Hills alum Lauren Conrad is known for her long blonde hair, but the new mom debuted a new look on social media this week, broadcasting her big chop in an Instagram story. Three years of hair growth are gone, and Conrad, 31, is now rocking a lob.

The update came as a shock to her fans, her husband and even to entertainment reporters, as she’d previously sworn she’d never cut her hair again (it’s basically her brand, after all).

But as many new moms know, priorities change when there’s a baby in the mix, and it looks like LC hasn’t had a lot of time for daily styling since she and husband William Tell welcomed baby Liam into the family back in July.

Her comments after the cut are something many of us can relate to. “Honestly, it’s more of a time saver,” Conrad told People. “I have to blow dry my hair while my son is napping and it doesn’t always last that long so less hair is less time. I don’t have time for a lot of hair.”

Conrad is far from the only mom to utter that last sentence. In her book, Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains–The Science Behind Sex, Love, & Attraction, author Jena Pincott notes a survey of 200 suburban American women found married women with children had “much shorter hair of significantly poorer quality” than the non-moms.

Experts agree with LC, there’s not a lot of time for hair care if you’ve gotta do it when baby is napping, and a haircut often seems like the best solution.

“Before the baby, mom’s schedule is her own, she can come and go as she pleases,” author Dr. Anne Dunnwold wrote in her book, Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Still Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting. “Then the baby arrives–and cannot really be controlled. Babies eat, sleep, dirty their diapers, cry, pretty much when they want, taking control of the household and the mother’s life. Cutting one’s hair may be one way to take control of SOMETHING when you feel out of control of your life.”

For some new moms, making the big chop can be freeing (instead of spending the last five minutes of baby’s nap with your hot tools, you can spend them with a hot coffee), but if your self-esteem has taken a bit of a hit during the postpartum period, some stylists recommend waiting before committing to any drastic changes.

“The first thing new moms want to do is cut their hair off,” Juan Carlos Maciques, a stylist at the Rita Hazan salon in Manhattan told the New York Times last year, “But, usually, to cut off your hair is a big mistake.”

I’ve been there, rocking a bad pixie in my son’s six-week photoshoot, but clearly, LC didn’t make my mistake. Her lob, created by celeb stylist Kristin Ess is perfect for the lifestyle entrepreneur because Conrad still looks like herself. Ess preserved some length while freeing Conrad from her blow dryer, and it’s definitely not a frumpy ‘mom cut’ and still fit for a style queen.

“Kristin doesn’t do mom cuts,” LC says. “She cuts moms’ hair.”