Friday, May 27, 2011

Hair Disaster: This is what happens when you get lazy and bored and indecisive.

I hate dealing with hair more than any other beauty-related thing. Perhaps the reason I like makeup so much is that it compensates for my lack of hair styling prowess. I'm fond of putting my hair up into a bun and having it out of the way. When I entered my 30s, I decided that I would work on a more professional look and went for regular trims in an effort to fight the lazy bun tactic. There was slight progress, until I returned to school full-time last year -- and there, everything fell apart. 'Cuz... who gives a shizz what you look like as a student? I might have, if there were someone I was trying to impress, but the profs are 100 years old and fellow students are barely out of their teens. I couldn't care less how I looked to them, especially during winter when I had to lug 40 pounds of books through 10 feet of snow.

I let my hair grow for 11 months without a trim and it looked like this:

I haven't had hair this long since I was 25ish. It felt feminine and sexy, but it was also starting to get caught on random corners, people in the subway were sitting on it, I was using tremendous amount of shampoo and conditioner, it took forever to dry... I just could not deal with so much hair. In the summer heat and humidity, it was going to drive me crazy.

So I decided to cut it. Except I didn't know how I should cut it, and to be honest, I couldn't be bothered to care about that, either. I was so lazy and bored that it seemed like a good idea to let someone else make the decision for me. (This is where you exclaim, "OH NO SHE DI'NT!")

The Sassoon Academy was looking for hair models for a special 4-day training during which experienced hair stylists from various places would upgrade their skills with a visiting master stylist from Sassoon. At best I would walk away with a new style for free. At worst I'd have a weird edgy hair cut and go to my regular hair stylist for a touch-up, which I would have done anyway in the first place.

I'll let the pictures tell you how this turned out.

Doesn't seem so bad...

Ummmmmmmm... but it was.

You have to be laughing at this point. I KNOW. What the hell is that?

That, my friends, is the work of a 25-year hair styling veteran + the approval of a master Sassoon stylist.

To be fair, it's a class where they're being experimental and it didn't look this weird when I left the salon. From the front, I dare say that it even looked quite flattering. But I woke up this morning with this hair, had to go to work which is a super conservative office environment, and when I showed my co-workers what had happened, they instantly burst into laughter.

You know where else they laughed? At my regular salon. I hadn't been there in almost a year after being a regular customer four times a year for a few years. My stylist was like, "Where have you been and WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR HAIR? Hey, [other stylist], come look at what SASSOON did to her hair!"

Unfortunately there was only so much hair to work with at this point, so I went much shorter than I would have liked at the beginning of this horrendous hair journey.

The horror isn't over. Do you see how my hair isn't as shiny or smooth as the second pic? Note that in my first pic, my hair is wavy. That is the natural texture of my hair. There was a lot of fine mist and moisture in the air today and the short layers at the top of my head have become frizzy and scraggly by the time I came home after work. When I wash my hair and air dry, I am going to end up with a curly mullet, or something close to it. Unless I choose to go ultra short, there's nothing to be done with those short layers except to let Mother Nature do her thing and make my hair grow. Maybe I'll go for this look next:

Why mess with a good thing, right? Everyone begged me not to cut my hair. I hate to admit it, but I should have listened. Learn from me, ladies. This is what comes of being lazy and indecisive. It's one thing to be adventurous when you're 20, unemployed and/or hip and edgy enough to pull off strange things. It's another when you're in your 30s, working in a major law firm, struggling to look your age (because I still get asked what I high school I went to, as if I just graduated yesterday), and have to attend a wedding this weekend. Oh, did I leave that out? Yup, my cousin's getting married in a very classy locale this weekend, and now I'm going with the super flattering shorned sheep look. Now I'll have to wear a slinkier dress than I was originally planning to. (Which sucks because that means I have to wear a thong and I despise thongs with the fire of a thousand suns. That's another story.)

I'm amusing myself by using this experience as a funny story to tell, knowing that my hair grows quite quickly and that I'll be going for a follow-up trim before I can blink and snarl, "SASSOON." However, a part of me is a little sad that I won't have some extra hair to whip around in the summer breeze while chillaxing by the lake or gliding around the streets in a maxi dress. So tell me: When was the last time you had a real hair disaster and how did you cope? Leave your tales of woe below and commiserate with me.


  1. I tried lightening my hair myself that was my big disaster and this was earlier this month. I went through about 5 dyes in a weekend, all done at home with my bf. Two of the sessions were bleaching, I convinced myself that my hair would go from a dark brown to a light brown if I bleached it first (turned it orange/yellow) and then dyed it the colour that I wanted and it would actually take, cause no boxed dye will make my hair lighter. Now it's pretty orangey still and the stuff is washing out, it did go the colour I wanted, or close enough anyway. My hair is super dry now. I bought keratin treatment, hot oil and moroccan oil to try and revive it.

