How to Fix a Bad Haircut, According to Professionals

Bad haircuts happen, but you don't have to live with one.

Bad haircuts happen to all of us. But whether your bad new look is a result of chasing after cheap haircuts or pursuing a cut that doesn't work with your facial structure, hair texture, or overall look, you're going to want to learn how to fix it.

But first, how do bad haircuts happen anyway? According to Kali Ferrara, former hairstylist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City, it's usually not because of an objectively bad stylist. "A bad haircut doesn't always mean that a stylist doesn't have good technical skills," Ferrara says. Even good stylists mess up sometimes. "Not being able to give the right cut to a certain hair texture or not educating a client on the maintenance they'll have to follow up with can ruin a client's image for well over a year."

Another cause of a bad haircut might be the result of a DIY cut. Maybe you didn't want to spend the money for a quick trim or wanted to refresh your bangs. Whatever the cause of a bad haircut, the biggest question is how do you fix it? Ahead, learn five tips that can help.

Talk with your stylist.

Telling your stylist you're unhappy with a haircut can be intimidating, but open and honest communication is important, especially when you end up with a haircut you don't like. "If you're unhappy with a haircut, I recommend asking your stylist if you can come back in and have them look at the haircut for you," says Emily Cable, a professional hairstylist formerly at Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles. "I would nicely show them the areas you aren't happy with and ask if they can make it not so choppy or smooth the area out a bit."

Ferrara agrees. "Most salons have a one-week policy for a client to have an adjustment to their cut or color free of charge," she says. "Don't feel timid about going back. As stylists, we really want you to be a happy customer because we value you and also want you to be our walking billboard."

Ask to go a little shorter.

"When dealing with a bad haircut, I first try to find what type of haircut they were attempting," says Cable. "If the haircut is bad due to too many layers, the best bet is to cut off some length." She explains that your stylist may need to make the length of your new haircut where the shortest layer of your hair ends. While it may require you to lose some length, it will leave you with an even and straight cut, which you can use as a blank canvas for another haircut or leave as is until it grows back.

Add extensions.

If a bad haircut is due to choppy layers or too short of a length, Cable says getting extensions can help disguise your haircut until it grows out. And there are so many options for good clip-in extensions that last. For instance, Luxy Hair offers a variety of options in different lengths, textures, and colors to seamlessly blend in with your natural hair. It's a temporary fix that makes the waiting period a bit easier and less painless.

Find a new reference picture.

Photos when getting a haircut are an absolute necessity. Not only can they prevent a bad haircut from happening to begin with, but they can also help guide your stylist when they're trying to fix a bad crop. "Always make sure you show your stylist a photo of your hair goals, so they can visually see what you are asking for," says Cable.

Be patient.

Unfortunately, beyond returning to get your cut fixed (and likely having to lose some length to do so) or waiting for your hair to grow out, there's not much else you can do to fix a bad haircut, Ferrara says—and that's OK. A bad haircut might feel like a disaster at the moment, but a few months later, you might not even remember it. "Everyone is human," Ferrara says. "Hair is a big part of a person's persona, but it does grow back."

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