Saturday, 26 February 2011

I Got *That* Haircut

I went for a long overdue trip to the hairdressers on Friday. It wasn't a salon I had been to before and in the run up to the appointment I felt a mixture of excitement and nerves. I have to admit, as all I wanted was a tidy up, I really thought there was little chance it could go wrong. I was obviously mistaken...

This is how I thought the consultation went...

Hairdresser: "So, what are we doing today?"
Me: "Just a little tidy up please. I haven't had it cut for about 6 month so it needs a bit of re-shaping but I'd like to keep the length."
Hairdresser: "So you'd like to keep the layers long then?"
Me: "Yes, I'm not keen on short layers as my hair tends to puff out with short layers".
Hairdresser: "What about a side-fringe?"
Me: Slightly panic-stricken look "No fringe thank you."
Hairdresser: "Ok, we'll just do a bit of shaping around the face then."

Unfortunately this is what the hairdresser heard...

Hairdresser: "So, you want the mushroom effect, layered 'Rachel' cut that you've been given for the past 15 years despite what you asked for?"
Me: "No thanks, it makes me look stupid."
Hairdresser: "Ok, I'll give you the 'Rachel' cut."

I sat in the chair. The trim before the blow dry looked ok. My hair was dried and the layering commenced! My heart sank as I realised what was happening. I was just about to say something when someone came over to tell the stylist that her next client had arrived early and before I knew it, I was being ushered out of the chair.

Although I specifically said no short layers, I have had a layer cut all the way around about level with bottom of my ears. It's like some kind of bob-mullet. I have been given this haircut so many times, I already know that I hate it. I know I'm not alone in receiving this particular style either so I rather assume it must be a taught style or it's particularly easy to do. However, for me as a person it's neither flattering not does it suit the way my hair falls naturally. I washed and dried it this morning and as I had anticipated, my hair mushrooms out around my ears, goes back in and then flicks out Andy Pandy style at my shoulders.


The mullet shot
14 years earlier, it still didn't do me any favours. At least the makeup has improved!

I'm not sure what the remedy is for this particular hair disaster. I could go back and complain (I still might) but for now I can't see an easy way to correct it. I think I'll have to suck it up and wait for the shortest layers to reach below my jaw and then have it cut into a bob again. Sadly it has done nothing to help my hairdresser nerves.

I will just leave you with what Jennifer Aniston recently said of the 'Rachel' to American Allure.

'I think it was the ugliest haircut I've ever seen,'. 'What I really want to know is, how did that thing have legs?'

Right, I'm off to look for some hair manure. Or maybe just a big hat!


  1. I feel your pain! I have hairdresser nerves although I was with one before that liked to think it was his hair to style not what I wanted. I left and have now found my fave person :)
    Unfortunatly I think you will just have to wait to grow although the lee stafford hair grow mask is supposed to be good and morocon oil (i use) makes my hair seem to grow faster!

  2. Ooh *hugs* it's not too bad, I think it's the reason I haven't had a cut in about 6 years haha HDs hardly listen

  3. Oh dear! I'm a hairdresser and I dont know what hairdresser in their right mind would give this cut to you? And just so you know its not a cut we are taught and me personally would try to talk someone out of this if they wanted it and would not give it to anyone not asking for it!
    Think the best thing to do is let it grow out and find someone you trust, a good tip is visit a salon for a wash and blowdry because you can tell a lot like about how a stylist will work through that.

  4. Oh and forgot to add, you should complain as their stylist is at fault! xx

  5. Oh no I feel for you.. That doesn't look like slayer, more like big chunk cut off right next to the ear! I'd complain for sure! I'd be fuming actually! Hugs x

  6. Could you complain to the manager of the salon maybe they will give you a better style. I'm sure they would rather have the chance to sort it out than get bad reputation
    Just remember hair grows

  7. Oh goodness! I've followed you and your hair adventures for ages (LPP on the pink place) and I love your blog. I'm making a career change to a hairdresser atm and I just can't believe how many AWFUL ones are out there :(

    Definitely complain. At least you'll get your money back/get a more experienced stylist to fix it or you'll know where never to go to get it done again. Wish I lived nearer so I could fix it!!

