The mom bob seems like a rite of passage. It’s just a thing all moms do. New moms are already overwhelmed with a thousand questions and concerns, here’s what you need to know before you get that haircut. I won’t make you dig, I’m here to tell you to put it off, at least until after the first birthday.
Getting a haircut is one thing, but drastically altering your appearance should be avoided during the turbulent postpartum period. Maybe you think I’m being dramatic, maybe you’ve already decided to join the soccer mom squad and just want someone to reassure your decision. Maybe I’m still recovering from the trauma of chopping off my locks at the 8-month mark (I totally am). But I want you to hear what I wish I heard before I lost 10+ inches to mom brain.
Basically — BEWARE.
What is a mom haircut?
What makes the cut? I’m sorry, I’ll stop. It’s anything shoulder length or shorter. There’s the bob, the long bob (lob), the pixie, the Kate Gosselin, and several other styles. But the general consensus is, a mom haircut is a short, low maintenance style which moms adopt after they get sick of a perpetual messy bun.
I think any drastic cut within the first year is a result of mom brain, thus titled “the mom bob”.
When does the mom bob make its debut?
Any less-demanding-do after bringing home baby is considered a mom bob. It’s silly, but that’s the only way the world sees a woman’s hair after she has kids. But a full answer is: after the postpartum haze fades (about 3-9 months after birth).
Once you get a handle on baby-wrangling, and you realize that you’ve spent months caring about nothing but a tiny person, you see yourself in a different light. It’s hard to balance the needs of a newborn with our pre-baby selves. So we assume it’s time to make that change public knowledge and ride off into the sunset of minivans and playdates.
Why do moms want to cut their hair?
We’re moms now. Obviously it’s a thing that most moms do, right? Of course we want to join the ranks and follow the advice so many other moms have followed. The spiel goes like this:
- taking care of a baby is more important than your former identity and style
- A high-maintenance hairstyle isn’t a high priority (not with sleep in short supply)
- Also, babies looooveee pulling hair
- Women with short hair look more mature and sophisticated
In everyday terms, we want a mom bob for the promises of shorter drying time, simpler styling, and less opportunity for baby to rip it off our heads…! In addition to our current style being less important than meeting baby’s needs.
I think it’s a way for a new mom to find her new self. (Spoiler: you’re still YOU ;))
When should I get one?
If you’re like me, then whenever you damn well please. But I can be impulsive when it comes to decisions… I suggest you wait until after the first year. Why? For a few reasons.
You’re still adjusting. Hold off on adding another big adjustment to your day-to-day life. Maybe you’ll love it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’d hate for you to hate it and be stuck wishing you’d waited. It’s tough enough to look in the mirror and see an extra 20 pounds waiting to find their way back to hell. Don’t give yourself a reason to hate your hair, too. We need to be taking care of our confidence as well as our babes.
It might not be as low-maintenance as you’re hoping. I wasn’t shocked when I couldn’t throw my hair up in a bun on a bad hair day, but I was shocked when I couldn’t just dry-and-go. Shorter styles require actual styling. There aren’t many backup plans, either. It’s… sad. And you’re still short on hair-styling time. My short style had me straightening my hair almost every day, and my ends were fried in no time. Then, of course, I couldn’t just cut it all off, I was growing my hair out! Say hello to months of ugly hair and me not taking any frickin’ pictures.
As much as you don’t think you care, you’ll miss the flexibility longer hair allows. It’s just one of those things. You want what you can’t have, and you’ll be fantasizing about the braids you could’ve done as soon as you chop your hair off. Suddenly you’ll be completely envious of everyone you see with long hair (even if yours wasn’t that long to begin with).
Check out my before + after… Keep in mind, pictures were in SHORT SUPPLY, but I was always sure to snag some snaps on the couch after work.
Maybe you can see my sadness. I can still feel it haha!
Some things to consider…
A haircut isn’t a life-altering commitment, and yet it can make or break your self-esteem in some cases (for some months!). Before you bite the bullet, think about this…
How much time are you spending on your hair right now? If it’s less than 10 minutes every morning, then a longer style might be best for a little while.
