Worst. Haircut. Ever.
April 1, 2010 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Like a damn fool I got a haircut & color at the cheap place around the corner. Color looks great - the haircut? Not so much. I basically have a mullet, and this shall not stand.

I know at a higher-end salon, I could go back to the stylist and have them fix it and not be charged extra. Do I try that at the cheap place and hope the cure isn't worse than the disease? Or do I eat the $40 and go to an actual salon to get it fixed? (I wouldn't have gone to the cheap place if I wanted to spend salon $) Leaving it like this isn't an option.

Help me out you guys, I don't have that many hats.

PS. Reasonably priced (HA!) LA stylist options welcomed.
posted by Space Kitty to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total)
Take a deep breath.

Your hair probably does not look that bad. Wait a day. Ask a friend how it looks. You're in hairshock.

If it still looks bad, try a different cheap salon, and enjoy a cute short summer cut.
posted by fontophilic at 8:45 AM on April 1, 2010

I say never let the people who broke something try to fix it.
posted by questionsandanchors at 8:45 AM on April 1, 2010 [9 favorites]

I feel your pain; I just went to a new barbershop yesterday, and got one of the worst haircuts of my life since 1990 (when I had a mullet, incidentally).

I vote for "salon." Shorty's Barber Shop in WeHo isn't too outrageously priced as far as salons go. Going back to the scene of the crime doesn't seem like a good idea, if only because you could potentially go from "mullet" to "mohawk."

You should take pictures (to be kept in a file on your hard drive with NSA levels of encryption), possibly photoshop in a black bar over your eyes for further anonymity, and caption it "DO NOT SKIMP ON GLAMOUR."
posted by the_bone at 8:50 AM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

this has happened to me. i embodied the cautionary tale of the $10 haircut.

however -- after a day, with my own shampoo & styling, and a heavy hand with the scissors myself, it was totally ok. even better than ok, supercute! just give it a day, and maybe recruit a friend who has some snipping skillz.

never cheap out on haircuts, just as i will never return to Thelma's House of Beauty.
posted by crawfo at 8:54 AM on April 1, 2010

Fixing bad haircuts is a job for the pros, in my opinion. The original place is apparently not skilled enough to give you a good haircut the first time, I would be leery of what they would try to do as a fix.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:55 AM on April 1, 2010

I first started seeing my (very good) stylist to fix a bad haircut, and have stuck with him ever since -- I think his rate for a haircut alone is $55 (he always does my color, too, so I'm not sure). His salon is in Pasadena, though, so I don't know if you want to make the trek that far. If so, it's Mark at Salon Xia:
925 Boston Court
Pasadena 91106
(626) 796-0616
posted by scody at 9:15 AM on April 1, 2010

You're going to want to spend the money on this one. Don't go back to Mullet Man. How I found great stylists was to ask people who had great hair where they got theirs done. This is not something to go cheap on either, sad to say. Your best solution would be to throw some money at this.

The last time I did a bargain haircut, the woman cut half my hair half the length of the rest and then did in a french braid to hide it.

Good luck!!

Also, I concur, pix or it didn't happen!!
posted by Kimberly at 9:18 AM on April 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've had good luck with Melissa at The Beauty Studio (1751 Hillhurst, Los Feliz, 323-644-6876). She charges less for a haircut than many others in the area, and she also seems to be willing to negotiate.
posted by chicainthecity at 9:22 AM on April 1, 2010

From my own experience and the experience of friends, I strongly caution you NOT to go back to the cheap place to have them fix it. They are probably willing to fix it, however, they are most likely incapable of fixing it, because fixing a bad haircut is harder.

So, I think you're going to have to suck up the cost of going to a salon to get it fixed, sadly.

In the meantime, the best solution I have found for a horrible haircut is a wide headband to hide the whole "business in the front" look. If you can also twist or pin what's left in the back into a bun, it will also help.

In the future, my trick has been to always spend the $ on a salon cut for new styles and at least a few times a year to reshape my style, and to go to cheapo places for trims only. Over time, the cost evens out nicely. Good luck!
posted by tastybrains at 9:26 AM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't go back to the place that messed up.

