What’s Your Edge? 8 Women Share Their Stories Of Strength
And how great hair can empower you
“Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life.”
– Elizabeth Benedict, American novelist and journalist
For most women, our relationship with our hair is…. complex. It’s never just hair—it’s a reflection of our identity and a public display of our feelings for the day. When we have a bad hair day, chances are, our day isn’t going too well. But if our hair is looking amazing, our self-confidence is sky-high, with us sneaking in a few extra hair flips when we see ourselves in the mirror. Whether we like to admit it or not, great hair can empower women to own their confidence. And when it comes to revamping our personal image, a hair makeover can do more to switch up our look than a new wardrobe.
MAJIFASHION by L’Oréal Professionnel is all about embracing our individuality and supporting women who dare to be different, so they’ve teamed up with eight strong Singaporean women as part of their “What’s Your Edge?” campaign. The one thing they all have in common? They choose to lead their lives unapologetically—such as colouring their hair to express who they are on the inside or overcoming their own personal adversities.
For this campaign, each woman paired up with a salon for a customised MAJIFASHION hair colour that helped them to realise the best, most confident versions of themselves. All influential in their own right, meet the women who take ownership of their lives and make their own rules.
They reveal to us what’s their edge in the hopes that they can inspire other women to do the same. Scroll through to find out their individual stories.
Cassandra Tan, @caxs, Founder of ByCaxs
Hair Colour: Cotton Candy Pink
Hairstylist: Luna Kim at Walking on Sunshine
Love Cassandra’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I see my possibilities as limitless.”
A quick scroll through Cassandra Tan’s Instagram feed, and it’s clear she’s a very feminine woman who loves experimenting with fashion and beauty. But underneath that also lies a sporty person who loves Muay Thai and is training to wakesurf competitively.
Growing up, Cassandra was lucky to have supportive parents who never defined her by her gender. “I remember playing football with my dad every week,” she recalls fondly. “I never felt like there were any limits just because I was a girl. I had the freedom to explore anything I wanted.”
This nurturing environment empowered Cassandra to be comfortable in her own skin and gave her the confidence to do anything she wanted, whether it was surfing with a hot pink surfboard or playing with makeup looks the average person might consider “too much”. She understands that at the end of the day, she can’t please everyone—and that’s all right because the only opinions that should matter are those from her loved ones.
“Women need to know that they can be free to do whatever they want,” she stresses. “If you want to do Muay Thai, play with makeup, or dye your hair—why not? Just go out and explore everything you want to do.”
Jessica Tham, @tippytapp, Founder of SOIGNÉ The Label
Hair Colour: Glorious Ember
Hairstylist: Evane Toh at Pro Trim Hair Salon
Love Jessica’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I believe in myself and I know how to filter what other people say.”
The joy of motherhood can be a life-changing experience—this was something new mum Jessica Tham recently discovered. “I’ve never felt the sort of happiness that having a child can bring until my son came along,” she tells us. “It’s so fulfilling to see my child grow every day, and I can’t wait for the day where I can actually have a proper conversation with him.”
But nobody warned her about the backlash she would get from armchair critics who felt like they had to have a say in her way of parenting. When she decided to post a picture of her baby on social media, she was soon inundated with comments from strangers. “Suddenly, everyone had an opinion,” she tells us. “They’d point out what [they felt] I was doing wrong every chance they got.”
While Jessica was initially demoralised by these comments, she knew she had done her research and was providing the best care she could for her child. While it can be easy to be affected by comments from strangers, she slowly learnt to not take their feedback to heart. “Motherhood is messy, and it’s not always picture-perfect,” she stresses. “It can be overwhelming! So learn to give yourself some credit and remember that you’re already doing your best.”
Kimberly Chan, @chankimberly, Former National Diver
Hair Colour: Icy Spicy Margarita
Hairstylist: Irene Chai at NK Hairworks
Love Kimberly’s hair? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I don’t let fear dictate what I can or cannot do.”
