What To Do When You Hate Your Haircut

What To Do When You Hate Your Haircut

Bad balayage, wonky fringe, layers that are just too short… We’ve all experienced a haircut from hell. But what should you do when you hate your cut or colour? Is it acceptable to burn the salon to the ground? No, no it’s not. But you can certainly tell your hairdresser that you aren’t happy with their handiwork. Scary? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. Here’s how…

“Honesty really is the best policy” – Duck & Dry

It’s a daunting thing, to approach a professional that’s worked hard on your hair, only for you to turn around and say you’re not keen. But first and foremost, that’s what a stylist wants you to do. It might seem much easier to tell them you like it and then weep openly on the way to the train station, but honesty really is the best policy for getting what you want.

“Having 15 years in the hairdressing industry I would say you just have to be honest with your stylist and tell them what you don’t like,” says Duck & Dry Stylist Kieran Spencer. “Hopefully they’ll rectify it there and then or get another member of the team to go over it for you. If you’re still unsure, don’t think that you can’t change stylists – just ask for another, as they might be a better fit. As a stylist the most important thing to us is that you’re happy.”

“Don’t feel like you have to justify it” – SeanHanna

If you’re not keen on your cut, then don’t pussyfoot around the issue – just come right out and say it: “You don’t need to justify it – if you don’t like it, that is enough,” says SeanHanna’s Managing Director, Sean Hanna. When you’re making your complaint, don’t feel like you have to blame your tan or the shape of your face or your genetics either – if you don’t like the cut, you don’t like the cut.
“You don’t have to prove that there is a fault with the cut,” he says. “Don’t ‘flesh out’ the issue with lots of secondary issues – this will only detract from the fact that you’re unhappy with the cut or style. Remember, it’s not personal against your hairdresser. Most good hairdressers will just be grateful to have another opportunity to get it right for you.”

“Act quick!” – Charles Worthington, Hari’s

Sitting in your bedroom and crying about your cut for a good week or so might seem like the best option, but Gorka Arraras, Creative Manager of Charles Worthington Salons, says the best way to sort out a terrible trim is to bite the bullet and confess straight away: “It’s best to tell your stylist immediately so your cut or colour can be amended straight away.” If it’s the colour you hate, then all the more reason to speak up sooner, rather than later as colour treatments are crucial early on in the process.

Craig Taylor, Creative Director of Hari’s, concurs: “The most important thing is to act swiftly if you’re not keen on your cut, by contacting the salon or your stylist ideally within the first week. Any hairdresser and salon who has given a haircut that someone is not keen on should want the opportunity to correct or adjust a haircut they have given.” 

“Let it lie” – Hari’s

A bad haircut can really feel like the end of the world sometimes – especially when you know you’ve got a good month or two before your new ‘do grows out. But Taylor says if you can give it a few days to figure out what’s going on before you return to the salon, then definitely do.

“Give yourself enough time to wash and style it yourself, to live with it a little,” he advises. “Ask for an opinion of someone you trust. Think it through, try and figure out what’s wrong with the cut. Perhaps it’s difficult to style. The more you can articulate what you’re not keen on, the easier it will be for your stylist to understand what isn’t working.”

“The key is in the consultation” – John Frieda, Hare & Bone

Talking about the consultation post-cut might sound a little counter intuitive, but once you know how to approach a consultation, you’ll hopefully never have a traumatic trim again. Nadia Dean, Senior Stylist at John Frieda, says the best way to avoid having that awkward convo with your stylist is to ensure you talk it through really thoroughly with them before the cut takes place. “The consultation is key!” she reveals. “Particularly if you're seeing a new stylist and going for a different look. This should never be rushed and your hair type, face shape, dress sense, lifestyle and amount of time you spend on your hair should all be carefully considered.”
Dean adds that visual aids can also be an important tool when discussing what you want with your stylist – because really, how good are any of us at explaining the exact cut that Alexa Chung is rocking right now? “Don't be afraid to take in photos of styles you like,” she said. “It may not be suitable or the exact end look but it can get you both on the same page.”
Hare & Bone’s Sam Burnett agrees, and stresses that each person is different: “Hating your haircut should never happen if an in-depth consultation is given. We pride ourselves on our consultation process which is incredibly detailed and personal. By asking key questions on an individuals’ hair routine, personal style, lifestyle and personality, it can make all of the difference in ensuring your client walks out of the salon with a style they love."

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