CLIENT: I recently moved to a different state and was trying to find a new stylist. I had tried a couple different places, with okay results. The cut wasn’t bad, I just felt like my hair was heavy and didn’t style as easily as it used to. I realized it was because I didn’t have many layers left. And I need layers, since I usually wear it wavy/curly. When a brand new, beautiful salon opened up near me, I decided to give it a try and booked a haircut and style. The stylist I got, who happened to be the salon owner, had 27 years of experience, so I just told her I wanted a trim, to blend in my bangs, and that I didn’t get enough layers last time I had it cut. She said okay, and started into the appointment.

I got a little nervous as she quickly washed my hair one time (I was on day 3 of dry shampoo), and then rushed through the conditioner so fast I couldn’t even tell she had used any. The wash and cut were done in 20 minutes, after which she did a rough blow dry with zero products and then finished with a curling iron and some strong hold hairspray. There were frizzy pieces all over that she didn’t even try to smooth with the iron. When she was finished, she didn’t hand me a mirror to look at the back, but it seemed okay from the front, as far as I could tell. I paid and left.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized just how bad the haircut was. There are so many layers all over it. Chunky layers, with no purpose, everywhere throughout my hair. Now I’m trying to find ways to style that will hide these big chunks until it can grow them back out… which will definitely be a while.

What do you think went wrong? Is there anything I can do to make it look better while it grows out?


COLORGEEKCHIC: I’m sorry about your experience and, although not always the case, in this situation I would agree you got a bad haircut. The photograph you sent me (see below) shows some obvious technical problems. I’m assuming most of that has to do with the stylist’s limited skill set, regardless of how many years she has been cutting hair. Your observations about shampooing and styling show that time, not quality, may be her highest priority. Because she is the owner of the salon, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any luck asking for someone at that location to fix the cut. But there are some things that you can do to avoid this problem in the future.

The first thing I noticed is that the stylist didn’t ask any questions beyond what information you offered. For a first-time client, “blending in the bangs, a trim, and more layers” is not enough information for the stylist. She should have asked some follow-up questions. For example, How do you normally wear your hair? Do you ever wear it straight? How short do you like your shortest layers? Do you like to see definite layers, or do you want them blended in and less obvious? How much is a trim to you? Like an inch, or a light dusting on the ends? Those are some of the questions the stylist could have asked before she even started cutting. You might not know the answer to the questions she’s asking, and that’s okay. But she should be following up with different questions that help her get a better idea of what you’re describing.

What if your stylist doesn’t ask those questions? You volunteer the information anyway! You say how you like to wear your hair. You say the type of layers you want, or how you like the hair to look. You say what “a trim” means to you. You bring pictures of what you have in mind. It could even be a picture of your own hair. Point out to your stylist what you like about those pictures. And, especially if they don’t ask you any questions, tell them what you DON’T like and what you don’t want.

I know it seems like your stylist should be the one to be asking all the questions and clarifying what you want, but sometimes people get in ruts. Sometimes they think they know when they actually don’t. Sometimes they’re just having a bad day, or are feeling rushed, and don’t take time to conduct a proper, thorough consultation.

This is what happened. She did more layers, blended the bangs, and trimmed it. But, aside from being technically wrong (ie there is a hole on one side where the stylist dropped her elevation while cutting), the end result could have been much better with a little clarification. Even if the stylist doesn’t ask the right questions, come prepared with enough information that what you want is made clear. Until you have an established, positive history with a stylist, don’t be confident that they are reading your mind. Because, in most cases, they’re probably not.

In the meantime, a better skilled stylist can help you blend in and soften the edges of all your chunky layers, so they’re not as visible, and you can wear your hair wavy or curly, which will hide most of the problems until you’re able to grow it out more. With some blending and styling tricks, other people will most likely not even realize there is a problem with your hair at all. And it will grow back.

If you’re looking for a good stylist in your local area, I do have stylist friends all over the country and would be happy to recommend a few to you. Message me any time using the “Contact” form at the bottom of my site.


  • Ang says:

    You have great info. Do you know of any good stylists in the Farmington area?

    • Thank you! I actually don’t personally know any stylists in Farmington, Utah, but I could recommend some in Salt Lake City or other surrounding cities. Are you looking for a colorist, or someone to cut, or both?