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Messed-up haircuts are something we’ve all had to deal with… and it’s a terrible feeling looking into a mirror and not knowing how to fix a bad haircut. In either case, it’s all bad business! Terrible haircuts usually consist of a pushed-back line up or uneven patchy throughout the head. Trust me; your novice know-it-all cousin Earl will likely ruin your haircut if you let him near your head.
The key is preventing and knowing how to fix messed-up haircuts when they happen… Oh, trust me, it’ll happen eventually. Don’t worry; I’ll teach you to fix patchy haircuts and how to avoid bad haircuts altogether! Rule one, don’t let Earl cut your hair! Now let’s get to it!
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What is a messed-up haircut?
Messed-up haircuts are when the hair on the male or female head is improper, resulting in uneven hair patches or crooked hairlines. Poor haircuts can happen because of an inexperienced barber or faulty hair-cutting equipment. Keep in mind that incorrect haircut and hair length could also be considered a terrible haircut to clients.
Now that we understand what consists of a horrible haircut let’s go beyond the surface and dig deeper! This article will cover any questions you have on how to prevent bad haircuts and how to fix them.
What tools are used for haircuts?
In 2020 all haircuts involve an electrical haircutting instrument like the hair clippers or manual instruments like scissors. Whether you have a bad haircut or a great one, it’s important to understand how the tools are used and why. Look at the list of tools below; I’ll explain what each piece of equipment is, how they are used, and why!
Tools needed for haircuts
- Hair clippers – The electric hair clipper has two ridged bladed plates that go back and forth that cut hair once it goes across the head. While cutting WTG, hold the clippers blades pointing downwards, the tip of the guard lightly touching your scalp. You will then cut with the grain toward the hairline, downwards towards the sideburns, and back neckline. The electric hair clipper could be used on all types of hair, whether it may be straight or coarse in texture.
- T outliner – The T outliner is similar to the clippers, which have two plates with a small ridged blade that moves back and forth. Note that the electric T outliner is used to straighten out the hairline sideburns and back neckline. The edge of the T outliner blade is gently tapped across the hairline to shape the hairline.
- Sheers – The scissors are a handheld manual tool that consists of a pair of metal blades that pivot open and close to cut hair. Keep in mind that sheers are used after haircuts with clippers for black men. This technique is used to even out any longer hair that is left behind by electric clippers.
- Edge razor – a straight razor is a hair cutting tool with a blade that can fold into its handle. The barber razor is mostly known for beard shaving, but in recent years, barbers have implemented this tool for client edge-ups. Keep in mind that the manual handheld haircutting tool cuts closer than the T outliner. The barber applies foam to the hairline after straightening it with an electric t outliner. Next, the straight razor is gently motioned downward against the hairline, following its path for a closer and sharper edge up.
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Keep in mind there is a lot that goes into getting a haircut. There are many tools that I didn’t even mention. The list above are the most important tools needed for a haircut… If your barber tries to cut your hair with something other than what I listed above, chances are you’ll end up with a funny haircut.
Should I pay the barber for messed-up haircuts?
This is a delicate question and can be complicated… Are you expected to pay for bad haircuts?! The logical answer is no! You should not have to pay for haircuts that are not up to par. Notice, I bolded, and my choice of words was “should not’… This was intentional!
I’ll tell you flat out; an honest barber will not ask you to pay for messed-up haircuts! An honest barber will ask how they can fix the haircut and may even voluntarily reject the payment. However, this isn’t always the case; most barbers can fix their mistakes after a haircut. Be prepared for your barber to offer to fix the problem to avoid giving you a free haircut.
I should also mention people who take advantage of situations as well… Some people will take an easy haircut fix, blow it out of proportion, and demand a refund. If this is you… shame on you, and YES, you should absolutely pay for your haircut.
Whenever you ask for a service, you should expect to pay. If you do not like the haircut, tell your barber what’s wrong, and they should be willing to fix it for you. If after the haircut adjustments you’re still displeased, then you’re in your right to ask for a refund.
