natural hair frustration


Every once in a while, you might get the urge to switch up your look. Per­haps you’re enter­ing a new sea­son in life or just closed the chap­ter on an old one. In either case, you may desire your out­ward appear­ance to reflect the changes in your life. For many women a hair­cut is a dra­mat­ic and imme­di­ate way to give them­selves a makeover. How­ev­er, the wrong kind of hair­cut can be dis­ap­point­ing and if real­ly bad, can also take a toll on one’s self-image.

You’re star­ing in the mir­ror, tal­ly­ing up all the months that it will take for you to recov­er the length you lost. Maybe you’re pon­der­ing how to get your twist out to frame your face the way you want it to. So, what do you do? Here are a few pieces of advice that have helped me sur­vive the impa­tience that fol­lows a regret­table hair­cut.


If you had a hand in your present sit­u­a­tion own up to it. Yes, there are poor styl­ists that should be report­ed to the man­ag­er or busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions, but some­times we qui­et­ly sit in a stylist’s chair and remain silent even when we know some­thing isn’t quite right. Per­haps you cut your hair your­self, as a means to deal with a frus­trat­ing sit­u­a­tion (break up hair­cuts any­one?) and now real­ize that you behaved rash­ly. Acknowl­edg­ing why the mis­take occurred won’t rem­e­dy your hair dis­as­ter. How­ev­er, it will help pre­vent it from occur­ring again.

Strat­e­gy for grow­ing it out

The real­i­ty is this: The hair is gone and it will take some time for it to grow back. There are no short­cuts. The ques­tion is: How can you wear your hair in such a way that will allow your hair to grow back strong and healthy, while help­ing you to feel con­fi­dent about your appear­ance? You may decide to weave it up or try out a few wigs.

Per­haps you don’t feel com­fort­able with weaves or wigs but are will­ing to con­sid­er braid or twist exten­sions. Per­son­al­ly, there was a time I NEVER thought I would wear a wig. It wasn’t until I had major heat dam­age (due to my own neg­li­gence) that required a major cut, that I decid­ed wear­ing wigs could be a fun, tem­po­rary way to express myself.  After about 6 months I felt com­fort­able styling my own hair. You should do what YOU deem best. Don’t let “what oth­ers think” con­fine you to only a few styling options as you grow out your hair.

Plan a hair reveal

Get your­self excit­ed about the progress that you’ll make over the next few months. Instead of dwelling on the regret of your hair mis­take set a goal, even a spe­cif­ic date, in which you will reveal your hair. Now, I’m in no way sug­gest­ing that you have a for­mal hair com­ing out par­ty like they do on those weight loss shows. For me, it was pret­ty infor­mal. After sev­er­al months of keep­ing my hair under half wigs and wear­ing pro­tec­tive pinned up hair styles, I light­ly blew my hair out and wore a flat twist out. Believe me when I tell you that due to shrink­age my hair did not touch my shoul­ders but chile you couldn’t tell me any­thing! My hair was fuller and at that point, longer than it had ever been since I had ini­tial­ly gone nat­ur­al.

As I con­tin­ued my hair jour­ney, I lat­er set a goal for years down the road to reach waist length by the time I earned my doc­tor­ate. Last year on that humid May morn­ing when I col­lect­ed my degree I wore my waist length hair (coiled up due to humid­i­ty) with a big grin on my face. That hair set back years ago was a dim and dis­tant mem­o­ry at that point. You may choose to do some­thing sim­i­lar. Focus on a time in your life that you are look­ing for­ward to like a birth­day, the start of a new job/school, etc. and set a real­is­tic goal. Work­ing towards that goal will make you less like­ly to dwell on regret and look toward the future.

How have you coped with a hair­cut that you lat­er regret­ted?


Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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11 Comments on "3 Ways to Cope with Haircut Regret"

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Ermi Pillai

juat had my great afro trimmed and it is so short and awful. I am embar­rassed to have my hair out. This styl­ist did not have a clue. Some­one should close her shop.

