For the most part, we trust our hairdressers to do exactly what we ask for. Even if we’re not happy with the extra inch they took off, we rarely say anything about it. But sometimes a hairdresser messes up so bad that we can’t help but voice our concerns. These people share what happened when they did exactly that.
#1 An Even Cut
When I was 15 or 16, I had hair down to my belly button. I wanted it cut to my collar bone because my hair is thick and hard to take care of. My normal hairdresser was delayed into our appointment due to one of the dying hair things breaking and the other being taken. So, I was paired with a different one. This girl couldn't do an even cut, but she kept trying.
She kept cutting so one side would be over three inches longer than the other. I watched in the mirror in horror, speechless. She eventually saw my face and went to get my normal hairdresser. My normal hairdresser just gave me a sad look and said she has to even me out and that she was sorry. She had to cut it to my ears. She didn’t ask if I liked it. She just said I didn't have to pay. My eyes were watering by that point. It was horrible and I never went back.
#2 Almost Done
I’m huge about supporting people starting out, small businesses, etc. A girl who’s a few years older than me and I've known since childhood (our parents are friends) went to hair school. I'd seen some of her work and she had done salon stuff for me before (eyebrow waxing, etc.). I thought hey, a simple haircut is all I need, I'm not picky, just want it shorter.
I'm also blind as a bat without my glasses so I can’t see what's going on when a hairdresser starts. I requested it be no shorter than my shoulders, no longer than my collarbones. I noticed she was taking a while and things were feeling breezy, so I asked if she was almost done. She just said, "Yup, for sure!" Chin length. I looked like a mushroom. She asked for $40. I said it wasn’t even worth that. It takes a lot to make me upset at a haircut. I didn’t even care if it was even, I just needed it shorter. But, I sobbed when I got home
#3 Just Start Over
I remember this one time when I went in for a simple trim. I didn’t ask for anything complicated, yet I had a really uneven trim with a couple of bald patches in it. So, I just asked the barber to shave my head completely and I'd start over from zero. He tried to charge me for both haircuts, but I refused to double-dip.
#4 Very Cool Surprise
My hairdresser and I had a pretty good relationship and I had short hair that I wasn’t emotional about. So she asked if she could just go wild and surprise me. When I saw the result, I’d ended up with a weird uneven pixie cut. I told her that it was “very cool,” but would be too difficult to maintain every day, so could she please cut it down to a regular hairstyle. She redid the cut uncomplainingly and I walked out happy.
#5 Tell Me When
I wanted a buzz cut. For some reason, she wasn’t willing to cut off that much hair. I guess she assumed I'd be upset and get angry. Seven times she trimmed off a millimeter and asked me if it was okay. I went out, bought myself a pair of clippers, had a buzzed head in about 12 minutes, and have not been back to a barber since.
#6 I Didn’t Ask For This
I asked for a skin fade that tapered into what I have on top. She went down to skin all the way up. I told her this wasn’t what I asked for and she got snarky, saying I needed to be clearer next time. I paid the bill after she shortened the top to better match the now-bald sides of my head. I may not know all the names for barber equipment, but I've been getting this haircut for years. Literally everyone but her was able to produce what I requested.
#7 Bozo the Clown
I got my hair cut one day at a school and got a pretty basic haircut. It was one and a half inches on top, shorter on the sides, off the ears. There’s a reason I get it cut that many inches on top. Much longer than that and it does a weird Bozo the Clown thing. Much shorter than that it just stands straight up. He cut it one inch all over my head. I looked like a Chia pet.
#8 How’s That?
I was once asked by a new barber at my regular hair place if they use the clippers on me. I said yes, on the sides. Next thing I know… BZZZZZZZZZZZ, straight up the middle of my head. She then asked before going on, "How’s that?" I responded, "Wow, that's really short." She asked, "Is it too short?" The heck, lady?
The worst part was that there was another barber working on another customer’s hair and you could tell she was keeping an eye on this "new girl.” She was able to do the other customer’s hair without even watching. Do you know how salons always have a ton of mirrors? She was watching this girl cut my hair in the mirror while working on her own customer. Next time I went in, she cut my hair for free. The new girl didn't work there anymore.
#9 Never Again
She shaved my sideburns up to about an inch and a half above my ear. I didn't say anything, just sat there looking super angry. She went, "It'll look good if you put some gel in it." I went up front to pay and thought about not paying but paid anyway. Four people got up and left behind me who were waiting. Never again, Mastercuts. Never. Again.
