Brooklyn woman breaks record for largest afro, hopes to inspire others to style their hair naturally

A Brooklyn woman who broke the Guinness World record for the largest afro is hoping to inspire others to go natural when it comes to hairstyling.
"My afro, it symbolizes confidence for me. Before I had my afro, I was very reserved, timid, which I still am, but it just gave me a bunch of confidence that I did not have before," Simone Williams says, whose hair tells a story of how she chose to redefine her own image of beauty nearly six years ago.
"And then I convinced my mother to give me a perm so I could fit in in junior high school and things like that. But having the straight hair, that's what we saw in the media all around us. That was the norm," Williams says.
Her choice to stand out is now shared worldwide as she broke the record for largest afro.
"If I were to stretch it and straighten it, it's about waist length," Williams says.
She adds that submitting for the Guinness World Records was a process that took both time and some work.
"There is a lot of requirements. You need to have someone else measure it, you need to have witnesses, you need to have a video of the measurements, you need to have photos of the measurements. It was just a lot," Williams explains.
While the fashion designer says she's thankful to hold this record, she hopes the celebration of her natural hair will inspire others to start their own.
"As a Black woman, this just shows me that I can celebrate myself, and also not only myself, but doing it, I have a goddaughter and I have a sister, so just being an inspiration for them 'cause I know when I first became natural, I didn't have a lot of people around me to look up to," Williams says.