    Heh, you only live once, why not try and experiment right? Especially if your hair does grow quickly it's not a big deal. :)

  2. Oh, dear. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I've had lots of hair disasters, one as recently as a year ago. I went from very long to wanting edgy layers, and because the stylist didn't really work with my natural hair texture very well, it turned out that it looked great wet, but not dry. Any of this sound familiar? It's all grown out again and looks, actually... the best it's ever looked, so those layers grew out very nicely. I don't blow dry my hair or use styling products, the only bad thing I do to my hair is dye it every 3-4 months. I've been trimming my own bangs for years. So, I'm in a pretty good place now. I used to get very short haircuts and it was so cool and I loved the cut so much. The woman who used to cut my hair is a genius, but it just cost too much money and I couldn't keep up with the demanding maintenance-- not just the cuts, but the products. All that said, I think you should go to someone awesome and get a very short cut, so I can live vicariously through you! I love short hair. Love it.

  3. Oh Liz, I heart you! I love love love this story. When I was in University, I got talked into being a hair model at a hair show for my stylist. He convinced me my style would be "edgy". I arrived with shoulder length hair and left with 'edgy'. Edgy meant my chin on my chest for about 4 hours, causing the worst neck cramps I have ever felt and leaving with a buzz cut up the back of my neck and a long Sassoon like bob in the front. What the ?? To me 'edgy' meant never going back to my stylist, holding a grudge and hiding until it grew out again, which thankfully it did. I have a hair post coming this weekend, it might help...a little. By the way, the before picture is gorgeous! I'm sure you'll rock whatever you wear to the wedding...irritating thong or not :)

  4. OH.MY.GOD.LIZ.....I cannot believe this happened to you! Ok, on the plus side, it is only hair after all and it will definitely grow back -- maybe even healthier, smoother, shinier, etc. On the negative side, you have a frickin' wedding to attend with THAT. Crossroads: what to do? You may as well bite the bullet and go to someone you trust and get that edgy look that only a short hairstyle can pull off. My hair disaster? Oh that...yeah...about 9 years ago I decided to save some $$$ and highlight my own hair. Bought a kit and had my mom help me out. Halfway through the process, we got a call that my grandmother had been rushed to the hospital so of course, we ditched my hair and my mom left while I tried to clean myself up as best as I could to go join her. Result? I looked like RONALD McDONALD. Yep, I had day-glo orange/red hair. When I went to see my colourist the next day, he almost had a seizure laughing. I had to dye my hair a delectable shade of "poo" brown in order to be able to start from scratch again.
    And now the saga continues...on Monday I am invited to attend my very first press event but it's not nail polish or cosmetics related; it's at a trendy salon here in town where on offer is hair colouring, cutting and styling. Let me preface this by saying that I have long, almost waist-length pale blond hair (dyed obviously) and have a severe allergy to people wielding scissors over my head. And did I mention that I have my niece's bridal shower as well as my daughter's graduation coming up? So....wish me luck!! Ahhhh....what we do in the name of beauty.... No matter what, I still think you will look fabulous; with your intellect alone, you'll have everyone at your feet listening with baited breath to every word of your story! Can't wait to hear how it turns out! Let me know! xox

  5. Wow, what a story!! I haven't had any horrible hair stories. I've gone to the same stylist for 10 years, I've been to other places but always come back to him! About every 2 years I get bored with my long hair and I cut it off (only to around my shoulders though) Every time I do that I swear I'll never do it again because I miss my long hair too much!

  6. Wow Liz! I feel for you. And there's nothing worse than a tom of layers when you have wavy hair-i know, it's happened to me too. Get some BioSilk serum-it helps, plus it'll give you some shine.
    One time my stylist talked me onto going strawberry blond which was fine at first. But when I went back a month later, he dyed my hair and my roots were BRIGHT RED. And he thought it was fine. He saw I was mad, so he tried to fix it by pulling some red through but it didn't help. I went home, had to dye my hair red and never went back. I think the moral of the story is don't let a stylist talk you into something.

