Is Rapunzel real then?… ”No, don’t be silly” might be a common reply! Hey, but I’m going to ask you think of your answer again this time… because I saw plenty of ”Rapunzel” this summer and even with longer hair!
That’s right you better believe your eyes! While I was on my trip to Guilin this summer, I had an opportunity to visit Huangluo, a small village that has received a Guinness book of Records certification for being the ‘world’s longest hair village’ So to those hair extension lover out there, best take notes ladies!
Huangluo village (pictures above) is inhabited by people of the Red Yao ethnicity, to them having long hair is an important cultural statement and is a long-standing part of their tradition; it symbolises longevity and good fortune. According to their hair tradition, one states that Huangluo women are only allowed to cut their hair on one occasion in their lives, when they turn 16 years of age. The chopped locks are then given to the girl’s grandmother being made into a decorative hairpiece!
It was revealed that Red Yao women’s hair is made up of three bunches, one being the hair that grows everyday, the second bunch is the decorative hairpiece as mentioned above and finally the last one consists of falling strands which are collected every day. All of these bunches are used to create different hairstyles that reveal things of these women. For instance, if the hair is wrapped around the head, that means the woman is married but childless. If there is a bun in front of it, it represents children. If she wears a scarf wrapped around her hair, it means she is single and looking for a suitor (it is also a tradition that she can only reveal her hair to her husband first before every one else!)
The tour guide later revealed that Huanglou village only permitted tourists in 2005; which means these women in the village hadn’t been exposed to commercial goods as simple as a shampoo. Despite of this, many old women in the village still kept their dark hair healthy even up to the age of 70! Their secret to good hair is by using fermented rice water to wash it, that’s not a first choice for many Chinese people because of the sour- smelling of it. But if it gives you hairs like some of these women in the village, then count me in!