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Though some take it as a fashion or a political statement, for Hiwot Shifa, 22, who shaved her head last year, the case was different.
Because of the thinning of her hair she decided to shave it off. Her friends assumed she was grieving and was met by many who wanted to pay their condolences.
She never thought about her hair and she did not imagine shaving her hair would stir a conversation. Around her neighborhood, Gofa area, many would comment and stop her to ask her about what was going on.
Later on, many gave her the moniker Zeritu, the famous singer who is also renowned for shaving her head. One of the things that scared her was being under the spotlight.
“When I take a walk in my neighborhood people ask me if my hair is growing. When I am in the taxi, many stare at me. It is scary,” Hiwot says.
She rarely gets compliments and most of the time she is criticized for her personal hairstyle choice. Now her hair has grown and the staring is not there any more. She strongly believes that the hair adds beauty to women.
“I believe the hair brings out the beauty in women. Longer hair is beautiful,” she says, adding that it is hair that distinguishes men from women. “Now I know I am not going to shave my hair,” Hiwot says.
Hiwot observes that many women are coming up with bold fashion statements and like Yodit says that she will keep shaving her head.
“The only thing that matters is that it makes me feel comfortable,” Yodit says.