Horror Hair from Hell (and a #giveaway)

Bowl haircut (OLVI008_OU056_F)As I write this, it’s Tuesday on my lunch hour and I am looking ahead to this evening with both fear and dread at the quarterly ritual I call “the hair appointment.” Now, when I was a kid, every single Saturday my mom would go to the “beauty shop” (where, as near as I could tell, one didn’t actually shop for beauty). On infrequent occasions–since it usually involved tantrums and was more trouble than it was worth–I would be forced to go as well. Which is why I had the sprayed-stiff beehive of a 60-year-old woman in all the photos at my brother’s wedding. I was 13, by the way, so this was Not Beauty.

Now, those repositories of hell serve both men and women and are called “hair salons,” so they at least aren’t claiming to sell beauty anymore, which is a good thing because, in my experience, the whole thing is a crapshoot.

I’ve moved around a lot and, inevitably when one moves to a new city, one has to face the challenge of Finding a Hair Stylist. If one has Difficult Hair, the challenge is akin to fending off a hungry black bear at a picnic.

I have Difficult Hair.dog at the hairdressers

It won’t curl, for one thing. It’s straight as a board, and very, very fine. It’s also thick, which sounds like a contradiction with “fine,” but the individual strands are soft and fine…there’s just a lot of of them. Did I mention it wouldn’t curl? It hangs. Which is great if one wants the 1960s hippie look but that’s a tough look to pull off if one is older than, say, twenty.

Once, before a black-tie event I was going to, I went to a new stylist and made the mistake of saying I wanted it trimmed a little shorter on the sides than on the back, which the stylist interpreted as “this woman wants a mullet.” I did not want a mullet. However, I went to my black-tie event wearing one. OMG, the humiliation.

Then there was the Little Dutch Boy episode, where I swear the stylist might as well have covered my head with a bowl and trimmed around the edges. It was hideous.

Bad hair dayThere was an episode with an attempt at some “Friends”-era Jennifer Anniston thing I can’t even bring myself to talk about except to say that the evening ended with me in my bathroom  at midnight, wielding a pair of scissors in front of the mirror.

Tonight’s biggest danger is my state of mind. Still railing against a new dress code among whose many forbidden things is “hair of an unnatural color,” I am considering blue.

I ended up having to reschedule this post from Wednesday to Friday, so I can report that…eh…I haven’t decided yet. It isn’t an atrocity but until I redo it the way I really want it, I won’t know for sure. (Of course, one must immediately come home from the salon and redo one’s hair–everyone knows that!)

To be entered for a $5 Amazon GC (or Book Depo equivalent), what’s your worst haircut horror story? I’m in a day-job meeting for a solid eight hours today, so I’ll try to respond to comments this evening or midday if I get a break!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

36 thoughts on “Horror Hair from Hell (and a #giveaway)

  1. I’ve been pretty lucky with haircuts since I’ve had the same person cutting my hair for years. The worst I can think of was years ago when someone else did my hair. After I got home I realized the sides were uneven.

    • LOL. I’ve had one of those “asymmetrical” cuts too. I’ve had the same person for several years too, and mostly she does great but every once in a while…not so great.

  2. I had shoulder length hair and was a freshman. Mom made me an appointment for a perm because I was tired of using curlers. The gal trimmed my hair (at least two inches) and the perm shortened my strands several more. I ended up with very small, tight curls that the tips barely reached my chin. It was awful!! That was the shortest I’ve EVER had my hair!
    (I also have fine, thick hair so I can relate!)

    • Haha–sorry, but I got a funny “Brady Bunch” image in my head. My mom made me get a couple of perms, and I’d have curly hair for about 12 hours, then it would fall out and be as straight as ever. Will. not. curl.

  3. I don’t do anything special with my hair anymore, but one time I asked for a hairdo like I saw in a magazine. Instead of telling me my hair wasn’t curly enough for the hairdo the hairdresser tried anyway and I ended up looking like a football hooligan.

  4. In the eighties I decided I needed a curly perm…Scott my mechanic could have done a better job!.. The woman proceeded to burn my hair off. Had to go elsewhere the next day and they cut my hair off to about one 1/2 an inch all over my head. I cried alot!!

