One snip is all it takes to turn your haircut appointment from a blissful Saturday of self-care to a deeply-regrettable afternoon. Unfortunately, it's common to leave a salon appointment with choppy ends instead of J.Lo-level layers, or feel more like Lord Farquaad than Lucy Hale after requesting your first bob.
The reality is, bad haircuts happen. Stylists may chop too much, use poor techniques, or not understand what you want. On the other side of the spectrum, it's also possible to get exactly what you thought you wanted then end up hating it. So what's a person to do once the damage is already done? We tapped the pros for some advice.
Tip #1: Speak Up
According to Spoke & Weal stylist Jay Braff, bad haircuts can be prevented by speaking up before you hit the salon chair. "If a stylist doesn't clearly understand what you want, it doesn't matter how good their technique or style is," he says. "If it's not what you wanted, then I consider it a bad haircut." The best way to avoid this, Braff says, is merely talking to your stylist. "Don't skip the opportunity to consult with your stylist first. Someone who allows you to speak about your hair and asks a lot of questions is usually a good stylist." Braff prefers the "dry cut" method to correct most looks. "Dry cuts allows us to customize style and movement as we cut," he says. "You can see how the hair falls and moves, and it always yields a better result in the end."
Spoke & Weal Master Stylist Lindsay Victoria also recommends stocking up on photo inspiration to take to your appointment. "Pictures of what you want are always the best option," she says. "If you have multiple photos, find the focal points you are drawn to so your stylist can create a look that is unique to you."
Tip #2: Consider A Different Haircut
What do you do if your stylist went scissor-happy and took off more hair than you expected? Celebrity stylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew suggests a second cut. "Going shorter isn't necessarily a bad thing if you don't mind trying something different," she says. "Sometimes the easiest way to rectify a bad shape is to take your hair up a few inches to level it." A slanted, shoulder-length cut can transform into a wavy lob, and a choppy bob can quickly become an edgy pixie. However, if the sound of a big chop gives you chills, it isn't your only option.
"There could be slight adjustments made that can make a huge difference," Victoria says. "If your cut is too dense, some weight can be lifted. You can also add layers to correct some haircuts." Ultimately, Victoria says that scheduling a follow-up is your best bet to getting an updated haircut best suited to your needs.
Tip #3: Try A Temporary Fix
Adjusting your current cut, or letting it grow out, are natural options following an unfortunate haircut, but Sturvidant-Drew says you don't have to limit yourself. "You can always try clip-in extensions and take them to your stylist to have them trimmed to blend with your natural hair," she suggests. Her custom line of extensions, TSD Hair, offers clip-in extensions you can use to lengthen your look. There are also a wide variety of temporary hair clips that come in various textures, so you can mask the issue, whether your hair is straight or curly.
Wigs are also great bandaids for bad haircuts. "You can wear a wig and let your hair grow underneath," Sturdivant-Drew says. Above all, if you're stuck with a style you don't love, don't fret. Thanks to the resources available to us, you can have a bad haircut one day, and have an Ariana Grande ponytail the next.