My big chop.

My big chop.

The power of believing in yourself!

Courtesy of Frieda T Kakololo

Yes, I cut my hair off. I know a lot of people that have been doing it and it was not a big deal to me. Sometimes I can be very indecisive and get bored easily, so I needed to be sure that chopping my hair off was the right decision. This led me to watch about 20 YouTube videos of people cutting their hair off (and taking several online quizzes too 😂).

The main reason why I chopped my hair off was to lift the weight of myself but not in a physical way. Lately, my suppressed emotions have been catching up to me because usually, I have school to fill the void but now due to online school because of COVID 19, I have been alone with my thoughts and they were weighing heavy on me.

So, I decided to lighten the load a little. Of course, I was worried about how I would look because beauty is and has for a very long time been associated with hair, but when I realized that most of my hesitance was centered on how others would see me, I quickly disassociated myself from it and that thought became irrelevant. I strive not to need approval from other people, but I haven’t reached a stage where I am immune to others’ opinions yet. I am trying and we all should.

I had a full head of dreadlocks which I started in November of 2019 and even when I decided to get my hair locked, I faced a lot of criticism. The prominent comments were: “Why would you do that? You will look like a drug dealer”, as this is a stereotype associated with people’s dreadlocks in Namibia. When I did get my dreadlocks strangers and people close to me would casually ask me if I smoked weed.

When I cut my hair off I called some people I trusted but in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have trusted them. I video called some close people and one of my friends said: “Now we will have to leave you when we go places”. Instead, another said: “You shouldn’t have cut your hair, I liked it!”

Of course, I understand the shock of cutting my hair to them and I know I look different now and I am okay with that, but I was so disappointed that nobody asked me WHY I did it. They only asked why in regards to my appearance.

Courtesy of Frieda T Kakololo

I have a mantra that I have been repeating to myself before and after I cut my hair that goes like this: “I am not my hair, my hair doesn’t define me, it’s simply an extension of who I am”. Use it as an affirmation if you want to cut your hair!

It takes a lot of courage, I believe, especially for women to make big changes to their appearance because of the pressures of society. It requires being brave enough to take the first step but also knowing that being brave doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It’s simply being afraid and doing whatever you want to do anyway. So let us be afraid and do it no matter what!

Another thing that surprised me was the audacity of people thinking I needed their permission and validation. I did something I had never done before, so I wanted to share it with somebody I trusted, but boy was that rude awakening.
The next time I make a change big or small, I’ll know better. Sometimes it’s better to move in silence. So here’s to more firsts.

About the author

Frieda T Kakololo (@majesty___2000) is a 21-year-old Communication student from Africa, Namibia. In her free time, she is out and about volunteering with her Girl Up club, a group called Baxu, of which she is the president. She writes short stories on broad topics ranging from religion to short comedic skits.
She is an aspiring author and hopes to finish one of the multiple books she has started writing.