Best way to deal with horrible haircuts
There’s a right way and wrong way to handle less than ideal situations… That statement is even more accurate when dealing with barbers who provide poor haircuts. At the end of the day, barbers are human and should be respected.
For example, if you end up with a crappy haircut, your first reaction shouldn’t be to curse and demand money. Cursing at your barber and making rude demands isn’t the way to solve the problem and won’t get you anywhere.
Remember, a process should be taken before barbers can fix a bad haircut or even refund your money. The goal is to ensure the problem is resolved as peacefully and smoothly as possible! Let’s look at some steps to ensure you don’t pay for a crappy haircut.
Tips to solve a bad haircut peacefully!
- Breathing Technique – Take a deep breath and collect yourself! Here’s a deep breathing exercise you can do during tense situations. Start with a long, slow breath through your nose to fill your lungs to max capacity. Hold your breath for three seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth while you relax the facial muscles, jaw, shoulders, and stomach. Trust me, the breathing exercise will help calm you down and keep your focus!
- Haircut Redo – Consider allowing the barber to fix the haircut mistakes! If you are unhappy with the hairstyle, point out the error in the haircut and calmly ask them to fix it. Most barbers will not have a problem making adjustments and fixing a messed-up haircut.
- No payment – If you’ve exhausted every other option and your barber cannot fix your haircut, ask for your money back.
Remember, the goal if you are unsatisfied with your haircut is to get it fixed or not have to pay for a bad haircut. This could be extremely difficult to do if you become irate and rude after the haircut! It can be difficult to do, but the key is to keep your composure even when you hate your haircut.
Can uneven haircuts cause hair loss?
This is a common misconception that if someone constantly gets bad haircuts, it could cause baldness… I’m sure you’ve heard this one “Uneven line ups cause receding hairlines”. The same belief is said about bad haircuts and has been around for an awfully long time.
As awful as crooked haircuts are, they will not cause male pattern baldness. Honestly, a funny haircut is more harmful to someone’s pride than causing permanent hair loss.
Pattern baldness results from hormonal changes, heredity, medical conditions, or hair loss due to a normal part of aging. Keep in mind that anyone can experience baldness, but it’s more common in men. Pattern baldness usually refers to extreme hair loss from your scalp. Natural hair loss and a mature hairline tend to happen with age and are the most common cause of a reduction in hair growth.
How long does a messed-up haircut last?
As you already know, bad haircuts are not permanent… but the question is, how long do they last? Let’s be real; when you have a haircut that you’re unhappy with, it can cause you to become self-conscious. Horrible hairstyles affect how you feel, but you’re also constantly thinking about how to fix a terrible haircut and how long it lasts.
A typical black male’s haircut lasts for about three to four weeks but ideally should be maintained every two to three weeks. The estimation of the length of time a haircut lasts depends on how fast your hair grows. Remember that hormones and genetics dictate how fast the male hair grows.
However, for a higher haircut like the classic afro should be maintained about four to six weeks. Keep in mind that the goal is to grow an afro out with limited haircuts.
Why do bad haircuts happen?
You should know there are many factors that lead to a messed-up haircut besides a bad barber! Oh, don’t worry, I’m not shooting barbers bail… they’re getting it in this section too! Look at some of the most common reasons for a trash haircut!
- Poor haircut equipment – Clipper, T outlines, and sheers are essential tools for haircuts and can make or break the outcome of your hairstyle. Cutting hair with bad equipment could lead to the worst haircut in the world, or at least feel that way! Keep in mind that dirty and broken equipment can cause messed-up haircuts as well. Routinely cleaning and checking haircut tools could help avoid uneven hairstyles.
- Novice barber – Note that a novice or bad barber can absolutely ruin haircuts! Barbers with limited experience may not understand the pressure rule when cutting hair. Barbers without proper training may even struggle with knowing when to switch clipper guards for appropriate transition fade haircuts. These little mistakes made by the barber cause irregular haircuts.
