First of all, when a mom makes a hair appointment—it’s a big deal. BIG DEAL.

She might act nonchalant about it and flippantly say to her husband, “Don’t forget, I have a hair appointment this week,” but inside she’s squealing—squealing!

The truth is, she’s been thinking about getting her hair cut for the last six months—SIX MONTHS!

In her earlier years, her appointments were like clockwork every 6-8 weeks. She had the latest color jobs and a kept-up appearance that included fresh manicures and pedicures as spur-of-the-moment or scheduled as she liked.

So, when a mom makes a hair appointment:      

  1. It might be the one appointment that’s actually made it onto her calendar in the last six months

She might have forgotten to put the last two pediatrician appointments in her calendar and mom’s group and church group, but that hair appointment is penciled in—in blood (not because she’s crazy, because she sliced her finger chopping veggies for dinner WHILE trying to fill in her calendar—HELLO!).

Oh wait, that’s not blood. It’s red crayon, because there’s not a pencil (or a pen) to be found in the house. But, it’s not the only red crayon in the fancy day planner she just had to have, because the toddler got ahold of the red crayon and thought the day planner was a coloring book.

And, she should be able to tell the difference between crayon and blood, but everything runs together these days.

  1. In her mind, she’s just booked a two day retreat at a five star spa

Don’t even try to convince her otherwise. You probably don’t even know she’s thinking it, but as soon as she hung up the phone, she started doing a little two-step swagger to her own beat as she chanted, “ ma mamma is in for a treat.”

She’s seriously lowered her standards over the years. A shoulder squeeze from full-sized hands actually feels like a 60 minute massage, so it’s only to be expected that the equivalency scale has tipped this way.

It’s a five star spa. Don’t remind her that it’ll only last an hour (if she’s lucky) or two (if she’s getting a color).

  1. She’s already thinking about what to pack

She’s not sure if she should pack the library book she’s re-checked out three times, because she hasn’t had a chance to read it or just stick with her phone.

She’ll probably just stick with her phone, because then she can snap a picture of her lower half in the salon chair and Instagram it with an “at the salon!” caption and a million smiley faces with heart eyes.

Phone it is. She’ll end up forgetting the book anyway.

  1. She stops for a coffee

Mama can’t go to the hair salon without a specialty coffee and mama will be late to the hair salon to ensure she has the coffee in her hand.

  1. She plops with a loud poof into the salon chair

Mama plops into the salon chair like she’s collapsing from having run a half-marathon. Mama once ran a half-marathon and 5ks. Heck—mama once ran a style of run that didn’t involve chasing after someone, but mama gets tired running to the grocery store these days.

  1. She falls into one of two categories about the stylist’s chatter

Mama either 1) is secretly hoping her stylist doesn’t want to chat too much, so she can think uninterrupted for the first time in months or 2) is starved for adult conversation and can’t wait to live vicariously through someone else’s stories.

  1. She tells herself she won’t wonder how her kids are

She tells herself she’s only going to think about non-child related things, but she can’t help but wonder what things the child/children is/are doing with daddy. And, she’s only been gone 35 minutes, but she misses them.

  1. She allows her mouth to fall open when it’s shampoo time

She can’t help it; all she has to do is look at the woman in the shampoo chair next to hers to be overcome with anticipation. The shampoo and condition is the five star spa.

She closes her eyes, wishes the water was just a tad bit warmer, and though she tries to clamp her jaw, her mouth slowly falls open. A soft ahhhh or mmmm might also escape. She silently pleads for it not to stop like she pleads for 7 ‘o clock on a particularly intense day at home.

  1. She walks out of the salon ready to rumble

I’m not kidding—the other day when I got my hair cut, the song “Loco Motion” was playing on a loud speaker at a nearby restaurant. I was walking out of the salon just as the lyrics, “Everybody’s doing a brand new dance, now. Come on baby, do the loco-motion” came on, and I couldn’t contain what was happening on the inside.

I can be a little shy at times, so I wasn’t ready to bust out a full on head whip, but you can better believe I did a miniature hair toss and strutted like I was on the cat walk.

Every mom (or gal) walks out of the salon feeling like a million bucks (unless she went to a bad salon). She’s ready to rumble, to take on the world, and to show her hubby the hibernating tiger that has now awaken. Raaaawwwrr!

  1. She takes a selfie

If mama gets a new ‘do, mama’s gonna take a selfie. We mamas have different personalities—some of us are bold, some of us are shy, some of us are just plain cray-cray—so one mama’s hair cut selfie may not look like the others. But, you’re eventually going to get a selfie.

Some mamas are gonna grab the camera (touch up their make-up if they need to) and take a lonesome selfie: “Gotta take care of me first! Got my hair did.”

Other mamas don’t want to be known as the girl who takes selfies of her haircuts, so she’ll grab her cute kid for a selfie and hope that someone mentions her new cut in the comments.

Other mamas will wait until the end of the night and grab the hubs for a “date night at home” selfie on the couch, because she looks hot and she knows it, and she’s going to capture the one cute couple pic she’s had the opportunity to take in like foooorreeeeever.

So, what kind of hair cut did mama actually get? It depends.

If you all of the sudden see more “selfies” of mama in which she looks surprisingly more put together than normal, mama got the mom cut: a short do which takes 3-5 minutes to style each day and is her saving grace for achieving her fix-hair-every-day New Year’s goal.

If you still see mama rocking the messy bun on the back of her head (or you don’t see mama randomly start to appear in more pics at all), she likely just got a trim. You’ll see mom’s beautiful, long, and gorgeous locks (that we all envy) actually styled: 1) at work on Monday if mama works outside of the home, 2) at the next big event (which might be the next holiday if it doesn’t fall during the summer) if mama stays at home, or 3) in the next YouTube hair tutorial if mama is a vlogger.

This…is what really (almost always) happens when a mom gets a hair cut.

Holly Mthethwa

Holly Mthethwa is the author of the Christian memoir "Hot Chocolate in June: A True Story of Loss, Love, and Restoration." She hails from the small, Midwestern town of Cozad, Nebraska, but currently resides just outside of Washington, D.C., where she lives an adventure with her husband and daugther. Holly writes regularly about faith, family, and the moments that fish-hook her heart at