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#10 Ungrateful Kid
When I was a kid, my mom would always take me to the same place to get my hair cut. I would always end up crying because that lady clearly had no idea what she was doing. I didn’t even hold it in until I left the place, I would just tell her that I hated the look and start crying. My mom kept taking me there, thinking I was just a stupid kid who’d never be happy with their haircut. She was wrong. Now that I’ve changed several hairdressers, I’ve been going to the same one for a few years. I really adore her.
#11 A Lot of Hats
I was 16 years old and just about to get my driver’s licence. I went to the salon to get my hair cut nicely for the picture. Instead of feathering my hair (I know I'm dating myself here) the stylist gave me a spiky buzz cut on top. I was so upset that I just sat in her chair and cried. It was way too short to fix and truly awful. The stylist got offended and started giving all these excuses. I just paid and left, hiding my hair the best I could. For the next couple of months, I wore a lot of hats.
#12 What Are You Doing?
I just wanted a simple cut and I guess the hairdresser just wasn't paying attention to what I said. She took the clippers and just went right up the middle of my head. It was the full reverse mohawk. I just went, "Um… what are you doing?" She realized what happened and then had no choice but to shave the rest of my head.
#13 Slip of the Hand
I’m someone who hates bangs. They don’t look nice on me and annoyingly tickle my forehead. Every time I meet my barber, she keeps insisting on giving me bangs and I always say no. It clearly upsets her until one time she “accidentally” cut a chunk of my front hair and “would have to give me bangs to make it look good now.” I knew she did it in purpose because she was playing with my front hair for a bit before suddenly making the cut. That was the last time I went to her. Thankfully, my current barber agrees with me that bangs aren’t my style.
#14 It’s Going to Be Okay
I'm not sure how she did so badly on my hair. It was all weird and uneven and she missed parts, which is hard to do when you're just getting a classic crewcut. She was super young so maybe it was a lack of experience. I politely told her no this wasn't going to work but it was going to be okay. I got up, paid and left her a tip (she did her best). I then drove down the street to another hair place and had someone there fix it. Hopefully, she either got better at her job or chose a different career path.
#15 Not Your Fault
It wasn't a haircut but a blowout. A simple blow out. I was on an anniversary vacation and I wanted to treat myself for $25. We were staying in a nice inn, so I called the recommended salon and booked an appointment. This is a very small town in a place far, far away. The brand new girl was doing it and she had no idea how to do a blowout.
I’ve had them before and she was clueless. I debated what to say and when she turned me around and asked me if I liked it. I just said "no.” She called the manager over and the owner started to argue with me that stylists have their own style to do blowouts. The manager re-did my blowout in one-third of the time and did it right.
The new girl checked me out and I told her that it was the manager's duty to train her and the manager was at fault. I asked her not to feel bad but to demand to be trained so that she could become as great as she wanted to be. I paid the bill of $25 and tipped the new girl $15. That poor new girl was not equipped and was not being supported. I hope she continued and asked for her training.
#16 Reset My Hair
I go to a place near my work. It's the standard barbershop staffed by Vietnamese people. I've been going there for years and they’re very nice. There’s one guy who works there and he’s great. I always use him, even if I have to wait. One day, I was in a hurry and had no time to wait. So, I elected to have one of the girls cut my hair. Well, she didn't do it right and it looked awful. I told her, "It's not working." So I had her get the clippers out and told her to shave my entire head at "one" so I could "reset" my hair.
#17 His Guinea Pig
I chose a new style that, as it turns out, I didn't like how it looked on me upon completion. It was no fault of his, I just didn't like what I chose. It didn’t really fit me like I thought it would. I had him shave it bald and had him try something else several months later. Much better. I'll still have him experiment from time to time, even be his guinea pig for something he wants to try.
#18 In Need of Attention
When I was a kid, my dad and I would go to the local barber. However, once I became a pre-teen (when you become self-conscious about your hair) my dad and I both noticed our haircuts were getting worse. The next time we went, I watched the barber focused on what they were doing while cutting hair to see if I could identify what he was doing wrong. It turns out he had become so complacent that he would fixate on the Cubs' game on the TV hanging from the ceiling while cutting hair. He wasn’t even looking at the person's head. I told him it sucked and never went back.
