The emotional stages of a bad haircut.

I got a bad haircut last weekend. When I say “bad”, I really mean “regretful”. It was a spur of the moment decision…and I got bangs. BANGS. I’ve had bangs before. Once when I was about 5, and the second time was during the last 2 years of high school. I don’t know what compelled me to get bangs.

So anyway, I walked into some random salon because, you know, I like to live on the edge. I wouldn’t usually do this, and now I’ll never do it again because the hairdresser jacked up my hair. I asked for a trim and bangs. After the hairdresser was done, I realised it was no where near what I wanted. The bangs were far too short, like, above my eyebrows short. Anyway, I realise that I’m probably to blame because I didn’t give clear enough instructions or something. Still, I’ve been on a crazy emotional roller-coaster this past week regarding my hair and that’s what prompted me to write this post. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you ‘The emotional stages of a bad haircut’.

Stage 1: Confidence
This stage comes before the actual haircut. It’s the stage where you’ve decide on your cut and you’re confident it won’t fail. If it’s a new style, you’ve probably researched it heaps. And by “researched” I mean “spent 4 hours on Google images looking at hair models and gaining unrealistic expectations”. By this time you’ve also got a hairdresser/salon in mind and you make the appointment. You’re so excited to have a new ‘do. When you get to the hairdresser’s, you confidently explain what you want done. Sometimes, there’ll be a particularly judgemental hairdresser whose umms and ahhs start to unsettle you a little bit. But they’re usually very accommodating and listen to what you want.

Stage 2: During the cut
So you’ve explained what you wanted and you’re sitting in the chair as the hairdresser starts to prep you. When they start cutting, all you can think to yourself is “OMG I can’t wait to see how this turns out!” You’ve still got that hair model’s picture you saw on Google images in mind. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably planning an Instagram photo and contemplating the caption and the hashtags you’ll use. (Because, you know, they’re important life decisions.) All is well and good until you start to realise that the hairdresser is taking more hair off than you thought they would. This starts to worry you a little bit, but you reassure yourself that the hairdresser is a professional and that they know what they’re doing. It’ll be alright in the end. Or so you think…

Stage 3: That sinking feeling
You realise that your hair is looking nothing like that picture you found on Google. And what’s worse, the hairdresser has stopped cutting and picked up a mirror to show you their handiwork. They ask if you like it. You make awkward eye contact through the mirror, plaster a smile to your face and nod. As they start packing up, you inspect your hair closer.  There’s a pit in your stomach as you come to the realisation that this is your hair now. And it’s nothing like what you thought it would be. Bye bye Instagram photo. You start to plan the best route to get home without seeing anyone you know.

Stage 4: Post-hair cut regret
Now that you’ve made it home with as little human contact as possible, you fall to your knees and cry out “WHYYYYYYY?!?!?! Why did I think this would look good? Why did I even try something new? WHYYYYY.” You begin to wallow in self-pity. You’ll never leave the house again. People will look at you funny. People will judge. People will know you tried to look cool but failed. We all know that this doesn’t actually happen, but these are the thoughts that went through my mind when I was at this stage.

Stage 5: Can we fix it?
You try to salvage your ‘do. Perhaps it’s blow-drying it a certain way, straightening it, wearing a head band/scarf/beanie or putting it up in a bun. You do whatever it takes to make it look somewhat normal or acceptable by your standards. Stage 5 can progress into Stage 5a: Frustration during which you threaten to shave all your hair off if it doesn’t behave. I don’t know anyone who has actually gone through with Stage 5a.

Stage 6: Acceptance
After hours of standing in front of the mirror, you get to a stage where it doesn’t really matter anymore. Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe some people will like it. Maybe it’ll be okay. There’s nothing much you can do about your new hair. Right now, the best thing to do is wait for it to grow out so you can get it cut again. Hopefully the next time you get it cut, it won’t end up like this…


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