My hair is my best asset. At least that’s how I feel about it. The longer and more voluminous my hair, the stronger and more confident I feel. I realize this may seem shallow to many, even offensive to those who have lost their mane to chemotherapy. I know quite a few such women. If I ever have to face that enormous challenge, I am rather sure I’d do it with a long haired wig. I see other brave women rocking a scarf and I admire them for it. I also see women defy my beliefs that long hair is best, by looking stunning in pixie cuts.
One way or another, most women, regardless of their hair length have had at least one bad experience at the hairdresser. Others, such as myself, many more. And yet, we keep going to them because we don’t have the time or the expertise to cut and color our hair ourselves.
After years of growing out my hair and foregoing my beloved highlights to prevent upkeep of dreaded dark roots, I recently made a mistake! Instead of traveling 100 miles to visit Amie, the only hairdresser who gets me, I decided to risk it and go somewhere local. As soon as I felt the stylist´s hands touching my hair, I just knew he had no idea of what he was doing, I should have stood up immediately and walked out. But I sat through three hours of him lightening my roots…with a rather unhappy ending—I walked out of the salon looking like a bottle of peroxide had spilled on my head. So I sought solace on Facebook, and asked whether anyone else had ever had a hellish experience at the hairdresser, and here´s what my friends and colleagues had to say!
Pilar R. Mendez: I went for a trim and they cut my long hair to shoulder length! My mane used to reach my waist. I was really upset when the hairdresser told me she’d done me a favor because my hair was in bad shape, when it was perfectly fine! I cried for two days!
Laura Carbonell: When I was 18, I got such a short haircut and cried so much my grandmother asked whether I needed a knife to kill myself! They shaved the back of my neck—that’s how short it was!
Verónica Cervera: Last November, a hairdresser chopped off all my hair! It´s still not even grown back to the length I had actually asked her to cut it to. I had to go on a shopping spree to feel better!
Kathy Poh Smith: I went to get my hair styled for my prom; I just wanted a fancy blowout. A pair of scissors and an hour or so later I had hair a good two inches shorter and a strange cut that looked nothing like the photo I’d brought. My mom helped me recover by adding some fresh gardenias.
Raquel Aguilar: Once I had dyed my hair too blond, so the stylist told me to lighten my brows so they would match my hair. He dyed them so blonde you couldn’t see them. When I got home, my mom said: “you look like you have piggy eyebrows!”
Nadia P. Jones: Four years ago, I spent 10 hours in the salon. Ten hours. The stylist colored my hair orange (not red, orange). She ended up dying it again two more times to try and fix it. I left with red hair. Let me tell you, I don’t look good in red hair. It was Mother’s Day weekend. The experience was supposed to be “relaxing,” and instead, it was a total disaster. I ended up having to go to someone else to color it dark brown, cut it, and put in extensions.
Gemma Salas: My long hair is a magnet for bad stylists! They’ve ruined it several times, from chopping it off to giving me tiger-like highlights.
Sandy Gram: When I was in middle school, I had longish hair & wanted a perm. First thing she did was chop off my hair! I looked like Shirley Temple went I left the salon, and I still remember my next-door-neighbor busted out laughing when she saw me!
Miriam Clifford: Once, in Barcelona, I saw all these fashionable women with really short hair so I walked in a salon and said, “cut it short.” I spent the last day of our trip crying. I literally could not leave the hotel—I felt so self-conscious and ridiculous! My husband will never let me live it down. The stylist basically gave me a mullet and when I tried to fix it, it only made it worse. Since then I’ve never really let anyone cut it really short.
Eileen Carter-Campos: I wanted to get my hair dyed honey blonde or brown. The stylist told me she could do it, although my hair was really thick and curly. I also wanted a cut but told her I didn’t want a lot cut off. Well, her sister was telling her in Spanish how much they could get for my hair to make a wig (thinking I didn’t understand). She cut off a lot more hair than I wanted her to—of course for that wig they were plotting to make and my hair color was barely changed.
Aymee VanDyke: Right before my 16th birthday, I had really beautiful long hair and I wanted a change—layers and highlights. Well, what I wound up with was the ugliest burgundy colored mullet I have ever seen. I cried for weeks. It was traumatizing to have to go back to school looking like that
Sylvia Guzman: Yes. Three words. The triangle perm.
Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz: When I was about 13, I was traumatized by a bad perm. I wanted a bit of curls and ended up looking like a microphone. I was shy and didn’t say anything and I just started crying. My mom talked to the hairdresser and she was offended so I was even more upset and mortified. I remember it well to this day and I hated my hair so much for a long time. Thinking back, I should have told my mom how bad it was for me and maybe I could have gotten it straightened, but instead I had to wait until it grew out. It was horrible.
Judith Vitale Huntley: Before my ten year high school reunion, I brought a photo down to a stylist of the layered cut I wanted, and a separate shot for the color I wanted. The owner, a woman in her 70s, got to work. She would study the picture, cut a little. Check it again, cut some more. I closed the place down—my visit lasted five full hours. When she spun my chair to the mirror, I found I had short bangs instead of layers around my face. It was also soupy brown instead of blonde and three inches shorter overall than we had discussed. It was such a nightmare and I knew the reunion was only days away. I cried. I had work immediately afterwards and all of my coworkers got to witness not only my shockingly different appearance but a tear stained, puffy face. Their looks of pity and words of comfort only brought more tears. Even worse, I tipped her well. She had been so very proud of her work, I couldn’t say a word and definitely didn’t want her to attempt to fix it. So, $170 for a disaster and another $175 to have someone else salvage it. Worst experience ever!
Sabrina Vourvoulias: Well, at least I didn’t cry in the shop. One time, I went to a stylist to have my hair cut—basic pixie—and kept telling her I liked it super short. Three hours later she was done, and when I looked in the mirror it realized she had maybe cut 1/4 inch, but since her scissors had been going every moment of all three hours, she must have been cutting hair by hair. But the worst was when I went to get my hair cut and eyebrows waxed. The cut was fine, but one of my eyebrows was almost an inch higher than the other and had completely lost its arch. I learned an important lesson: radically mismatched eyebrows make you look demented.
Claudia Krusch: Three months ago I had a makeover for a magazine and they made me look like a poodle! The makeup aged me as well. I wanted my hair back, and it’s finally getting there!
Amanda Mervine Edwards: I once asked for highlights and ended up with tiny threads of white throughout my curly hair, which was much darker at the time. I looked like Cruella Deville!