  8. I totally had this happen to me about a year ago. It looked like I had two separate hair cuts. Use the curling iron and make wavy curls all over I promise it helps to blend the layers together until they grow out. You still look great!

  9. I swear I had the exact same experience. Everything I said was misheard. I ended up with the weirdest layers. I wanted to hide for at least 6 weeks! It's finally better but I had to let my hair get cut shorter than I wanted to make that happen. Lots of luck with growing it out.

  10. This has happened the last 2 times I have been to 2 different hairdressers (the 2nd was supposed to fix what the first did!) Now it is at a length that I like it and my roots are desparate but I really daren't go for fear a trim will turn into something else I don't like! LOL........Yours doesn't really look that bad but if it's not what you wanted then I feel for you.

  11. Bah, I had a similar experience at Xmas - put me off going back to the hairdressers now :(

  12. I cannot tell you how many times I have been given this style - my sympathies. In fact I'm sporting a variant of it right now!

  13. It does kind of look like two different hair cuts. The front layer is far too short and doesn't blend into the rest.

    It will grow though. Poor poor you. I think Brandi's suggestion is a good one.

  14. this is exactly what happened to me at my last cut. I went in and asked to having the layering cut out so I would end up with a blunt cut and I came out with a Rachel cut with long layers which will take at least 18 months to grow out.

  15. This is exactly what happened to me when I went to get my hair cut a few weeks ago ... In fact we have almost identical hair cuts. She cut my fringe really stupidly short as well (apparently when I said I want to keep my long side fringe but take the weight out what she heard was I want a super short choppy verging on spikey fringe that makes my face look stupid... equally when I said I like to keep the front long and soft she heard short and choppy). *hugs* for you xx

  16. Yup, I've been given the exact same one and hated it as much as you do! I have to say the stylist in your case seems to have been especially incompetent and I would definitely complain.
    I agree that it looks a it like two different haircuts in one and have no real advice to offer unless perhaps to seek the advice of a reputable and highly recommended stylist who can help you through the growth period.
    Lots of love and hugs!
    Nina x

  17. Apologies for typo: "it looks a bit like..."

  18. Feeling your pain hun. I know nothing about hairdressing but have to 2nd what everyone else has said about the chunked off ear length layers. WTF? Would it have been out of the question to blend that in. If it was me I'd be right back to the salon asking for a senior stylist/salon owner to sort out the damage IF they could do it without lashing it up more, and insisting that they explain in detail what they think will improve the situation so you can make an informed decision about whether to let them. That said last hair cut by my HG hairdresser was a total mess and nothing like what I asked for so maybe they do just hear what they want to hear irrespective of what you say, but if we don't complain they will just keep on messing up peoples hair. You owe it to the women of Oxfordshire to complain about that stylist. You look lovely with a bob so at least thats an option if you decide you can handle losing the length. Hugs x

  19. :-( You should definitely complain, both for the hair cut (was she cutting hair or chopping wood?) and for the bad service - throwing someone out cos the next appointment arrived early? Really? Oi. The complete disdain towards customers is really getting on my nerves.

    Such a pity we live rather far apart, cos I go to such a good salon. Maybe we should compile a national database of the good and the useless:)

  20. Ugh i HATE it when you get a cut you feel unconfortable in and whenerv you look in the mirror you pull it this way and that way to try and improve it! It's worse when everyone goes "it's not THAT baaaad", erm well i hate it and that's what matters when i have to wear it, no?

    My mam always says a bad haircut only lasts 3 weeks, then it loses shape - not sure if that's true but hope you feel better about yours soon :)


  21. I know that this quote from JA was publicised, but I really don't believe she said that about the Rachel cut. Newspapers just print whatever they fancy saying these days ;-)

    I've had some shocking haircuts over the years, so I feel your pain when you have not got what you asked for. And it's not like you had asked them for anything difficult, whereas I ask mine to make me look like Angelina Jolie ....

    I don't think it looks too bad on you at all, and I'm CONFIDENT you'll find a way to style it that makes you happy :-D


    Ali x

  22. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It feels better to have got the Rachel rant out of my system!

    @Charli: I think it’s a hard thing to find a hairdresser that you really trust. No doubt I’ll find one just as it’s time to move area again! Thanks for the tip about the Lee Stafford mask.

