This article orginally appeared on PEOPLE.
Tamron Hall has got to be one of the hardest working women on TV: She’s the co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show, anchors MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall and is the host of Deadline Crime. She’s also one of the most stylish, thanks to her fashion-forward wardrobe and her ultra-chic pixie, which she’s had since she was 18 years old!
Her piecey short cut became her signature look thanks to her boyfriend at the time. “Everyone used to say, ‘Oh, wow, she’s got Halle Berry hair,’ but the truth is, it’s fashioned off of [singer] Anita Baker,” she explains on Today.com. “My boyfriend at the time was absolutely obsessed with her. He just loved her. And I wanted to have Anita Baker hair.”
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Hall kept the same hairstyle while working in cable news, but once she got to the national news stage, viewers’ negative comments had a huge affect on her: “I remember reading the cruelest, most awful thing about my hair online. A person speculated about who I was as a person and even read into my personal life based solely off my hairstyle. He or she said I must be lazy because I have short hair. It was just devastating.”
She actually varied up her strands because of it, growing them shoulder-length. “If you look at pictures of me on Today back in 2009, you’ll see that I started to grow out my hair to a little bob, or something like a bob. I really let it get to me.”
One day, her mom brought up the topic of her hair and she immediately chopped it off again. “I’ve finally learned that this is what I like, and this is how I look best. And that’s great.”
She’s been so faithful to her go-to style ever since, she only switched it up once, going natural after an outing with Bear Grylls in 2014. “I had a flight back in the middle of the night, and I’d planned on getting my hair done straight. But it’s a process, and I just did not feel like going through that that day.”
In the end though, she’s always happy to talk about her hair or fashion choices because she says it’s a great way to connect with viewers. “If someone says, ‘I love that lipstick’ I will always try to answer, honestly, if I know what color it is. It’s a connective tissue.”