A tale of woe. Also, layers! LOTS OF ‘EM.

Have any of you ever found yourself the recipient of a particularly bad haircut? No, I mean REALLY BAD.

Really, REALLY, bad.


Well, would you like to hear about my own personal experience with just such an issue?

I got a gift card to a local salon for Christmas. This is not the salon that I usually go to, but it is one that I had gone to in college, and I had always had a good experience. So, when I finally decided that it was time to stop looking like I had crawled out a jungle (phrase stolen from Liz) (I last got my hair cut in EARLY NOVEMBER, yikes) I made an appointment at the salon for yesterday afternoon.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not really all that picky about hair cuts. (See: last cut in early November.) Yes, I like expensive hair products, and I like my hair to look nice, but in general, well – I’ve had good cuts and so-so ones, and I’ve lived with all of them. My hair is straight, and pretty thick, and can look fairly decent with a minimum amount of hair-wrangling, so the absolute best cut is not really critical to my style.

So I arrived at the salon yesterday excited to get a bit of a trim. When I arrived at the salon, my hair was straight, angled in the front (ill-advised side-swept bangs of several hair cuts ago almost grown out), hanging to about an inch below my shoulders, and basically all one length. Here is what I asked for, pretty much verbatim:

“I’d like to keep it at about shoulder length, so if you maybe trim off about 3/4 of an inch, that would be good. Also, I’m looking to avoid ‘triangle-head’ so I’d like a suggestion to keep some of the bulk out of the bottom. I don’t want a lot of layers, but if you could take out some of the heaviness at the bottom I’d really like that. I really don’t want more than this much (holds up fingers, showing about an inch of space) between the start of the quasi-layers and the bottom of my hair.”

Yes, I used the term ‘quasi-layers’. Am geek. But also pretty descriptive, I think. What I described might sound kind of boring, but I think I was pretty clear about what I did and DID NOT want.

Here is what happened:

Sit down in chair, and experience the most painful combing process of my life. Um, hello, how about I would like to leave with my scalp in one piece, thank you very much.

Snip. Snip snip snip.

Hmmm. This lady is not the chattiest hair dresser in the world. But to each her own.

However, the lack of chattiness somehow made me suspicious, so I was watching like a hawk. And that is how I saw the lady pick up and lop off A GIANT CHUNK OF MY HAIR.

She then paused and took stock of the situation. And then proceeded to cut a lot of hair off of my head.

(I honestly don’t know what I was doing at this point other than sitting in horror and playing the part of a mute. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even speak up, and I know, I KNOW, that I should have said something immediately, but it was pretty clear that something had to be done to cover up the giant lopped off section. I really wish I had said something immediately, but it’s kind of difficult when you are in the middle of it.)

Finally, it was time to start blow drying, and I kept trying to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad. Except… that once she started drying she had to stop TWELVE times (I counted) to pull out the scissors and fix things, because… my hair was completely crooked. The left side was about an inch longer than the right, and all of the layers (THE ONES THAT I DID NOT ASK FOR AT ALL) had these strange straggly pieces that she had missed while cutting them.

Here is what I ended up with:

My hair is very definitely above my shoulders and I have tons and tons of layers which start around my ears. It refuses to lay flat and instead flips out in a manner that might be cute if it were not so completely horrifying to me that I ended up with THIS instead of, you know, what I very explicitly asked for.

Overall, this isn’t a completely bad style. I am willing to admit that even though every fiber of my being is screaming HATE because I am so cranky about the whole thing. I don’t have a mullet, and I actually think that the cut looks really similar to that choppy Katie Holmes bob that has been so popular recently. So it’s not like no one in their right mind would ask for this cut. It’s just that I DIDN’T ASK FOR IT.

That said, it is just not cut very well. The fact that she kept having to stop drying to fix her mistakes kind of backs that up. I keep finding pieces that are about an inch longer than the rest of my hair, and I really think that it would be easier to style (seriously, I usually spend 10 minutes on my hair including blow drying, and this morning I spent more than 20 just trying to get to state that made me not want to put on a damn hat and call it a day) and much better looking if it were just cut better.

