My Hair Evolution

I’ve been wanting to write this post on my hair evolution for a while now, but I always ended up posting something else. A few months ago, I gave myself the project of scanning all my family photos.

Digitalising all our photos was a huge task, and to be honest, some weekends I just couldn’t be bothered. With that said though, I finally did it ALL last weekend and I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it! I’ve also organised them all into folders, made sure that their dates and locations are correct and shared them with my family. You could say that my Google Photos library is pretty damn organised right now. 😝

In the process of doing this, I also uploaded some old photos I downloaded from my Facebook profile (side note: I’m officially off Facebook!) onto my library. As I was going through all of my old pictures, I was once again surprised by how different I looked. On top of that, seeing the growth of confidence shoot up as time went on (seemingly correlating to finally accepting myself!) Looking back now, I question every decision I made during that time… but then at the same time, I’m happy I went through all that to get to where I am now.

Today I wanted to share my hair evolution over the years, and showcase the growth that went with how I appeared on the outside. I found this fun to write and put together, I mean, what’s more fun than writing about embarassing phases? 😳

🌟 1996 – I was born this way

To give you a bit of history on my hair evolution, let me take you back to the early days. I was born with straight hair, that for some reason turned curly on a flight to the Philippines. My dad thought it was a good idea to shave off my hair to hopefully restore my straight hair (not that there is anything wrong with curly hair!) Apparently when I realised that my dad had done this, I turned scared of my own reflection. 😂

A photo of younger Pauline with curly hair
I have no idea what is going on in the second photo, but it’s one of the best photos to show how curly my hair was. And yes, I have always been sas-princess-diva. 😂

🍭 2000 – Curly wirly

Alas, my curly hair grew back and for the earlier days of my life this was my reality. It’s not that I didn’t like my curly hair, because some days I had beautiful ringlets that made me look like a cute (not creepy) doll. But most of the time, I had unmanagable bushy hair.

So that my hair wouldn’t drive me (and others) crazy, I had it up most of the time. There was one time at primary school where I let my hair down for the day because I thought it looked cute (big mistake.) But as I was sat at the front of the class, my hair (which at this point was doing it’s thing of going all over the place) was blocking people behind me. 😅

A photo of Pauline at 8 years old with bushy hair.
My hair was bushy with some ringlets (sometimes) This photo was taken on my 8th birthday 🤪

Because I apparently rembelled Tracy Beaker, kids didn’t hesitate to call me Tracy Beaker. Now I look back though, I loved Tracy Beaker so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.

🦄 2008/9 – where the phases begin

I was going through a strange phase of changing my hair almost every single week. At first, it was just following random hair tutorials on YouTube from updos, braids to cutting a fringe (which, by the way, with curly hair was the worse decision ever!) 😂 During this phase, I went through 3 main obsessions:


In 2009, I had the chance to go visit The Philippines where my mum took me to a hair salon to get my hair chemically straightened (also known as ‘rebonding‘.) This was where I first learned that this procedure actually existed! When I returned to the UK, my hair was silky, smooth and straight. As someone who had grown up hating her curly hair, this was such a big deal to me!

A photo of Pauline with chemically straightened hair
My chemically straightened hair!

Dying my hair

My dad explicity told me not to dye my hair. But being influenced by main stream media (and who am I kidding? Lots of k-pop 🤪), I fell into the rabit hole of changing my hair colour. And… I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

Pauline with different hair colours
Trying every colour ever that wasn’t my natural hair colour

I also followed the ombré trend.

Then obsessed with being blonde, so ended up experimenting by dying my whole head with the ombré drugstore hair dye.

Hiding my forehead

Being a confused teen who had no real idea of self-love, I decided quite early on that I hated every aspect of how I looked. It is sad thinking about how I used to view myself, but I’m so glad that I’m out of that mindset now!

One of my biggest insecurities was my forehead, so when I learned how to hack away at my hair from blurry YouTube videos, I got myself a fringe (or ‘bangs’ if you’re American!)

Pauline with bangs
I always had some sort of fringe style going on

Because I couldn’t run away from the fact that my curly hair will always be there (from new growth), I was using heat on my hair almost everyday to maintain my fringe resulting in over an hour to get ready. I also loved experimenting with hairstyles so some days, I straightened my hair only to curl it for step 2.

