If You Tell Me I Have A 'Mom' Haircut, I'll Cut You

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 

Just because you’re a mom and you get your hair cut doesn’t mean you have a “mom” haircut

It’s a tired trope that women lose all sense of style and stop caring about their appearance once they have kids. Sure, some moms realign their priorities, either out of necessity (extra sleep matters more than doing our hair, TYVM) or by choice. Regardless, it’s no one’s place to suggest that just because a mom opts for a lower maintenance hair style after giving birth that she has a “mom” haircut.

Seriously, just don’t say it.

Today contributor Sarah Eggenberger chronicled her recent decision to get a “mom” haircut explaining that as the mother of two small children, she has little time to be messing about with her hair. “I’m in desperate need of a haircut that is versatile and low maintenance — but I’m not willing to totally veer into soccer mom territory.”

The tone of her words is almost confessional — as though she feels the need to make people accept her choice to have “mom” hair that isn’t really “mom” hair. She talks about wanting to feel stylish, sexy and fun with the caveat that it needs to be easy to throw in a ponytail for school drop-off, but not too long she says, “for fear of appearing like I’m clinging to my youth.”

Um, what?

Now, we can’t blame Eggenberger for that statement. This is kind of what society has conditioned women to believe — that at some point after we have kids, we will have to look matronly and stop wanting our long, flowing locks. We are MOMS, after all. Devoid of all sex appeal and concerned solely with function, practicality and minivans.

Or not.

The cut Eggenberger ended up going with is totally adorable and in no way the “mom” hair pop culture has taught us to expect. The boxy, severe, chunkily-highlighted cut lampooned in SNL’s recent Baby Shower skit. That cut is supposedly designed to match our busy lives and apparent lack of shits given about looking feminine or attractive anymore.

To which I say, who even says shorter, low-maintenance hair can’t be hot? Or that it’s solely a province of moms? Why this label? I know plenty of childfree women who simply chose at a certain age to go with a shorter hairstyle for a number of reasons that obviously had nothing to do with having kids.

Some women decide as they get older that long hair isn’t for them anymore. Maybe their hair has thinned with age and having it short makes it look more full. Maybe they like to color it and it’s easier to maintain with shorter hair. Maybe they just fucking like short hair.

Whatever the reason, no one tells them they’ve “given up” on looking hot or caring about their appearance. It’s only moms (and Jennifer Aniston) whose hair style choices are put under the microscope and criticized and analyzed.


Because we don’t have enough shit to deal with already, right?

If a mom cuts her hair short, it’s just a short haircut. Not a “mom” cut. If a mom leaves her hair long? She’s a mom with long hair. None of us should feel any pressure to conform or look a certain way based on the fact that another human once occupied our uterus. Moms can be sexy. Moms can be hot. Moms can have impractical hair that takes 90 minutes to style. Just because we have kids doesn’t mean we have to change a single other thing about our appearance if we’d rather not.

For my part, I love my hair long. I’ve gone through brief spells in life where I wore it shorter, and yes, one of those spells was shortly after having my daughter. It just wasn’t for me, but I will admit, some part of me felt I had to give up my long hair because it wasn’t very mom-like. That was almost nine years ago and that part of me is thankfully dead and gone. I’ve long since realized that I can wear my hair however I like it best. My status as a mom has absolutely nothing to do with it. And it never will.

So the next time you jokingly chide a friend about her “mom” haircut, maybe just don’t. It’s a tired stereotype that really needs to die.

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