If you are quick to throw your hair in a bun, be very careful with the length you are considering. Save a shorter style for those days when you have more freedom in your routine (around when baby is walking).
Want to freshen your sense of self? As a new mom, I wanted a look that aligned with my shifted priorities and I wanted to look more sophisticated (by permanently avoiding a bun). Instead, I wish I had just gotten a less extreme cut and focused on a broader variety of appearance aspects. New clothes and nice shoes would’ve done the trick! Or a massage and a couple of facials. I honestly think I would’ve felt better with a trim and some nice lipstick.
I’m sorry if I squashed your decision to get snippin’. Just remember you can always cut more off but you can’t add more back. Instead of opting for another huge shock during that postpartum daze, treat yourself to everything else first. It’s the perfect excuse to focus a little more on you.
That first year might go slower than the rest, but you won’t be upset if you can wait until after that. Be patient, and make yourself earn it as a mom-birthday treat. 😉
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Laurel at Mommability says
Such good advice! I made the mistake of getting bangs shortly after my first was born because I thought it would help hide the “baby bangs” that were growing in. It just turned into more of a hassle than I was prepared to deal with. Longer hair is so much easier to just toss aside and forget about!
Ashley Dicarlo says
Thank you Laurel! I can relate to “baby bangs”, and I even used hair remover cream on my SIDEBURNS… Our poor bodies go through enough on their own hahaha
I feel like any major decision (and chopping your hair is one of them!) should definitely be put off until you are out of the postpartum baby haze! Great article, Ashley!!
Ashley Dicarlo says
Thank you! That’s exactly what I wish every mom had an instinct for! One day, we’ll get it haha. thank you again!
Moms are so amazing. For me the 4th trimester is the worst. My first pregnancy my hair became so dry and thin as well. This pregnancy I found the baby blues postpartum hair loss vitamins (https://babyblues.care/) and its been much better. Like a comment above I also got bangs my first round to hide the new growth after a ton of shedding that I was scared would leave me bald =( Adding vitamins helped so much I wish someone shared with me earlier .
Bahaha I went searching online for “new mom shoulder length hair cut”, genuinely looking for photos to give myself a 6 months postpartum covid haircut to escape the perpetual mom bun and I found this instead! Phew!
You had me convinced to wait until I saw how darn cute your hair looked short! Now I’m on the fence again LOL! We’ll see…
lol!! I feel for you! I’m officially 6 months postpartum again too and it’s so tempting… AGAIN.
I made that mistake after my first son was born, short hair is high maintenance, it didn’t look good on me and I hated it! It took a long time to grow out, I am never making that mistake again. My hair is long now, I have my husband trim my ends every couple months and he braids my hair for me in different styles in the morning before I go to work. Much less hassle and I get compliments on my hair from friends, coworkers and from strangers.
Vanessa Loberanes Jagonal says
I am about to chop my hair so I searched some haircut ideas but I found this hahaha thank you so much because I’m currently having hard time letting go of my long hair.
lol! SO happy to help!
7 months postpartum and looking/feeling the part. After looking at old pictures of myself, I suddenly thought I should go for short hair again to fix it. Thankfully I just googled short or long hair for new mom 🙈 and found your article. Reminded me of how much work and time it takes to style and how much I usually regret the cut. Hair appointment Friday and even though it’s currently very messy and usually in a clip or ponytail, I am keeping my long hair. Thank you for sharing your experience and advice ❤
<3 <3 <3 I love to hear it! We need a follow up on how to cope INSTEAD of getting a haircut, because the urge to chop it off is too strong!
While I understand where you’re coming from, you failed to mention what a lot of new moms have to deal with which is the insane amount of postpartum hair loss. A shorter cut might be exactly what we need to get the health of our hair back. I waited until my first baby was 18 months before I chopped off my hair and wish I hadn’t done it much sooner. Headed to the salon five months postpartum this time around. My hair desperately needs to lose some weight to get a little volume back.