When somebody says “mom jeans” or “mom haircut,” we all picture the same thing, I’m sure. Society and media have done a pretty good job of pegging a certain “look” as that of your average mom (think Saturday Night Live skits like this one).
But tongue-in-cheek comedy skits aside, a recent, serious article in a mainstream publication concerned itself with what moms sometimes do with their hair and should do instead.
The New York Times fashion piece “Mom Hair: It Exists. Now What to Do About It.” reads, “You’ve likely seen it at suburban malls: the longer-in-back, slightly-shorter-in-front bob that should read sleek but is inescapably frumpy.
“And even the city-dwelling mom isn’t immune. Perhaps she has added her own twists like blunt bangs or extra layering, but the ‘do still falls short of flattering.”
The piece goes on to address the reasons moms shouldn’t cut their hair, saying many moms may feel inclined to do it due to hair loss from hormone changes. The author interviewed hair stylists about what moms should do with their hair instead.
One stylist says to wait a year after having a baby before you make any changes to your hair. “By then, you’ll know what you’ve got,” Juan Carlos Maciques, a Manhattan stylist, tells the Times. “It’s not just your hair that’s changing. Your body is, too. You might not be at the weight you really want to be yet. And the truth is, long hair can be a little bit of a distraction. When you go short, you are more exposed. There’s less, literally, to hide behind.”
In addition, sources for the piece add: try styling bangs like Kate Middleton, focus on nutrition for proper hair growth to combat the hair loss, know that not all bobs have to look bad – and start planning with your stylist ahead of time.
“Ideally, you’d start planning while you’re still pregnant,” Maciques says in the article. “For hair color, you’ll want to go more natural by the third trimester. An ombré is a really nice way to address the fact you’re going to be having fewer hair appointments.”
Another mom and stylist chimes in further down in the article, when you reach the portion about how “not all mom bobs deserve a bad rap.” She mentioned she felt her long hair was weighing her down and short hair was “fresher” and faster to blow-dry.
But let’s be frank: who cares about all of this? The fact that this piece exists feels so judgy to me. Seriously, an article on how a woman should style her hair and when? Basically, let’s subtly pick apart a woman’s image and tell her what’s acceptable, most flattering, stylish or appropriate for her. (What else is new?).
I know the article was probably written with the intentions of being helpful, but what is the big deal about wanting to change your hair anyway? Women have the power to make a decision to cut their hair how they please. Surprise! Stereotyping this as getting a “mom haircut” and putting women in this box that defines their image and decisions is damaging and unhealthy.
It appears I’m not alone in finding the Times’ piece annoying, since multiple other outlets (like attn.:, Women’s Day and NYMag, to name a few) have touched on the absurdity of the article and the outcry from readers on social media.
It all reminds me of one of those pieces – much like those from generations past offering advice on how women should behave on a date or vintage ads weighing in on all these ridiculous things – that we look back on and see exactly where insecurities are rooted and dumb confines originated.
So lob your hair off, moms. Embrace where you’re at right here, right now. God forbid you make a choice the stylist or others wouldn’t approve of – or even one you possibly hate when you look at photos down the road. Whatever. It’s just hair – and it can grow and change as you do.
Do you think that moms shouldn’t cut their hair short, or should go about styling it differently? Or do you agree that moms can do whatever they want with their hair, whenever they want? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments!