So these are the moments why some people absolutely dread getting their hair cut. One mistake and you’re sent into a whirling pool of depression, lock yourself indoors for weeks, and/or start wearing hats everywhere.
We’ve all been there.
So what can you do about a bad haircut? Unless you know a thing or two about time travelling, follow the steps below to walk you through and make the most of a bad hair cut.
1. Evaluate The Situation
Get a mirror and look at it again. Is it really that bad? Okay maybe it is. Deep breaths! Or maybe it isn’t. It may not be exactly what you wanted but can you “own” this? Can you make the most of this hair? Does it really make you look that bad? Or is it just different than what you originally wanted?
Here’s the deal:
If it’s different than what you wanted but it doesn’t make you look too bad, then everything’s going to be okay. You might not feel like it in the moment but this too shall pass, and you’ll get over the dissatisfaction. If it’s a passable haircut and it doesn’t get you weird stares in public then it isn’t that bad.
If it’s different than what you wanted but it does make you look bad then it is that bad. Okay maybe not that bad. Hair regrows you know. The average person’s hair grows about ½ an inch a month. Can you speed up the process? Maybe. More on that further below.
2. If It’s Fixable Fix It
If it’s possible to go back and get your hair cut again (doesn’t have to be the same place) do it. Here you’re choosing the lesser of two “evils” by letting go of your current hairstyle in favor of something less disastrous (assuming it really is that bad).
For Men: If your barber or stylist really screwed up your hair, try to get whatever the mistakes were fixed.
- If they messed up a short hairstyle, and it isn’t looking too good, you can try buzzing it to at least get it uniform in length and make it look more “ordinary.”
- If they cut your hairline unevenly, try using the hair further up on top to help cover up the area. Can you bring some of it down to help cover up your forehead? Is it long enough for bangs?
- If you have layers or an area with hair longer than the rest see if you can have them work it into another more respectable style.
- If your hair was already cut too short you might as well go all the way and get it buzzed.
Don’t think you can pull off a buzz cut (or shorter hair)? You might be right not everyone can. In that case your best bet would be to make the most of whatever you have by styling it into something better. Remember that getting your haircut is only the first step of a two step process. Styling your hair is just as important to getting it to look great.
Try using a pomade or gel and play around with it. Hair products can drastically change the appearance of your hair by altering its position and texture. They’ll help you hold the fort until it regrows. We have a whole guide on male hair products here with some beginner styling tips.
For Women: The same advice applies. If your stylist cut a few too many inches off your hair, see if there’s any salvageable way to blend in the rest or to style it in a way that disguises and makes up for the fact.
- If a part of your hair was already cut too short, can you get away with matching the rest of your hair in length so it doesn’t seem as bad? You’ll be going for a shorter cut overall, but will this make the final product look better?
- If it wasn’t cut too short, but differently than what you wanted, ask if they can give you any tips to style the cut into something more respectable. Remember this isn’t your hair’s final, definitive look until you style it. So can you play around with it to change up its appearance?
- Can you keep your hair pulled back into a ponytail, bun, or something similar so other people can’t see whatever the mistake was?
- Can you use hair products to help change up the style? A volumizing spray to help out thin hair? Something to get it curlier / straighter? Anything to change up the current look?
Do your best to prevent breakage. Try to avoid heat damage (ex. blow drying your hair too hot or often) and avoid getting any chemical treatments done (highlights, perms, etc) in the meantime as these will all make your hair more fragile. Dry hair is bad! Slightly oily hair is good for preventing breakage. Retaining more of the natural oils in your scalp by going “No Shampoo” might be able to help things out.
Avoiding breakage will make sure you keep more of your hair around and it’s one way to help your hair re-grow faster because you won’t be losing any of it at the end of your brush! Read more about repairing broken hair.
3. Ask For A Refund
Getting your money back won’t solve the problem but it might lessen the pain of having to deal with a bad cut.
The most important thing is that you be polite. If this wasn’t your first time with that specific barber / stylist, tell them you enjoy their service and the atmosphere but are dissatisfied with this cut and won’t be coming back otherwise. They’ll try to retain a returning customer and will take a one time hit. Most of the time. But if they refuse, don’t blow up in their face. Respectfully leave and take the loss. Being honest and respectful will increase your chances of getting a refund or at least having them fix up whatever the problem was for free. In fact, we’d be surprised if they didn’t offer to help you out free of charge.
The ideal time to tell them about your concerns is before you’ve even left the place and while you’re still in the chair. They’ll give you specific advice on the spot AND they’ll hopefully be able to fix up whatever the problem is immediately.
But if you’ve already left, call them up and say you noticed… (fill this blank with whatever your problem was). Only do this if your hair was recently done — the same day or the day before. Calling a week later – not good. Think of it from their perspective. Why didn’t you tell them about it earlier? The longer you wait the more unlikely it is you’ll get any help.
4. Let Your Hair Grow Back
This is the waiting game, but if your hair’s been messed up to the point that it’s unfixable, this is your only option.
You might have a grandma or someone you know with a weird home remedy to help you regrow your hair faster but do these methods actually work? Can you really speed up the regrowth process? It can’t hurt to try.
Your best bet is to keep hair loss at a minimum.
We already talked about preventing hair breakage further above. If you aren’t losing any hair, growing it back to the length that it was at before will definitely be faster. So make sure you’re looking after your hair and aren’t continuously damaging it.
Another option is to try a hair growth supplement. These promote healthy hair by providing you the specific nutrients most needed for it to regrow at its quickest and strongest. We prefer HairAnew by Naturenetics because it also benefits your skin and nails but there are a variety of options available.
The important thing is to look for the following vitamins and minerals:
- B Vitamins (especially Vitamin B5 aka pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Biotin (aka Vitamin H)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Whether you increase your dietary intake or supplement, these will give you the most bang for your buck. To learn why, refer to this guide which teaches you different techniques for regrowing your hair faster.
Preventing Another Hair Disaster
Really a bad cut can only be contributed to 1 of 2 possibilities. Either…
- The person cutting your hair wasn’t skilled enough.
2. There was a miscommunication problem.
Most of the time it’s the 2nd issue! Communication is key between your barber / stylist. Make sure they really understand what you want so you don’t get a haircut you regret.
We have helpful guides on how to properly communicate with the person cutting your hair so you can get the exact style you want.
Here’s our guide for men.
And here’s our guide for women.
Don’t make the same mistake again. Click the corresponding link above to avoid any future problems and get the exact haircut that’ll make you look great!