Style + Beauty

Help! I Have a Bad Haircut


You walked into the salon hoping to look like an A-list celebrity, but walked out with a D-list disaster. Now what?

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a stylist chop away at your beloved locks, only to be left with a botched ‘do. While you may be tempted to go into hiding until your hair grows back, there are some solutions on how you can fix — and dare we say love— your new look.

We asked several celebrity stylists how to cope with a bad haircut — and none of their tips involves wearing a hat.

Speak Your Mind: You might want to storm out of the salon, but that's the last thing you should do. “Communicate with your stylist if you aren’t happy with your haircut,” says Roy Teeluck, a stylist who has worked with Jane Fonda and Hillary Clinton. “A good stylist will work with you to make the necessary adjustments. Also, let your stylist know what you expect as far as maintenance. Some haircuts may require frequent salon visits. If you’re more wash-and-wear, let him/her know so they can adjust the haircut accordingly.” A stylist will want to make sure his/her client is completely satisfied, which means you could also get a reduced fee or a full refund for the poor service.

OK, So You Walked Away: Don’t just settle for less! “Call the salon and explain what it is you don’t like and see if it can be rectified, as sometimes a lot of problems boil down to miscommunication,” says Mark Williamson, stylist at Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami Beach. “Then arrange to go see your stylist ASAP to address a solution.” Before you go to your appointment, make sure you do your homework and gather images of hairstyles you feel will work best for your hair. Not only will you leave the salon happier the next time around, but you’ll avoid another communication mishap.

Time Heals (Really): Just like with an unexpected breakup, time will lessen the pain of losing your beloved hair. “I advise giving it a day or two to see if it grows on you and then go back to the salon for an adjustment, if needed,” says Allen Ruiz, co-owner of Jackson Ruiz Salon in Texas. “I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen people who, after receiving a few unsolicited compliments from friends and co-workers, all of a sudden end up loving a once hideous haircut that brought them to tears.”

Go Shopping: Make this unfortunate mishap your opportunity to find another stylist who could give you a new makeover. Stylists say to ask close family and friends for recommendations. “Don’t ever just walk into a salon,” warns Thomas Heinz, a lead stylist for Vogue. “If someone is available right away, chances are that the stylist is not very busy, which in turn means that they might not be very good or may not have the experience needed to help you. Always try to get a referral by someone you trust.”

Have a Consultation: Before you let a new stylist work with your ‘do, set up a consultation appointment where you can inform them why you’re unhappy with your current cut. Your stylist will then determine what your hair needs to look its best. The new treatment will then be planned out in advance so you know what you’re getting. “If you come in and explain to the stylist that you just got butchered by someone else, they will often sympathize and give you a discounted price for fixing it and becoming a new client,” says Ruiz.

Learn From the Pros: You may hate your new cut because chances are you’re not styling it properly. “Ask a stylist for at-home tips on how to achieve a salon-worthy look on your own,” says Teeluck. “A few little insider tricks can make all the difference.”

Explore: A bad haircut could actually be a good opportunity to discover new ways on how to love your hair all over again. Want to try highlights or go for a completely different color to enhance your features? Curious about bangs? Use your new cut as a time to try a treatment or style you otherwise wouldn’t go for.

Aim for Growth: You won’t be stuck with your current cut forever. To boost growth and make that process go by quicker, make sure you’re using the appropriate products made for your hair type. This can help prevent breakage. Avoid using heating tools frequently, which could lead to long-term damage. Stylists suggest taking a daily vitamin supplement meant for hair and skincare, which will ensure your tresses are at their healthiest.

Accessorize: Stylists recommend using your personal style as a tool to take some of the spotlight away from your tresses. Do you have a head-turning necklace? Thinking about channeling your inner old Hollywood siren with a scarf? Or perhaps you need an occasion to wear those coral-hued stilettos? Get creative with your overall fashion, which will also distract you from paying too much attention to your hair.

Fake it ‘Til You Make it: Getting extensions may sound like an added expense, but stylists say it’s the best way to get over the loss of your long locks until your hair grows back. “Get the tape, seamless extensions,” recommends stylist Ricardo Rojas, who has worked with Gisele Bundchen, Christie Brinkley and Naomi Campbell. “You recover length and texture within one hours’ work and you can choose your length and texture style.” For a trendy, runway-ready look, Rojas suggests wearing extensions with sleek, straight hair or wavy for the beach.