Here is where you come in. I already know that I will be calling the salon once I get home from work to explain the situation (I can’t even begin to tell you what happened when I attempted to do this after the cut. All I’ll say is that my good friend Karma should be dropping a house on this lady’s head as I write this.) In addition to expressing my extreme displeasure, should I:

  1. Ask that they immediately schedule me for an appointment with their best stylist to attempt to fix things. Attempt to have stylist make things less scraggly without taking off more length.
  2. Simply ask for my money back, and that it be in the form of a check and NOT a gift card as I have no interest in going back.
  3. Schedule an appointment with my regular stylist to have her attempt to fix things. (Only problem here is that it would cost a fair amount of money.)
  4. Suck it up and wait a while for things to grow up before going to my regular stylist.
  5. Something else entirely/some combination of the above.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really need to go put on a hat.



Filed under Kwit yer bitchun

9 responses to “A tale of woe. Also, layers! LOTS OF ‘EM.

  1. Fer sure, call the salon and tell them to get their best person on your case asap. For free. You were specific and the lady couldn’t handle that and the salon should be willing to make amends.

    If it makes you feel any better, about a year ago I got a terrible TERRIBLE cut. As in, I could not actually wear it down. It had to be half or all up because it was so bad. And the worst part? I described what I wanted and that’s what I got. It just didn’t look like what I thought it would. I just cringe at the memory.

  2. I agree, go for option 1. They’re really unlikely to give you cash, and they should definitely fix their error. Salons are usually quite good about this.

    Good luck!

  3. Oh my. I don’t know what advice to give, but I feel for you, my dear. Good luck!

  4. Liz

    I feel the same way that you do about haircuts as I’m really not that hard to please and I eventually get used to most things. The one time I got a haircut that I just hated, I pretty much wore it up till it grew out but I wouldn’t recommend that because you’ll resent the whole situation every time you put your hair up. I’ll bet the salon that did the damage will be happy to have someone give you a better cut for free. Good luck. I hope everything works out.

  5. I am having my own bad layery haircut drama at the moment, except mine is my own damn “Do whatever you think will look best!” fault. I should have specified LIKE YOU DID how short the layers could be. Because the layer that is above my ear does not work with the wavy flippy nature of my not flat-ironed hair. Today was my first attempt at doing it myself and I ended up with it half up in a barrette.

    I think you should call and get them to get someone else to fix it. If it’s poorly-cut, they need to remedy that.

    I, on the other hand, will be praying to the god of quickly growing out layers and probably doing a lot of flat ironing.

  6. I would actually ask for your money back and then get your own stylist to fix it with the money they give you. If they won’t give you any money (they might, but I’m sure at the very least they’ll put up a big fight about it and try to get their own stylist to fix it instead) then just use their best stylist, but put up a fight about it if you want. Why should you have to entrust your hair to this salon ever again? They clearly can’t follow instructions. If you had bought a shirt from a clothing store and you got it home and all the stitching came undone or it was the wrong shirt, the store would reimburse you because you got the wrong/faulty product. This is no different, just because it’s a service and not a physical product that you bought.

  7. I’d do one or two. Horrible.

  8. I have to admit, I’m dying for a picture. Is that possible? The outcome you described might be cute. Obviously, if you’re unhappy then you should get it fixed. I’ve had my fair share of demanding my styles be fixed – my color processes extremely quickly and outside of the salon so I can go black before you blink. The part that you don’t think about is the time and inconvenience of going back for the fix. So, if it’s a style that you think your stylist might be qualified to fix it, (i.e. she has done some “non-basic” cuts of her own so she can fix your now non-basic cut) then I would go with her. You’re comfortable and less likely to sit in the chair watching her every move for one errant chop. But you should be compensated in some form or fashion from the salon and if they won’t give you cash back, then buy products, get your nails done, or maybe, maybe get some color. A nice gloss or something non-permanent. It’s the principle of the thing.

  9. Kasane

    I went into a salon eight months ago specifically asking for a graduated bob, longer in the front. I left with a sort of razor-cut mullet. Normally I would suggest option 1 on your list, but in this case I just wanted to get me and what was left of my hair the hell out of the salon. My husband still refers to it as “The Massacre,” and I’m still trying to grow it out. So for caution’s sake I would go with #4.

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