    @Jadegrrrl: Thank you, I think I feel so miserable as it’s a cut I’ve so many times before so I already know the struggle to style it and grow it out. It’ll no doubt put me off for another 6 months!

    @Charli!: Thank you for the advice, it’s really appreciated. I had wondered if it was a particular style of cutting that resulted in this cut as it’s happened so many times before. I’m nervous about complaining, I don’t think I want the same stylist to correct it but I guess at the same time the feedback is important for them?

    @Chic Beauty: It’s not layers or well blended. There’s a short top layer and then a longer layer underneath, The bit round my ear looks like a big step. It’s going to take some growing out and major styling effort to make it look ok.

    @Stacie: It’s quite true. It will grow back but I’m just so annoyed as my hair was fine when I went in, it just needed a trim. Now I’m stuck growing out a style I didn’t ask for. I may well complain but I’m not confident it can be fixed in a satisfactory way right now. It will need cutting much shorter as I hate having such a big variation in length. It’ll have to wait for the shortest layers to grow more before I’m willing to chop it off though.

  23. @mrsC: Hey you!!! Thank you so much for coming to say hello. How are you all? I bet you’re going to be an excellent hairdresser, I really wish you could come and fix me up. The hair disasters have certainly being going on for years, When I read your comment it immediately reminded me of the disaster hair trial I had before my wedding which I posted about years ago! There have certainly been more misses than hits!

    @brandi: Thank you so much, that sounds like a really good way to disguise the split level. I was going to try with the straighteners but waves sound like a much better plan. Thank you!

    @Marcia: I’m really sorry to hear you had the same problem. Sadly I think it’s all too common. I was thinking that waiting 6-8 weeks for the shortest layers to come down and then have it cut into a bob was a good plan. I’m going to try putting waves in too to disguise the strange layers. Lots of quick growing vibes to you :)

    @Nikki: Oh Nikki, how awful that it happened to you twice over! I can really understand your reluctance to go back. Can you just book in for a colour and not have it cut? I think I would be tempted to do that if I were you!

    @nicsnotebook: I’m so sorry to hear you had a similar experience. It’s so upsetting when someone mucks up your hair. This has definitely made me nervous of the hairdresser all over again.

    @Charlie: Having chatted about it on Twitter it seems a lot of people have regularly been given this “style”. I really wish I knew why it was so prevalent. I want to know how to describe it in hairdresser speak so I make sure it doesn’t happen again! Is it your usually lady that’s given you the latest cut?

    @Grace: It will definitely grow and I think once the shortest level gets a bit longer I can cut it back in to a bob again and I would be ok with that. I really like Brandi’s suggestion too, I’ll have to ask for recommendations for curling tongs. I really don’t know how long layers was interpreted as double decker hair. I had honestly thought I was

  24. playing it safe!

    @GreatSheElephant: Oh no, that is doubly awful if you specifically asked for the layers to be taken out to make it all one length! In my case, I feel partly responsible for even letting the words layers pass. I really had just wanted it tidying up. Did you go back and complain? I think it’s a hard thing to do when you know that going back in with the scissors won’t help things.

    @Emily: Oh blimey Emily, that really does sound like you were talking and she just wasn’t listening. It’s astonishing how often these things seem to happen. I hope your hair recovers quickly from the chop x

    @Nina: I need to find out how a hairdresser would describe this cut so that I can explain at the outset of any consultation that it is absolutely NOT what I want! This style does zero to help me in the not looking mumsy stakes! The hairdresser was a junior stylist but I believe she was still qualified. She was very nervous though and wouldn’t engage in conversation, even when I tried to discuss the colour with her. I regret my decision to go with her just because she was the only person available at the time that was convenient. I hesitated at the time but that no harm could come from a trim……WRONG!

    @Debbie: Thanks Debbie, I know you understand about haircuts. I do agree that it’s important to give the salon feedback, I’m not entirely sure that they can do anything until the shortest layers are below my ears. It’s the bulk there in particular that I hate as is just so unflattering with my (fat) face shape. I think once it has grown down a bit I can get it cut in to a bob. I’m not sure I will be confident with any of the hairdressers at that salon. I think I’d rather get a semi permanent colour it lieu of another cut, I think the colouring is definitely their forte. Thanks for the hug, I know it’s silly but my heart sinks a little every time I spot my hair.

