3 Ways to Cope with Haircut Regret

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 thoughts on “3 Ways to Cope with Haircut Regret

  1. 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 care of my hair (including learning how to trim my own hair after what happened lol), and learning to understand that the health of my hair was much more important than gaining length–because length would eventually happen.

    And now my hair is flourishing much more than it did prior to the haircut. It’s all about perspective, too. You can either stick to thinking of a haircut as a total setback, or a way to set new, healthy hair goals!

  2. 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 it evenly.

  3. 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 my hair had grown so well and was healthy, i even said it before i went for plaiting that its a pity ihave to put it in braids, it looks wow. I just wanted easy style because im starting shift-job and not keen to be working up at 2am to do my hair before rushing off at 3am.

  4. 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 don’t want to ever trim my own ends, but I need to find someone that KNOWS how to cut hair. Smh

  5. 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 better for having done it.

  6. Pingback: How to Cope with Haircut Regret | Latest Hair Magazine

  7. Pingback: Black Girl Make Up Hair Cut | Thrive Wire Studios - Games - World News

  8. 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 worry it will not look like that” So she took my armpit lenght hair and she turned to a asian mullet with a big fat “helmet” in the top of my hair, she took the blowdrier and she make it look like i was 40 years old. My ends are flippin outside, my helmet makes me look like a big mushroom. Every mornign is a full war with my ends because they like turn outside like that Jennifer Aniston Mullet- So even after a month it stills like this. I feel like a part of my beauty and girly look was destroyed by that stylist, I’ve cried because the long hair was my signature. I swear never step a hair salon in a year till my hair grows back and wait to the next day to get my appointment with MY stylist (even my mom said to get trimmed by myself). Leasson learned by the hard way, can’t fast the growth becuause I cant have all those wonderul products here in my country (and thats why I wrote this like a caveman, sorry not native english speaker)

  9. 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 want to go somewhere where the stylist only trims what needs to be trimmed.

    But when all’s said and done, I get major compliments. My gripes come mainly from my discomfort with the wash-n-go’s shrinkage. When my hair was past my shoulders (another salon), I never paid attention to the trims because my hair was long(er) and growing. I never left there feeling like I got a major cut.

    My curl pattern is beautiful but I am not a short hair girl. This is very hard for me but I don’t want fake hair either. I’ll wait it out. I was told that it could take about 2 years to get shoulder length (in wash-n-go shrinkage style) and it’s been 6 months, so I am counting down.

  10. 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.

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