I need­ed this. But to the first point, my issue is that I DID speak up and say some­thing. I specif­i­cal­ly not­ed that I only want­ed the nec­es­sary ends trimmed — noth­ing else. Noth­ing more. So when I saw her trim­ming the ends, it was fine. but then I noticed that she’d go BACK and fur­ther cut ends that were already okay.  It was then that I spoke up. She said some­thing about it need­ing to be even, have a shape, etc. And she’s the pro­fes­sion­al so a part of me wants to adhere to her wis­dom. But I tru­ly… Read more »
Oh well I still cry­ing over my hair­cut (one month since that night­mare). On feb­ru­ary of this year I’ve chopped my long hair into an ‘Alexa Chung Bob’ I loved my bob, real­ly real­ly love it but I have thick hair and is a lot, so on april after a for­mal class, Ive decid­ed to get some chop on the tips to fram­ing my face. My styl­ist didn’t come, so I’ve went to anoth­er styl­ist across the street. Ive said “I want a hair­cut that does­nt look like a hel­met, please dont do it like a hel­met” she said “dont… Read more »

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After 17 years, I end­ed my rela­tion­ship with my styl­ist. She had giv­en me bad cuts before, but this time was dif­fer­ent. I had giv­en her the pic­ture and even came in the next day so that she could fix the dis­as­ter. She said, “I don’t under­stand what you want and I didn’t under­stand yes­ter­day.” Why would she have cut my hair if she didn’t under­stand??? This woman was a friend. I had taught her son, attend­ed numer­ous wed­dings and baby show­ers for her fam­i­ly and vis­it­ed her in the hos­pi­tal. Although it hurt to end the rela­tion­ship, I feel… Read more »
the gypsy life
Ha! I can total­ly relate to this. I made the mis­take of try­ing to trim my ends, lawd help me, and it was so bad…like var­i­ous (notice­able) lengths all over my head. I went to my hair styl­ist, and I asked her to cut it even. And she chopped off about 2–3 inch­es lol. She said it was nec­es­sary cause of the var­i­ous lengths, which is fine, had ALL my hair been even! It’s like longer at the mid­dle crown of my head, and even every­where else. Like, what was this broad think­ing?! I said EVEN all over. Smh. I… Read more »
Brittany. L

When I cut my hair I din’t regret I was just in denial that it was way short­er lol, I loo at pic­tures of when I cut my hair and i’m like Damm­m­mannnn

Check out for Fash­ion & Nat­ur­al Hair A per­fect Com­bo

Ja got mine butchered this Sat­ur­day, some­one plait­ing my hair raked it with a fine tooth comb result­ing in loads of hair on the floor. And fol­lowed by plait­ing me some­thing i did not want, mak­ing too tight it was implos­si­ble­to even smile (oh how i miss Africa, hair things were much eas­i­er there). To make mat­ters worse, i still don’t know the amount of dam­age because ja bad as the plait­ing was, i still have it on, want­ed to hold on for 2 days and see how it is, so hop­ing to stick it 1 week and see.  Sad part is… Read more »
Two years ago I want­ed to get my split ends cut, and my mom’s friend (who is a hair styl­ist) said she would. She end­ed up cut­ting it dra­mat­i­cal­ly and into lay­ers. Now my hair still ranges from MBL to APL but I’m mak­ing the most of it I guess. I was real­ly upset at the time and it took a while for 17 year old me to real­ize it wasn’t the end of the world. I’m going to have to wait a year or two more until the short­er lay­ers are long enough for me to want to cut… Read more »
Great arti­cle! I per­son­al­ly expe­ri­enced a night­mare two years ago at a nat­ur­al hair salon (how iron­ic). I asked the styl­ist to trim just my ends, and she end­ed up cut­ting about 4–5 inch­es. I pan­icked when I saw so much of my hair on the floor, and asked her if she knew what she was doing and she insist­ed that she did, so I trust­ed her. Big mis­take. In less than twen­ty min­utes, I went from medi­um length hair to hav­ing a TWA.  I was so dev­as­tat­ed, but I took the expe­ri­ence as a les­son for me to take bet­ter… Read more »