7 Insider Tips From a Master Hairstylist and Colorist Duo on How to Fix a Bad Haircut

Stop hiding because of your "bad" cut.

We all have experienced that sinking feeling of walking out of the hair salon after not getting the haircut we wanted. Luckily, we’re going to share how to fix a bad haircut. We know you were expecting the beautiful hairstyle you’ve been pining over, only to end up with a short bird’s nest and less money in your wallet. Well, there’s always a silver lining, and your new, peculiar hairdo could be a blessing in disguise. We sat down with two powerhouses in the hairstyling business, and they told us how to salvage a bad cut.

How to Fix a Bad Haircut

We spoke with a New York City veteran hairstylist. Oscar has worked with every notorious NYC personality since the 80s, alongside master colorist Tricia. In the hair care industry, Oscar and Tricia are the fantastic Art Beauty New York Salon duo specializing in hair styling, cutting, coloring, and rebalancing. We thank them for giving us tips and tricks on what to do and how to handle a haircut we dislike.

1. Keep calm and wait.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

A bad haircut aftershock is not only felt by you. Besides you being in shock, your hair is also in shock. Tricia.

Oscar and Tricia first recommended waiting two days for the hair to settle and reform its natural shape and texture. There is a chance that once your hair has calmed down, yes, calmed down, because your hair is stressed too, you may find that the haircut actually does suit you. This tactic of remaining calm and waiting is great for avoiding any spur-of-the-moment corrections that could potentially create an even more drastic effect, especially if it is a bad short haircut.

2. Style and find the right hair parting.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

How to fix a bad haircut can be as simple as trying a different styling. For example, according to Tricia, you should try styling it differently. If you have curly hair, try to style it straight, and if it’s straight, try to add a little bit of weight with curls. See if that remedies the haircut or at least gets you through the day. Also, changing the direction of your hair part can make a big difference for many people. If it’s in the center, try a side or diagonal part.

In other words, parting and adding a little heat to your hair or hair rollers may be a necessary extra step to take in order to achieve the same look as your reference photo. However, there are short cuts that make styling quicker and more efficient.

3. Play with hair accessories.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

Tricia and Oscar advise their clients to view this new haircut as an opportunity to grow more confident and skilled with hair accessories and switch up their looks. 

Why not play with bandanas, headscarves, or coverings? There are also beautiful vintage headbands or claw clips with curls; we can’t forget clip-on hair extensions. The point here is that invention is the mother of necessity, and you might experiment with accessories you thought were off-limits before.

4. Try must-have products.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

The question of how to salvage a bad haircut often comes down to using the right products. This is your chance to try various styling products such as paste, wax, serums, contour, or smoothing creams. You know, all those products you always saw at the drugstore but never knew what they were for. According to Tricia, these styling products make their hair look full or flattened if that’s what you’re going for.

These styling products also help control frizz and make the hair softer. We recommend Bed Head by TIGI After Party Smoothing Cream or Dove Hair Therapy Brilliant Gloss Repair + Ceramide Serum for shine, and softness, and to tame flyaways. Ceramide for hair is great for sealing moisture and hydration.

5. How to fix a bad haircut with rebalancing.

how to fix a bad haircut
Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

Rebalancing is a hair-cutting technique in which hair is cut from the heavy areas of the hair only. -Tricia.

Another way to salvage a bad cut is through a technique called rebalancing; Oscar and Tricia specialized in this hair-cutting technique. This technique cuts the heavy parts of the hair to balance and give it symmetry. Usually, with bad haircuts, one part of the head ends up with more hair than the other.

Tricia further explains that rebalancing doesn’t mean cutting your hair shorter because that usually is never a good option. Instead, she recommends rebalancing the hair by trimming heavy areas and removing the weight. In addition, if some hair strands are too long, she can shorten them. It’s basically rebalancing or reshaping the hair so it can grow into a better shape; luckily, hair always grows.

6. Don’t be afraid to communicate to avoid and fix a bad haircut.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

In order to fix your bad haircut, the key is communication because the client and the stylists both need to come together. In other words, according to Tricia, “We both create something together, not just the hairdresser creating something for you.” She adds that clients should be honest, communicate while getting a haircut, and express whether something works for them.

It is crucial to communicate before and after you get a haircut because there are many factors that go into why you may view the haircut as bad, and these are essential details to take notice of when wanting a correction or rebalance. Communicating with your hairstylist to create something that compliments you is a foolproof way of leaving the salon loving your haircut.

Communication is key because, with inspiration photos, what looks good on the model’s face shape might not suit yours or vice-versa. Tricia explains that it can be a gorgeous haircut, but it doesn’t translate into looking good on your face type or hair texture.

“I always appreciate it when the person is real, honest,” Tricia says. She particularly loves when a client is willing to create a look with her and work together.

7. Keep calm and trust the process.

Photo Credit: @artbeautynyc on Instagram.

According to Tricia, communicating with your hairstylist is crucial as haircuts are a process. When stuck with a bad haircut, you need to communicate with your hairstylist about what the process will be like to reach your hair goals.

So often, you anticipate where the person wants to go. There are steps Tricia and the client will take together to achieve the ideal haircut. Lastly, Tricia says that the client might not have a perfect look right now, but they will as the rebalanced hair grows!

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