As for inexpensive stylists in L.A. - try Sherry Owens, 626-284-8651, who works out of a beauty supply store in Alhambra. Her haircuts are around $40. Don't let the dreary atmosphere put you off - she's a good Sassoon-trained stylist and an even better colorist.
posted by chez shoes at 10:19 AM on April 1, 2010

I only let David McCann at Pecha in Santa Monica touch my hair. At this point it almost doesn't matter what salon you go to. Anyone should be able to fix a mullet without having to shave your head. Find a stylist that you like and trust and stick with them. They will get to know your hair, style and budget and will value your repeat business.
posted by tinatiga at 10:30 AM on April 1, 2010

When I lived in Los Angeles, I went to the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, just off the 3rd St. Promenade, to get my hair cut. The people there are generally very experienced stylists who want official fancy Vidal Sassoon certification, and can handle being given only vague instructions by the time they get to the point where they'll be dealing with you. They consult with a great, instructor, who comes by a zillion times while you are getting cut to make sure nothing is going wrong. I have had a lot of bad haircuts in my life, but never ever one there.

Cost 5 years ago was $16, but 50% off that if you had a student I.D. Maybe it's $20 now, but still: so cheap, never bad. It takes forever- seriously, budget 3 hours or so- but I bet they can fix you, and if you want to go cheap it's really a good way to go.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Rudy's in Santa Monica. REALLY excellent stylists who really love their job...and don't mind being paid $20 or whatever it costs.
If you want to get your hair done by someone who will be charging $150 in 6 months, go to the Vidal Sasson school in Santa Monica. It will take 3 hours, but I remember hearing "occipital" when the stylist was talking to his teacher. These guys know their stuff, and make hair really pretty. It costs $11
posted by hal_c_on at 12:14 PM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's also an Aveda Institute in LA - I've been really pleased with the one local to me, although the caveats about budgeting a bunch of time are right.
posted by clerestory at 1:22 PM on April 1, 2010

(the other thing I liked about the fancypants training academy is that it was pretty easy to ask what they were doing, if the instructors didn't make it clear during their verbal fussing what was going on, so you end up with good hair vocabulary to describe what you want to the next stylist you end up with. It made a difference once I left town to know that I wanted a "layered graduated bob razored right up to the neckline," for instance rather than "kinda, well, shorter in the back, but longer in the front, but you know, not ALL of it?")
posted by charmedimsure at 2:06 PM on April 1, 2010

fyi mullet = short in the front (business), long in the back (partayyyy!!!). So you're looking at loosing some of the back length for the fix, which will, as fontophilic mentioned, equal an overall "shorter," layered cut, but one which will embarass you less! (it's also true about the hairshock ... or maybe you could clip the sides up? or pull them down in front of your ears if you are a hair-behind-the-ear type and that's what's screwing with the design line?) good luck!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 5:02 PM on April 1, 2010

Listen to this and follow his advice ;)
posted by jmsta at 6:50 PM on April 1, 2010

I absolutely recommend the Aveda Institute if you're in West LA (I'm sure the Vidal Sassoon Academy is great, too, and you can also try looking for a Paul Mitchell school if you've got one nearby). Basically, any of the training schools of the fancy pants salons can give you great cuts (under supervision!) if you're willing to put the time in (the haircuts take forever because your stylist will be a Nervous Newbie, no matter how experienced they actually are) and the cuts are often $10 or less. Plus, tipping goes to charity, at least at the Aveda Institute.

I would not recommend going back to the same place that gave you the cut. Been there, done that, and that's when I discovered the wonders of the salon training schools.
posted by librarylis at 9:12 PM on April 1, 2010

I wouldn't go back to the scene of the crime. If you're in the South Bay, Ultralux in Redondo Beach is absolutely stellar (warning: link has sound). It's $55 for a haircut, but truly worth every penny. (I say that as a veteran of many terrible cheap haircuts, and as someone who has to do some serious budgeting to justify this kind of expense.) In the 3 years that I've been going there they have never once messed up my hair. And unlike the stylists in a lot of salons, everyone who works there is remarkably nice and unpretentious.

They also have reduced rates on certain days of the week when student stylists cut your hair under the watchful eye of an instructor.
posted by corey flood at 10:08 PM on April 1, 2010

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