    @PeachBellini: I know, with that big chunk by my ears, I think she would do well a lumberjack! I did feel disappointed that I was rushed off as soon as the other appointment had arrived. It’s not even like she was running late, most unwelcoming. I love the idea of a recommended hairdresser database! Genius!

    @Jo: Let’s hope your Mum’s right and in 3 weeks I’ll have got used to it. I do wish I had waited until AFTER my birthday for the bad cut! I know it maybe isn’t that bad but I’ve been saddled with this cut so many times, I feel very sad that it’s happened again.

    @Ali: LOL you’re probably right. It did somewhat out of character for the usually guarded celebrity to make such a cutting statement. True or not it definitely seemed fitting ;). Hopefully I can find a way to be happy with it. Wavy sounds like a good plan. Probably more constructive than seething with the hairdresser from the comfort of my living room! I do really wish it hadn’t happened just before a trip to London though. Let’s hope I can find a good disguise for it before Wednesday x

    Jane x

  25. All this reminds me of a chin length bob I had cut in once. I have a seriously fat face as am at least 4 stone overweight. This was all one length, chin length and curly. I refused to leave the house and re-christened myself Bunty Snotburger as it some how seemed to suit my new look so well! My friends thought it was hilarious, bless them! So Bunty Snotburger sends you a big hug too, I know only too well the stomach drop mirror thing.x

  26. oh no :( how difficult is it to actually listen to what the person actually wants from their haircut? jeez.

    I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow at a new place and am now freaking out ha!

    hopefully it grows out quickly. x

  27. Aw hun it looks fine and I'm sure it'll grow out soon. I found a hairdresser that does exactly what I ask her to and I'll be going to to her until the day she retires lol. I'm not brave enough to try anyone else! Lol I remember going into a hairdresser as a teen and asking for the 'Rachel' x

  28. You should definately complain, then change hairdressers. I've only ever had one bad experience at the hairdressers where I asked for a trim for my long (very long) hair (1 inch at most) and she heard "give me the pob look" and chopped it shorter than short. :(

  29. Ee...I'm not too keen on the bits of hair which frame your face. The stylist sounded so rude - she should have at least finished up completely rather than ushering you away.

    Now you've got me really nervous for my hair appointment! It's at a salon I've never been to before as well...perhaps I should bring some photos along, as I've done for my last four restyles. I did want something surprising and inspirational from the stylist, but not at the expense of an ugly hair cut!

    Tough luck in any case - perhaps take lots of vitamins/hair growth pills and hope the process is speeded up?

    Cassie x

  30. I have been given that style quite a few times, I think because my hair has a strange kink to it and just won't go where you want it to a lot of hairdressers just can't work it. The last time I had that done I used those pretty slide things you can get from accessorize to pin the front sections back, then kind of pushed forward the rest of the hair and used a setting cream, so that it looked like no hair cut had ever happened. I think that curling tong idea is a really good one though.
    You'll be able to work it so thats is wearable, I have had a lot worse than that, if thats of any comfort xx

  31. You have totally been in the hair wars lately! I am so sorry that you had a very bad experience. I wear my hair quite short and when I have a bad hair cut there is NOTHING I can do to disguise it, short of a wig. So take some (very small, I know) comfort in the fact that it could be most definitely worse!

    As others have said, I would absolutely go back and complain and at the bare minimum get a refund or a free colour service. If they refund then buy yourself some gorgeous Rouge Bunny Rouge goodies to distract yourself! x

  32. Oh. My. God. This is ALL MY FAULT! I read your post this morning on the blackberry through pained, squinting eyes, desperately hoping for a 'but I actually love it!' final line. I'm so sorry - I've never had any problems there and nor have my friends! Maybe there are new staff or something. I've had similar experiences at other salons many times - the stylists don't listen they just say 'yeah yeah yeah' and rush you off to the sink. I once asked for long layers and walked out looking like Justin Lee Collins... I'd complain - it's not what you asked for. Again - I am so sorry! xx

  33. Poor you, I know how crappy a not-so-good haircut can make you feel. Fortunatelly, it will grow out quickly or you could just chop it all of and do an Emma Watson or whatever. I hope you'll find an amazing hairdresse who'll listen to what you want! x Klara

  34. Why has this happened to so many of us?????? I even took pictures of the type of cut I wanted (angled inverted chin length bob)along with me, but it was interpreted as choppy uneven layers. To help disguise my haircut abomination I either straighten it within an inch of it's life, or use velcro rollers to give it some body so that the shortest layer doesn't hug my occipital bone and then stick out. I'm patiently waiting to get it cut into a bob when the shortest layer is long enough...

