My worst haircut ever

Paper Bag Head by Kate Pugsley

When I think of my worst ever hair moments, I have a few to choose from. Surprisingly, getting a perm is not one of them, but I’ll leave that story for another day.

I am opening up the wounds to share two awful experiences today, as I couldn’t decide which was worse. I am sharing these in the hope that you can learn from my hair mistakes.

One of my most follicly challenging times occurred at the most sensitive and awkward times in a girl’s life – the cusp of puberty. I was in Year 6, just before I started high school. My long blonde hair was also going through a change of life too. Previously soft and wavy, it was starting to turn brown and develop kinky-curls.

I was devastated at the change in my hair. I had no idea how to style it. My sister was completing her hairdressing training and she decided the solution to my hair woes would be a new haircut.

Except she gave me a bob.

And a fringe.

Not wanting to blame my sister too much, as she is such an inspiration to me, but she was the cause of my first bad haircut. As I didn’t own a hairdryer, and had no idea what to do with my hair, my bob turned into a fuzzy triangle. I would share a photo but I think I destroyed them all.

I started high school with way too much gel in my hair as I tried to tame my curls.

Lessons to learn here:

  • Curly hair needs a curly haircut.
  • Trying to force curls into straight hairstyles (without any styling tools) will end in disaster. I’ve since had a bob that was one of my favourite haircuts of all time. It encouraged my curls and looked amazing.

The worst haircut I ever paid for

I was living in France as part of a school exchange and I had encountered a few language problems with the local hairdresser. I decided to go to London for the day, get my haircut, go shopping and see the sights.

I was so excited and felt pretty grown up. I researched where to go and thought Toni & Guy would be good and I made an appointment with a senior stylist at the Kensington salon.

The first mistake was mine, as I underestimated the time it took to get across London, so I was almost 10 minutes late for my appointment.

The attitude of the stylist was the next mistake. He seemed determined to make up lost time and hardly spoke to me. I felt embarrassed and didn’t speak up for myself at all. I felt naïve and small and I hated the rough haircut he gave me. But instead of saying anything I paid the huge bill and walked out completely in shock.

I ran into the nearest shop, picked up something to try on so I could hide in the changeroom and try to fix my hair. My hair was really short (like a puffy pixie cut) so there was nothing I could do to hide the bad haircut. I think I cried a little.

The worst part was I made a big deal of going to get a haircut from a stylist who understood English, but I still didn’t speak up or ask what he was doing. Again, I don’t think any photos of this hairstyle remain in existence.

Lessons to learn here: 

  • Be on time for your salon appointments.
  • Be honest about what you want with your stylist and speak up! If you don’t like the final result tell them. Good stylists don’t want you to leave unhappy, they will want to make you look and feel good.

These may not seem like huge events in the scheme of life, but this is a hair blog, and these are significant moments in my hair history. Hair is such a reflection of our personality and we hold a strong emotional connection to our hair.

What’s the worst haircut you’ve ever had?

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  1. Annika says

    My worst cut happened when I was so young. My grandmother took me to her usual hairdresser to get a cut and this crazy old german woman quite literally gave me a bowl cut saying how "cute" it was. I was mortified, and so was my mom when I got home. She took me to try and have it fixed but there wasnt much hair left to fix. I spent the next few months getting mistaken for a little boy (no defining curves when you're only 9) and making my mom buy every hat or scarf I even remotely liked. The pictures still make me cringe.

  2. claireM says

    I'm struggling at the moment with a 'non-curly hair cut for curly hair'. When it's blowdried straight, it looks not too shabby. Left to dry by itself, or god forbid if I try to dry it curly, I kinda get the Severus Snape look. A post on different haircuts for curly hair would be awesome!!

