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How To Avoid Haircut Horrors: Don’t Blame the Stylist!

BlogBeauty Career, Beauty Tips, How To's | November 1, 2011

The horror of a frightfully bad haircut can last for weeks. It never fails- you go in with the highest expectations, carefully planning your new look for days, telling everyone how great you’ll look once you walk out of those salon doors.

You clipped celebrity photos to show the stylist a picture-perfect look of your future glamorous self. You can’t wait to debut the new you at a party this weekend. Then, after all the planning sessions and growing excitement, comes the inevitable disappointment: you hate your hair! You run for cover with a hat, barrettes, ponytail holder, anything you can grab to hide the downfall to your highly anticipated makeover until you can figure out the big fix. But first, you cry.

Crazy hair
So what happened? Everyone who went to this salon highly recommended it. Their hair is awesome! The place was hip and trendy and you loved it. You think “Why me? Why do I have the worst hair ever? I planned it out, I had a picture, I went to the best salon…something went wrong. It had to be the hairdresser. It just had to be.” Oh, that poor hairdresser- always gets the blame. And what happens next? You never go back, the stylist loses a client, gets no referrals, and you bounce from salon to salon still looking for that dream hairstyle. That dream may never materialize unless you take a closer look at what really needs to take place at your next appointment. Let’s review some tips I’ve learned along the way:

1. Learn your face shape and pick a hairstyle accordingly. There are seven basic face shapes. Yep, they teach that in cosmetology school, and it’s taught for good reason. Not all styles look good on everyone. Think the Rihanna pixie would look good on a big round chubby face? Think again-no! Same with thick blunt bangs on Scarlett Johansson, who has a heart-shaped face. It just doesn’t work. I was told to look in a mirror and draw an outline of my face with lipstick on the mirror to see the true shape, but there are other ways that don’t require cleaning afterward! Check it out here:




2. You just won’t look like that picture- sorry. I learned that the picture you cut out and bring to the stylist is a good guideline for letting the stylist know what you like, but there just isn’t a likelihood you’ll walk away being a dead ringer for Eva Longoria no matter what. Sometimes we are led to a cut because we like the model in the picture- their face or celebrity status. Take the hair and put it on someone else, and it becomes just ordinary. It’s best to describe what you like about the picture and let the stylists work their own magic.

3. Know what “just a trim” actually means. This is especially true if you are a new client to a stylist. If you say “just a trim”, or “I want long bangs and layers”, this is leaving a bit too much up to interpretation. Everyone has a different idea of how much comes off and how much stays on. Don’t assume anything. Have a conversation with the person you are paying good money to about exactly what you want. It can make a huge difference, and the stylist would prefer you leave satisfied rather than lose a future customer. In other words, watch what you say in hair world!

Haircut trim

4. Texture matters. No style will look good on over-processed, damaged hair. Get it in good shape before making a big transformation. You also can’t expect a hip, sleek Victoria Beckham bob to look good on wavy, frizzy hair. As I once heard from a stylist (and I’m sure has been around for ages), “I’m a beautician, not a magician”. Keep that in mind. A hairdresser can only work with what has been given to them. They can enhance, but not perform miracles. It does help to tell them what you want to work toward, and they will help you to get there.

Victoria Beckham Bob

5. Say what you definitely don’t want. If you make sure you communicate your main dislikes, such as hating short bangs, at least you’ll have a better chance at not being totally disappointed. Some times we don’t know what we want and hope maybe the skilled professional can inspire us, but we certainly have learned what never will be appealing. This is the start of them getting to know you…try it!

Follow these tips when you try a new salon, and hopefully you’ll turn a haircut horror into a style with a smile in no time! Let us know if you have any other tips on overcoming bad haircut experiences. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone!

If you are stylist, make sure you also go over these tips with your client so to ensure they leave your salon a happy customer.  That is how you build repeat business.  Have you ever had a bad hair cut?  Tell us about it!  Ever saved someone from a bad hair cut?  How did you do it?




Written by Empire Beauty School

Empire Beauty School is a leading cosmetology and beauty educator with 89 beauty schools and cosmetology schools in the United States. Empire Beauty School offers a variety of beauty programs and cosmetology courses including cosmetology, esthetics, make-up artistry, and cosmetology educator training.

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