New Mother Hair Care

New Mother Hair Care

New Mother Hair Care

By Tasha

“New mother” and “hair care” are two phrases which, when I first brought my little one home, seemed like they could never exist in the same sentence.  Motherhood is challenging enough without having to worry about what one looks like, especially just after giving birth. If I can make a completely honest confession, I’m not sure I brushed my hair properly for about a week. All I could manage was a roughly combed curly top knot!

Here’s what I have been trying in the few months since I had my baby.

Basic care

When I got some “me” time, I had to prioritise what was important. I still had long hair initially and I decided to put scalp care first over curl care, using a high street brand shampoo and conditioner.  As I was washing my hair less often, and didn’t know when I could wash my hair properly next (two shampoos, towel dry, a conditioner which had been given time to sink in, double rinse) I needed to make sure my products earned their keep. My shampoo had to thoroughly clean my hair without irritating my scalp and the conditioner had to smooth and detangle because I did not have much time to comb out the knots.

 

I still cared for my curls using curl cream and hair oil but there was no styling, just the essentials. Once my hair was clean and moisturised it went back into the bun.  All the products were from the high street for convenience and to save money. Everyone constantly told me that children are expensive, just to add to my new mum worries!

 

Going straight?

 

I toyed with the idea of straightening my hair.  I thought it would make day-to-day life easier – just run a brush though my hair and I’m good to go. The problem was I didn’t have the time or energy to blow-dry and straighten my hair, and going to the hairdresser every week was not an option.  I would also have felt guilty about betraying my curly roots. It would have felt like I was hiding my personality so I didn’t do it.

 

“The Big Chop”

 

One major change I made as a new mum was to cut off half of my hair into a “lob” or long bob. I gave in to the cliché but I don’t care. I was hoping that if I halved my hair, I would halve my hair-washing time.  Every minute counts when your baby is threatening to cry for milk or cuddles at any moment.  My hair washing time didn’t halve but I did save some time, and I could use less product.

 

When I cut my hair I needed a style that would look good with minimal effort.  The curls on celebrities we see in magazines are carefully crafted but I had to work with my natural curls which is why I went for a lob.  It had enough length and weight to hold itself in place without turning into a triangle, or looking too limp.

 

Getting curly hair cut into a particular style is always nerve-wracking. Everyone’s curls are different and even then, one person is likely to have several curl types.  Cutting curly hair ends up being more about careful sculpture, relying on what is purely visual, rather than what is technically correct. Thankfully my hairdresser was great and really worked with my curls, rather than going against them. I love my new hair!  

 

Co-washing

 

After successfully shaving off a few minutes of hair care time by cutting my hair, I wanted to try and claim back a little more time.

 

I read about co-washing which is washing the hair with a cleansing conditioner.  It cleans the hair as well as having the smoothing and detangling properties of conditioner.  That seemed great to me as I liked the idea that I could get my hair clean and conditioned in one step.  All I had to do was wash my hair once with a non-foaming co-wash formula. Also, as my curls are dry, it seemed to make sense to cut back on the oil-stripping soap and go straight to the nourishing conditioner.

 

I have only used one co-washing product and although it did save on shower-time, my hair needed washing more frequently so weekly shower-time increased. I might revisit co-washing but for now I’ll stick with the traditional shampoo and conditioner method and try to move more quickly.

 

Overall, I found that in my heart I couldn’t straighten my hair and co-washing was not quite right for me. Looking after my scalp and giving my curls a new lease of life with a fun haircut made me feel like me again. It gave me confidence and made my curls easier to care for in this very busy but indescribably amazing time in my life!

 

Tasha is the author of hairbytashasface.wordpress.com and tashasface.com

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