If you thought Rapunzel was just a fictional character, you might think again if you met Terelynn Russel. The 43-year-old mom has had long tresses since she can remember, and today her hair is over six feet long.
“My earliest memory of the shortest hair would be when I was four years old starting kindergarten and it was down to my waist,” she says. “To me, short hair would be just above my waist.”
And Russel hasn’t even been one to refuse trims and cuts. Her mother still trims her hair regularly—Russel has to stand on a chair while her mother sits on the floor—and she’s donated up to 20 inches at a time to Locks of Love.
Her daughters have all decided to grow their hair out as well, and the three look like miniature versions of their mother, with their hair all reaching well past their waists. But there are rules when it comes to long hair in the Russels’ house. As anyone who has ever grown long hair knows, beauty comes at a price.
All the girls must have their hair tied back when in the kitchen, and they must all wash and condition it regularly to keep it healthy and clean. The kids have all been taught to style each other’s hair, and it’s always either all pulled back or hanging loose.
“I think that it was part of the era,” says Russel of her locks’ beginnings. “Little girls had long hair. And, you know, at the age of four I had long hair and my mom would put it in ponytails and pigtails and pretty bows… and I liked it. It’s all I knew. To this day, long hair is all I know.”