Bad Haircut: Survival Techniques
Bad Haircut: Survival Techniques
Karen Marie Shelton
Date: 5/1/2002, 8/5/2002

Introduction

It happens when you least expect it.  Usually it happens right before a very important event where photographers will be out in force.  Sometimes it happens with a long time trusted expert at the helm.  What is "it"?  It is a dreaded bad haircut that can ruin a long string of days with just a few snips of a scissors.

While there are many ways to avoid getting a bad haircut before it happens, once you have one, there are some instant remedies that will take you from geeky to glam in no time.

The key to bouncing back from a bad cut is to remember that your hair will recover despite how bad you think it looks. Don't let a bad cut ruin your life.   

Here are some ways to get on with your hair life:

1. Don't panic

Although you may have hated your horrid new style the minute you saw it, take a deep breath and remain calm.  Hair may actually go into a temporary state of "chop shock" immediately after it is cut.  Give your hair a few days to relax into the new style.  You may discover that your initial anxiety was unfounded and your hair is falling nicely into place.  

If a few days pass and your hair is still giving you nightmares, be prepared to try some new cut coping options.

2. Cry your eyes out

OK, so your hair looks like hell and doesn't seem to be recovering from the big cut.  It could be worse.  While it's okay to indulge yourself in feeling angry or bad about your hair, minimize the negativity.  Call your best buds, rant and rave.  Have a good old fashioned cry and then move on. Stop obsessing or whining about it. Trust me, your hair will grow back.  Don't let a rotten crop rain on your daily parade.

3. Forgive yourself and your stylist

Don't get wrapped up in the blame game. While its good to evaluate what went wrong so you can avoid it again, forgive yourself and your stylist and move on.  

4. Investigate minor cut tweaking

If you received the cut from your regular stylist immediately call them and discuss your disappointment.  Remember, even the best stylist in the world has a bad day.  Give them the benefit of the doubt and be willing to let them try and tweak the style to your satisfaction. If you trust your stylist ask them slightly "adjust" the cut to even out the rough spots.  Most stylists will tweak a bad cut without 48 hours without additional charge.  This will only happen if you politely speak up and ask for an adjustment. Don't wait too long after the cut.

If you went to an unfamiliar stylist you may want to forgo the tweaking since it might only make matters worse.  

Consider contacting another trusted stylist.  Ask them for suggestions on equalizing or modifying your new cut. It is amazing what a good stylist can do with a hair wreck.

5. Make lemonade out of lemons

I believe that when life gives you lemons, you can have fun making lemonade. Being positive really helps in any bad situation. Not only does it make you feel better, it gives you the opportunity to learn new ways to style your hair.  

Set aside some private time, drag out all your hair styling tools and play with some new looks. It can help you pass the time while your hair grows out.  Styling products like volume enhancing mousse or extra strength gel can work wonders on instantly changing limp locks into luscious fat locks.  A good straightening or defrisant balm can remove the frizzies for a smooth, sleek shiny cap.

Experiment with hot rollers or styling irons to achieve a different texture and movement.  Hair will often "snap out" of funk with added flow.  Use gel on wet hair to create faux dreads or soft  sensual spikes.  Play with a magnificent Meg Ryan tousled bedhead do or go with a wet look and slicked back bangs or sides. 

If your hair is long enough, experiment with tiny braids or crimped strands to give yourself a brand new funky style you can have fun with.

6. Get the biggest bang for your bucks

Sometimes a bad haircut can be directly related to horrible bangs.  Your fringe may be cut too short or appear to be uneven. If your bangs are too short you can opt for several options such as changing your part,  wearing your bangs tousled or altering them so that your bangs deliberately take on an asymmetric look.

Clip-on bangs are now available at some of the larger beauty supply stores.  Celebrities love them as displayed by Mai Ling and Jennifer Lopez at recent celebrity award shows. 

Another option is to add multidimensional streaks to your bangs to give them depth and new interest.  While you are at it, crank up your eye make-up to take advantage of the new focal point.

7. Clip on a tail

If you still can't do a thing with your new do, head for the nearest beauty supply and check out the latest clip-on ponytails, braids and dreadlocks.  If you want to crank up your playfulness quotient, experiment with some of the hot new fun wigs in platinum or glam colors.  A good clip-on or wig will buy you some stealth mode time for your growing strands.

If you are more traditional you can select from an incredible array of  human hair and synthetic wigs that can be ordered to accurately match most hair colors and styles.  If you opt for the more traditional wig path be sure to work with a stylist that can help you get a perfect.

8. Extend yourself

Britney, Christina and JLo do it.  More celebrities than you can count do it too.  Human hair extensions that are applied by a skilled expert can instantly transform your look from horrendous to heavenly.  High quality extensions can be pricey and should not be undertaken lightly. If your rotten cut is really ruining your life, carefully chosen extensions might just be the best solution for you.   

9. Pop a pill

No, hair vitamins will not instantly add 6 inches to your newly shorn locks. However, it will help maximize your genetic hair growth rate and to help you grow super healthy new strands.  Consider adding a good essential fatty acid to your daily vitamin count which will help to internally condition new strands.

10. Accessorize

Use hair clips, barrettes, jeweled hairpins and headbands to camouflage uneven layers.  Brush haphazard bangs to one side and clip with a hot new comb.  While not show off your ability to make the best of a bad hair situation? Grab the latest fashion headgear as a last resort and only if you really must.  

11. Get out of the house

Avoid the temptation to let your bad hair experience prevent you from enjoying your life.  Don't pass up a special social event just because your hair looks less than perfect.  Spend some time before the event practicing some cool ways to equalize your challenged hair. Then go out and enjoy yourself.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on HairBoutique.com or anywhere else, please post a message on  HairBoutique.com's Hair Talk Forums.

For additional hair care articles, tips and product information check out the following links: