Aevin Dugas is used to the world marvelling at her big, beautiful hair.
That’s because the 47-year-old from Reserve, Louisiana, USA, has the largest afro on a living person (female).
When Aevin first achieved the record title in 2010, her afro had a circumference measuring an incredible 4 ft 4 in (132 cm).
Today, it measures 9.84 in (25 cm) tall, 10.4 in (26 cm) wide, and 5.41 ft (165 cm) in circumference.
The hairstyle, which has taken 24 years to grow, was a result of Aevin wanting to go au naturel.
“I didn’t decide to grow an afro as much as I decided to go natural,” said Aevin.
“That was because I was tired of using dangerous chemicals to permanently straighten my hair. Those chemicals have now been linked to cancer and there’s a major lawsuit going on so I’m glad I left them alone years ago.”
Between frequent trims and styling regimens, quite a bit goes into upkeeping Aevin’s afro.
“I started doing hot oil treatments…or ‘oiling’ my hair with butters that I make before I shampoo, condition and style and that’s at least every seven days,” said Aevin.
“Plus, I’m careful when handling the ends of my hair because those are the most delicate and oldest parts. I try to do styles that keep my ends hidden. That helps a lot.”
But despite all of the love and attention Aevin pours into her hair, she rarely wears it picked out in an afro.
“I wear my hair in tons of styles,” said Aevin.
“The afro is the one people rarely see because it can be a bit much.”
However, during the occasions where she does let her afro loose, Aevin says she receives all kinds of reactions from people in public.
“People have different reactions to my afro,” she said.
“Some just yell things in admiration, some stare, some walk up and ask questions then some just walk up and take a little tug.
“I’ve learned to just give them a little pop on the hand with a few words of choice. I won’t repeat them here.”
However, it’s Aevin’s hairdresser who is always the most surprised by her afro.
“Because I do my own hair my hairdresser doesn’t do anything but trim my hair,” said Aevin.
“Because they trim it when it’s in a blown-out state, they’re always in just as must shock as anyone else about the length because my hair is normally worn in a shrunken style.”
Aevin enjoys having a large afro because it can stand on its own, literally.
“I can wear an afro and immediately become this figure in a room full of people that everyone will notice.”
But even in all its glory, Aevin says there are some downsides as well to having the largest afro on a living person.
“It’s HOT. It’s not something you wear out in the Louisiana heat just because,” she said.
“It also completely cuts out any peripheral vision. You cannot see a thing.”
Aevin enjoys knowing she is a record title holder and says her friends and family use her achievement for bragging rights.
“It’s always an honour to be included in the GWR family,” she said.
“It’s also like a dream because when I was young the first book I’d go look for at the book fair was GWR and the first title I’d look for was ‘longest hair,’ because I thought long, straight hair was everything and my hair wasn’t pretty or good enough.
“To go from that to looking at not only natural hair but MYSELF… it melts my heart.”
Aevin is also proud to be recognized for her large afro because to her, it signifies more than just big hair.
“It’s about pride in textured hair which leads to self-love,” said Aevin.
“The natural hair movement was already well on its way but the afro title really did help bring it to another level. Inclusion and representation of everyone is everything.”
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