I Freaking HATE My Haircut: How To Prevent Getting a Cut You LOATHE (And What To Do Once the Damage is Done)

It’s not that bad. I just really wish I had all my hair back.

Mar 19, 2013 at 1:30pm | Leave a comment

It’s happened to all of us. 
 
I plop down in my stylist’s chair. She asks, “So, what are we doing today?” 
 
“Well, I got drunk two months ago and cut off 6 inches of my hair with office scissors,” I tell her.
 
(OK, so it doesn’t always START this way. Be patient.)
 
“I like the shape of the cut, but it’s a total hack job,” I explain. “I don’t want to lose a lot of the length. It’s growing out funny, though, so I guess just even it out?” 
 
I show her the picture of Keira Knightley with that hairstyle I adore, as a good client should. She nods understandingly. “Also,” I continue, since it’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday and I’m chugging espresso, “I’d like more of an asymmetrical cut -- with the front longer than the back.” 
 
She explains that the style in the image I show her is one length, with layers. I shrug and say, “Yeah, OK, cool.” I also attempt to describe the tone of the highlights I want (which is relevant to this story for the mere purpose of relaying how much time was involved). 
 
She starts putting in the highlights, and we start talking. 
 
We talk about our boyfriends, moving to New York, mustering the courage to talk to male models on the street, utilizing hashtags on Instagram as an effective search tool, our mutual obsession with Sophia Amoruso (CEO of Nasty Gal), how extremely unfortunate it is that "The Simple Life" isn’t available on Netflix.
 
Three hours pass, my hair is soaked, and she’s trimming away. She says something about how adorable face-framing pieces would be. I respond, “Mmm… Sure.”  
 
AND THAT’S WHERE IT WENT DOWNHILL. 
 
As she begins to blow my hair out, the mood in our station shifts. I stop talking, grab my book, and read intensely. When my mane is dry and styled, she looks at me like a 5-year-old who just gave his mom another shitty scribble drawing, or a Golden Retriever that brought its owner a dead rabbit. 
 
“Um… it’s… great…” I manage to get out. I pay, leave the salon, turn the corner, and put my hair up.
 
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I FUCKING HATE IT!

 
“Oh, it’s not that bad,” you may be thinking. 
 
I get it: It’s not like she accidentally buzzed my hair, seared my scalp, or convinced me to get bangs. But this cut is not what I wanted -- at all. It’s so not me!
 
(Also, these “face framing pieces” are the opposite thing I had in mind when describing the long-in-the-front, short-in-the-back style I’m digging right now.)
 
To make matters worse, yesterday, as I sat to write in a stupid Brooklyn café where everyone was reading the New Yorker, a French couple sat next to me. I became momentarily paralyzed when I realized the French woman, who was very pretty and very French, had the EXACT same haircut I wanted. 
 
Since the one thing I’ve wanted most in life is to be French, seeing her was like smooshing salt in my wound. 
 
So, please, even if you think you’ve gotten past the point of falling victim of paying for a haircut you hate, learn from my mistakes, and keep these pointers in mind the next time you go to the salon: 
 
GO IN WITH MORE THAN ONE PICTURE
 
I used to think you were an overachiever if you walked in with one photo of the style you wanted. Now I’m confident that my debacle could’ve been prevented if I had also shown the stylist this picture of Ashley Olsen’s asymmetrical ‘do.
 
Really, though, celebrities pay their stylists a lot more than us common folk, and we may not even have the same texture of the person whose hair we covet. Bringing in more than one picture increases your likelihood of getting what you want (and not something you hate). 
 
DON’T LET BONDING WITH YOUR STYLIST INTEFERE WITH YOUR END GOAL
 
Bless her Alabama heart -- if the stylist who did my hair read this, I would DIE. She was wonderful! And it’s not like this is her fault. [Smiling through gritted teeth.] 
 
She checked with me prior to putting her scissors at my chin, angling them downwards, and cutting them into those THINGS I despise. When she suggested the idea, rather than telling her, “That sounds cute, but I’ve had that cut before, and it makes me feel like a self-conscious country singer,” I thought since we shared a similar personal style, naturally, she could read my mind. 
 
I shouldn’t have let our three-hour bonding sesh get in the way of what I really wanted: A haircut that made me look French. I MEAN, an asymmetrical lob -- with that messy hint of je ne sais quoi. 
 
TRUST YOUR GUT
 
I felt uneasy when she first positioned the scissors at my chin. I thought, “Am I going to regret this?” Mmm yeah. I do. Five seconds of saying NO THANKS would’ve saved me many minutes of cringing every time I see myself in mirrors afterwards. 
 
Already have a haircut you LOATHE? Here’s what to do now:
 
TAKE YOUR HAIR-GROWING VITAMINS
 
Unlike when I cut my own hair, there isn’t enough length around my face with this style to get it fixed. So the next step, for me, is to get my hair back. 
 
I first heard of prenatal vitamins helping your hair grow like WHOA as a teenager. Since I was afraid of babies, I didn’t start taking them until my little sister (aka the family beauty guinea pig) did, and her mane grew faster than my first internship in New York ended. 
 
Now that I’m afraid of having babies and get creeped out by the fat baby face on the prenatal bottle, I take a women’s multi-vitamin with folic acid (which is what’s in prenatals that help your hair grow). I also started taking fish oil about a year ago after a psychiatrist told me that studies have shown it could be good for my sick brain. And, latent side effect: It has made my hair so pretty! 
 
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Well, I mean, not anymore. This was in November. Come back to me, hair. 
 

 
MASSAGE YOUR SCALP
 
Everyone has heard that massaging your scalp helps your hair grow ‘cause it increases circulation so your hair follicles get more nutrition, right? Do you actually do it, though? 
 
I do it if I remember, which is when I focus on how much I hate my hair all day instead of any real, meaningful issues. While shampooing and conditioning (I have a dry scalp, so oily roots aren’t a concern), I’ll push my thumbs into my head in circular motions. Relaxation!    
 
EXPERIMENT WITH MORE THAN THOSE TYPICAL BAD-HAIRCUT HIDING STYLES (LIKE TOP KNOTS AND PONYTAILS)
 
Run to your nearest drug store. Load up on tiny clips and bobby pins– you’re going to need them.
 
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STOP CARING SO MUCH
 
It’s just hair! It’ll grow back. Not like you gave yourself a bad tattoo or something.
 
Tell me about the time you hated your hair the most. Did your stylist jack it up? Did you not speak up? Do you have no idea how to talk to a hairstylist? Have you cried into your pillow for three days after getting a bad haircut? Not like I’ve done that. But still. 
 
Caitlin likes to get melodramatic about hair and other matters on Twitter: @caitlinthornton