Tala’s first year in hairdos

My baby turns one year old this week, and there’s a storm of emotions brewing in me. I’ll write about all that later, when it’s a little quieter inside.

For now? To mark her first birthday, as my mom did with me, I’m planning to take Tala for her first haircut. And that makes me just want to write silly things about her hair.

1 Baby Mohawk by Melody Rae

Photo by Melody Rae.

At our 30-week ultrasound, the echographist made a most unusual pronouncement: “She has hair!”

“No, really?” I asked. “How can you tell?”

“See that fuzzy line on her head?” I squinted at the screen; indeed, there it was. “That’s hair.”

From the moment it popped up onscreen in that 30th week, it was clear that Tala’s hair would be a major presence in her life. Strangers, mostly mothers of bald Dutch babies, would stop in the street and exclaim over it, carpet fluff and snot would become entangled in it, and her mama—that’s me!—would spend many hours wrestling with her in many attempts to create cuteness out of the chaos. I’ve joked that Tala’s hair needs its own Instagram account, because it often seems to have a life of its own.

My daughter’s long black hair makes her unique. Someday, I’m going to have to explain why other girls are golden-haired and she isn’t, and tell her that even if she’s outnumbered by blondes, dark hair is beautiful too.

For now? I’m just going to have fun with it. As this post shows, that’s exactly what I’ve done in the first year of her life.

1. The Baby Mohawk, a.k.a. Baby Punk. Tala was born with her hair plastered to her head, but that didn’t last long. Newborns generally don’t have much personality this early in life, but when Tala’s hair suddenly stood up at three weeks—sproing!—and demanded attention, it made her… different.

1 Baby Mohawk 3 weeks

First recorded appearance of the Baby ‘Hawk: April 3, 2013

I loved Tala’s punk phase, not just because it was adorable, but because it made us seem… cool. People would look at her and go “Yeah! Baby punk! Rock on!” and I was suddenly an awesome, funky mom despite the jiggly belly, maternity jeggings and the breast pad crawling up my neck.

Now I’m going to stop writing about the Baby Mohawk, because I suddenly realize how much I miss it, and I’m going to cry. Moving on…

2. The Jack Nicholson. At month four, Tala’s punk spikes started to grow long and fall flat over her large forehead (thanks, Mama). The ‘Hawk began to look oddly like a comb-over, and we began calling her… Jack Nicholson.

3 The Jack Nicholson

On good days, when it behaved sleekly, the Jack Nicholson was also known as the Mia Farrow.

2 The Mia Farrow

3. The Mowgli. With real length came real mess. Named for the wild little boy of The Jungle Book, this is Tala in her natural state: unrestrained, unadorned and uncombed.

3 The Mowgli

Terribly inconvenient but so innocent and natural, it soon became apparent that Mowgli needed to be tamed (sometimes).

4. The It-Girl Ponytail. My daughter has the it-girl ponytail that I, with my unruly wavy hair and oddly flat skull, always wanted but could never have: a cute, perky tail at the base of her perfectly round head, and soft wisps framing her face.

4 The Ponytail

My one year-old daughter is cooler than me. There, I said it.

5. Classic Pigtails. A favorite in our household, this is the ‘do that makes me feel most like she’s no longer a baby, but a little girl.

5 Classic Pigtails

Photo by Maud Fontein.

6. The Samurai. This is Tala’s everyday, go-to hairdo: a vaguely Japanese topknot that keeps the mess out of her face, but leaves the back long and flowing. Sumo wrestlers also wear this simple folded topknot, but “The Samurai” just has a better ring to it.

6 The Samurai topknot

When the Samurai’s topknot explodes, giving it extra flair, we call it The Ronin.

6 The Ronin

7. The Baby Bjork. This is advanced baby hairstyling and supreme proof of just how good a baby Tala is. Requiring a well-behaved, calmly sitting baby and a mama with nimble and dexterous fingers, these multiple mini-buns are Daddy’s favorite hairdo.

7 Baby Bjork hairstyle

Minus the top bun, the Baby Bjork is also known as The Chun-li.

7 The Chun-li

8. The ’20s Flapper. With the addition of a soft headband, period looks are easy to achieve!

8 The Flapper

The Flapper is both easy and versatile. With a floral or braided headband, it transitions into the Coachella Hipster.

The Coachella Hipster baby hairstyle

9. The Marshmallow, a.k.a. The Shape-Shifter. A bathtime special, the soft white Marshmallow is temporary and highly sculptable.

9 Whipped Cream

It’s also the only hairdo that Daddy can successfully pull off without Mommy’s help! Daddies are generally reluctant to attempt hairdressing without , but this is a good one for beginners.

10. The Style Blogger. Tala’s first big girl hairdo was inspired by the messy, gravity-defying top bun universally favored by style bloggers. It was so fierce, I just had to match it with a faux fur jacket.

10 Baby Fashion Blogger hairstyle

Paired with an over-the-top, attention-seeking accessory, the Style Blogger turns effortlessly into the Street Style Blogger.

10 Baby Fashion Blogger Street Style

Oh, now I’m crying and laughing at the same time. Who says babies are all joy and no fun?

What’s your favorite Tala hairdo?

Lovely comments:

  1. I had no idea there was so much hair lingo!!
    Tala is beautiful in all her hair dos!!
    I loved this post!!

  2. So much hair fun in bald-baby-country! Tala looks beautiful with any hairstyle!

    • Yes, so much fun. Hair is definitely one of our earliest mother-daughter bonding experiences. Sorry, Marlon. Haha!

  3. You’ve got yourself an adorable baby! oops. girl.
    I am such a fan of your blog (since pre-wedding days)…and this post just sealed it.
    Gefeliciteerd op Tala’s verjaardag!

  4. I love the way you write! It was so much fun reading every hair do! She looks beautiful with all of them! Such a top model! Long live brunettes!!!

  5. I love them all but the Bjork is definitely my fave. And your comment about your breast pad crawling up your neck brought back many memories. Happy Birthday to little Tala!

    • Seriously, I’ve found a breast pad halfway to my jaw so many times I’ve lost count. It’s like having something in your teeth, people just don’t have the courage to point it out!
      Thanks Jill!

  6. This is so adorable!

  7. That Chun Li photo is the cutest!

  8. The Ronin is my favorite picture. This is an awesome post :) Advance happy birthday and congratulations! you know… for making it thus far hahaha.

    • Sometimes when I bring her to daycare as Mowgli, she returns as the Ronin. :D
      Thanks Matort! One day at a time, we haven’t screwed her up yet haha.

  9. My son is also turning one year old next month and I have mixed emotions about it. I am a bit sentimental because he is not a baby anymore and I really miss carrying a tiny creature in my arms. A whole year went by so fast and how I wish I can still relive them haha…even the hardest parts of it all. I am also quite excited to see him walk, talk, be a toddler :)

    • Me too! But everyone I know with a toddler says it was so much easier when they couldn’t walk yet, so I am trying to be patient haha :)

  10. Hi Deepa! I’ve been a silent reader of your blog but I couldn’t help but comment on this post. Tala’s different hairstyles are adorable and yes her hair can definitely have its own IG account. My fave would have to be the Chun Li

  11. she’s so beautiful