We all know someone who has a haircut horror story... or we have one of our own. You can take steps to avoid a bad haircut, but if you already have one, here's how to get it fixed.
Image from maebmij.
Be Clear on What Style You Want
Help the stylist or barber understand what you're looking for by showing them an example or two. Chelsea Long, Cosmetology & Barbering Team Lead at Cinta Aveda Institute, explains how this can make a big difference:
Bringing in a picture can be a huge help! One of the biggest challenges I see is when the guest explains what it is they want and the stylist assumes they understand and it turns out they both had completely different expectations of the service.
When picking a photo or two to bring in, Long recommends keeping a few things in mind:
- Be realistic: Heavily altered photos, or ones that are professionally shot, will be hard to duplicate on your hair, in real life. If you have a celebrity or friend you're drawing inspiration from, look for selfies on their social media accounts that you can share with your stylist.
- Highlight what you like: Talk about what you like in the photos you bring in. Whether it is the cut, the length, or the colour in that lighting, being specific gets you and your stylist on the same page. You should also mention anything you dislike.
- Bring multiple angles: Try to bring in photos that show the style from the back and sides as well as the front. You can even try to combine styles by bringing in different angles from different haircuts, but take your stylist's advice on whether those combos will work.
Ask for a Fix
If your haircut doesn't turn out the way you had imagined, aim to work with the original stylist or salon to fix it. You might feel embarrassed or angry and want to just deal with it on your own, but that isn't the best path. Long explains why you should try to keep calm when asking for a fix:
Even as a professional I've cried over a wacky bang trim! But honestly, when you become emotional, it is hard to be clear about what the actual problem is and the stylist or salon manager will tend to be defensive.
Besides keeping calm, you should employ a few other tactics:
- Don't hesitate to speak up. If you know during the appointment that you're unhappy with your new style, let the stylist know so they can fix is ASAP. Long suggests something simple to get the conversation started, such as, "I don't know about this colour on me."
- Try restyling it yourself. If you get home and realise your new style isn't growing on you, try restyling it in a way that you know you like. It might look different when you apply your everyday routine.
- Go back quickly. If you discover after your appointment that the style you got really isn't what you had asked for, call the salon or barber shop and let them know. Most places will offer you a fix within a week or two after your original appointment.
- Don't ask for too much. Understand that stylists and salons aren't responsible for fixing something beyond their control. For example, if you change your hair colour or go with a much different length and realise after seeing it on your head that it isn't the best colour for your skin tone or cut for your face shape. Of course, a good stylist will advise you on what will look good, but if you've insisted on something specific and they deliver, it isn't on them to change it for free or give you a refund.
Move On If You Need To
If you prefer a refund over a fix because the salon or barber shop wasn't a good fit, Long recommends directly laying that out to the owner or manager you speak with. There's no use in wasting your time, or theirs, by having you come back to a salon or barber shop that you don't feel comfortable in.