The brunette beauty opened up in an interview with Byrdie and admitted she's only recently figured out who she is—and part of that was changing everything she's known for the past near-decade.
"I'm almost 28, but…I think I only just figured out who I was a year ago," she told the publication, recalling the reason she first chopped her hair into a short bob. "I know it seems silly because it's just hair, but at a point, I was like, 'Why don't I just own that I'm different?' I guess cutting my hair off was like me finally saying, 'I don't give a f--k.'"
But the transformation extended beyond her drastic, new locks.
Hale has taken her life in her own hands, molding her "new" (ish) persona from the inside out. One of the ways she did so was in her decision to quit drinking.
"I'm just always trying to surround myself with better people and be the best version of myself possible," she explained. "I know it sounds obnoxious to hear people say that, but why not?"
Kat Borchart for Byrdie
After years of living in the Hollywood party world, she simply has "no interest" in that lifestyle anymore. "I tried really hard to be the social butterfly. Becoming a part of this popular show…everyone just says yes to you, so you get away with a lot, and then you make mistakes."
In fact, after watching herself gain what she called the "freshman 15" on PLL, Hale found her "church" at the popular cycling joint.
"I go home, and my dad's like, 'You L.A. hippie with your crystals and your SoulCycle!'" she laughed. "I always used to make fun of those people, but now I think it's just magic."
Needless to say, Hale is taking a deep dive into her well-being following the end of PLL, but she knows the break won't last too long.
"Maybe I'll go on vacation...But I do love working," she admitted. "What I do is so gratifying 99% of the time. Being busy—I get a thrill out of it."
So what can we expect out of her next? "I'm itching to do something insane and crazy," she revealed...and now we can't wait to see what it is!