I can’t remember when it started, but I remember combing my hair, looking down, and seeing a sink full of hair. My hair. The hair that was luxurious and full during my pregnancy was now falling out as I combed through it. Postpartum hair loss was yet another thing I wasn’t prepared for with new motherhood.
As I stood there, cursing under my breath, I thought about grabbing my scissors and going to town. But I stopped because I thought that was too dramatic. Instead, I resolved to keep taking my prenatal vitamins and pray my hairstylist could help me salvage my shoulder-length hair. For a while, I believed things were working—until I would look in the mirror and watch my hair continue to shed, even with my hairstylist’s help.
It felt like my hair was a reflection of how I felt inside: lifeless. I was deep in the stages of new motherhood and had become a version of myself I didn’t recognize. I spent many days wearing the same outfit and smelling like breastmilk, baby formula, and body odor. My outfit of choice was an oversized shirt with no pants. Sometimes, I didn’t even see the point of wearing underwear.
As someone who was used to maintaining a sense of style, I had no idea how to get it back. At the time, I thought my hair apparently felt the same way—until my dad came to visit. He wanted to spend time with his grandson and help around the house. With some of the new parent pressure alleviated from my shoulders, I decided to make a decision.
I called my hairstylist and scheduled an appointment for her to cut my hair. When the morning of the appointment came, I found myself nervous. After all, I hadn’t worn short hair since my early 20s. I had no idea how I was going to look nor how I would feel. I just wanted to get rid of my lifeless postpartum hair strands so I could get back to a space that felt remotely familiar.
Whenever I want a fresh start in life, I generally start with cutting my hair. It has been this way for some time and I’ve found that it usually has a trickle effect. Short hair makes me feel liberated, and I think it’s because it feels like I am rebelling, like I am taking a stand for myself and telling whatever is bringing me down to “move over. Things are going to be different now.”
And things are different. Aside from feeling liberated, I feel sexier. I can’t tell if it’s because I can see my face more or if “rebelling” has something to do with it. I just know that I feel sexy.
As a mom who is technically still in the postpartum phase, that feeling has not been easy to access. Now that I think about it, this is the first haircut that makes me feel this way. Again, I’m leaning into it instead of doubting it. After all, I think it’s important to feel good. Moms are always moving from one thing to the next, tending to everyone else’s needs, to the point where we forget about ourselves.
I think I may have finally answered my own question. Maybe it’s the fact that I made the choice to cut my hair for me that makes me feel liberated and sexy. I’ll take that.