🌈 2014 – lets get even more creative

You can imagine the texture of my hair eventually became straw-like with all the changing hair colours, heat and styling it went through every day. By the time I finished school, my hair was just a haystack.

Pauline with curly, blonde hair
I thought I was very Parisan here lol Along with the hair experimentation, I also loved layers of make-up!

Becoming more aware and perhaps more mature as I approached university, I decided to cut as much of the dead hair as I could! This led me to rocking a short curly bob (the curls were my natural hair.)

I actually slowly embraced my natural curls, but still did some serial hair-dying, damaging my hair further.

Pauline with curly, blonde hair
I straightened my bangs everyday, because I needed to cover my forehead!

Hair like Beyoncé, please?

Up until this point, I always used drugstore hairdye but as soon as I started working part-time and earning my own money, I decided to go to a proper hair salon who could do it for me.

And that’s when I got my hair bleached for the first time. I’ve always loved Beyoncé’s hair colour, so I showed them a few reference photos and off they went, destroying one strand at a time. 😬

Pauline with light blonde hair
My hair had never felt so bad, ever

I loved it when I walked out of the salon, I thought my hair looked incredible even though when you touched it, it felt like each strand would fall off. When it was back to my natural curls, I thought the style didn’t suit the colour at all.

And I swear in some lighting, my hair looked green. 😂

Well, that was a terrible idea.

That blonde phase only lasted a few months. I went back to a darker brown colour, but with everything I did to my hair up to this point, it was lifeless and screaming to be cared for!

Pauline with darker hair
Back to a darker colour… but you can see the state of my hair was terrible.

I then went for a chop because the ends were horrible. It didn’t make much of a difference because I was still using heat on it everyday.

Pauline with shorter hair
…Because I had to get rid of the horrible ends

☁️ Late 2016 – simplyfying

Because of events – like this one and this other, more positive one, I made a huge decision to stop my bullsh*t of trying to become someone else or hide behind my hair.

So, in this phase, I decided to let my hair grow out completely. I vowed that the last time I would dye my hair was this one… to go back to my roots.

Pauline with black hair
First time I ever looked so natural

Around this time, I also met my dear friend and hairstylist, Jing. She was the only hairdresser that had heard of the practice of rebonding, and so after I gave my hair some breathing room, I reached out to her to straighten my locks. This was mainly because I wanted to reduce my hair maintance time to less than 5 minutes, and curls required a little more maintance compared.

Pauline with black hair
I also minimised my make-up

Alongside that, I began my journey of positive habits, self-love and acceptance. 😊

💜 2019 – Today

I haven’t dyed my hair since 2016!

After years of dying my hair at least once a month since I was 14, this is still a pretty big deal to me. I have now fallen in love with my natural colour (dark eyes, dark hair 🥰) and the simplicity of waking up and not thinking about anything else but brushing my hair. 😂

My hair is no longer haystack stuck to my head, but shiny, healthy locks that is treated well.

Pauline with natural hair
Never loved my natural colour more! My hair is also in the healthiest state it’s ever been.

I’d like to one day rock my natural curls again, but at the moment, I love my long, straight hair (still done by Jing) I think the length and style frames my face a lot better than any other style I’ve ever had.

Pauline with natural hair
My graduation – hair on fleek

Get him outta ya hurr*

*What a Little Mix banger

It might seem a little cheesy to link my crazy hair phases to personal growth, but it truly is a great example of exactly that! Behind all the hair and excess make-up (which has also simpified) back then was someone insecure with herself.

That is totally different now, and I think you’d agree that yesssss girl, it shows. 😉

2 responses to “My Hair Evolution”

  1. Hm, its pretty interesting seeing how your hair changed over the years. I do have to say your hair now, its natural look is a lot nicer. =3

    I dyed my hair once in high school. Just a darker brown, with temp. hair dye. I never did again. I too have come to like my natural hair color.

    I feel you though with hair maintenance. I have extremely thick hair, so it was always hard to manage. I used to have it long. I always wanted it short, and fought my mom on it for years. Finally, I got it done in a kind of pixie cut, and ironically my mom thought it looked better. I’ve kept it short ever since. I love just having to run a brush through my hair. Though it grows like a weed. XD

    1. Aww thanks Megan! 😁 Definitely prefer that low maintenance life 🤪

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