The proud owner of the world’s longest fingernails – measuring a total of 733.55cm – has cut them off, but says she will “still be the queen” despite losing her long claws.
Guinness World Record holder Ayanna Williams has been growing her nails for almost 30 years and they stop her from doing every day things like washing up and changing the bed sheets.
But she’s decided the time has come to chop them off in favour of a “new life” in which she can do more things, but admits she will miss them.
Speaking to Guinness, she said: “I’ve been growing my nails for a few decades now. I’m so, so ready for a new life. I’m know I’m going to miss them, but it’s just about that time – it’s time for them to go.
“With my movements I have to be very, very careful. So usually in my mind I’m already preparing for the next step that I have to do to make sure that I don’t hurt myself with my nails – or break them. I’m excited about cutting my nails because I’m looking forward to new beginnings.
“With or without my nails, I will still be the queen. My nails don’t make me, I make my nails!”
Before the cut, great-grandmother Ayanna needed between three and four bottles of polish each time she painted her nails, and it took so long she would have to split it over a few days.
Ayanna’s fingernails will go on display at the Believe It or Not Museum in Florida.
Despite being excited about being able to move about easier, she hasn’t ruled out growing them again in future.
Ayanna got her world record in 2017 after taking the title from Lee Redmond – who is still in the Guinness book for the longest nails in history.
She started growing them in 1979 and they staggering 8.65m in total at their longest.
She dipped them in warm olive oil every day and used bottle after bottle of strengthen and polish to keep them in top condition.
She said: “It was just a challenge to myself to see how far they would go before they started twisting out of shape.
“I kept setting dates and dates that I was going to cut them and I just couldn’t do it.
“It’s strange how they become part of you.
“I think my fingernails defined me to a lot of people, I was known as the fingernail lady but to me I would have to explain to them there really is more to me.”
But Lee, from Salt Lake City in the US, had her place in the record books cut short when she was involved in a terrifying car crash and her nails were ripped off.
She was sitting in the passenger seat when the car she was in crashed into another three vehicles, and she was thrown onto the road.
She said: “The first thing I spotted was a finger nail and I started crying.”
She told a witness at the scenes that her nails were record breaking, and the woman went around and collected all the pieces of nails – which Lee now keeps in a plastic bag to remind her of her time in the Guinness book of fame.
She said: “It was just something I had to accept because I couldn’t change anything.
“The thing that bothered me was, it becomes your identiy. I felt I had lost part of that.”
Like Ayanna, Lee faced a number of day-to-day struggles due to her long nails.
One of them was going to the toilet on a plane, and the nails meant she didn’t fit into the small cubicles.
This meant she had to not eat or drink for 24 hours before every long flight.
But she says she could manage to do most other things, including looking after her grandchildren, washing up and writing.
She used to use long pencils with rubbers on the end to type.
But the most common question she used to get asked? How she went to the loo.
Her answer: “Carefully”.