PT man’s eyebrow is world-record length
By Patrick J. Sullivan
Leader Staff Writer
At first, Leonard Traenkenschuh thought seeking a world record for having the longest strand of eyebrow hair was a hair-brained idea.
But the more he thought about it, the more the notion grew on him.
So, last week, the Port Townsend man completed the documentation necessary to meet the Guinness World Records criteria for longest individual strand of eyebrow hair.
The current world record is just a follicle more than 3 inches.
Leonard has two count em, two hairs past that length. His longest strand is 3½ inches.
I didnt set out to grow a hair to set a record, says the man who has lived in Port Townsend since 1980 and works at the hospital transcribing medical records. This just happened.
Leonard, 56, has never been a particularly hairy person. He does not have a beard and does not have thick sideburns or a mustache. I just have fertile brows, he says.
About the age of 30, he says, he noticed that some of his eyebrow hairs were growing much, much longer than usual. Its not just one or two freakos, its a bunch of them.
His eyebrows get so long he actually has cut a dangling hair while shaving. Sometimes the long hairs get caught and broken in his eyeglass frames.
Leonard has resisted his wife Kellys suggestion that he trim his eyebrow hairs more often.
I wont be browbeaten, he quips. I just let them grow, au naturel.
Several months ago his son, Evan, 26, remarked that he thought the eyebrow hairs must be close to a world record. He looked it up in the Guinness Book of World Records, and the record set in 2004 is just a hair over 3 inches.
I went and measured my longest right away, and it was longer than the current record, Leonard says. Its hard to measure yourself, plus looking in the mirror makes things backwards, but I felt I was a world record.
He went online to the Guinness site and filed an inquiry about how to apply for a world record. It took about a month for all the paperwork to be in place. Witnesses of standing must be obtained, sworn statements enlisted, video and photographic documentation prepared.
Leonard turned to The Leader for help with judging and documentation. Peter Wiant brought his video equipment for the official measuring event (The Leader will post the video on its website when its ready), also witnessed by Carol Pulido, manager of Olympic Art & Office.
The record Leonard seeks is in the Guinness category of longest individual strand of hair. Individuals can attempt to seek a world record in the following areas: arm, armpit, back, chest, eyebrow, eyelid (eyelash), leg, nipple and nose.
According to the Guinness rulebook, the hair must be natural (no extensions), should be washed immediately prior to measuring, and the measurement taken when the hair is wet (wet hair is naturally longer than dry hair). The longest strand must be laid flat along the length of a rule and must be measured three times on one occasion.
Leonard has a half-dozen long, curly hairs extending from his right eyebrow and about the same number from his left eyebrow. The longest officially measured, with ruler and tweezers, at 3½ inches is from his right eyebrow. The longest from over his left eye measured at 3 3/8 inches.
Maybe I broke the record twice already, he says.
He expects it to take a few months before Guinness responds with what he hopes is certification of his having the worlds longest strand of eyebrow hair.
At the risk of further embarrassment to his middle-school daughter who already thinks dad is a bit crazy for seeking this world record in the first place Leonard will continue to let his eyebrow hairs grow.
Instead of being known around town simply as the bamboo man for the bamboo he cultivates and sells for gardening and landscaping, he would be comfortable with a new nickname.
Call me the eyebrow-hair man, thats OK, he smiles. Ill just keep growing along.
(Contact Patrick J. Sullivan at email@example.com.)