- Distraction – One of my peeves is barbers who are easily distracted during haircuts. The key factor in providing a great haircut is paying attention to detail while cutting hair. Barbers who are more worried about things going on around them than hair detail often risk ruining a male’s haircut.
- Fatigue – Keep in mind the later in a barber’s workday, the more fatigued they become. At the end of the day, barbers are human, and once fatigue starts setting in, haircut errors can occur.
- Overbooking – I see barbers overbook themselves with appointments and then struggle with keeping up with clients. Overbooking and haircut appointments become an issue because barbers may have to rush haircuts to get to the next client. Rushing haircuts most certainly lead to bad male haircuts.
Tips that will prevent a terrible haircut before your barber starts
The best way to avoid camouflaging bad haircuts is to prevent them altogether. There are many things you can do to prevent trash haircuts but let’s focus on the most effective ones.
Day before haircut
- Strip hair products – All hair products should be removed before going to a barber shop for a haircut. Haircare products like hair grease and leave in conditions affect how haircut clippers work.
- When to wash – Remember, when you wash your hair, it needs to be at least a day before. Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to cut hair that is wet with hair clippers. When you avoid washing hair right before a haircut, you will essentially lower the risk of a messed-up hairstyle.
- Go early – One of the best tips to avoid a bad hairstyle is to set a haircut appointment and meet your barber as early as possible. Remember that the barber will be more refreshed and focused on providing quality haircuts to clients.
- Off-peak hours – This tip directly ties in with the first tip mentioned above, but it’s a good idea to go to the barbershop during slow days. By going to the barbershops on Sunday through Tuesday, you will avoid the weekend haircut rush. I should also mention that there your barber will be able to provide faster service and quality haircuts.
- Scout barber – Another way to prevent messed-up haircuts is to go scout your barber. Doing so will give you the opportunity to watch the barber cut other clients’ hair. From there, you’ll be able to determine if the barber’s haircutting method will work for you.
- Avoid distraction – I cannot say this enough… Do not wait until your haircut to show your barber videos or distracting social media feeds on your phone. Please, avoid distracting your barber while they are cutting your hair. Shout out to people who can multitask, but do you really want your barber juggling tasks while cutting your hair? Trust me; the answer is no!
- Adequate equipment – This is such an underrated tip; inadequate haircut equipment is the number two reason for uneven haircuts behind bad barbers. Haircut tools that are broken or dirty can also cause cuts and infections on the head after a haircut. Make sure the barber uses haircutting tools that are up to state barber board standards and clean!
- Be detailed – It’s always a good idea to be as clear and descriptive as possible when expanding preferred haircuts. Here are a couple of added ideas to help your barber understand what haircut you want.
- Show picture – consider showing the barber photos of the desired haircut.
- Ask questions – ask your barber questions about the haircut to assure they understand your instructions. Be careful not to come off condescending or arrogant when asking.
Can you feel you’re getting a terrible haircut?
This is such a funny question, but yes, in some cases, you can feel messed up haircuts! For example, if you tell your barber “cut a little off the top” on your afro, and they cut AGT without a guard… It’s going to be a bad haircut, and chances are you will be upset. Of course, the situation I described is exaggerated but not impossible.
Steps to take while getting a haircut to prevent messed-up haircuts
It is not always an easy task trying to prevent messed-up haircuts; I always say it takes a special skill! Seriously, you must be hyper-aware when you’re sitting in the barber’s chair. Look at the tips below for the best ways to avoid bad haircuts while at the barber shop.
Over the years, I’ve learned to feel bad haircuts; I know it sounds crazy… but I really can! Maybe it’s because I’ve been cutting hair for so long, but I know the signs and understand them when they happen. I’ll teach you what to look for when you’re getting a crap haircut and how to avoid them.
