For 45 years, Darka Jakymchuk refused to cut her hair, growing the auburn tresses down to her ankles and pinning them up in an enormous bun each morning. That all changed yesterday with one snip of the shears when the 59-year-old Queens woman walked into a salon and left with a giant braid in a gold box.
She wept and trembled as the stylist chopped off her crowning glory – but was grinning ear to ear minutes later at her bouncy, chin-length do.
“It feels so much lighter,” the modern-day Rapunzel marveled. “I’m glad it’s so curly.”
Jakymchuk, who was born to Ukrainian parents in a German camp but raised in the United States, had her last serious haircut in 1962 when her father lopped several inches off a waist-skimming shank.
The longer it grew, the more attached to it she became, even though it took hours to dry and caused some embarrassments.
There was the time she set off a metal detector at the airport because of all the bobby pins, and the time the hair got caught in the wheel of her office chair and the maintenance man had to free her.