#19 Oh, Oops
I wanted my hair cut very short. I keep it short now, clipped number one on the sides and number two on top. Back when this happened, I think I asked for a number three clipper on the sides and finger thickness on top, blended to the sides. She picked up the clippers and popped in a number one blade and went right over the top of my head like a reverse mohawk. She then said, “Oops. You wanted a one on the top right?' I had to get it number one all over. This was the day before my friend's wedding that I was going to. I looked like a goon.
#20 Donating Hair
When I was in high school, I had hair down to my hips and I went to get a haircut. I told the woman that I wanted just 10” off so I could donate it. I guess she didn’t measure or something because she cut my hair near up to my chin and the ponytail ended up being 17” long, seven more inches off than I wanted. Now, I held it together but sobbed as soon as I walked out the door.
#21 Picture Day
My grandma’s hairdresser cut my hair the day before eighth grade picture day. I asked her for a bob and showed her a picture of Victoria Beckham (it was 2003 when that style was super popular). She gave me a bowl cut with a rat tail. I cried the whole way home and cut my own hair for the next six years because I didn’t trust hair stylists anymore.
#22 Rinky-Dink Shop
My hair is pretty short so there's not much to mess up. I get it cut often because my hair grows thick and I have to maintain it for the military, so I tend to go wherever I can get in quick and cheap. I like it really short on the sides; like if LaCroix cut hair, that level of hair-to-scalp ratio. But the last time, I was out of state and stopped by a rinky-dink little barbershop.
After I got it cut, the lady flipped me around to look in the mirror (I was facing away) and it looked like almost none was cut off. So I asked her to cut more, and she reluctantly agreed. Once again, it was way too long. I finally just told her 'just cut it all off' because now I was not only fed up with my thick hair but my experience. I finished up and left. But, I still left with it longer than I normally like it.
#23 Clearly Transmitted
When I was about six years old, we had a mobile hairdresser who came to our house. I was a real tomboy, so my mom asked them to cut my hair fairly short. When I saw in the mirror, I ran outside, climbed a tree and refused to come down for a couple of hours. I think my views were clearly transmitted.
#24 Choose Another Profession
I can speak for my mom here. Her old hairdresser literally had a mental break down while cutting her hair. He just kept cutting and cutting, until my mom started to feel like he was cutting for too long. In the end, she had hacks of hair left in random parts of her head. She had to use clips and extensions for years after to make it look normal. The same dresser cut a piece of my brother’s ear off too. He’s a nice guy, just clearly shouldn’t be a hairdresser.
#25 The Price You Pay
For the first 18 years of my life, I had my hair done by the same stylist. As soon as I was able to make decisions for myself, I would tell her what I wanted to be done. Every time, without fail, she would ignore my wishes and give me the haircut that she wanted me to have, all the while telling me how she knows better.
She’d also tell me how I should just be grateful. To make matters worse, she would insist on cutting my hair in the bathroom and sometimes her daughter would come in and use the bathroom while I was getting my hair done. I never tipped her once. I guess that’s the price you pay when your mom is a hairdresser.
#26 Here’s a Coupon
I didn't realize just how bad the cut was until I went home and washed my hair. I called, got set up with a more experienced stylist and got a decent (albeit very short) haircut. Afterwards, she gave me coupons, not a refund or even a partial one. She just gave me coupons for another cut. I told her I wouldn't be coming back and to not bother. I never did go back.
#27 Taking it Outside
I’ve never complained about a haircut. But once, I was halfway through and the woman who was just before me that had the same lady came back and started complaining about how my current hairdresser did a terrible job and she wanted her money back. My hairdresser and the complaining lady got into a heated argument about how complaining lady was talking on her phone the whole time and this caused the bad cut. I thought they were going to take it outside. It was a terrible situation to be in.
#28 Be Brave
When I was 16, I went to the hairdressers with a picture of how I wanted it to look. There was a poster of a girl in the window with a cute hairstyle, but not really my thing. However, the hairdressers convinced me it would be perfect with my face shape. They said, "be brave and try something new!" I was awkward and reluctantly agreed.
It turned out awful. I don't know if the hairdresser was a trainee, or if I just didn't have the right face style after all, but it was the worst hairstyle I've had since I cut my own hair at five. I cried. They didn't offer a discount or anything, just told me "it looks great” and “you'll get used to it.” I never went back, and I've cut my own hair ever since, always looking significantly better than that abysmal job.
#29 What to Do
As a mixed-race (half black and half white) man, I find that I never like my haircuts. My hair is very curly, but also wavy, so neither white or black barbers know what to do with it. There was only one time I liked my haircut and it was cut by a Latino man. I went back a few months later to get it cut by the same guy to find out that he moved. I started cutting my own hair, and let me tell you, it’s impossible to get an even fro when you cut it yourself. I gotta find me a guy.
