Continuing Hair Romance’s Salon Advice series to help you navigate the hair salon and love your hair.
What do you do?
First of all, breathe – it’s only hair and it will grow back.
Next – don’t leave the salon without saying something.
I’ve been there. It’s like you’re in shock and you just nod, get out of the chair, pay and leave. It’s only once you’re outside your voice comes back and you wonder why you didn’t say “is it really supposed to look like that?”
If you take a moment to breathe, you can work out why you’re in shock.
Dianna Agron freaking out during her haircut, but she’s pretty happy with the result. In fact, she started a trend!
Problem 1: They did what you asked but you hate it
A dramatic change can take some adjustment time. A big colour change will also mean you need to tweak your makeup and wardrobe too. Make sure you tell your stylist you’re still not sure about the new style before you leave but give yourself a day or two to see how it feels on. Head to the beauty counter and ask to try makeup colours that suit your new hair. Play around with your wardrobe and try on different combinations.
If it still doesn’t feel right, call your salon and discuss what can be done to change it. They can also give you styling tips to help you work with your new hairstyle. As it’s a change of mind and not an error, they will probably charge you but if you explain they may give you a reduced price.
Problem 2: You had a consultation but they weren’t listening
You said one centimetre and they took four inches.
Maybe your hairdresser is too snip-happy or maybe you had a lot of split ends and were in denial about it. Ask your hairdresser for an explanation. If it was because your hair needed the chop they probably did you a favour. If they can’t measure, it may be time to find a new hairdresser. At least you have time to find a new salon while your hair grows back. Try some Twist & Pin hairstyles in the meantime.
You said no layers and now your hair is all feathery
Either your hairdresser is stuck in the 80s or you didn’t have a clear consultation. You’ll know to be really clear next time, but what to do with your feathery hair now? If you’re happy to lose some length, ask for the salon to cut your hair again into a blunter style.
You said blonde highlights and they gave you tiger stripes
This is a hard one. Look around the salon, are there a lot of awful hair colours and obvious highlights? You probably picked a bad salon and you have to ask yourself if you trust them to fix it. Tell your colourist you’re not happy with your hair and ask what can be done to correct it. Maybe finer highlights/lowlights can be done to disguise them, or a toner can help too. Ask for a more senior staff member to do it if you’re not comfortable with your original colourist.
Your colour looks way too strong
This may not be an error at all. Talk to your colourist, but as strong or dark colours fade very quickly, they often dye your hair a little darker than the colour you want when it’s first done. Your hairdresser wants your hair colour to last 6 weeks and still look good, so often it can be little strong in the beginning. Discuss it with your colourist and see how your hair looks after the first wash. If you still feel like the colour is too strong call your salon and ask for a colour correction appointment.
Bad haircuts happen, we’ve all been there and although it feels awful now, it will grow back. As a positive, you’ll learn some new styling skills trying to tame your mane into a style you like while your hair grows back. Hats can help you through lots of bad hair moments too.
A lot of bad haircuts can be avoided. It all comes down to expectations and communication. Make sure you have a proper consultation with your hairdresser and ask them questions. Be confident they can achieve the look you want, or agree on a compromise that is better suited to your hair type.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your hairdresser if you’re not happy. You can just go elsewhere, but most hairdressers will want to help you and correct their hairstyle rather than lose you as a client.
If it’s really over, I’ll tell you how to break up with your hairdresser in the next part of the Salon Advice series.
Tell me about your worst hairstyle. How did you cope?Photograph by Camilla Akrans, collage by Hair Romance