What to look out for during your haircut
- Understanding pressure – One of the keys to preventing a bad haircut is understanding the hand position of the clippers and the amount of pressure the barber is using to cut your hair. You should feel less pressure on your head with longer haircuts like afro shaping and more pressure for shorter cuts like a bald fade. Don’t be afraid to stop the barber and take a look if the pressure of the haircut feels off. Trust me; it’s better to prevent a messed-up haircut than to fix one!
- Barbers’ body language – I feel this tip is so underrated, but your barber’s body language is the most important factor to observe during a haircut. Their posture and the way they’re moving will tell you everything you need to know about how your cut will turn out. Pay attention to their body language while they’re cutting your hair. If you notice your barber seems fidgety and switching clipper guards than cutting hair, chances are they’re unsure what you want. Take the opportunity to ask questions and offer additional details for your haircut.
- Re explains in detail – Another key in preventing terrible haircuts is to explain further detailed instructions to your barber while they’re cutting your hair. Providing detailed information could limit the chances of haircut mistakes by the barber. I always say if you’re talking to the barber during a haircut, make sure it’s topics that benefit the haircut.
It is critical that you’re aware of what your barber is doing while they are cutting your hair… If you’re getting a cut from a barber you’re unfamiliar with the outcome of your haircut hinge on being hyper-aware. The worst thing to do is not say anything if you feel you’re getting a poor haircut.
5 tips to fix a horrible haircut
So, what should you do if you end up with a messed-up haircut? How should you fix horrible haircuts? Well, there are things you can do to fix a terrible hairstyle effectively… No, beating up your barber isn’t one of them!
Bad haircut fix-it tips.
- Rapid response – One of the quickest and easiest ways to fix terrible haircuts is to point out errors once the hairstyle is complete. By telling your barber you’re unhappy with the haircut immediately, they’ll be able to make adjustments to fix the issue. Keep in mind that haircuts with errors like an uneven taper fade can easily be fixed in minutes.
- Fix it yourself – Another option to fix an irregular haircut is to do it yourself! The right hair cutting equipment such as haircut clippers and T-outliners are more than adequate to get the job done. Fixing a bad haircut on your own allows adjustments based on your liking and even saves money in the long run!
- Switch barbers – This messed-up haircut fix is the most expensive tip of the bunch, but going to a different barber could fix bad hairstyles. Let’s face it; there are barbers who are stronger at cutting hair than others. Barbers with more experience are better equipped to fix uneven hairlines and patchy haircuts. This is because barbers with advanced experience understand the proper techniques for a perfect haircut. The method used for good male haircuts is understanding clipper guards switching, haircut pressure, and proper hand positioning while cutting hair.
- Chop it off – There are cases where it is impossible to camouflage a bad haircut, and the only option is to get a bald haircut. Going with a clean bald shaved head will erase any haircut imperfection and allow you to start over. Cutting the head bald is mostly reserved for the most extreme haircut blunders that cannot be fixed.
- Hide it – This option requires patience and a collection of head accessories to hide disaster haircuts. Wearing items like hats, bandanas, and durags could help conceal awful hairstyles by inexperienced barbers.
There you have it… Everything you need to know to prevent and fix messed-up haircuts! A bad haircut could cause all sorts of issues, including affecting your confidence. The key is limiting your role in distracting your barber, which could cause awful hairstyles.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you wash your hair at least a day before visiting the barbershop. Doing so will prevent uneven haircuts, and the hair clipper will be able to function better on dry hair. I always say it’s better to prevent a ruined haircut than to try to fix one!
I will leave with this; a bad short haircut isn’t the end of the world… There are ways around a problematic haircut! This article exists to provide you all with the best options that will resolve bad haircuts as quickly and easily as possible.
I am confident that you guys will be able to fix messed-up haircuts without a problem. Feel free to show your appreciation by liking, subscribing, and sharing this post… Let’s keep building our community together! Also, read the other article from AfroCurlsandCuts.com