    • Ow! Yes, if those perms were left on long enough they’d fry your hair and the only way to get rid of it would be to cut it almost all off. (Unless you were me and it would just uncurl on its own.) Our moms always wanted us to have whatever hair we didn’t have 🙂

  5. Well, mine just happened. My husband cuts my hair and has done for several years. I like it SHORT and he knows that and will cut it as short as I want. However, he forgot to put the guard on the trimmer and all but shaved my head. He did two passes before he realized what had happened. Of course, he had to do the rest of it to match so my hair is basically just stubble on top. I know some of my clients think I have just had chemo and my hair is just now starting to grow back.
    My husband felt really bad about it, but I know it will grow back. Sooner or later…someday…

    • Oh dear! LOL. Well, you could always do some exotic scarves! It will grow back faster than you think. Although mine seems to grow really fast after a good haircut and verrrrry slow after an atrocity.

  6. no horror really i had to wait forever until i could have long hair ( wanted to be like a mermaid when i got up from teh bath^^;;) so nowx that i have it i only cut them a little once per year perhaps ( perhaps even every two year as it is)

    • I love really long hair. I think the longest I ever had mine was just below the shoulder a few times. I keep mine short so I don’t have to do much to it, and have highlights in it to show the texture.

      • problem is that it take hours to brush after teh bath^^ ( thankfully birgit send me a special brush that do woners now it only take 1h instead of 3or 4)
        i make braids that come to thebottom of my back so imagien when it’s not braided^^ but that’s a bit too long in my opinion i’m just to lazy to plan to cut them soon

  7. My hair is like yours, Suzanne. Stick straight. I keep it short since a shoulder injury about 10 years ago prevented the long braids I used to wear. My last haircut was atrocious. She gapped the right side and there’s nothing I can do until it grows out. I can never keep a stylist. Every time I find one willing to cut my hair the way I want, they move on to parts unknown.

    • Yes, I’ve been abandoned a lot too. Stylists move around a lot. Last time, luckily, my current one just moved to a different salon in town so I followed her. The only way I can get any movement in my fine, thick, straight hair is to have it cut and textured with a razor, and not that many stylists know how to do it. So when I find one I’ll follow her as long as I can 🙂

  8. I once had a perm where the back middle section did not take for some reason. And then I was told I had to wait a week before they could try to reperm it. It just looked crazy! Good luck on your hair adventure!

    • LOLOL. I have an image of a reverse-mohawk! I think mine turned out okay although there’s a suspicious clumpy area on one side, so I’m reserving judgment till I’ve done it a couple of times myself.

  9. I also have very fine hair and when I was younger I wanted curly hair so the hairdresser used what she said was the gentlest perm type treatment they had. Well, my hair turned into frizzy mess and I loss a bit of hair that to this day is still thinner then it had been before the perm and I have not gotten a chemical treatment of any kind since.

    • Those perms could really damage hair, especially the ones prior to the last ten years or so. And, oh, the smell! Ick! I’ve pretty good luck with highlights but that’s about as adventurous as I’ve been since my punk rock days…which is a blog post for another day 🙂

  10. How true about finding a hairdresser/ stylist that you like. I had a similar hair disaster to yours with a new hair stylist who didn’t listen to what I wanted, but gave me a Linda McCartney-style hairdo (mullet puff top) but with short sides which made it even worse for me.

    Even with my long time hair stylist that I go to, there have been times she got too happy with the scissors etc.

    • Ooh, a puff-top mullet!! I remember that style–LOL. I always warn a new stylist that if my hair puffs anywhere she’ll never see me again. Spikes are okay. Puffs? No. 🙂

  11. I have really thick curly hair that can only be tamed by wearing it in a braid. For 30 years it was long enough to sit on and I nearly always wore it braided.
    When my youngest got married I let her talk me into getting it cut short (I mean really short). She and her salon expert was positive it would be so much easier to take care of and what 55 year old woman still wears her hair in a braid. Short, curly, thick hair IS NOT easier to take care of unless you wear a ton of PRODUCT(what the hell) on it, plus you must wash it every morning to get out the previous days PRODUCT. If you don’t then it looks like you’ve stuck your finger in a light socket. On yeah! So much easier! Thank god along with having thick hair, it grows at an alarming rate too. In a year’s time, I had that braid half way to my but again and never, ever, am I ging short again.

    • Hahaha–see, I always wanted curly hair but after that description, I see your point. I’m not a fan of PRODUCT, which is expensive and, as you say, accumulates quickly. My exception is spray wax. Don’t even ask. LOL.