For someone who used to jump off 10m-high platforms into a pool, you might find it surprising that former national diver Kimberly Chan is afraid of heights. Her first time on the 10m platform was terrifying, and she remembered standing up there for five minutes, not daring to make the jump. But eventually, driven by the fact that she wanted to get out of the cold, she took a leap of faith and plunged into the pool. “People around me had their reservations about how far I could go in this sport,” she admits.
But while Kimberly managed to overcome her fears, that didn’t mean they no longer existed. “Don’t get me wrong, the fear was still there when I competed,” she stressed. “But I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of my dive. So when I’m on that platform and it’s time to jump, I tell myself: “You’ve done it before. You’ve done this so many times on land, on lower heights, and during training. You can do it again.”
Dealing with her fear of heights in her years of diving competitively has contributed to how she deals with issues today. And it looks like her efforts are paying off, with Kimberly even trying out sky diving despite her fear of heights. “I get it, fears are valid,” she shares. “But life’s also too short to be dictated by them. Have fun, do some crazy, cool things if you want and just be you.”
Naomi Neo, @naomineo_, Influencer
Hair Colour: Frosty Denim
Hairstylist: Gary Chew at mi the salon
Love Naomi’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I’m fearless.”
If you follow Naomi Neo on Instagram, you might know her as the candid, no-holds-barred personality she is today. But she wasn’t always this confident. In fact, it took her years to finally accept herself for the person she has become.
“I was 11 when I first started blogging and being on social media,” she says. “When you open yourself up like this, you’re opening yourself up to criticism too. I didn’t know how to deal with all of the hate coming in, and school definitely didn’t teach you how to deal with cyberbullying.” Because of this, the once-outspoken Naomi could feel herself withdrawing, and started seeking validation from all the wrong places. She developed toxic friendships and relationships that slowly chipped away at her self-esteem.
At some point, she realised she had to make a change. While she couldn’t stop people from criticising her, she could change how she reacted to it. She stopped caring so much about other people’s opinions of her and wrote as authentically as she could.
“I want people to see the funny, unfiltered side of me that I’ve grown to love,” she shares. “It’s also my way of reminding my followers—who are sometimes young girls—that what you see online is actually just good lighting and filters. We’re all worthy of love, and it starts with recognising your own self-worth first.”
Nedra Lim, @nedface, Fitness Personality
Hair Colour: Summer Peach Glow
Hairstylist: Jason Sim at Salon #1 Hair & Beauty
Love Nedra’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I’ll always pick myself up and keep going.”
Imagine being an active person and having an immense love for sports your entire life, only to have all of that halted after a bad accident. This happened to Nedra when she sustained a pretty bad knee injury two years back. It hurt to even walk, let alone engage in the sporty activities she was so used to playing daily. “It was quite a huge blow, to go from being so active to suddenly not being able to do anything,” she admits. “I felt stuck.”
Nonetheless, Nedra didn’t let this stop her from doing what she loved. She attended physiotherapy and tried to pick up tennis again. But to her dismay, she realised her knee still wasn’t cooperating despite her desire to return to the court. That was when she realised she couldn’t rush her healing journey, no matter how badly she wanted to push her body. While it was incredibly frustrating for her to start from scratch again, she knew taking it slow was the right choice.
Fortunately, there was a silver lining in this dark cloud—the accident pushed her out of her comfort zone and she started trying new forms of exercise like yoga. “This experience taught me to be open to other possibilities. I’m on my own journey, and it’s OK if it’s slower in comparison to everyone else. My knee still hurts sometimes, but hey, I’m not going to let that stop me from doing what I enjoy!” And she did not. She just conquered a 10km marathon last month.
Rachel Wong, @rchlwngxx, Influencer
Hair Colour: Lilac Bubblegum
Hairstylist: Den Ng at PREP Luxe
Love Rachel’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I have ADHD, but my edge is that I’m not letting that stop me from anything.”
