Tips To Help You Spot A Bad Short Haircut

Whether you decided to chop off luscious locks that reached right down to your waist (in the hopes of doing something daring and different) or you went in for a little trim of your already short hair, coming back from a haircut that is a far cry from what you wanted can feel frustrating. 

Even though your initial reaction might be to go into panic mode (via You Probably Need a Haircut), you will be doing yourself a favor by reigning in those emotions and thinking rationally for a minute. A few hours or even a day or two later might make you see things a little differently. And even if you don't, there are ways to fix a bad short haircut so you can still go out in public without having to feel self-conscious. The good thing about hair is that it always grows back. All you have to do is find creative ways to style your hair until then. 

A bad haircut is not all that rare and there are certain all-important things you can do to be preventing them in the first place. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. 

Have a clear idea about what you want

If you can do the research, visualize, and maybe even take some photo samples of what you want your short hair to transform into, this can help everything go a lot smoother at the salon (via Byrdie). Knowing your face shape and what would suit it and understanding that there might be haircuts you should never consider getting (no matter how amazing they look on a celebrity you admire) goes a long way. 

Get to know your stylist's work before you visit them

Looking into your stylist's previous work and asking for recommendations from others who've visited the salon (especially if it's a new place) (via L'Oréal Paris) can be the difference between ending up with a haircut that's perfect for 2023 and coming back home and wanting to crawl under the covers forever. The salon's social media pages are a good place to start, per Love Hairstyles. See if their style and approach speaks to you. Not everyone is going to be a good fit. 

Ask questions during the haircut

You might be used to having your hair washed, being seated, and zoning off while the hairstylist works their magic (or not), but while this might work with someone you know and trust, it might not always be the case. Talk to your beautician about what they're doing and ask questions; review the progress at each step, recommends Love Hairstyles. The difference between a good and a bad haircut might just be your early visuals of how it looks at the back. 

What does a bad short haircut look like?

Contrary to what you might think, spotting a bad short haircut can be done if you know what to look for. Even if you've followed all the preventive tips above, you may not be immune to a bad experience. You're at the salon and you've trusted your new stylist to do their job but the end result has left you feeling somewhat confused instead of elated. Looking at your face in the mirror, you don't know whether you're imagining things or if your gut instinct that something is off is, in fact, true. 

A second opinion from a friend or some time between the haircut and when you next evaluate things might help see things differently, reports You Probably Need a Haircut. But if you find yourself doubt-ridden even after a couple of days have passed by, you may just be the victim of a bad short haircut. Here are some ways to spot the signs. 

Your haircut looks lopsided

Weight distribution is something you have to look out for if you're trying to spot a bad haircut, per Beauty Undercover. If the hair doesn't look evenly distributed on all sides or if you notice strands that look out of place, you might be dealing with weight distribution issues. Weight, when it comes to layering hair, is influenced by elevation and improper parting of chunks of hair, according to Beauty Launchpad.

If you come home with this problem, what you could do is go back (to a different stylist this time) and try to get another haircut to even things out, reports Bustle.

Improper blending can cause a bad haircut

Blending is what makes the entire haircut look coherent despite layers (via Byrdie). Patrick The Groomsmith notes that blending is about "fading or tapering shorter hair to longer hair" in a seamless fashion that is also not obvious to anyone looking.

Hair wraps and hats could come to your rescue here (via Craft Foxes). Alternately, you can try styling your hair using some hair equipment that you have hidden away somewhere for a fresh and different look, reports Bustle.

You've been the victim of bad hair shape

If your hair looks like it's not holding any particular shape, you've just been given a bad short haircut, according to Beauty Undercover. The hairstylist was likely preoccupied with chopping off the tresses and didn't think about much else.

Hair extensions (via L'Oréal Paris) could be a good temporary fix for this particular problem. They're perfect for giving you the shape you desire until your hair grows back long enough for you to style it again.

Your haircut doesn't suit the shape of your face

As much as there is some onus on you to choose a haircut that'll complement your face shape, hairstylists do something called contouring to make the haircut work for particular face shapes, reports Beauty Undercover. Poorly executed contouring is a recipe for a bad short haircut. 

A botched job might make you want to cry out in despair but you can remedy the situation for the time being by pulling out some clips, clasps, or even a headband (via You Probably Need a Haircut).

A haircut is a lot more than a haircut

Hairstylist to the stars Brian O'Connor, speaking to Insider, shares that the conversation between a client at a salon and their stylist has to stretch beyond the usual pleasantries. "I have a whole spiel I go through with my clients, even if I've done their hair for 10 years," O'Connor said. "I still ask, 'OK, what brought this on?'" Really understanding a client's needs and reasons behind wanting a particular look can go a long way in avoiding bad haircuts. 

When it's time to cut your hair next, make sure you follow these tips so you can walk out of the salon sporting the exact (or even better) look you had in mind.