Mom Hair

It occurred to me as I was driving to my hair appointment last week that I have had short hair for almost 10 years now!  I consider my hair to be one of my best features, which is maybe weird considering how little of it I have compared to many women.  Short as it may be, I really like my hair and my haircut.  I think it suits me, I like how it looks, and it makes me feel good!  It doesn’t get much better than that.

My hair used to be a security blanket, and a really dull, ratty blanket at that.  My hair texture is what would be considered “fine,” which is salon code for flat and boring.  I always say that I have great “hippie” hair – certainly no flat-ironing necessary over here.  It’s too bad I was born in the 80’s!  It took a lot of hairspray to poof these bangs back in the day, then one gentle breeze later and they were flat to my forehead again.  In one last-ditch effort at volume, I once asked my mom’s hairdresser to give me “layers,” which I had read about in Seventeen Magazine (so many red flags in this sentence).  The results made me cry for 48 hours, and I then proceeded to wear my hair up almost every day from eighth grade until my senior year of high school.

I finally took the plunge and cut my hair to my chin the year after I graduated from college.  It was scary – I had nothing to hide behind and no backup ponytail for bad hair days – but it was also a surprisingly liberating experience.  I loved it!  I had never felt so stylish or pulled together.  I did (and still do) have to blow dry and style it every day, but it takes all of five minutes.  With the exception of the year my brother was getting married and I wanted to get an up-do for the wedding (for the record, after all that, the hairdresser said, “well we don’t have much to work with here”), I have never seriously attempted to grow my hair out again.

Me and my mom hair
Me and my mom hair

I have gotten a lot of flak for my hair over these years.  I wish I was exaggerating when I say that even strangers have suggested that I should grow my hair out.  I’ve been told that short hair on girls is a “northeast thing,” that I must have short hair because I went to a women’s college (offensive on many levels), and also have heard several versions of backhanded compliments like, “You would be so pretty with longer hair.”  I get this sense, from men especially, that there is something inherently wrong with a woman who doesn’t want long hair (UNFEMININE).

I have made peace with my hair choices, but at this point in my life, having recently become a mom, it is coming back to haunt me a little.  It has been suggested that I might have “mom hair.”  The horror!  I admit that my first reaction is to get defensive and then list all the reasons why I do NOT, nor will I ever, have mom hair.   It is for some reason so derogatory to say that someone has mom-anything.  Think about something like mom jeans – the term basically refers to unattractive jeans, worn for comfort.  The implication is that moms lose their figure, their femininity, and do not care about their appearance.  But when I really think about it, yeah, I do have mom hair.  I have an unattractive cut (to some people) that I wear for my own comfort and convenience.  And you know, I like it that way!

So I guess what I’m saying is that if comfortable jeans make you feel good, go for it!  If a minivan makes your life way better then please, be my guest!  Wear your mom badge proudly.  I love my mom hair, and I have no plans to grow it out.  And honestly, I have more important things to worry about than whether you like my hair.

20 thoughts on “Mom Hair

  1. I too love short hair and have rocked it for quite some time. When I got a pixie cut a few years ago I was told I looked to boyish. I for one think I look better with short hair. I agree wear what works for you.

  2. This is very timely as my mom just found a picture of us from senior year and my first thought was how different your hair looked. I love your cut. You rock it! Also, bonus points to you for talking the 5 minutes to still blowdry. Some days I don’t even get that far. Love you lady!

  3. I am a working mom and have thought a lot about this. Since getting my hair chopped many years ago and go for the angled cut, I feel and look much more put together and professional than when I had long hair. There are bad bad bad hair days with long hair and pictures to prove it. Message to all moms- rock what you feel good in and confidence will exude!

