I say this having done my research: Every woman has cried in the hair salon at least once.Sometimes we’re already in a time of need (read: a breakup) and we decide to chop when we should have trimmed. Some of us got what we paid for at Supercuts or worse, at a fancy brand’s “teaching salon.” Some of us — far too many of us, really — tried “The Rachel.” Simply put, you have to trust in someone else to do a good job when you get a haircut, and sometimes over the course of many hours you watch someone do a bad job. These are our stories:

My hairdresser was on a diet. I knew this because she mentioned it repeatedly – to her salon staff, to my mother and aunt, who had come to witness my highlights, and to me. She was getting chicken parm for lunch and she was going to scrape off the parm. She wanted to order lunch at 12:15pm. I have dieted before and I understand the hunger that manifests instantly when you decide to eat less. I asked for “natural, sun-bleached” hair, an extension of my existing blonde. I got “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” because the chicken parm arrived while I was in my foils. I cried in the restaurant afterwards as my family tried to cheer me up, then immediately went to a different salon and got it dyed again. That’s the day my I gained a life motto: purse almonds. – Leah

In high school, at “Laguna Beach”’s prime, I decided I needed to cut my hair just like Kristin Cavallari. We were both blonde, so her hairstyle would look perfect on me, right? That’s before I knew anything about face shape and how your cut can affect it. I brought a photo to my hairdresser of Kristin sporting her short blonde layers, side part, and long side bangs. My hairstylist nailed the look—and at first I was so excited to have fresh highlights and a stylish cut. And then I got home, stared at myself in the mirror, and just cried. I regretted that hairstyle for weeks, and every time I see a photo of myself from that era, I regret it all over again. I learned one very important hair lesson: Short, face-framing cuts do not flatter my square-shaped face. It made my face look really wide and not cute. I’ve never cut my hair short again. – Amy

I’d been wanting ombré highlights in my hair for a few months and I’d been looking at photos on Pinterest for inspiration. Ombré hair is when it’s darker on top and lighter/blonder at the bottom.  A lot of the Pinterest photos were described as “balayage” and “ombré,” so I just assumed the two words were used interchangeably. Nope! I went to a salon and asked for balayage and ended up with just a few streaky highlights in my hair. It turns out that balayage is a STYLE for doing ombré — it refers to the way the dye is “painted” onto the hair.  The hairstylist had assumed that that’s what I had wanted (even though, in my defense, I had also said “lighter on the bottom,” which he didn’t do either).  My hair didn’t look bad, exactly, but it was not at all what I wanted. I cried at the salon, I cried on the bus ride home and then I cried to my husband about how it looked. Not my finest moment.  – Jess

After going through a bad breakup, I decided I needed to switch up my look for a quick confidence boost. Plus, I would be seeing my newly established ex at an annual holiday party we had coming up, so I wanted to stun him with my new style. After vaguely explaining to the hairdresser that I wanted to cut my long, one-length hair into bangs for a more mature look, I plunged into my breakup story, not paying any attention to what she was doing. After an hour of venting, I finally glanced at my finished hairdo and immediately burst into tears (embarrassing, I know). But I looked like a six-year-old with uneven bangs, awkwardly flat against my forehead. Thinking the outburst was about the breakup, my hairstylist sent me on my way with a few kind words and a pat on the back. A few weeks later, my ex saw me at the holiday party and asked “why I had ruined my hair.” Total, utter, failure. – Julie

I usually keep my hair long with layers. Everyone knows me as the girl with Princess Jasmine hair.  I got a different stylist this time aroun, and explicitly told her NOT to cut off more than one inch. When I saw my dark locks scattered all over the floor, I was mortified. I couldn’t speak and felt my face going numb as I was trying to hold in my screams and cries. When she finished blow-drying my hair straight, I ran to my friend. When she told me it looked “nice”, I knew that meant she hated the look the look. Needless to say, it’s been over a year since that cut and I haven’t gone back to the salon. – Shahreen

A hairstylist once did my hair for free as a test. I have very dark hair and he tried to make it lighter which I don’t normally like; it does not look good. He kept asking if I liked it, but I didn’t tell him anything. Hey, free is free. – Itzy

When I was in college, I got a haircut at Supercuts, which is all I could afford back then. I asked for a trim and some bangs. Seemed simple enough, but before I knew it, the stylist had given me bangs that landed smack-dab in the middle of my forehead, a la Beyonce’s recent fringe trim except nowhere near as cool-looking. With my naturally wavy hair, it did not work. I cried as soon as I got home, and it took months before my bangs grew to a reasonable length. It was the worst haircut I’ve ever had. You would think I’d never get bangs again after that, but my hate-love affair with bangs continues to this day. -Rachel

I was riding the subway once and a woman approached me saying she was about to graduate from a very reputable, very cool hair school and was looking for a model for a bob she had to do. My hair happened to be long and ratty and was ready for a fresh look, and she was offering me a haircut from an expert for free. I accepted. The cut was a cropped bob. She did a good job; I can’t complain about her craftsmanship. She cut a nice, even line across the bottom with good layers, and her professor was impressed. But my hair was so short, it was like a bowl cut. It sat about two inches above the bottom of my ears, and really accentuated them. All I wanted was for it to grow out. Frankly I’m not sure why a bob that short would be so popular it would warrant being part of a test at a good hair school. – Valerie

Do you have your own hair salon horror story? Share it with us in the comments!
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