#30 Only Temporary
I once asked my girlfriend in college to cut my hair, because I had gotten a last-minute interview for a job. We went out to the backyard and I don't know if the sun was in her eyes or if she was just nervous, but as soon as I saw the first snip she had taken from the front, I knew she had cut too much. She took a step back and looked like she was about to burst into tears.
I assured her that it was okay because there was nothing that could be done about it except try to not go any shorter. She finished up and the end result was kind of goofy-looking, but I wasn't too upset. I knew it would grow out and I really appreciated her doing that. Although I kept thanking and reassuring her it was okay, it took at least a day before she fully believed I was okay with it. Had it been a professional, I probably would've been more upset, but everyone makes mistakes and a bad haircut is only temporary.
#31 Back in My Day
I was six years old at the time. My first day of school was the next week. My grandma was convinced that I should be getting a boy-like cut because that was apparently a thing back in her era. Sure enough, I ended up looking like a boy when I didn't want to. I wanted to have long pretty hair. It took 10 years for it to grow back.
#32 Passionate Insistence
I had dreadlocks for a bit and rather than spend time combing them out, I decided to try just shaving everything and trying a buzz cut. I ended up with an older lady as my stylist who insisted on trying to salvage as much hair as possible, despite my passionate insistence that I wanted it all off. At that point, I also said to stop coming at me with scissors.
However, she refused to listen. I spent an hour in that chair, $50 for her time and essentially a bowl cut. I went to the store next door, bought some clippers, went straight home and shaved it all off. I kept it shaved for a year and a half, let it grow out from there, and haven’t been back to a stylist in three years.
#33 Turbo Gump
I once had a person at Mastercuts give me white walls around my ears. Like, I asked her to keep it tight and I got a solid inch clear-cut all the way around my ears. So, I’m not really sure where that came from or why. I looked like Turbo Gump. I’m not going to lie, that was the cut that made me find a barber and keep him.
#34 Overriding Your Wishes
My grandma really adored ABBA. My parents were too poor to take me to a real barber, but my grandma did. Every time she made them give me this horrible Björn Ulvaeus ‘70s haircut. I always told them I hated it and other kids would probably pick on me for it, but they said I was just ungrateful. It really sucks when someone completely overrides your own wishes for how you look.
#35 Family Friend
When I was 18, I had hair down to the middle of my back, but it was very damaged so it didn’t look great. I wanted it shoulder-length with some face-framing and the stylist (a woman in her 50’s) gave me a chin-length Farrah Fawcett haircut. I was so upset, but she was a family friend, so I pretended to like it, paid and left.
#36 Lower Means Longer
My dad used to take me to get my hair cut as a kid and one day it was time to get it cut, but my mom took me instead. I had normally gotten four inches off on the sides and pretty short scissor cut on top. Well, I was being a daft kid and thought a lower number would mean longer hair, so I asked for a two all over. Needless to say, I got a reverse mohawk. Fifth grade me was mortified.
#37 Sensitive Skin
I had a barber offer a “hot towel shave” at the end of my haircut because he was trying to burn through a few extra minutes before he clocked out. He used a Mach 3 razor and absolutely butchered my face. Halfway through the shave, people kept staring at me with red running down my face while the barber was packing some corn starch stuff in the scrapes.
He said, “Wow, you have really sensitive skin.” I replied, “most skin is sensitive when you remove it with a razor. ” I just pulled the towel off and walked out of the shop, half-shaved and fully upset. My brother thought I got jumped on my way because there was so much red on my shirt/neck. The best part is I only got the haircut for professional headshots being taken the next day. Yeah, that didn't happen. The bad part is the guy was my go-to barber for a few years. I haven’t been back since.
#38 A Good Sport
It was a five-dollar Vietnamese joint, so expectations were to be tempered. But it was always good enough for me, especially since I'm a dude and don't need to worry that much about my hair. One time this lady gave me the Jim Carrey cut in Dumb & Dumber . I was like, "Yeah, no, uh… how about you just… break it up a little in the front? Not so straight?" She was a good sport about it.
#39 Spelling it Out
When my husband was in the military, he came home in the middle of a deployment. Just before he was to go back, he needed to get a haircut. He went into a salon and asked the girl for a zero on the sides and like two on the top. When she finished, it looked like she hadn't done anything. In the end, he had to spell it out for her and say, “Shave the sides and trim the top.” His hair was still too long when we left.