  12. I only had bad luck when it came to cheap haircuts. Those were so bad I wanted to hide like an ostrich

    • Yeah, it took me a while to learn that walking into one of those $8 no-appointment places was not going to end well for me :-). Head in the sand!

  13. When I was like 4 years old, my mom had my hair cut like Demi Moore’s in Ghost. Now that I look at my pictures, I looked like a guy hahaha

    • Haha–I bet you were cute, though! When I was little and my mom would cut my hair she’d keep trimming my bangs until she got them even….or she’d cut them up to my scalp. I have a lot of photos to prove it 🙂

  14. I also have thick, board straight hair that just hangs. These days, I just keep it really short and use product to give it some body. The funny thing is that everyone I know wants my hair while I want anything BUT what I’ve got. I’d kill for some curl.

    The worst hair cut I ever had was the hair cut I got just before I left to go to college. It was a horrible, flippy bang thing that I shudder to think about. There I was, a freshman, away from home for the first time, dealing with the worst hair cut ever. I cried a lot.

  15. I have dead straight hair. In the far past I went from long straight hair to a short tight perm. I did it twice in a row, What was I thinking?

  16. When I was in high school I let my older sister cut my hair. Yeah, that didn’t turn out so well. 😀 My big transgression when I was a little girl was trying out my pair of plastic scissors on my hair. I just wanted to see if they would actually cut the hair, unfortunately, they did. I got spanked by my mom, and then when daddy came home, I got it again. My mother loved my curly hair and was very upset that she had to cut it short because of the big hunk I cut out of it. 😀

  17. My mother gave me a haircut while I was in college. I was heading to Supercut but was persuaded to have my hair cut by her. I looked like a page from the medieval era. Last time I will ever do that.

  18. I have very curly hair that needs constant trimming. Got my sister to trim it last year and she chopped it off almost half…It refused to grow after that!

  19. No bad haircuts, fortunately. I always had straight hair that wouldn’t hold a curl and was a child during the years when a girl’s hair was supposed to be curly. The perms at that time wouldn’t work on me, so I suffered a lot with sleeping in curlers. Straight hair came in when I was in late high school, and I finally grew it out and and wore it long for years. I don’t even remember why, but I decided sometime in my 30’s that I was going to get my hair cut and try a perm, again. It worked, thankfully, but my poor husband almost cried over my getting my hair cut.

  20. When I was in fifth grade my grandmother decided that, as a Christmas present, she would pay for a stylist to perm my hair so that I’d look like Shirley Temple when I tap danced. I had no interest in doing this, but I was informed by my parents that it would be the height of rudeness to refuse a Christmas present and my hair was permed. Having no clue how to care for permed hair, I ended up looking like I’d stuck my finger in a light socket for at least 4-6 months.

    While I was in high school, cloth headbands made a brief comeback. I have exceptionally thick hair in the “v” at the base of my skull that sticks out funny when wearing cloth headbands. I asked the stylist to shave that portion, but she misunderstood and shaved the back of my head up to about the halfway point of my ears. My just-above-the-shoulders length covered the carnage, but I couldn’t wear a ponytail for a REALLY long time!

  21. Worse hair cut or what’s the worse thing you’ve done to your hair? I color my hair a LOT, and by a lot I mean it’s a different color every couple of months. I picked up the habit at the age of thirteen when my parents started letting me dye my hair. Now that was a good a thing, because it let me have a way to express myself so I didn’t rebel competely. Shudder to think what I would have done if I couldn’t have done to my hair what I wanted. My mom always said, “It’s just hair.”

    Suprisingly it wasn’t until this past year that the worse thing to happen to my hair came around. I decided I wanted to go from deep burgandy (color I’d been using for around a year) to a light purple. Now this meant stripping my three inches longer than my shoulders hair. Did I go to my wonderful stylist to do this? Oh no! I’ve been dying my own hair since I was thirteen. I’ve got this. Right?

    Ha! I ended up with white hair completely fried to the point that I looked like an old hag witch. I kid you not. Then I HAD to go to my stylist. When I undid the clip that was holding it up, she grabbed her coffee cup, took a deep swallow, and then said, “What did you do?”

    The next time my daughter went in for a hair cut she was asked, “WHY did you LET your mother do that?”

    We still laugh about it.