You wait four months before getting a new haircut, so excited are you for this change that you're giddy about it all day! You visit your hairstylist, and lo and behold: you leave looking like Dudley Moore.
What happened!? How can this be fixed!?
First, let's talk about the consultation.
If you can, bring pictures. If you can't scour the salon for pictures of what you are hoping for. This is particularly important if you are seeing a stylist for the first time. If the stylists believe your hopes are not in sync with your hair type or features, they should let you know. Be clear about your desires - are you a wash & go? do you require that your hair fit into a ponytail? Let the stylist know your experiences with your hair - you know it best, regardless of the amount of experience the stylist has. If you are not sure what kind of change you are looking for - wait for the haircut until you do.
Second, if you do not feel comfortable with the stylist, please feel entitled to leave and visit others. This is your hair, it's important to you, you must feel comfortable with the result!
Third, if you are seeing a stylist for the first time, go for a trim not a drastic change. This way you'll be able to gauge their skills (both technical and interpersonal) safely.
During the cut:
The scissors are raised and a chunk of hair falls to the floor.....if it frightens you and you're not sure you're ready for the change, do not be afraid to stop now. It is much easier to disguise one chopped piece than a whole head of chopped pieces...step back and change the plan of action.
If the cut ends up uneven, too short, or otherwise far off from what you had agreed on, speak to the manager or owner and politely, but immediately, let them know how unhappy you are. Ask that they suggest to you what might be done to make the situation better. Solutions could include a free cut with a more senior stylist, a refund, or another form of credit. A reputable salon will do whatever they can to ensure a happier client.
If you are still unhappy seek consultations from other reputable salons - choose ones that you have seen the work on people with similar hair textures to yours, and ensure that you bring your pictures to your visit. If they can help to fix the problem ask for a detailed description of steps before committing to the change. Sometimes a bad short hair cut might have to go a little shorter to make it livable, but it will grow out more gracefully or your stylist can show you ways to style what you have to give you the best look possible. Use hair accessories, especially lovely make up or your favourite outfits to help raise your confidence as you live through these stages.
If you choose a more involved fix such as hair extensions, you may open yourself up to other future, more serious problems if they are not applied and removed with expert care. Ensure you visit a well known artist whose work you have seen in person.
Finally: hair is as much about attitude as it is about technical greatness. If you are suffering the aftermath of a bad hair experience, style it into the most funky or sleek way possible and put a big confident smile on. Consider it a test of your mettle! You will rise above the bad hair - and trust me, when you saunter down the street head held high, your confident, carefree attitude is all anyone will notice.
Good luck all! May great hair days be yours!