A fashion designer had broken the record for largest afro for a female by three inches. Simone Williams’ hair measures 4 feet 10 inches in circumference, according to Guinness World Records.
Williams has been growing her hair out for about 9 years, but she didn’t start wearing an afro with the record in mind. She told Guinness she got perms and straightened her hair in middle school to fit in, and wore her hair straight until college.
"I chose to transition [to natural hair] around the age of 23. It began because I wanted to save the money spent at the hair salon to help with the costs of moving into my first apartment,” Williams said in a release from Guinness. "The process was very difficult at first since I was accustomed to wearing my hair straight and I didn’t know how to manage my natural hair texture."
Williams says it takes about 6 hours for her hair to dry, and she washes it about once a week. “I use a lot of conditioner because it helps detangle my hair. I section my hair into 4 twists while in shower,” she said.
"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.
Williams said she was inspired by the previous record holder, Aevin Dugas, who held the women’s record for largest afro since 2012 with a circumference of 4 feet 7 inches.
Dugas says as her hair has gotten longer, it’s gotten heavier and doesn’t stand out as much. She plans to get some layers cut and hopes to be in the running again for the largest afro.
"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,” Williams said. Adding, “Styling my hair like this is a silent reflection of who I am as a Black woman, it’s dynamic, it’s larger than life, and it’s fun! Sometimes I leave the house and if I have on a plain outfit, my hair will be my biggest accessory.”