Your hair is a symbol of individuality; a statement of who you are and how you want to be seen. Of course, not everyone will understand the reasons behind your drastic hair change, but TBH, should it really matter to you what they think? Below, we asked these Dove girls to share their empowering hair stories.
“Trying a new hairstyle is always risky, but life’s too short to let what other people think limit you.”
It took Gracielle King two months to finally dive into the milk tea hair color trend. While some would give her compliments about her new look, others wouldn’t be as encouraging. “Someone once called me an attention-seeker,” Gracielle shares. “But I can’t dwell on what they’re saying, because it’s not like I’m going to change my hair for them,” she says. “You have to remember that it’s your hair, it’s the way you want to look, and if you know you look good, it really doesn’t matter what they say.”
“Do it not to please the people around you; do it because it’s what makes you happy.”
After a DIY bleaching fail, Nessie Bonite changed her hair color to red before finally getting the pink dye job of her dreams. Her coworkers and friends have complimented her pink ‘do, but passersby and onlookers often tease her for looking like a K-pop star. “Hindi ko na lang pinapansin kasi minsan talaga, yung mga nagca-catcall, wala lang talaga silang magawa sa buhay. The best thing to do is just ignore them. ‘Wag ka nang pumatol.” These comments almost discouraged Nessie from expressing herself through her hair, but ultimately, she chose to stay true to herself.
“My profession shouldn’t limit me from expressing myself and claiming my identity outside the workplace.”
Long and straight hair is a staple among Pinays, and it can be uncomfortable to chop it all off—but not for Janine Alano. “When a friend of mine showed me an undercut [hairstyle], I fell in love with it.” As a nurse, Janine didn’t make light of her decision to change her look. “I was indecisive at first because of the repercussions it would have on presenting myself as a health worker,” Janine says. Since she chopped her hair, Janine would be jokingly called “sir” by her patients because of her haircut, but Janine would brush it off as funny and cute. “I was really conscious about it, but I realized that I wasn’t born to please everybody,” shares Janine, “and this hairstyle set me apart from the ordinary and really gives me confidence.”
“[Changing your hair] is something you do for yourself and not for the people around you.”
Jonah Tamayo uses her hair as an outlet for creativity and self-expression. Coming from a conservative family, Jonah has dealt with relatives commenting on how “loud” or “cheap” she looked. “For me, I find it as motivation...Ibahin ko pa, until wala na silang masasabi about it—or maybe that’s just how I react to the haters,” Jonah laughs. “Go out of your comfort zone. Focus on what you want, and everything else will follow.”
“You only have yourself to be the one to affirm that you look beautiful.”
Julia Sucgang kept her hair short and “boyish” so it would be away from her face while she played sports. Now, she keeps her hair long for a good reason. “[My long hair] serves as a reminder for me that I can be beautiful in a natural way,” Julia says. “I wasn’t hesitant at all to change my hair, because I wanted to tap into my feminine side and see how it would turn out when it grew longer.” Tying your hair may be rudimentary for most girls, but Julia puts it in a different perspective. “For me, tying my hair puts me in a position of control. I feel empowered and confident.” A lot of the criticism she receives comes from herself, but Julia shares, “How I brushed it off was learning, bit by bit, to accept my flaws and transform them into strengths.”
The way women choose to style their hair is akin to taking ownership of who they are and reaffirming their identity. You don’t need to look a certain way to be considered a woman or feminine or fall into a stereotype. Break barriers and express yourself in the most authentic way you can—this is what Dove’s #MyHairMySay campaign is all about. Get more inspiration from these Dove girls by watching the video below: