National

Japanese teenager lops off Guinness World Record-setting locks ready for Reiwa and college

Kyodo

An 18-year-old Japanese woman, once recognized as having the longest hair in the world among teenagers aged 13-17, had her first-ever haircut Tuesday before starting life at university.

Keito Kawahara, who lives in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, said she plans to donate the hair that was cut for medical wigs.

Kawahara initially grew her hair to hide a scar on her head that developed as a result of medical treatment shortly after birth. She continued life without cutting her hair, which she braided every morning during high school.

There were times when she thought about changing her hairstyle, but instead she focused on studying for university entrance examinations.

In March last year, Guinness World Records recognized Kawahara as having the longest hair of all teenagers aged between 13 and 17 years old. At the time, her hair measured 155.5 centimeters (5.1 feet) in length.

Kawahara turned 18 in April last year, making her no longer eligible for maintaining the record.

As she will start attending university in Kumamoto Prefecture this month, she decided to have a haircut for the first time in her life.

She also said she felt it was a good time to do so because Japan will mark the start of a new Imperial era following the abdication of Emperor Akihito on April 30.

Her mother, Miyuki Kawahara, 47, who washed her daughter’s long hair every day, said, “I felt kind of sad when I shampooed her hair (before the haircut), but it’s stylish and looks good on her.”

The nongovernmental organization that will receive the donated hair said, “We are grateful for the donation of preciously grown hair. It will be used for long wigs, of which there tends to be a shortage.”

An Indian girl residing in Italy established a new world record in November.

According to Guinness World Records, the length of the girl’s hair was 170.5 centimeters long (5.5 feet).

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