The small one is now six months old (!), and lately she’s been grabbing hold of things pretty tightly: toys, the remote control, and inconvenient body parts (seriously, kiddo, hands off the goods!). Unsurprisingly, my hair has been a favourite.
I’ve had long hair for most of my adult life, with the exception of a few times when I’ve chopped it and immediately started growing it out again (I pulled a total Felicity in first-year university – as you do). I last had it trimmed and coloured a couple of weeks before my due date, mostly out of a desire to look hot in newborn photos – hilarious, right? It’s currently about halfway down my back, so it’s pretty much the most enticing thing ever, as far as the babe is concerned. Even winding it up into a bun doesn’t help much since then she’ll just grab a fistful near the roots and rip it out, charming young lady that she is. Plus, lately it’s been falling out in handfuls all on its own – between that, my husband’s beard hair and the cat, there are some pretty gnarly tumbleweeds gracing our bathroom floor. Baby hair-pulling and hair loss are common problems for new mums, and there’s a simple solution: enter the Mum Haircut.
Sources differ on what exactly constitutes a mum haircut, but most definitions seem to share a few commonalities: (1) they’re usually short; (2) they’re meant to be low-maintenance; and (3) they often (though not always) involve some kind of inverted bob. They’re also generally thought of as unflattering, but I have to say that a few of my friends have taken the plunge, and these women look phenomenal. Even so, here are 5 reasons why I won’t be joining them in Mum-hair-topia anytime soon:
- Short does not necessarily equal low maintenance. As the owner of a head of thick (yes, despite all the shedding), wavy, unruly hair, I’ve yet to find a short cut that doesn’t require blow-drying, straightening, product, and lots of attention to tame. When my hair is short, it conforms to the shape of whatever it brushes up against: my pillow, my hand, the back of the couch. You can’t even pull short hair back into a ponytail when you’re tired of fighting with it, so it’s pretty much the opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish, which is to do as little with it as possible.
- I have a tough scalp and a high pain threshold. This is key. If the hair-pulling was really painful, I’d likely cave in and join the Mum Haircult, but although it doesn’t feel good (especially those little hairs at the nape of my neck – eep), it’s definitely tolerable.
- Who has time to get a haircut? This obviously varies from baby to baby, but mine barely tolerates being put down. I doubt she’d be happy to sit still for the time it would take to get a haircut, and I’d rather not subject my stylist to an hour of high-pitched hollering in the middle of her work day. Plus there’s the laziness factor, but let’s blame it on the offspring for the time being.
- Short hair doesn’t look good on me. I have this theory that all women look better with short hair, except me. My parents would disagree, but they don’t get to make the decisions around here anymore.
- Long hair makes me feel more like me. In the past year I’ve had to adjust to changes to my body, my sleep patterns, my living situation, and my lifestyle in general. My hair is one of the few tangible things I can decide not to change, which helps me feel like the fun, young, carefree pre-baby me still exists. Because she does, even if her hair is falling out.
Am I just in denial of my true destiny as a minivan-driving, soccer-practice-attending, short-haircut-sporting suburban mum? Maybe. But I can’t be the only one who feels this way, so to all the other long-maned mums out there: stay strong, sisters. Bald patches and all.