So not long ago, I blogged about avoiding mom hair. It was a huge issue for me because motherhood and long hair don’t really mesh well in my life. For a while I struggled through with it, because part of my identity has always involved long hair. But now I have three kids and most of the time I’m training for some sort of distance running event, which means running 5-6 times a week. I loved my long hair, but it was hard to keep up with, and after I came down with mastitis and a yeast infection in my nipple (AKA Athlete’s boob), because I wasn’t showering enough due to how long it took me to do my hair, I decided something had to give.
I really liked short, asymmetrical cuts. I was seeing them everywhere, but I was a little scared because it seemed like I would feel a lot of pressure to look super trendy all the time to match my hair.
At the same time, I had also heard how short hair can be pretty challenging because you can end up more bed-heady in the morning than you would if you have a bit longer hair. Finally, I got sick of just thinking about it and decided to DO. So I grabbed my toddler and headed into a walk-in salon.
The reason I went to the walk-in place in a strip mall and not my trusted stylist is because I had been neglecting myself so long that even though we had lived in our area for over a year, I don’t think I had gotten a haircut there yet. I had no one. I was going to have to fly blind on this one.
I sat in the chair, and the stylist asked me, “So, what are we doing today?”
“Chop it all off,” I said. My youngest played near the front desk with some kids toys they had for the waiting area, occasionally peeking over at me.
“How short are we talking?”
“Well, I have fine hair, an oval face, and I don’t like taking a long time to get ready, or using a ton of product. I kind of want something asymmetrical, but not a pixie cut and I don’t want to look like Boo from Orange is the New Black.”
And with that, she began chopping. Honestly, I think she was more nervous than I was. Hair grows back. I wasn’t worried.
What I ended up with was a close-cropped cut with longer layers on the side where I normally part my hair. And I have been so happy with it! I have actually had total strangers tell me they love my hair, which has never happened to me before in my life. I don’t feel too super trendy, and my hair looks nice throughout things like trips to the beach, hot, humid days, and 11am football games in Texas.
Best of all, I was able to switch to washing my hair every other day. On the off-days, it just looks like I have product in it, rather than being a greasy mess I have to pull up into a top-knot. I also notice that since there’s not as much hair or directions for it to go, the difference between a good hair day and a bad one isn’t that big.
Before the plunge, I feel like my hair looked amazing about 20 percent of the time. Now I feel like my hair looks great 100 percent of the time, and that’s been a big ego boost—and a time saver!–for me.
Here are my takeaways:
- You’ll get better results if you tell the stylist what result you want (short, non fussy hair) than what specific hairstyle you want.
- Know thyself! Know your face shape and hair texture, as well as what will or won’t work with it.
- Tell your stylist your level of commitment to styling and product. A cut that you love may never look the way you want to if it requires a lot of products and prep that you don’t have time to do.
- Learn stylist lingo! Being able to tell a stylist the name of a cut or the treatment you want is much better than bringing in a photo.
- Let you stylist know how often you plan to return for maintenance. They will cut your hair a little differently if you plan to grow it out more than if you plan to return in 6 weeks.
- Always ask your stylist exactly what they did if you love the result! In my experience, they tend to move around a lot and don’t give a forwarding salon. Knowing exactly what they did that you liked will make it easy if you have to start fresh with a new person.
How do you keep your look current while caring for your family?