with your hair and the process while researching what will work best for your hair.
As for breaking more records, she is still thinking of the possibilities,”Maybe [a Guinness World Records title for] 2 afro puffs, like pigtails – I love that style too”.