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How can I Prevent a Bad Haircut?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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A bad haircut ranks high on the list of things that most people want to avoid. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent a bad haircut, as long as you are willing to take control of your hair and your session at the salon. Getting the haircut you want does not have to challenging.

Start by doing some research on stylists. Ask friends who they use, and try to seek out people with hair types which are similar to yours for recommendations. If the same stylist keeps being mentioned, book an appointment with him or her, and think about what kind of haircut you want. It is extremely important to know what you want when you get a haircut. Print out pictures if you can, so that the stylist has something to work with.

Before your appointment begins, sit down for a consultation with the stylist. Explain exactly what you want, using your hands to indicate desired lengths of hair and specifying things that you do not want. You should also be honest with the stylist about how much time you spend on hair maintenance; you don't want to end up with a haircut that only looks good after extensive styling if you prefer to wash, towel dry, and run. Finally, trust the opinion of the stylist; if he or she says that a cut will not work on you, ask for suggestions.

Although gesturing with your hands to prevent a bad haircut might seem silly, it's actually incredibly valuable. By physically showing the stylist how you want your hair cut, you can ensure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to the way you want your hair to look. This is especially important for those of you with longer locks, as failure to prevent a bad haircut with long hair can result in a long period of regrowth.

Once the haircut starts, sit up straight in the chair. Changes in your posture can change the way your hair looks, potentially messing up the haircut. It's also a very good idea to keep an eye on what the stylist is doing. Do not be afraid to speak out if you think he or she is moving in the wrong direction with your hair, and ask questions about how to style your hair so that it looks great. When your haircut is over, take the time to look it over carefully in the mirror. If you are not satisfied, express this immediately, as the stylist will work with you to fix the look until you are happy.

It is traditional to tip hair stylists at least 15%, and to offer an additional 5% tip to the person who washes your hair at a salon. This can help to prevent a bad haircut in the future, as you will become a well known figure at the salon. Finally, prevent a bad haircut by finding the perfect stylist and staying loyal to him or her.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon948506 — On Apr 30, 2014

@Anon42003: I think you are right, although some may consider you a conspiracy theorist. I cringe at the thought of going to the salon and getting a haircut. My boyfriend cuts my hair, it is free and well he does a great job. You would like it. He likes his woman to look good or be happy, who knows?

When a friend returned from the salon with a bad haircut last year, I actually had a nightmare that evening and woke up in a terror because I thought my hair was chopped off. Personally, I would rather go to the dentist and have a tooth pulled than get my hair cut in a salon.

By lynn56 — On Feb 13, 2011

i haven't been near a hair stylist for four years. i don't trust them. I had a really bad cut. they took about 5 inches of my long hair which had taken me a really long time to grow back due to a past illness. i got it just where i wanted it, thought I'd go in for a trim just to get rid of a few split ends. I should not have needed more than a few centimeters cut. The next time i looked, it was on the floor -- all the growth I'd grown back. Needless to say i refused to pay, they got huffy and demanded i do, so i got my revenge and told everyone i knew never to set foot in there as you can't trust them. my lovely trusting husband trims it now. at least he listens.

By anon42003 — On Aug 18, 2009

Have you noticed that there is an increasing number of people walking around with really messed up hair cuts? This is due to the passive-aggressive epidemic that is spreading throughout hair salons. If you have not gotten a hair cut, you may consider cutting your own hair. It will save you the physical and emotional trauma from these passive aggressive hair stylists. You can *never* identify a passive-aggressive hair stylist! Never. They will be extremely friendly to you the whole time. This is to mask their anger/insecurities. But once they are done with your hair, you will be left with at least several of the mishaps mentioned in the above article, on purpose. We need to join forces and boycott salons by cutting our own hair. These people are making a *good* living taking their anger out on your hair. For those of you sporting a hair cut from a passive aggressive hair stylist, you are not alone. A lot of people are too. But don't forget what happened to you and don't let another money hungry stylist convince you it was a mistake. It wasn't. Spread the word, help others who have not been victimized!

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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