    • AlyssaT says

      Check out this website below to help find a hair dresser who specializes in curly hair…I was desperately looking for a new hairdresser (the one I loved and went from the age of 14 thru 26 was in a fatal car accident…) I was devastated not only from the loss of life, but if guess very selfishly; I was scared that I’d never find someone that would know how to make MY curly hair look good….after literally waiting 6 months to take the risk on someone new, iit seemed hopeless as my first 2 appointments/stylist did not do my hair justice. (Luckily it’s long and it was winter at this point, so straightening it was an option…anyways…as spring rolled around, I gave yet another salon/stylist a try, as I was I waited for my appt time I skimmed thru the book “Curly Girl: The Handbook…amazing tips and tricks, but most importantly I learned about Deva Curl products and their salon and special curly hair training they certify stylist in…the website below helped me to find a stylist in my area (Baltimore, MD) who I’ve gone to for the last 3 years. She is just as good as my original stylist, and my curls have never been happier. Lol)

  3. Sarah Kretchmer says

    My mum used to always cut our hair when we were growing up. Considering bother me and my sister have very curly hair, this was quite brave/stupid of her (No, she's not a hairdresser)!

    I used to have a fringe that mum had to cut every couple of weeks. I hated having to get my hair cut so often so one time asked her to cut my fringe a bit shorter…she cut it so that it was about 1cm long. It was hideous! It was the day before school hols ended and I spent all night pulling on it so it would grow longer…it didn't!

  4. Hair Romance says

    @Annika – I hear ya, I had a boy cut when I was really little, so that's why I had long hair. Until the bob…I should call it 'when haircuts attack'

    @claireM – I'll definitely post on curly cuts. Next time you need a hair cut go for a consultation and take a picture with you so you're stylist knows what you like. A hair cut for the curl makes life so much easier.

    @Sarah Kretchmer – I'm not sure if that's brave or stupid either! You've just reminded me of the time my friend cut her own hair while I was palying at her house. She got in so much trouble from her mum and ended up with a fringe about 1cm long too!

    @The Mom @ Babes in Hairland – I love that post! Thanks for sharing and I love how it inspired you to create such beautiful styles now!

  5. The Blossom Shed says

    When I was 6 I cut my own hair with a pair of plastic paper scissors. I was very fashion forward apparently, as I cut an asymetrical set of bangs that were about 1cm long at one side. My whole family called me June Allison for years.

    I love your blog, and would love if you'd follow mine! It's brand new, and very much a work in progress, but I need lovely readers:)

  6. Jen W says

    I don't want to laugh at your painful memories, but 'fuzzy triangle' cracked me up silly.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences so that we can learn from them. I think the worst cut I had in recent memory was also a bob. well, more like a 'lob', and a mullet lob (longer at the back than the front)

  7. laura says

    I always have trouble at a new salon talking to my stylist about two things..

    1) The cow-lick at the very crown of my forehead.. it's not very noticeable until you cut my hair too short in the front (and anything over chin-length is too short!) and by then it's too late.. one half is in the air and the other is flat as an iron. I've finally learned to say no to the offers of "oh, but I know the trick that will make bangs on you work!".. nothing short of heavy product and hours in the bathroom will make bangs work on me :( which is sad, but we learn to love and live with our hair as-is, right?

    which leads me to #2..

    I don't like to spend a lot of time on my hair. At least not everyday.. I just want it to work. I have long, very thin, straight hair and I like fun cuts.. but I have trouble sometimes successfully explaining the level of maintenance I want to take on. I supposed I should just say, I want it to still look good if I walk out of the shower and.. nothing! Yeah, just walk out of the shower and it look good cut. Maybe I'll blow dry it straight, with my hands shaking it out (no brushes!).. but that's it!

    It's things like this (that seem so small, but can be super important!) that make me really value having a good solid relationship with a stylist who gets to know me and my hairs :)

    But as we all know new hands on the head is inevitable (I'm looking for a good new stylist right now actually, to go with my fabulous new colorist), I am so grateful that you are helping us out with a guide!

  8. laura says

    ps. i really want to say thank you to you and the oracle for answering a few questions i had a few months back about your blonde coloring. i've never gone blond before and the information really -really- helped me get to a comfort level on describing what i wanted to my colorist. i am one phase into our plan towards full-on-blond and so excited!

