5 Ways to Deal with a Bad Haircut
Get advice from the pros on how to cope with the aftermath (without chopping it all off and starting from scratch).
The Problem: Too Short
The quick fix: Fire up your flatiron, says Erin Anderson, stylist and co-founder of Woodley & Bunny Salon in Brooklyn, New York. Heat will stretch and smooth hair, giving the illusion of more length, she says. If you're desperate for a few extra inches and don't mind investing the time and money, try clip-in hair extensions.
The Problem: Excessive Layers
You wanted a gradual change that would give your hair more movement and extra body, but you ended up with choppy pieces that look thin and wispy. If the cut makes your hair look stringy, says hairstylist Patrick Melville, of Patrick Melville Salon in New York City, curl your ends up or toward your face to add volume, or slip on a headband or barrette to camouflage pieces that have a tendency to fall flat. To conceal your multilayered look entirely, says Melville, opt for a classic chignon. Prevent shorter pieces from popping out by working a strong-hold gel through your hair, combing your front layers back toward your crown, securing with bobby pins if needed, and pulling your length into a bun.
The Problem: Bangs—When You Didn't Want Them
Let hair accessories be your saving grace, says Melville. Use bobby pins to pin back and tame unruly bangs, or tie a scarf (silk tends to slip less) around the crown of your head like a headband—playing with the width and placement to keep bangs under cover. To help bangs appear longer as they grow out, hold your blow-dryer above them and blow straight down. While your hair is still warm, use your hand to hold the bangs flat against your forehead for a few seconds.
The Problem: A Lopsided Cut
If one side is longer than the other—but you didn't ask for an asymmetrical haircut—resist the urge to pick up the scissors yourself. Call your salon and set up a time to have them fix their mistake free of charge. For now, let your flatiron take some time off. "Straightening hair will highlight unevenness," says Melville. If you don't have natural curls, create soft waves with a curling iron to disguise imperfections until you can see a stylist.
The Problem: It's Just Not You
You've become the victim of a stylist's "artistic vision" and now have to live with a look that's too edgy, too high-maintenance or too plain-Jane. Contact the manager of the salon and let him/her know of your disappointment. (He/she may offer you a complimentary cut with a different stylist.) Remember, says Anderson, "It all starts with the consultation." Don't be afraid to speak up, says Melville, and bring photos or clippings as an example of the hairstyle you wish to achieve. If you feel like you're not on the same page as the stylist, then you may want to consider switching to someone who is willing to work with what you want. And be sure to communicate what your needs are. For example, if you only have time to shampoo and air-dry, not use hot tools every morning, tell the stylist! This should ensure that she takes your natural texture into consideration before she starts snipping.