Ever since she was young, Rachel Wong knew she was different. Unlike her peers, she had trouble paying attention in class and found it difficult to sit still. When she was 17, she finally made the brave decision to see a psychiatrist.
As it turns out, Rachel’s gut feeling was right. She was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD for short. “When I got my diagnosis, it was such a huge relief,” she shares. “It was like, ‘Finally! This is the reason why I’m like this!’”
Rachel chose to embrace her diagnosis instead of looking at it as a setback, crediting a part of her creative spirit, spontaneity and active imagination to her ADHD. “It’s not been an easy journey, but I’ve come to accept it for what it is,” she admits. “Some days are good, some days are not. But what counts is I try my best, every single day. That’s why I’m so open about sharing this. And it’s so rewarding to hear from people who have the same condition, telling me they feel less alone now.”
Tasha Low, @tashaalow, Artiste
Hair Colour: Caramel Nougat
Hairstylist: Kyle Shin at Apgujeong Hair Studio
Love Tasha’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I define success on my own terms.”
Being offered the chance to be a K-Pop star would sound like a dream come true for most young women. But for Tasha Low, the pressure to conform to such a strict routine for a career in Kpop was not worth losing her entire identity over.
At the age of 17, Tasha was invited to Korea to train to be a Kpop star and even debuted as a member of the now-defunct K-pop group Skarf. But her journey wasn’t as glamorous as one would expect. For one, she had a gruelling schedule, training up to 16 hours a day. She also had little say about her image. “My agency had strict guidelines on how I had to talk, walk, sit, stand, and even how I laughed,” she confessed. “I had to change everything that made me, me.”
“And so, after seven years in Korea, I decided I wanted to change for myself. I wanted to be able to live my life by my own rules. So I left. But that doesn’t mean that I have failed. I’ve learned that my success is defined by me, and to me, that is being able to pursue what makes me happy. I’m now auditioning for acting roles, and I’m also going back to music. I’m slowly rediscovering myself again. I don’t know where my journey will take me, but I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Vanessa Ho, @vaneszs.h, Model, Host and DJ
Hair Colour: Royal Bourbon Tea
Hairstylist: Yukiko Yazama at Shunji Matsuo
Love Vanessa’s hair? Book an appointment here and redeem a complimentary 250ml SMARTBOND Conditioner (worth $36) at the salon. Whilst stocks last!
What’s her edge: “I do not let my young age hold me back from what I want to achieve.”
Don’t let Vanessa Ho’s young age fool you. While she’s just 20 years old, she’s already a multi-hyphenate, juggling a career of acting, modelling, hosting and DJ-ing. Not to mention, balancing her life as a student at NUS as well.
Her modelling career began at the age of 15, followed by acting and a stint in a radio competition. Entering the media industry at such a young age was a struggle for her, and even her parents had their concerns. But their worries were soon put to rest once they saw that Vanessa was able to balance school and her career.
“My career is something I take very seriously, but sometimes people question that because of my age,” she shares. “I guess that’s because you don’t usually see 20-year-olds hosting corporate events. But I’m trained for this and I’m qualified to do the job. It brings me so much satisfaction when I prove that I can do it.”
One piece of advice she has for anyone who wants to try a similar career path? Work hard and block out all the haters. “Don’t let age or gender be a factor when you want to try a new thing,” she tells us. “If you want to be on top, you need to hustle hard. Pay no mind to the people who say you’re too young”.
MAJIFASHION by L’Oréal Professionnel Singapore is the brand’s first translucent permanent hair colour that boasts long-lasting colour and extreme luminosity. A total revamp of its Majirel hair colour range, it boasts a collection of 16 stunning new ultra-pastel shades and 30 cool refreshed shades that you can mix and match to create a unique, signature hair colour that expresses your personality.
– Brought to you by MAJIFASHION by L’Oréal Professionnel –