A different hairstyle is like a new pair of clothes: It sets the mood. A tight bun paired with a pearl necklace and full-length gown makes you feel more sophisticated and classy, whereas a messy ponytail with an oversized shirt and pants means you’re probably not leaving the house anytime soon.

I’ve gone through three drastic hair phases in my life: pixie cut, dyed, and half-shaved. Each one with a different definition.  

Pt. 1: The Pixie Cut Gone Wrong

Rachel Dugard

Picture it: I’m a junior in high school with braces and wavy hair down to my back. A little awkward but not a bad look. Then one day I finally decided to be brave and chop it all off. I walked into the salon with a head full of hair, and I walked out of there with hair that I couldn't even fully hold in my hand. 

The pixie cut spoke volumes. I didn't get the memo that a pixie cut meant you became a lesbian to almost everyone else, but apparently that's the case. 

On the upside the pixie cut only took ten minutes to wash and wasn't hard to manage, but it wasn't me. 

Pt. 2: Hair Like Fire

Rachel Dugard

Now, jump forward four years to 2015 when I'm halfway through college. I was itching for another change. Then the heavens opened up and a ray of light shined on a box of $10 hair dye from CVS. Miracles can happen. 

I then became a rebel and was called "the girl with fiery hair" at parties.

I was doing what I wanted and not giving a damn about anyone else's opinion of me. I put my hair up with some braids, laced up my combat boots, and threw on the edgiest shirt I could find. I was ready to start a revolution.

The red gave me some extra confidence. But eventually, it did fade to pink and stained my white towels. 

Pt 3: Half-Shaved and Wholly Fierce 

Rachel Dugard

Deep into college—once the pink had faded—I needed something new and fierce. I got it shaved by a lovely stylist named Chloe, whom I met by chance. I fell in love (with my hair and stylist).

This is me.

I've found a haircut that defines me as I am right now. The half shave can be styled with hard edges for those times when I want to look fierce and a little crazy, or it can look soft and blend with the rest of my hair when it grows out a little more. 

But my favorite part is that every month or so I can get a new design, a new definition. 

Rachel Dugard

My hair went from long to obscenely short, to red, and now to partly gone. The red was the easiest to style, but the shaved head is the most fun (even though I need to cut it more often). Each hairstyle has helped me define myself.

So maybe going bald and becoming a monk isn't for you, but imagine what your look would be if it was defined completely by your personality.