Asian woman with short hair wearing sunglasses, holding a phone and coffee cup.

“It’s just hair,” people say. But from the way you carefully style your tresses to make a statement to how you tend to chop it all off after a breakup, your crowning glory is incredibly personal. Whether you're aware of it, hair is intrinsically linked to your self-discovery, and what you choose to do with it can help you learn more about yourself.

Your Built-In Accessory

Think back to the last time you sat in a salon chair, hair peg in hand, to show your stylist. Were you trying a trend or going against the grain? Perhaps it was a particular look you liked (say, wispy Korean-style bangs) or a vibe (don’t you wish a chic French bob would automatically come with that effortless je ne sais quoi?). Maybe you were hoping to shed your demure rep with an Audrey Hepburn-inspired pixie cut. Were you choosing to grow out your locks for a more va-va-voom style? 

As one of the first things people notice, your hair helps you project a specific image. It helps form an impactful visual of the persona you are creating to impress others. Braids make you seem childlike and carefree. A shorter, more severe style can convey power and authority. Long, straight hair can make you seem conventional or timeless.

While hair is a great way to communicate your personality to others, it also influences how you define yourself. A radical haircut is a style statement and a key to self-discovery. So, what does your latest 'do say about you?

Ready for Change

A drastic haircut is often part of a carefully planned makeover – a mix of your current influences, what will suit your look and lifestyle, and the effect you are going for. However, you can also throw caution to the wind, leave it up to your stylist, and hope for the best.

“I’ve worn my hair on the longer side for a while, and I felt I needed a major change,” shares PR consultant and part-time lecturer Bebeth Timbol, whose vivacious vibe is even brighter with a chic short crop.

“Being stuck at home sick for two weeks pushed me over the edge. I went to the salon and told them to just cut it short. By the time they were done, I was in love with my short hair!”

A spontaneous haircut reveals a playful, daring streak. It may be just what you need to refresh your life and look – but be sure you !

Apart from serving as a confidence boost, Bebeth’s sassy new ‘do is incredibly easy to manage, giving her more time to do other things. “As cliché as it sounds, I loved how easy it was, especially since I had curly hair. Styling it takes minutes. Looks like this is going to be a keeper.”

Keep your locks in tip-top shape with Sunsilk Smooth & Manageable Shampoo, formulated with the essence of five flowers to give your hair five times more smoothness and fragrance. It’s even great for curly hair!

Bonus styling tip: To tame her natural curls, Bebeth spritzes on a or , or leave-in conditioner after showering. For extra nourishment, try Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Straight Ultra Treatment Wrap. Infused with a Triple Keratin Formula that penetrates each strand, it repairs the hair inside and out.

Express Yourself

For singer-songwriter and rising OPM star Pixie Labrador, it’s all about marking milestones and significant life events – whether good or bad – with a change in cut and even color. “It could be a breakup, making the Dean’s List, celebrating a new music release, anything!” A drastic haircut can be a tool for self-discovery, or a reflection of it.

Pixie adds, “To me, getting a haircut feels like acknowledging these events and making space for the next things life throws at me. In that sense, I guess I take ‘letting go’ quite literally through my hair. And in turn, it grows with me as well.”

Now sporting a , she explains: “I recently released a single called "Fire," so I got my hair dyed this ombre orange color to celebrate!”

While experimenting is fun and cool, the downside is that it can .

“Excessive or repeated chemical treatments, grooming habits, and environmental exposure produce changes in hair texture and, if extreme, can result in hair breakage,” according to the study in the National Library of Medicine.

Take extra care of your hair with Dove Advanced Treatment Keratin Mask, designed to boost instant but long-lasting repair and protection. It has Kera Shield Complex, a powerful mix of , niacinamide, and vitamins, to repair hair and protect from the long-term effects of styling.

You Say Vanity, I Say Self-Care

“One thing I’ve learned about myself is just how much I love to play around with fashion and my physical appearance in general,” Pixie shares. “While how we feel inside can reflect how we look outside, it can also be the other way around! So, if I’m having a particularly bad day, I turn to dressing up (hair experiments included!) as a form of self-care. It lifts my spirits even if just a little bit.”

The good thing about haircuts is they can be an outlet – to express our feelings (Courage! Confidence! Power! Serenity!) and show who we are or want to be. It’s part of personal evolution and self-discovery. They can be life-affirming, a physical manifestation of much-needed closure, or simply a practical wash-and-wear solution – it reveals what is important to us.

In this world, so many things are beyond your control. Your hair is among the few things you can play around with in your journey of self-discovery. And if you hate your latest cut, then perhaps what they say is true – it is just hair; it will grow back.