New Year, New Me: tips from a stylist on finding “you” after baby

New Years in NYC

I have never been one to make New Years resolutions. It was never that I believed in it or didn’t; it’s just that my new year feels as though it starts on April 16th when tax season comes to a screeching halt. For the first time, because of an odd hurricane-related tax extension, my deadline and the new year come at nearly the same time. And, they come at a time when I am ready for a new start … for a new me.

2012 brought with it a slurry of newborn nights, first days back to work, Junior League meetings and Pinterest parties. In 2012, I set ridiculously high expectations for myself, both personally and professionally. They were expectations so unreachable that they often left me feeling not very good at anything at all. In this new year, I need to find a better balance between all of my priorities, but most importantly, I need to make myself a priority as well.

Ewww!!! Writing that gives me that twinge of guilt. You know the one. It’s the one you feel when somewhere deep within you realize you need – and want – some “me time.” Maybe it’s a cup of coffee at 6:00am while watching the morning news, or a night with your friends over drinks, or an hour at the gym. Whatever it is that makes you tick, that makes you, well, you.

Some time this fall, I went to my closet in search of something fun and trendy to wear to the Madonna concert, and for the life of me I could find nothing.It took me all day to realize that the reason I had nothing from last season was that I was shopping at Destination Maternity last fall. It had been nearly a year since I bought something just for a girls’ night out. Wait – it had more than a year since I’d had a girls’ night out! How had that happened?!

Sure, I had been shopping for work clothes, and Mark and I had gone on date nights, but for the life of my I couldn’t remember the last time I spent an evening with good girl friends over a glass of wine. When I was honest with myself, I really missed that time. I missed talking about what books they were reading and trips they were planning. I missed laughing about college memories and crying in romantic comedies. Yes, I needed to find some room in my life for my friends.

As I started to realize that I was in need of a GNO, I also realized that I was in need of a new look, too. For the past year, my beauty routine consisted of throwing my hair up in a ponytail, putting on makeup at red lights, and convincing myself that my overgrown eyebrows were an ode to Madge herself. But where would I find the time, and where would I begin?  Post-baby, I had a ton of new hair growth (or as I call it, my sideburns). I remember looking in the mirror and not really recognizing the person who looked back at me. I felt frumpy for the first time. I could not wait to get myself to the salon.

It was there – at a hair salon – in three hours I spent with Christopher Hoggatt at his salon, Coloriage, that I realized I was ready to start 2013 as a new me. With his help, I was ready to conquer my sideburns and discover a few quick and easy solutions to styling my hair to suit my new life.

I’ve asked Christopher to share with you some of his insight on how to revamp your new mom style and self image.

Tips for Moms from a Pro

As a nearly thirty year veteran of the vanity arts, I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of expectant moms from conception to delivery. This doesn’t exactly make me an expert on childbirth, rather a formidable ally to the brave, modern mom

One thing’s for certain, the first aspect of convention to go is any sense of routine. This tends to be a long-term reality Christopher Hoggattmore than simply a trend. That’s where I hope to be most supportive. I hope that some of my suggestions can help launch an understanding of the need to take back a little of the time needed to present ourselves in the most flattering light, for ourselves, for our mate, and especially for the little one – whom invariably will learn the art of healthy practices of vanity and grooming from you.  

How to Deal With Hair Loss

One of the first, and most shocking observations is that infernal hair loss which can occur from three to nine months after delivery. For most new moms, this can come as a complete surprise. Here a few tricks I’ve learned over the years. Bangs – this is a great time to own the decision to break from convention and go for it. And it doesn’t have to stop there. This is an outrageously well-timed opportunity for a whole new look. Try a new look with hair color and shape. My favorite! Think deep, rich, shiny and geometric. You’ll most likely never get this free-pass as easily, ever again. Then there is the school of thought that you can incorporate new hair growth into your “regular” hairstyle. It can be done but your stylist will have to be accustomed to encouraging you toward patience. Remember, there’s nothing regular about you anymore. 

During pregnancy, and for some considerable time thereafter, your protein development is working overtime. It’s one of the few bonuses which you can actually enjoy! That the inherent shine and strength help to make up for the lack of time you have to imitate this effect by the use of a professional regimen. 

Your Daily Routine

It is important to shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo and always, always condition. After delivery especially, the more moisture the better. Ask your stylist to recommend a moisturizing conditioner rather than a protein based one, as you’re already inundated with a healthy amount of protein.

Another weapon against stronger and more “independent” hair is the miracle of Argan oil. There are many manufacturers and as many approaches. I prefer the ones without silicone. They’re lighter and almost impossible to overuse. They’re also a great way to refresh your look and add dazzle to even the simplest ponytail. 

Why let it stop with your hair. Add a little shimmer to your face and light up a room. It’s been my observation that shinier skin glows. I’m especially fond of powdered, mineral makeup. Not just the foundation, but cheek color, eyes and lips. The routine is quick, looks effortless and doesn’t require a great investment in time or money. 

And with all of that advice, my most important recommendation is to remember to breathe. Confidence in your decision to experience the greatest gift is a far more important cosmetic than any practice of vanity, beauty regimen or sleep. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am ready for 2013. I am ready to take a different approach to being me. I am going to stop feeling guilty for being a working mom and make the most of the free time I have with Mark and Jane. In that free time, I’m going to focus less on being the perfect wife and mother and more on being a a really good one who laughs more and worries less. And one who admits that I need some “me time.”

First on my agenda is my first weekly Weight Watchers meeting in six months. In a weird way I am looking forward to it!  That will be followed by an hour and fifteen minute yoga and relaxation class at Wild Lotus. I think that should be enough time to find myself and my center. Finally, a group of friends and I have already starting scheduling girls’ nights out!   am already feeling a little more like my old self again.

Here’s to a new me, and here’s to you. May 2013 bring you whatever it is you are wishing for!

Did you make a resolution in this new year?


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