  35. I have had this happen to me more than often makes me wonder what planet they are on when you are talking to them and expressing what you want? Luckily, hair grows fast and perhaps especially with your lovely shaped face you can find some unique ways to wear it up and pulled back??? Sending loads of hair vibes though xx jeanie

  36. Gosh, this happened to me once a few years ago, but my hairdresser actually cut a fringe into my hair as well. A fringe! So I had mullet-y layers and a fringe. White Snake anyone?

    The curling iron is the best way to disguise it :)

  37. this is why I can never find a trip to the hairdressers a relaxing experience! nothing worse than that sinking feeling as you are paying and want to cry! Someone cut awful layers into my hair last year and they are still a pain in my side!
    hope you feel happier with your hair soon!

  38. Hello, I just found your blog while searching for a MAC swatch... and THANK YOU FOR THE LAUGH! You made me realize that my darn hairdresser has been giving me the Rachel cut too!!
    ::Me: "No thanks, it makes me look stupid."
    Hairdresser: "Ok, I'll give you the 'Rachel' cut."::
    F-U-N-N-Y!! What is it with this haircut!
    PS. Great blog too!

  39. Where on earth are you going to keep ending up with this treatment?!

    I once spent four hours getting painstaking highlights in a freezing cold salon and paid over £90 for the privilege. When I left I looked EXACTLY the same. Turned out the 'strand test' they did (by that I mean CHOPPED a chunk of my hair off a few days before to test the colours) had been mixed up with another and they used the wrong dye. It was so awful I just cried. I didn't want to go back and complain - ended up getting my mum to phone for me like a massive baby!

    I had to go back in the end to get it fixed but I wish I'd just demanded a refund cos they treated me like a complete idiot. People kept asking me why I even paid in the first place but I just wanted to get the hell out of there! Horrible experience so I feel your pain even if it was a little different experience. I will never ever go there again and wouldn't let anyone I know go either!

    Luckily my sister is a hairdresser so I just go to her now. If you can face it, definitely complain. If you phone up and do it nicely I'm sure they'll sort you out. Good luck! xx

  40. why do hairdressers keep doing the ugly Rachel haircut? do they know nothing else? it seems that it is more prevelant now than in the 90' the 90's they at least did other this shear laziness?

  41. I assume that it's grown out well and truly by now, and that that salon is now a coffee shop or something useful.

    I had a similar situation where I had just had a hideous life experience and was on antidepressants, and was talked into treating myself to haircut as a morale booster. Big mistake. I ended up in tears and scaring another customer out the door (seriously). Crying may not be the preferred method but it worked on that hairdresser.

  42. I assume that it's grown out well and truly by now, and that that salon is now a coffee shop or something useful.

    I had a similar situation where I had just had a hideous life experience and was on antidepressants, and was talked into treating myself to haircut as a morale booster. Big mistake. I ended up in tears and scaring another customer out the door (seriously). Crying may not be the preferred method but it worked on that hairdresser.

  43. I have the same haircut. I said the same thing as you. I have thin fine hair and do not like a lot of layers, I feel it thins it out even more. Not only is it shorter overall than the PICTURE I showed her of shoulder length hair and NO layers. But the shortest layer is maybe the top of my ears.. Here's to another 6 months of growing it out. Which I just got done doing from the last cut.

  44. Same thing just happened to me, I showed a picture of my long layered hair cut from last year, way below chin at the front and now it's cheek length in front, it sucks! I usually straighten it, but that looks awful now, so I'm stuck with attempting to scrunch it to disguise the awful cut for at least the next three months. I cried a lot, got my money back, but neither made me feel much better!


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