Laugh, congratulate yourself for taking a chance, and then grab a fistful of bobby pins.
Sometimes bad ideas are disguised as good ideas. Like when you’re re-watching Rosemary’s Baby and, enraptured by Mia Farrow’s pixie cut beauty, decide you can rock one too. (Or worse, Bo Derek in 10 cornrows inspiration).
Ignoring the quivering lip of your stylist, your bad idea reveals itself in the mirror as your stylist snip, snip, snips away. Leaving the salon, realizing what you’ve done, the full terror of your Rosemary’s Baby re-watch sets in. Pixie cut aside, not even the tears streaming down your face can achieve the same effect Mia’s do as they fall over her opalescent, perfectly defined cheekbones. How do you do it, Mia?
A bad haircut is a right of passage, starting with the bowl or buzz cut at the kitchen sink some relative who “knows how to cut hair” crowned you with at an early age. We’ve all nostalgically opened up old yearbooks only to close them again, shuddering at the mid-awkward stage attempt at bangs. Everyone has hair regrets, even Beyoncé.
Even into your adult years, even after you “know better”, it’s still a good idea to get a really awful, embarrassingly bad haircut for the same reason it’s good to try anything new – it builds character.
Don’t ever stop trying new things. It takes a lot to part with hair that’s shared a deep history – hair that’s swished to the rhythm at Coachella or been sun-kissed in the British Virgin Islands. It’s easy to stick with what you know, but change takes courage.
Life’s too short to pick the same option every time. Shoulder-length trim? Boring. Vibrant mermaid red á la Ariel? Exciting. Seek out novel experiences, try a change of pace, and have the courage to venture into unknown territory.
If you nurture your sense of adventure and open yourself to the growth that new experience brings, a dip-dye or semi-perm along the way is a small price to pay.
Your new bangs may be flying away from your forehead and your new color shining orange in the sun, but who cares? This should be no revelation, but you’re still you. Go about your day, hit the gym, nail that job interview and all the while flash the kind of confident poise that shows you wear the pants in you and your hair’s relationship. “I would turn down a date with a mulleted Scarlett Johansson,” said no straight man, ever.
A bad haircut is really nothing more than the chance to see how many ways you can come up with to hide it. Experiment with new ways of producing a side braid or a twist up. You may surprise yourself – with some inventive tweaking, you could turn your hair disaster into a style you never knew would suit you.
Bad haircuts are genuinely traumatic, so if you can weather the feather cut storm and decide to feel flawless – no matter what’s going on up there – you can take on just about anything.
Haircuts come and go. You might end up with an awkward look every now and then, but when it’s finally grown out, you’ll miss it. After all, you laughed together, you cried together (especially at first), but you made it work. And hopefully, you took tons of photos for future generations to discover one day and wonder, “What were they thinking?” That, kids, was just in another day in the pursuit of awesomeness.