Forget the Mom Jeans, Let’s Talk Mom Hair
It’s a trend that’s stuck around longer than pogs, scrunchies, patterned pants, or Justin Bieber’s pre-pubescent innocence. It’s stood the test of time through each decade.
It’s the mom-cut.
Does the very word make visions of Kate Gosselin’s reserve mullet immediately dance in your head? McGruff and his crime fighting nephew Scruff need to take a bite out of the crime that is the mullet. Reverse or traditional.
When I’m feeling particularly deep thoughts, my soul wrastles with the question: what is it about having a baby that makes many a mom shed her locks?
I’ve done it. My sister just did it. And my sister-in-law is about to do it. The shedding of motherly hair is a thing. I’ve found that many a mom dramatically cuts her locks within the first year of having a baby.
I’m neither pro nor con. Just an observer and a perpetrator, but I have a few theories about the phenomenon.
First, I vaguely remember people telling me my hair would fall out after having a baby.
I do not remember however, anyone telling me I’d feel like a Yeti shedding every inch of hair my head had managed to grow in the past twenty-seven years of life. If I washed, brushed, touched, moved, sneezed, or thought about my hair it fell out.
It drove me nuts crazy to regularly find strands of hair smooshed into my newly acquired nursing cleavage in all its leaking milk glory. It covered every inch of my bathroom floor and clogged up my drains. The final straw was finding my hair in my daughter’s diaper. I do not want to know how it found its way there.
That postpartum hair is a force to be reckoned with. It’s everywhere. Basically, “hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband, cause yo hair is attacking errbody out here.”
I said to my hair, “Enough hair. Off of my head!”
And so I chopped.
Other hair cutting theories include practicality. Short hair can be easier. New babies or more babies usually means less time for primpin’ and primin’ and off with the hairs moms go. I get that. I tried that.
Maybe moms do it to counterbalance the gallons of milk that are now the ol’ chest. Boobs and loads of hair can be too much business and weight for some ladies to handle.
Perhaps it’s slightly symbolic. Motherhood is an amazingly crazy life change, and an easy outward reflection of that inward change is a new do. It’s as if the new cut sings Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” to each passerby as it bounces weightlessly off of a mother’s shoulders.
It’s a tricky one, to cut that hair or not. I admit, I experienced a brief bout of choppage regret as my short haired dreams went a little more Hilary Clinton circa 1994 instead of a more modern-day Michelle Williams chic. (No disrespect to the former First Lady, she’s just 40 years my senior, not exactly my target hair age group).
Please let it be known that neither short hair or long hair is superior. I’ve been a short hair wearer most of my life. I’m even coming to terms with the fact that long hair and I may never be friends; but I have made my husband swear not to let me cut my hair after this pregnancy on an “I need a change!” hormonal whim.
I fully endorse the shorties, but I think making the decision in the light of day, not during the sleepless delirium of a midnight feeding where the hundredth fallen hair grazing my arm makes me bawl in hysterics is probably the best choice. For this postpartum go round, I’m thinking I’ll work the topknot, or don a beanie or sombrero. If nothing else I can claim the current beauty trend to forgo hair washing for a week.
After my hormonal choppage regret rage simmered down, my hair grew on me (see what I did there?). I realized, it’s just hair. Grow it out again, lady. Leave it short. Do whatever makes you and your tendrils of hair happy. To thine own hair self be true.
As one who has lived to tell the tale of the mom-cut rite of passage, I’ve often wondered if other mothers have felt the same siren call of the scissors as they whisper promises of ease, change, and fulfillment in one cut. Did you do the do? The mom-do? Any regrets?
Image: My chopped locks and the edible cheeks of my 6-month old daughter