Getting a bad haircut can be devastating. Not only did you not get the outcome you expected, but it may take weeks or even months to grow out, leaving you shattered and full of regret. And it’s not just a bad haircut that can ruin your day. A bad color job or chemical treatment can be just as horrific, especially if your hair was damaged in the process.
But you can (and will) survive this and below are some tips and techniques to help you get through the tough spots.
Put a time limit on negative emotions
The first few days after a bad haircut are the absolute worst and it’s important to take a day or two to get it out of your system. Talk to friends, go online to commiserate with others, or take your anger out on a punching bag. But limit yourself. Tell yourself you have 1-2 days to really grieve and then you are moving into “damage control mode” so you can try to fix the problem and ultimately begin the recovery process.
Wash and style your hair yourself
If your haircut was done by a stylist, try washing and styling your hair yourself. When a stylist does your hair they use products that make your scalp super clean and then blow-dry it to make it look big and full of volume. Sometimes it can take a few days for your hair to fully calm down. And once you style it yourself, it may not be as bad as you originally thought. It may even look a little longer.
Attempt to fix the damage
After you’ve washed and styled your hair several times, decide what bothers you the most. You may not love your hair at the moment, but hopefully, you can make it liveable while it grows out. Try a non-permanent solution like changing your part or using rollers to give your hair body or curl.
If you’re feeling brave, you can try a more drastic fix like cutting it yourself. But just be extremely careful! For help, try searching YouTube for videos demonstrating how to fix different problems like too-thick bangs or choppy layers. Just make sure you don’t attempt this when you are still really emotional. This is something you want to do with a clear head.
Contact the stylist
If you don’t want to fix your hair yourself, contact the stylist who gave you the cut and politely explain the situation. Tell him or her exactly what you don’t like and ask if they have any ideas on how to fix it. Many will fix it for free or provide styling advice.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to go back to the same stylist who gave you the cut. If you would like to try someone new, ask your friends and family for suggestions. Or find someone’s hair you like and ask them who their stylist is. Most people will be flattered if you ask them where they get their hair done and will be happy to tell you.
Vow to never let it happen again
Never blame yourself after a bad haircut (even if you did it to yourself). It happens to everyone at some point and all we can do is learn from it and try to prevent it from happening again. If your haircut was done by a stylist, perhaps he or she had a different idea of what looks good or maybe their idea of an inch is different from your own. In this case, there was a breakdown in communication which can be worked on for the next time.
If you gave the haircut to yourself, figure out what went wrong. Perhaps, you cut too much off all at once or you were trying to do something that was beyond your skillset. The key is to identify what went wrong so you never make the same mistake twice. Tell yourself, you are only going through this pain once.
Find ways to live with it temporarily
If you’ve decided to let your hair grow out again, try to find ways to live with it in the meantime. Experiment with hats, barrettes, headbands, and different styles. Some people will wear their hair in a ponytail or another type of style for months while it grows out. If you need inspiration, there are tons of different styles online, and many come with step-by-step instructions.
Sometimes just changing the way your hair is parted or a subtle change to your hair color can make a world of difference. If your hair looks too thin, for example, you can try adding darker lowlights underneath to make it look thicker. This is the time to experiment.
Remember that it’s not permanent
Your hair can and will grow back. It will take time, but you will love your hair again. And remember the people that loved you before your haircut, still love you right now, and always will no matter what. It’s totally okay to mourn your hair and to be upset over what happened but always keep in the back of your mind that there are much worse (and permanent) things that could have happened to you.
Think how healthy your hair will be when it grows back
If your hair is suddenly much shorter than you imagined, try focusing on the positive. The most damaged areas of your hair (usually the tips) were just removed. So when your hair grows in again, it will look healthy and beautiful. In fact, it may even look better than before you had it cut.
To make your hair grow back as healthy as possible, make sure you are eating a healthy diet and taking a supplement or vitamin that promotes healthy hair growth. Just keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on hair vitamins (you can find them for less than $20). And websites stating you can grow your hair over one inch per week are gimmicks so be sure to avoid them.
Focus on other things in your life
After you’ve accepted your bad haircut and realize all you can do is wait it out, give yourself something to look forward to, especially if you find yourself growing impatient. Try to shift your attention to other areas of yourself. After a bad haircut, for example, I always increase my workout routine. I figure that by the time my hair grows out, I will also have an amazing set of abs. Or you may want to decide to focus on things like changing your diet or spending more time with friends.
Stop comparing yourself to what you see online
When you spend a lot of time online, it can seem like everyone has beautiful healthy hair that suits them perfectly. The problem is that this is far from the truth. Between photo editing, professional styling, and extensions, it’s impossible to know what someone’s hair really looks like. So don’t compare your own hair to what you see online or even people you see out and about since they probably have their own hair hang-ups they’re dealing with.
Treat yourself to something special
While you are mourning your hair, treat yourself to something special. For example, you can buy yourself an expensive conditioning treatment or a luxury hairdryer to pamper yourself. Or you may want to try other beauty treatments like fake tanning or eyelash extensions. Basically, try to find something that makes you happy that will take your mind off your hair for a while.
Regular sew-in extensions can give you long beautiful hair but they are super expensive and require a regular time commitment. Instead, consider purchasing clip-in extensions. These extensions can be inserted and removed at will and they can make your hair longer, fuller, or both. And in many cases, you can purchase them for less than $100.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing clip-in extensions all the time since they damage your hair. But if you wear them just to work or on special occasions like date night, it can give you more confidence and keep your hair healthy while it grows out again.
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Do you remember your worst haircut? How did you get through it? Please share in the comments!