How To Get Mom Hair

This momma’s hair is not up for debate. Image: Thinkstock.

Recently, the New York Times published some advice about how to avoid the dreaded “mom hair.”

Perhaps you saw it. Perhaps you didn’t (and if not, good for you).

I assume that I was the target audience for that piece. I am a mom: I have a 2-year-old kid and I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second child.

I also have hair on my head that I have styled in a way that I like at a salon.

Technically, I guess that means I must have “mom hair.”

But, by all standards, I do not have “mom hair.”

Mom hair, we’re told, is “frumpy.” Maybe it’s short. It’s low-maintenance. It’s definitely not hip and it’s definitely not fun.

It “falls short of flattering.” And it supposedly signals the end of our attractiveness, sex appeal, and relevance. (Because what’s really important is whether or not women have “let themselves go” and are no longer trying to be considered attractive to men, right?)

But don’t moms have enough to think about while we chase our children all over the house trying to get a diaper on them? And haven’t magazines already made us feel bad enough about our failure to get our “pre-baby bodies” back?

Why make us worry about whether or not our hair is acceptable, too?

There’s nothing wrong with moms who decide to go for a stereotypical “mom” cut. If they like it, or if it makes their lives easier, that’s fantastic.

Personally, my hair after I had children remained just as important to me as it was before I had them. My hair has always been a huge part of my identity — candy-colored, funky, and so totally me.


But truth be told, there is no one way to be a mom, or to look like one. Some of us have tattoos, some of us have piercings, and, yes, some of us have technicolor hair.


After I had my daughter, everything about who I thought I was was in flux. My body had changed drastically — none of my pre-baby clothing fit, my breasts were constantly leaking milk, and I peed my pants every time I sneezed. I never went anywhere without a tiny human in tow.

I struggled to figure out where I fit into this new life.

Never for a second did I consider toning down my hair. In fact, during my first pregnancy, I went for a drastic change — I got a pixie cut that I dyed lavender.

I suppose that a short cut could be considered typical of moms (NYT makes sure to note that “to cut your hair off is a big mistake”), but I’m not sure that pastel hues are, too. When I went into labor, my hair was pink and orange.

During this pregnancy, I eschewed the New York Times’ advice that “for hair color, you’ll want to go more natural by the third trimester.” Instead, just as I entered my third trimester, I dyed my hair hot pink and shaved the side of it, because it’s my hair and I’ll do what I want, convention be damned.

I’ve often wondered, though, if I “look” like a mom, or if my funky hair will embarrass my kids as they get older. When my kids look back at pictures of their youth, some people might say that their mom looks more like an irresponsible kid than a respectable parent.

But truth be told, there is no one way to be a mom — or to look like one.

Some of us have tattoos, some of us have piercings, and, yes, some of us have technicolor hair.

None of those things make us less worthy of the respect of other mothers, nor do they have any bearing on whether or not we’re good parents. And they definitely aren’t up for judgment by hair stylists or journalists who know nothing about us.

My hair color can’t tell you how much I love my child, how many books I read her at the end of the day, or whether or not I kiss her boo-boos away.

I “look like a mom” because I am one. When I walk into a room, my daughter lights up and yells, “Mama!” She hugs me and loves me and trusts me, and my hair cut or color has no bearing on that.

In my world, “mom hair” is purple or blue or pink or whatever color I feel like dying it that week.

So you can keep your opinions on it to yourself.

This momma’s hair is not up for debate.

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