Now that you're a mom, you probably spend a lot less time on your hair than you did pre-baby. Let's face it: When your kids are little, some days it's a major accomplishment just to grab five minutes in the shower. But that doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to an endless string of bad-hair days. For expert solutions to the most common hair problems that mothers of young children complain about, read on.
Answer: Use a Deep Conditioner
Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs vitamins to stay healthy and strong, says hairstylist Goran Cobanovski, owner of Goran Coban Salon in Chicago. "Deep conditioners help repair dry and damaged strands by penetrating your hair's cuticles and replenishing moisture," he says.
Answer: Dry First, Then Style
"The biggest mistake women make is to start brushing their hair when it's wet," says Cobanovski. If you do this, it will take too long to dry and you'll lose patience. Instead, try letting your hair air-dry, or just use your fingers as you blast the blow dryer on the high setting. "When your hair is about 90 percent dry, then start using a round or pedal brush to finish the style, and it will only take 10 minutes," he adds.
Answer: Try Wispy Bangs
"If you wear glasses, one look that's very sexy is to have soft, wispy bangs that you wear to one side so that they brush across one side of your glasses," says Denise Duffy, a hairstylist in Cortlandt Manor, New York. "Another fun and flirty style with glasses is to have a haircut that you can put behind your ears except for a few pieces in the front."
Answer: Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Cobanovski says about 80 percent of his clients lose more hair than normal after the birth of their babies. "It is a temporary thing; the new hair is growing back, but it takes time so you have to go through a period when you have a lot of baby hair," he says. The solution is to use leave-in conditioner cream. "When this new hair is moisturized, it will lie better and not stick up, which is caused by static," he says.
Answer: Try Highlights
Products that completely color your hair aren't recommended during pregnancy because the chemicals can be absorbed in the skin through your scalp. But foil highlights are safe because the product touches only your hair and not your scalp. "You can also try lowlights, which are darker strands that will hide most of your roots and allow your own hair to grow out without being so noticeable," says Duffy.
Answer: Go for Long Layers
If you want more bounce and body, ask your stylist to keep the length the same and just add long layers, Duffy recommends. "Use a big round brush to blow-dry all your hair forward, and then flip it all back and see how nice it all falls," she says. "All you need to do is add a little spray, and away you go."
Answer: Update Your Up Do
If the ponytail style works best for you, try experimenting with different variations. For instance, make it higher or lower than you normally do. Or either messier than usual, or super neat. "Sometimes the simplest hairstyles are the most stunning," says Cobanovski. You can also experiment with a different kind of clip or twist.
Answer: Experiment with Styling Products
"Fine hair that has a wave is best to be cut with long round layers, but it's important to find the right curling cream that will take the fizziness out and define the style," says Cobanovski. "Use your diffuser on the low heat-and-air setting. Brush only your bangs with a paddle brush at the end. This is one of my favorite styles—effortless and quiet!"
Answer: DIY Bang Trims
Even though his salon offers complimentary bang trims, many customers don't take advantage of the service because they're too busy, Cobanovski says. "So I teach people to do it themselves." Scissors are OK, but a disposable razor gives bangs a softer, more flattering line. Here's what Cobanovski recommends:
• Wet bangs with a wet brush.
• Take the middle section of bangs and pull it down toward your nose as far as it will go.
• Twist the hair and then cut it with the razor just below your eyes. Always cut on the longer side. If the bangs turn out to be too long, you can always go back and shorten them a little.
Answer: Use a Dry Shampoo
Remember your mom's can of "Pssssst" dry shampoo? Turns out that product is still around, and there are lots of other brands, in spray or powder form, to achieve that tousled, rock-star look. Just make sure you brush the product through your hair thoroughly so you don't end up with visible clumps of powder.