Five Ways to Avoid the Mom Bob

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had long hair. Really long hair. And I lived in Tucson, Arizona, where the average temperature is about a zillion degrees. And I was due in September. SEPTEMBER!

So around about May, I got a haircut. A cute, short haircut. The same haircut that I had when I got married, which was the haircut my husband had been begging me to get since I finally got my hair grown out long again. It was super cute and I was totally happy with it until one day when I was in the salon getting it trimmed, and a lady behind me started giving her stylist instructions:

“I want it shorter, but not that awful mom-bob that everyone does.”

Oh, hormones! Super, awesome hormones. I was crushed by this stranger, whose face I never even saw as I slunk out of the salon in shame. I loved my hair. It was the perfect haircut for my hair type (fine), thickness (fine), and face shape (oval).

I had no idea the mom-bob was a thing. A thing! I guess next thing someone will be telling me that I can’t wear sweatpants all day or go without a bra.  But it turns out many women turn to the bob as their go-to haircut after pregnancy or childbirth for a number of reasons:

  • Ease of styling. A bob keeps it shape, is easy to dry and style, and can wash and wear well.
  • Ease of not styling. If you have long hair, you usually can’t skip a day of washing and styling and wear it any way but in a ponytail. With short hair, you can finesse day two until you get a chance to hit the shower.
  • It stays out of your face—and out of baby’s reach. This is the number one reason new moms chop all their hair off. You do a lot of looking down as you are learning to breastfeed and infant, and once baby gets old enough to focus and grab things, your hair is their number one target.

So what if you are over your long locks but don’t want to get labeled with the mom bob? Here are a few great alternatives. Keep in mind that your face shape and hair texture play a huge role in what will look good on you, so always get your stylists’ advice before shoving a photo at them and having them go to town.

new mom hair styles

  • The Pixie. For the brave? Maybe. But on the plus side, super short haircuts tend to make people ask you if you’ve lost weight! And you’re post-partum hair growth won’t be nearly as noticeable with the super-short layers.
  • The Minimal Bob. This one doesn’t really even look like a bob. Plus, you can style it many different ways to keep it interesting.
  • A-line bob. This style looks good on just about everyone, and the asymmetric lines are too sassy to be considered momish.
  • Medium length with long layers. This is a great cut that doesn’t go too short. Plus, you have tons of flexibility in how you can style it—straight, natural waves, or up out of your face.
  • Chin-length bob with bangs. Talk about minimal fuss! Without hair around your face to style, this is really a wash-and-go look.

Honestly, if you like the mom bob and it looks good on you, there’s no reason to avoid it. Motherhood is a season of life, and like all seasons, it passes. One day you wake up and all your kids are in school and you have time to shower and take two hours to get ready if you want to. But right now is a great time to experiment with short hair if you’re so inclined. Post partum hair loss and hair growth is frustrating to go through, and I found it much more frustrating when I had long hair. Thin sections are harder to cover, and the baby hair that grows back is much more visible.

So take the plunge—hair grows back! And if anyone mouths off about a mom bob, just smack ‘em.

Erin Hayes Burt

Erin Hayes Burt

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls. She enjoys yoga and reading non chick-lit fiction when she's not translating the ramblings of toddlers or training for her next half marathon.
Erin Hayes Burt

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Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls. She enjoys yoga and reading non chick-lit fiction when she's not translating the ramblings of toddlers or training for her next half marathon.


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