  7. Oh my word! That is one crazy cray cut! I've never seen anything... quite like it! I'm so sorry for encouraging this madness! Thank you for sharing the story about it though. I just... wow. My mind is blown. How can anyone think that insanity is aesthetically pleasing (the diagonal back part that is)? You have a very stellar attitude about it all!! I think I would have cried a bit (I'm maybe overly attached to my hair..). The only hair misshap I've had thus far (knock on wood) was when I was living in Japan (and spoke really crap Japanese) and they cut off oh... about 6 more inches than I was expecting. And then they thinned it out with these crazy scissors. Apparently thin hair is really IN over there. Who knew? I didn't. Anyway... I learned hair grows! Which is a great lesson! I also learned vitamin E helps that process along!
    Here's to a cool Summer! Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us! You are a brave woman with a killer attitude! ;)

  8. If you're not happy with it, why noe have it made into a long bob ?

  9. My sympathies, truly, I can really empathize. I once brought my (ex) stylist a picture of Kate Winslet sporting a choppy bob. What I ended up with was a 'diesel-dyke' mullet. The horror.

  10. Thanks for sharing your horror stories, everyone! Yikes... all that colouring stuff are much worse than my diagonal hair slash (I can't even call it a cut at this point). Yes, hair does grow back and I'm sure I'll enjoy my shorter 'do much more when the weather gets hot. Thanks for your sympathies and concerns! I'll rock whatever I have at the moment and deal! (For the record, I mentioned in my post that my regular stylist fixed it and it's fairly short. I won't be getting another cut until the layers grow out for a trim.)

  11. OMG WTF? 25 year of experience and this is the result? Awww I'm sorry for you hun, glad you could fix it though!

  12. wow! I know you told me it was edgy, but that is intense! I've definitely had some bad haircuts, but luckily I've found someone who understands my hair (and actually listens) and now I've gone to her for years. I once asked her 'IF I told you to do anything you wanted, what would you do?' Even her answer was so far off what I'd be happy with that I've vowed never to give a stylist carte blanche with my hair!

  13. I did volunteer after all, so I would have felt bad telling them how not to cut my hair. I did say not to go higher than a little above the shoulders, which "technically" they didn't. When they were explaining the concept, it also sounded kind of cool. We all need a bad experience to learn what not to do next time, right???? :D

  14. I do feel for you! Still, you can pull it out with some styling until it grows back.
    My last disaster was last year when I decided to get highlights. I ended up with very yellow stripes and occasional orange spot. And this is what a professional did to me! I had to home dye my hair back to a dark colour the very same day and this whole process damaged my hair quite badly so I had to cut 20cm off. No more!
    I have learned my lesson and embraced my naturaly dark wavy hair.

  15. Liz, I am so sorry that you had such a crazy experience, but I have to say - you're handling it fabulously and with a great attitude. I feel horrible to say but it did give me a bit of a chuckle (you seemed to take it in stride, and made it a funny story rather than a sad one so I hope you don't take that offensively!). I can't believe that they thought that was a 'good edgy!' In any case, the good thing is that you took a chance, and that hair of all things does grow back. You're fortunate that yours grows quickly - if this happened to me, I'd be screwed for YEARS. I don't have any hair horror stories which is weird because my hair is insane and you'd think so, but I guess because I can't do much of anything with it, it just stays the same...boring!

  16. Yarisse - Thanks for sharing! Yeah, I do normally embrace my also naturally dark wavy hair. Luckily I haven't gotten into colouring, which keeps my hair healthy at least.

    Latoya - Yes, it was meant to give you the chuckles! :D I'm not taking it too seriously. I did feel a little bad on the second day when I wrote the post but yesterday I finally washed out the styling, let it dry naturally and it turned out totally fine. I rather like the short crop now!

  17. I just stumbled on this blog! This is the funniest post I have read in a while! I hope your hair is growing and looking the way you want it!

  18. Thanks! Love your blog, too. I'm doing a follow-up post on this hair disaster, so stay tuned!

  19. LOL O_O was my reaction on seeing the first cut but i try to avoid those lesson salons. the first time i went to a beauty college and the cut looked ok and it took them over an hour to cut my hair but the bigger issue was that it grew out really funky but for $6 i figured i got what i paid for. and then i went to aveeda hairathon(?) and one of the students cut my bangs cuz I really only wanted the shampoo & hair dryer but figured I'd get a bang trim. It was the worst bang trim of my life. I could've done better -__-" All my friends/roomies asked me about my bangs cuz it looked weird even to them -__- and finally my other hair story was when i bleached my hair (professionally..even I'm not foolhardy enough to go from black to blonde at home) but then I decided to go back to black and had my rooommate help me but she missed a spot -_- so i had black hair with a chunk of blonde (it's funny cuz my other roomie was telling me i should go for a bumblebee look and i did...unintentionally xD)

  20. Years ago my sister had gone to one of these before and didn't turn out godawful like my cut did, so I figured it was worth a try. The thing that burns is all the other models walked away looking neat and slightly jazzed up. I just got the crazy lady who went to nutsville on my hair. She had something to prove and got WAY excited when she saw all that hair on my back! I definitely won't be doing this again. :)


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