Rosemary Mac Cabe [Photo 1]: When I was 12—so, at that crucial age right between schools (in Ireland you move from primary to secondary at around age 12)—I shaved my head. Or, rather, my mother took me into the local hairdresser and suggested I get "a number seven." "It will be so handy," she said. "Especially for summer!" Bear in mind, of course, that we live in a very cold climate, and summer is not the tropical climate she may have been imagining. My newfound short hair did very little in terms of friend-making in my new school, and the nicknames came thick and fast: Jimi Hendrix, Cloud Head (lame), Hiroshima Head (based on the fact that my head resembled a nuclear mushroom cloud), etc. I got over it eventually, but those were tough times.
Belle Taylor [Photo 2]: I (similarly to some people below) get free hair cuts, which means that although the hairdressers are fully trained and highly talented, I am an open opportunity to do "edgy." One memorable time, I emerged from the salon chair with a grade 2 all over, and a long "tail" starting midway up the back of my head. I went home and cried for hours with a cardigan wrapped around my head. (I had to meet my boyfriend's extended family the next day which was hell on earth). I promptly went into the salon the next week to get de-tailed.
Lynn Doiron: When I was twelve, I let my 90-year-old great grandmother give me a home perm. She was half blind. It did not end well, so I let her cut it. That also did not end well. I think you know why.
MmeAnonymous: I had just moved to Miami Beach from New York. This was the mid-80s. I walked into my mother’s salon, because what did I know, and walked right up to the chair of the coolest-looking stylist in the place – a man with green eye-shadow and tight yellow curls on his forehead. A simple haircut is what I asked for: Neaten up the ends please. Give me some kind of style.
What I walked out with was three thick orange streaks in the BACK of my brown-haired head, and graduated long layers in the back so unbelievably un-graduated that I was left with a very sharp V, in the middle of which lay one very long and pointy hank of hair that separated from all the others to reach – all by herself! Yay for her! - the small of my back. I was completely unaware of the hell going on around my back for about three weeks, until a very kind passerby remarked on how strange my hair looked in the back. Truly - true story - I had no idea.
Izzy Cole: At about 13 years old, the most awkward years, I was truly obsessed with Robert Smith from The Cure. Not a good hair look. On anyone. Ever.
hollygoeslightly22: Oy vey. When I was 21, I was going on vacation with my friends to a cabin in Yosemite. This guy I liked at the time was going on the trip and I wanted to look my best. I attempted to book a hair appointment with my regular stylist before the trip. She was booked solid and I had to resort to another option. I went to the local, slightly upscale salon and took the first appointment. At the time, I had a bob with bangs that needed a slight trim. I took a photo and showed it to the the stylist. Well, I don't even know if I should use the word 'stylist.' Butcher? Let's go with butcher. I knew this wasn't going to go well: the butcher had bleach-blond hair with long Rapunzel extensions, she was snapping her gum, and her Ed Hardy shirt did little to cover her frightening and immobile breast implants. I put my locks in the hands of a Playboy reject. I showed her the photo, carefully explaining how I would like my hair to look. She said, "Uh huh!" and snapped her gum. I was frightened, however, I tried to hold on to hope. I glanced down at my Vogue, and after reading an article, I looked up to check on her progress. A HACK JOB! She cut about two inches off my bob, bringing it to my earlobe, and my bangs were short, choppy, and asymetrical across my forehead.
I told her to stop. Her expression did not change. I said, "This isn't what we discussed. It's SO short." I end up leaving in tears and refusing to pay. I was very dramatic and yelling at the front desk: "I LOOK like a BOY" and "I hope she's HAPPY! She WRECKED my vacation, my hair, my LIFE." Oh, to be 21 again.
What did I learn?
1.) NEVER, EVER cheat on your stylist. I confessed to my regular stylist that I had cheated and begged for forgiveness. Luckily, she took me back. 10 years later, we're still going strong.
2.) The guy I was into that was going on the trip? Gay.
3.) No matter how bad you think you need a trim do not let Barbie touch your hair. It will not end well.
Thank you to everyone who shared awesome, often scary, hair stories. See, bad hair can happen to anyone, even loyal ITG readers!