China - MOL - She spends a whopping two hours every day washing and drying her jet black hair - and normally winds it on top of her head to keep it out of the way. Ni Linmei, 57, claims she has not had her hair cut for 16 years - and it now measures 9ft 6in (2.9m) long. But she is now considering going for the chop because her locks are so inconvenient. Hearing this news, neighbours in her home town of Taiyuan in Shanxi province, China, have been clamouring to have their photograph taken with her before it is too late.

She was pictured outside with four women in a line holding her hair - and standing on a table with a measuring tape in an office so the full length of her mane could be displayed and checked. But although her hair is impressive, Ni Linmei is still no match for fellow Chinese woman Xie Qiuping. She holds the current Guinness World Record, with her hair measuring 18ft 6in (5.6m) when measured in May 2004. The woman has been growing her hair since 1973 from the age of 13. In February 2010, it was reported that Tran Van Hay - a man who may have had the longest hair in the world - had died at his home in Vietnam aged 79. His locks apparently measured 22ft 4in (6.8m), although they had never been officially measured. His hair stretched around him in a thick, matted cord - looking like a huge furry boa constrictor snake. Mr Hay’s had grown his hair for more than 50 years because he often felt ill after a haircut, his wife Nguyen Thi Hoa said.