Beauty Coach: Hate Your Haircut?

February 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm , by

photo by Fernando Milani

Have you ever left the hair salon looking worse than when you first walked in? (I know I certainly have, and more times than I’d care to admit.) It’s certainly cathartic to curse out the stylist in your head, but here’s the thing: a bad haircut isn’t entirely the fault of the person wielding the scissors. It’s yours, too. Okay, now before you throw your heaviest tube of styling gel at me, let me explain why that’s a good thing. You–yes, you in the chair–have some control of the situation. The more ownership you take, the better your chances of getting the cut you want. The times I’ve been most disappointed over my haircut are usually when I was impulsive or didn’t communicate my expectations.

This story is a good example:

A friend of mine, we’ll call her Ann, needs a haircut and wants a change of scene from her regular salon. Ann decides to try the salon her friend Beth goes to and shows up there in person, asking for an appointment with Beth’s regular stylist.

Unfortunately, Beth’s stylist is out that day so Ann agrees to see the next available stylist–let’s call him Random Dude. During her consultation with Random Dude, Ann says that she doesn’t mind going shorter, as long as the new cut is easy to style. 40 minutes later, a remorseful Ann walks out of the salon with a shaggy, layered bob that just doesn’t feel like her and also turns out to be anything but easy to style.

For the next few days Ann struggles to style her new cut, buying new products, headbands and even an expensive flat iron. After a week of frustration, Ann just wants to fix her hair and considers everything from getting a new haircut to fix the layers, long hair extensions like Kate Gosselin’s to a Brazilian straightening treatment so she won’t have to spend 30 minutes every morning smoothing out her strands.

Where did Ann go wrong? Let me know what you think! And what do you think she should do next? I advised her to call the salon and ask for a free styling lesson before she does anything drastic.

Photo by Fernando Milani

16 Responses to “Beauty Coach: Hate Your Haircut?”

  1. Ann should have expressed her unhappiness before she walked out! And next time, bring a picture.


  2. I have been impulsive in the past and made poor choices, you need to know what you want, trust your stylist, and be willing to work at styling it yourself.


  3. Ann’s first mistake was letting Random Dude touch her hair without knowing anything about him!! She should make a definite appointment with her friend Beth’s stylist and let her try to fix Random Dude’s screw up!!!


  4. It’s all about taking personal responsibility…knowing what you want, being able to articulate it and standing up for yourself (nicely) if things are not going the way you anticipated. The good thing about hair is it can grow back!


  5. Ann should have made an appt with the prefered stylist rather than accept the next available. Now she should go back to Random Dude (unless she can’t stand him) and get some help styling her new do. He should be given the chance to make it right.


  6. I think people like Ann and myself, Gab, make the mistake of trusting professionals because of the fancy salon they work at or just because they are highly recommended. We put our hair in their hands and don’t speak up or really communicate what we want because we think they “get it” and can’t mess up. I was actually having this conversation today with a friend who had a similar thing happen to her, will call her Debbie.


  7. I would have made another appointment with my own stylist; after all that stylist is my stylist because he/she has never given me a bad haircut. NEVER switch it up!


  8. This just happened to me with someone I have been going to for about a year. I told the stylist I was unhappy. I don’t know what she was doing while she was cutting. I didn’t want her doing anything more. She immediately scheduled me for another appt a few days later, in case I was still unhappy. I called the mgr and got the appt changed to the stylist manager. She totally fixed my hair. That’s who I will go to next time.


  9. I have been in that seat many time but I fault myself for letting it happen. I should have said no to do it the way it is, I am the one that needs to get ready and know how my hair flows, but sometimes we trust others since they are the professionals. A lesson is a good idea!


  10. If she gives the stylist little direction, then she needs to be open to his interpretation. Everyone’s definition of “easy to style” is different. Ann needed to be more specific with the stylist.


  11. Amen sisters! I just had it happen, too. The fact is – no matter what they know about hair, YOU know more about YOUR hair than they do. I neglected to tell my stylist that I wear my hair up all the time so now when I wear my trademark messy bun, I have a lock of hair in the front that doesn’t join the others.


  12. well maybe bringing a photo is not enough.maybe you just need to be satisfied with the style you get:i mean if you walked into the neighbourhood salon and wondered why you get the plane jane look, do you still blame the stylist?why not pay more to get more?and why just find ‘another’ stylist?wouldnt it be better to do some homework first?


  13. Sometimes the haircutter will suggest a new style or tweaks to your cut that s/he thinks will look good on you – and that is their specialty, so one is not to be blamed for believing them. They are the experts, and there is always a degree of trust. I just got a cut that I don’t like, the new stylist hacked way too many layers in, and I liked it better before. I asked for a clean-up and he did not tell me he was going to add additional layers. Now I can’t style it, it’s too thin, and I’m really upset. He styled it okay at the salon so I couldn’t really tell what the damage was, so I payed and tipped and didn’t say anything. My regret is not speaking up more during the actual cut when I noticed him cutting so many layers. It was a $125 cut too!!!!! Aigh!


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