Straight Out Of A Fairytale
When you think of Rapunzel, you’re likely to think of the golden-haired princess, locked away in a castle in a magical land, far, far away. Well, in reality, the real-life Rapunzel is a thirty-four-year-old woman from Ukraine… And, remarkably, her locks are just as magical as the fairytale.
Are you curious about this slightly strange woman? She has an even stranger reason for keeping her floor-length hair…
Patience And Effort
Many people dream of having long, flowing hair. We all know, however, that having long hair is a very high maintenance lifestyle.
You need plenty of patience while growing it out, but that pales in comparison to the amount of effort you need to put into your hair to care for it when it’s long. However, plenty of us take our hair very seriously…
Many people think that their hair is often the defining feature of their overall appearance. Styling your hair is also often a means of expressing yourself.
Long hair, short hair, curly hair, colorful hair — or no hair at all. There are many ways to express yourself by styling your locks. But there are some people out there who love their hair a little too much.
An Unusual Attachment
On the other end of the scale, there are people who consider a trip to the hairdresser to be their worst nightmare, and many avoid going altogether. Some people are simply terrified of getting their hair cut. It can be for many different reasons. Believe it or not, there is a psychological reason for some people’s unusual attachment to their hair.
New York City clinical psychologist, Vivian Diller, explains how some people’s hair is a lot more than just hair to them.
“Some women view their hair as an aspect of their identity,” explains Diller. “It’s very internal, and women who let it grow to this extreme length have become attached to it over a long period of time.”
“Some women view hair as the gestalt of their look and parallel it with losing their teeth or an arm,” Diller continued. And some even insist that a person’s hair is the primary source of their beauty…
Alena, or the real-life Rapunzel, as some are calling her, is one of these people. She has recently found viral fame after photos of her astonishingly long locks were uploaded to Instagram.
The thirty-four-year-old Ukrainian hasn’t cut her hair since she was 5-years-old.
Alena’s hair has been growing practically her entire life. Alena has let her hair grow since she was 5 years old due to the encouragement she received from her mother.
“From an early age, my mother instilled a love for long hair,” she said in an interview.
Alena’s hair hasn’t been cut in almost 30 years. Even once her hair became longer than her own height, the idea of cutting it hasn’t crossed her mind.
Alena herself stands at 1.68 meters (5’6”) while her hair is just over 1.8 meters.
“My love for my braid is so strong that for a second in my whole life I did not think about a haircut. I can not see and cannot imagine myself with short hair or dyed in a different color!” she said.
“For me, true beauty is in naturalness, which is why my hair is so long, it is the manifestation of my inner world, part of me and my soul.” But how does she manage those locks?
No Trouble At All
Alena admits that her hair takes a long time to take care of. Dealing with her hair, as long as it takes, however, is not a chore to Alena.
“It’s not hard for me with my hair, nor the constant care of them, it’s all a joy because this is part of me — my beauty and wealth!” she said.
Alena’s advice to those you who want long, beautiful hair much like hers is simple.“In order to have long and beautiful hair, you just need to really want and love what you do.”
She also says that she uses products to nourish her hair and lets her hair dry naturally. But you may be surprised about how often she washes it.
Caring For Her Tresses
“I wash my hair once a week, this process takes about an hour, given the preparation before and after washing. I comb my hair at least twice a day, I usually braid my hair, make it into a bun,” she explains.
“From childhood, my mother told me how long a braid adorns a woman, her words live in my heart and soul throughout life.”
“I trim the ends twice a year, the last time I did it was in July, where I had 15cm cut off,” Alena reveals.
“The main thing that I never do: I don’t dry my hair with a hairdryer, I don’t use curling irons, I don’t comb my wet hair (they dry naturally), it’s all taboo. I wash my hair once a week, use natural masks, various types of oils to nourish my hair; the main care is professional cosmetics. I definitely use dried fruits, nuts, and homemade cottage cheese.”
The stunning images have helped her amass more than 13,000 followers on the social media app. But unfortunately, it’s also invited some comments from men who wish to travel overseas to see her and ‘sniff’ her hair.
“A lot of men admire my hair, want to meet, travel, invite me to visit their country, make offers of hand and heart. I can laugh it off correctly, often I don’t answer messages so as not to give a man hope,” she said.
Some have even gone as far as to send Alena marriage proposals. Alena laughs at them and just enjoys having beautiful long tresses which she’s been growing since she was a child.
“The main secret in long beautiful hair is a great desire to have such beauty.” She explained, “You cannot doubt it for a moment. Аll women need to remember that at all times the real beauty of women was evaluated precisely by the beauty and length of her hair.”
Despite some of the weird requests she gets, Alena loves all her followers and the attention she gets.
“When people see the length of my hair, they can’t hide their enthusiastic looks and emotions, it’s very nice. Also, many come up and say how unusual and beautiful it is nowadays,” she added.
Fairy Tale Princess
Alena describes herself as a “humble person” but admits that she loves being compared to Grimm’s character and popular Disney princess Rapunzel.
She also enjoys seeing the surprised look on people’s faces on the rare occasions she lets her hair down in public.
Letting Her Hair Down
“It’s now become a bit of a treat to let my hair down, because it is far more comfortable, as in a bun it can be quite heavy,” explained Alena, who met her husband Alexander 11 years ago in Odessa, marrying a year later.
“I remember the first time my husband saw me with it down – which was maybe on the third or fourth date – and it came as quite a shock to him. But after he had got over the surprise, he saw how unusual and beautiful it was.” But what do her children think about their mother’s unconventional lifestyle?
In The Family
Although she hopes her two daughters, Valeria and Miroslava, will follow in her footsteps, Alena said that she will leave it up to decide if it’s worth spending their whole lives maintaining super-long locks. “I’d like them to know that long hair is something beautiful and something to be proud of,” she said.
She hasn’t cut their hair yet, just in case they decide to follow her example.
The Ukrainian’s two-meter-long hair is certainly impressive, but nowhere near record-breaking.
Compared to the locks of people like Savjibhai Rathwa, whose hair measured 62 feet two years ago, or Asha Mandela, the woman with the world’s longest dreadlocks, it’s actually quite short.