3 Women Prove How Gorgeous Hair Can Change Your Life – Seriously

POPSUGAR Photography | Diggy Lloyd

For many women, us included, hair and self-worth are inextricably intertwined. How our hair looks on any given day can determine our moods and shape our perspectives. A bad hair day can weigh us down, literally and figuratively. But give us a good hair day, and we feel like we can conquer the world — and look good doing it.

Of course, achieving good hair is much easier said than done. It can take years to determine the cut, style, or color that makes you feel the most beautiful, let alone summon the courage to actually take the plunge and make a change, big or small. For some, that change is prompted by a life-changing event. For others, it can signify a fresh beginning. For you, it can start right now.

If you've been searching for the motivation to continue your journey toward gorgeous hair, look no further than the inspiring stories ahead, shared by three of our very own editors. Each narrative illustrates the power hair can have on your confidence and identity, no matter how old you are or what life stage you're in. Keep reading to discover how each editor reached her ultimate hair goals and how you can, too.

For Nicole, a drastic cut was the answer to get back on track after a barrage of major changes left her feeling uncertain about her postgrad future.

"Immediately after graduating from college, I moved to San Francisco for a new job. Aside from a few mutual friends, I didn't know anyone in the city except for my ex-boyfriend, who I had broken up with the same week of the move. It was a messy split to say the least. All within that short time, I was living by myself for the very first time in a brand new city with a brand new job. When an opportunity arose for a haircut with a well-known celebrity stylist and salon owner, I knew it was the perfect sign to try a new look to go along with my fresh start. We chopped about nine inches off of my waist-length hair to a textured lob — the shortest my hair had been since middle school — and I loved it.

I walked out of that salon feeling so confident and ready to embrace the exciting new path ahead of me. It was as though all my stresses and worries were left on that salon floor, along with my hair. Next was the fun part: learning how to style my new cut. Because my hair is normally stick straight without any texture, I create loose waves with either a wand or straightening iron and add some additional body with volumizing and texturizing powder." — Nicole Yi, assistant editor, Love & Sex

Leave it to motherhood to totally shake up your routine — and your confidence. After having a baby, Lauren decided to try a low-maintenance color to better suit her new lifestyle, but quickly learned that it's not worth it if you're not feeling your best.

"I've had bright blond heavy highlights for nearly 15 years, but after I had my first baby, I didn't think I was going to be able to maintain the look. It required three-hour salon appointments almost every five weeks, which is a big commitment even when you don't have a newborn. So, a few months after my son's birth, I asked my longtime stylist for lowlights and more grown-out roots so that I could stretch my appointments a few more weeks. I was less than thrilled with the results, but figured I'd give it a try for practicality's sake.

For weeks, I tried to get back the oomph I usually felt from my bright hair by wearing more makeup and colorful clothes. I tried a different part, wore my hair down, and then up. But a month after I walked out of the salon with my darker 'do, I walked right back in asking for my blond highlights back.

Despite my attempts to overcompensate, I just didn't feel like myself without my light locks. And feeling like yourself is especially important when you're a new mom. I realized that even if it takes extra time and effort to maintain, it's worth it to me to keep my bright hair so that I look and feel my best. Now I actually look forward to those kid-free hours in the salon, and instead I save time between appointments by using dry shampoo that protects my color. It keeps my blond looking bright and not greasy and gives me back precious minutes that I would've otherwise wasted washing and drying my hair each week." — Lauren Turner, editorial operations director

It's no secret that your high school years are filled with self-doubt. Luckily for Ann-Marie, discovering her signature look early on helped her embrace her flaws and gain lasting self-assurance at such a formative age.

"I've always known my forehead was a weird shape. These days, I embrace my trapezoid shape, but when I was in high school, it brought me nothing but shame. I didn't like its shape, nor that it was covered in baby hairs. So, to go with the other change I made to my face (getting contacts), I decided to get bangs. Maybe it was everyone's reaction to it or part of growing up and embracing myself a bit more, but I loved my bangs and how they lifted my spirits up. I've had them now for nine years and will never look back. With the help of a smoothing serum, I also keep them less frizzy and greasy — a problem anyone with bangs will understand. Now, if anyone is ever considering trying bangs, I tell them to do it because it could honestly make them feel more confident and happy, as it did for me." — Ann-Marie Alcantara, assistant editor, Tech