  9. Hair Romance says

    @The Blossom Shed – Thank you! Seems cutting your own fringe was a popular idea so you're not alone 😉

    @Jen W – Don't worry, I can laugh now but I really should have explained how bad that fuzzy triangle was! Add to that bad glasses I was looking gooooood

    @Laura – Thank you so much! I'm so pleased we could help! It really is about telling your stylist the truth. This is the motivation I need to finish this salon guide. Hope you'll love being a blonde, I have to say it is a lot of fun 😉

  10. Anonymous says

    My worst haircut had to be one my mum gave me in primary school. I had long hair which I was very proud of as my hair takes aaaages to grow. She thought it would be best to cut it wet but after having let it dry, we realised it was veeery wonky. So she tried cutting it dry but didn't take into account that my hair is wavy. It kept getting shorter and shorter in this way until I had a bob which looked a lot like a bowl cut that had just began to grow out. Not a good look. That was when I started going to a proper hairdresser.

    I used to cut my fringe when I had one. For some reason, the hairdressers could never get my parting right, no matter what I said and it always ended up wonky. I'd correct it myself and trim it myself too – going to the hairdresser and paying to have your hair cut when you only need your fringe trimmed is just annoying. I developed my own little method and even changed my side fringe to a full fringe last year. Didn't keep it too long but was still so proud ^^

  11. nicola lynde. says

    Oh can we all relate huh?
    When I was 15 I firstly died my naturally red hair black (but kept the light eyebrows) not a good look. To fix this I decided to bleach the black out while simultaneously cutting it to just above my ears. To the best of my recolection I was planning to achieve a 'surfer girl' look but in fact I accomplished a bright orange with blond patches Molly Ringwald circa the breakfast club disaster. I wore different hats for months….

  12. Melody says

    I've never had a horrible hair cut, but the worst looks were probably when I had my hair super long with no layers and directly after when I had it super short with tons of layers. Everyone told me the short hair looked really cute, but I think that really just tells you how bad the super long un-layered hair looked.

  13. Pam says

    I am living in Italy and took some advice from some friends and went to the local shop where they spoke English. What I didn’t find out until afterwards was that this particular stylist LOVES to chop your hair off. I went in with hair down to my bra strap and came out- after requesting a “trim and long layers” with four inches chopped off my length. My sides were cut to above my shoulders- in NO way resembling long layers. I too paid for my cut. Yet the ironic part is the woman cutting my hair told me to, “take off your glasses… trust me!” I have never in my life cried over a haircut until this episode. I had to go to someone else to have the mess reconstructed-because the girl left me with spots like a leopard from her hair coloring job as well as one side longer than the other. I still look in my mirror and respond with, “I hate my hair” and it’s been 2 months.

    • Hair Romance says

      Oh Pam, I really feel for you. Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe some new hats or hair accessories will help distract you while it grows?

    • Hair Romance says

      :( that’s awful Sophie, but the good thing about hair is that it grows back. A few fun accessories will get you through the worst times x

  14. isabel says

    i also have the most horrible haircut i think people are going to tease me in secondary school and i am in the first year(year 7).it was my mum that cut it and if i tell her that i hate i will feel really really bad!!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Isabel, that’s a difficult one as you don’t want to upset your mum, but if you really dislike your hair you can find a gentle way to tell her. Perhaps show her some pictures of styles you like, and explain that the cut she gave you is difficult to style. I’m sure you can work out an arrangement where you could go to her hairdresser to get a new haircut. Offer to help pay or do some extra chores to help cover the cost. Don’t worry about the other kids at school xx

  15. karixia says

    just now I cut my hair till my shoulders and it was the biggest mistake of my life, and it gets better my hair doesn’t grow at all it grows like a half an inch a year should I cut my hair into a boy cut? so I an at least feel good about how my hair loks

    • Hair Romance says

      Sorry to hear about your bad cut! Remember it’s only hair Karixia, if you hate the cut get a restyle or try some new accessories xx

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