As It Happens

Minnesota's 'mohawk king' aims to clinch 2nd Guinness record for tallest hair

Joe Grisamore wants to hold all the Guinness World Record titles related to the mohawk hairstyle. 

He already has the world's tallest mohawk. Now he's going for tallest mohawk spike

The so-called ‘mohawk king’ of Minnesota already holds the Guiness record for the world’s tallest mohawk — pictured here measuring in at 1.09 metres in 2020. Now he's going for yet another mohawk record. (Submitted by Joe Grisamore)

Story Transcript

Having the world's tallest mohawk isn't enough for Joe Grisamore. 

The so-called "mohawk king" of Minnesota already holds the Guinness record for the world's tallest mohawk, measuring in at 1.09 metres in 2020. Now he's hoping to beat the record for tallest mohawk spike.

"The two titles that exist, if I get both of those, then I'm more than happy," Grisamore told As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"Unless, of course, somebody breaks [mine]. And when that happens, then I might have to give it a go again."

All about that base

The tallest mohawk title is based on an average measurement from the front, middle and back of the hairdo. Tallest spike is a straight-shot measurement from the base of the head to the tip of the tallest hair. 

"It looks like I have an enormous cone sticking out of my head," Grisamore said.

The title currently belongs to Japan's Kazuhiro Watanabe, whose mohawk spike clocked in at 1.23 metres in 2014. 

Grisamore says he beat that by 7.36 centimetres on Friday. Guinness will now review the evidence and make a decision, a process that can take up to 12 weeks. 

Grisamore snaps a selfie with stylist Kay Jettmann after having his hair styled for into a mohawk spike on Friday. (Submitted by Joe Grisamore)

Going for the record was no easy feat, and Grisamore didn't do it alone. He partnered with stylist Kay Jettman from The Family Hair Affair in Park Rapids, Minn.

She went through his long locks piece by piece, flat-ironing out his luscious curls, he said. "Then she just rats it, or teases it I should say, to get the base real secure — because it's all about the base."

Once straightened, Jettman painstakingly froze the hair in place with göt2b Glued Blasting spray, while Grisamore's mother stood on a chair holding his locks up in a straight, taught line. The whole process took about an hour.

"[My mother is] a very strong woman because it takes a while and she literally has to pull it as hard as she can for that whole period," Grisamore said.

Japan's Kazuhiro Watanabe currently holds the Guinness World Record for tallest mohawk spike at 1.23 metres. (Guinness World Record)

When it was all said and done, Grisamore, who is 6-1, could barely get around.

"I'm a giant at that point. I'm limited, I can't get into a car, I can't really get into buildings. So it's primarily just for the event and just for fun and people to make a spectacle of me, I guess. It's a good time," he said. 

"I actually went out kind of after the fact, and it was a pretty windy day, so, I mean, it looked like I was being carried around by a parachute, but it was pretty funny. Cars would drive by and honk."

Grisamore says his wife digs his hair. (Submitted by Joe Grisamore)

Taking the mohawk down was a more difficult — and solitary — process, he said.

"It's a bottle of conditioner maybe, and at least a couple hours in the shower. It's relatively miserable by the time it's all said and done," he said. "But I always just like to stay positive and say it was all worth it when it was happening."

Grisamore hasn't cut his hair since he shaved his 1.67-metre locks clean off in 2013.

"That's when I got married. We went on honeymoon and the salt water dreaded my hair to the point of no return. So I said we had to shave it at that point, which is a little disappointing, but it's like my super power — it grows incredibly fast," he said.

He usually rocks it in two Willie Nelson-style braids, he said, and has no plans to cut it again.

"I guess I just feel more comfortable with a mane. So that's I think that's how I keep rolling."


Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes. 

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