Australian artist Dani Reynolds has created the world’s widest wig, measuring 2.58 m (8 ft 6 in).
The record was previously held by actress Drew Barrymore, who wore a 2.23 m (7 ft 4 in) wig on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2017.
Inspired by Drew’s “spectacular” wig, Dani set about claiming the record for themself, using Drew’s wig as a reference point.
After making the substructure and design of the overall hairpiece, Dani enlisted the help of local artist Meg Wilson to create the fabric underlay, sew the synthetic hair, and make the giant pink bows.
The biggest challenge Dani faced was making sure the colossal wig was perfectly balanced. If it wasn’t wearable, Dani would not achieve the world record.
“Not having a background in structural engineering or large props-making made this quite a difficult task,” Dani explained.
Dani and Meg spent around two months constructing the huge hairpiece. In total, the materials cost approximately 4,000 Australian dollars (£2,172; $2,681).
Once work on the wig was complete, Dani decided to unveil it at the opening night of the Studios: 2022 exhibition at ACE Gallery, one of Adelaide’s biggest contemporary art galleries.
Dani was part of the gallery’s artist residency program in 2022, and the exhibition marked the culmination of their time there.
Inspired by Drew Barrymore’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon, Dani made sure the wig’s big reveal was “like a hybrid live audience talk show/performance.”
“I was sort of performing the role of both Jimmy and Drew simultaneously,” Dani said.
Standing in front of the large audience in attendance, Dani joked, “I’d like you to bear in mind that Drew Barrymore had a high-end suite of New York props- and costume-makers at her disposal that made the wig for her, and all she did was wear it.
“Not all she did – sorry Drew! – but, I am just saying, I have made this myself with Meg.”
Dani’s wig received loud cheers when it was brought before the crowd. Matt Johnson, a celebrity wig-maker who acted as an independent witness to the record attempt, said to Dani: “You’ve got a centre part, you’ve got some on-trend clips, layers, texture… it’s all happening.”
When asked what will become of the record-breaking hairpiece, Dani told us: “I truthfully don’t know.”
“This is a question I ask myself daily as I justify keeping the wig towering over my partner’s writing desk in our home.
“My dream would be for the wig to be proximate to the previous title-holding wig. I think it would be impressive to see them in a space together.”
Dani would also consider selling the wig if a hair-raising offer came in.
The idea to break a world record came into Dani’s head whilst working on a separate art project, where they created sculptures from their partner’s tennis trophies.
“That’s how this record attempt started, when I was gifted his collection of Guinness World Records books while we were looking in the family shed for the trophies,” Dani revealed.
Dani said they’re “still in shock” after achieving this world record.
As a brand new member of the Guinness World Records family, Dani is interested in meeting other record holders, particularly owners of the world’s largest collections.
Dani is also interested in whether Drew Barrymore’s competitive spirit will be sparked when she learns that her record has been broken.
“I’m curious to know if Drew will be invested in reclaiming the title. I’m aware my time with the title could be fleeting.”