  4. I have the same haircut that you do and have been on the receiving end of many negative comments. The shorter my hair, the more negativity I get. I’ve been told “only skinny women can pull off short hair”, implying that I’ve not only got the wrong hairstyle but tht I’m also fat. Fact is, I feel most “myself” when I have short hair. I’ve always felt that way. My short hair (paired with Bermuda short and Vans) that I had as a kid often resulted in my being mistaken for a boy. It never bothered me. And for some reason negative comments from men haven’t bothered me as much as the nasty things that women have said. But I continue to wear my hair as I please. I do worry a little about the “mom jeans” issue. Ever since I became a mom 2 years ago, I’ve struggled with my identity as expressed through my clothing. I swing on this wide pendulum that ranges between wanting to hang on to a more youthful look, then being ok with the the “mom uniform” of jeans/blouse/flats, then all the way over to full-on Judi Dench-esque drapy linen clothes. But in truth, if I didn’t work outside my home, I’d wear nothing but jeans, hoodies, and my Chucks. Maybe I really am still a teenager at heart.

    And by the way, you and I don’t just have the same hair, we also have the same nose. Perhaps we’re related! 😉

    1. For some reason I have come to expect cattiness from (some) women but have a hard time swallowing a man saying something insulting about my appearance (even without intending to) to my face. When it comes to style, at this point I’m pretty much work clothes and pajamas with nothing in between! So I definitely struggle with the clothing fitting with my identity. Thank goodness for hair! 🙂

  5. I love your hair! I’ve been proudly sporting mom-hair for about a month now, and I really like it. I had it longer, thinking it would look “prettier”, but it turns out I never have time to really curl and spray it like I’d hoped. 99.9% of the time it was in a messy bun or pony tail.

  6. Just for the record, I have short mom-hair too. And it isn’t always more convenient (people just don’t know). There are days I’d love to get up and throw it in a ponytail, but no-can-do. I have to (usually) re-wet it and start from scratch. Just another sacrifice I’m willing to make to be sure that my boys have an attractive mom who feels beautiful (and isn’t constantly brushing her hair out of her face).

    1. You are so right! Short cuts do not equal wash-and-go any more than long ones. But I agree that it’s worth the effort for me.

  7. I would totally cut my hair short if it wasn’t so curly and would be more work. My mom hair is equivalent to always being in a messy bun or ponytail lol .

    1. Uhhh yeah, what Michelle said! Definitely silly to think like that. But I agree, letting go of long hair is really tough, especially if you’ve had it that way forever. Some people are just meant to have long hair – but I’m not one of them!

  8. Ummm I LOVE your haircut! I’m kind of shocked, although I guess I shouldn’t be, that people would comment to you about your hair in such a negative way. I think it’s a stylish cut and love it!

  9. I think your hair is ADORABLE. Don’t worry about what other people say because truthfully, they are probably envious that you can pull off a hairstyle like that (I know I am envious because it’s so freaking cute!).

    My hair changed during pregnancy. It used to be pin-straight and now it has this NASTY wave in the back (but is still pin straight in the front – how is that for UGLY?!). If I don’t blowdry it, it looks like I have perma-bed-head. I used to make the time to cut it (it used to be slightly longer than chin length but never longer than shoulder length), but now it’s just long (a few inches below my shoulders) mainly because I can’t find the time to go to the hairdresser. I now keep it long because: 1) I can’t be bothered to find the time in my schedule; 2) It’s easy to pull back when I go for a run; 3) I just don’t give a sh*t anymore what people think! Hahaha.

    Anyway, I LOVE your hair. You look so cute!

  10. Yes, yes, yes. I love this. I now have shoulder length hair after growing it out yet again and cutting it yet again. Blah. And I run to the ever present hair elastic on my wrist every five seconds. Ultimately, growing it out never makes me happy. Several years back I cut my hair into a pixie and I loved it. I had never done it before and I had the support of my husband who I know would still love me to cut it again. I like running, so it was wildly convenient. And short hair can be such and accessory, a statement! I haven’t gotten the nerve up to cut it again, but I’m sure the time will come. And for all those unbelievably rude people who feel the need to just say whatever ridiculousness comes into their bird brains (Why did you cut your hair?! Women look better / should have long hair. You look better with long hair! …and various comments regarding my sexuality …) there were also many people who shared their love for it. I genuinely believe that it takes a little courage and a little moxie to pull the trigger. So rock that hair, lady. You are gorgeous! A gorgeous mom who just happens to have a kick ass style.

    1. It’s great that your husband is so on board! Mine constantly tells me that I should grow my hair long. I would also agree that I get wayyy more compliments than negative comments. Isn’t it funny/unfortunate how the negative is what sticks?

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