#40 The End Result
I got a simple haircut (I am female), but it came out way too short. When I show you how long I want my hair, it's the end result on dry hair, not during the haircut on wet hair! But hair grows, so I said I wasn't happy, paid and left. I realized that it really wasn’t a big deal and just went to a different place next time.
#41 It Looks Fine
My fiancee had her hair done last week. She went in with brown hair with blonde highlights and asked to get it all lightened as she wanted her base colour to be closer to the highlights. When she left, her hair was a dark reddish-brown all over, and the highlights were gone. When she told the hairdresser it wasn't at all what she asked for and that she hated it, the hairdresser said "If I thought it looked bad, I'd fix it, but it doesn't." It cost 160.00. She won't be returning.
#42 You Remind Me Of Someone
Just after college, I started going to an ultra-cheap salon in the decrepit mall where my mom's office was. Usually the haircuts there were pretty good for the staggering price of six bucks. But one time, instead of the haircut I asked, for the stylist gave me a bowl cut and shaved off my sideburns. It made me look uncomfortably like Moe Howard from the Three Stooges . I started getting my hair cut at more expensive places after that.
#43 Mighty Matt
My younger brother is blessed with thick, curly blonde hair. But growing up, nobody ever knew how to style it. He got consistently bad haircuts. Circa 2003, my brother got a bad haircut — like, really bad. My mom is a “Karen” and as rude as possible went, “I don’t know if I like it.” The hairdresser offered to cut more and my mom agreed. It was sort of anti-climatic, but I will never ever forget this. The haircut still looked really bad and there was no fixing it. She pretty much cut an M in my brother’s hair. The kids in his class began calling him “Mighty Matt.”
#44 Say Cheese
I only ever have my mom cut my hair and there was this one time she messed up. She cut my hair way too short, so short that you could see my earlobes. I hated it so much. When she took a photo of me, she literally told me to look happy for it because I was so mad. She ended up giving me five dollars as an apology.
#45 No, I Refuse
When I was a kid, I always wanted long hair, but the woman my mom took me to always insisted that I didn't need long hair and would cut off more than I wanted. I cried every time and she would always tell me that since it was still long enough to put in a ponytail (barely) it was long enough for me. I started refusing to get hair cuts and started trimming it myself. I'm in my 30s now, have hair down to my lower back, and still cut it myself.
#46 Get the Clippers
I went to the same salon as I normally go to but there was a new person. I wanted the side of my head buzzed how I normally do it, but it had been growing out for about six months and looked more like a bob than it usually does. She trimmed it kind of short and asked me if that was okay. I said no. She trimmed it a little shorter around the ear and asked if I like that. I said, "Get out the clippers, put on the number three head, and shave the side of my head."
#47 Leaving a Tip
When I was around five years old, my mother took me to get my hair cut short because I hated brushing it. I expected that it would only be cut to my shoulders but the lady went all the way up to my chin. once the lady was finished, she asked if I liked it. I just screamed, “I look like WiIly Wonka!” My mother left a big tip.
#48 Changing His Tune
I used to work at Super Cuts and this young kid would come in every so often and quietly get his hair cut. He’d then quietly say he didn't like it and leave without paying (which was the guarantee if you didn't like the cut). After a few times, he finally started paying. I asked why he suddenly started liking the haircut and he confessed he was out of work, lying about not liking the cut so he could get it for free so he could look presentable as he searched for a job. I don't blame him.
#49 Please Don’t Tell Me
This hairdresser was told that she shouldn't cut my bangs because I have a widow's peak. I was there for what was basically a buzz. She also didn't touch my sideburns. After asking her to fix several things, I gave up and called it good. I paid and tried to leave, but my wife told me she wouldn’t be seen in public with my hair like that. So, I went back in and spoke to the manager. The manager didn't even ask anything, just pre-empted my question with, “Please tell me you didn't pay for that haircut and double please don't tell me you got it here." Turns out that barber was new. The manager gave me a great cut, but I still never went back.
#50 Happened So Fast
When I was in the seventh grade, I was asked how I wanted my hair cut. My typical response (still the same today) was to just shave the back and sides and trim the top. The lady cutting my hair this one time just took the razor and went right down the middle of the top of my head. It happened way too fast to react or say anything. I don’t know what she heard or what happened, but it was pretty upsetting. I didn't tell her my hair looked bad, I just started crying.