Thanks to Caterina DiBiase


Your "New Hair" is not what you wanted!

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We have all had this horrible experience at some point. Whether it was because you and your hairdresser just completely misunderstood each other or that you decided when you got home that it just didn't work for you, or you simply ended up with the hairdresser from hell who treated you to the "butchered look", the same question comes to mind. What the heck do I do now?

As with most other goods you have the right to go back to the salon and ask them to fix it. Pop in and get them to check it over and re-cut if possible along with giving you some advice on how to blow-dry it or other options that may help to improve the look. Which ever of these options you take, they should be free of charge as a happy customer is what the salon wants and you will certainly be back if they fix your problems without fuss.

Like any of us, hairdressers also have their bad days or any number of other misunderstandings could have occurred. The person who you originally saw is often the best person to return to, as they have the knowledge of what was done and a better understanding of where they went wrong.

If you are not comfortable going back to the same person then ask for another stylist. It may be good to have the original person consult with the new stylist though. Most hairdressers will appreciate you giving them a second chance to put it right so don't feel that you are a being a pain. Any good salon will assist you without any complaint as you are giving them the opportunity to retain you as a customer.

Most problems with not getting the effect you wanted stem from the condition and length your hair was before you started. Think about whether or not you were told it would take "a few cuts to get to that look" or "we can make you only a little lighter during this session because the condition of your hair will not allow us to go as blonde as you would like".

The reason why I mention this is because sometimes our expectations are such that we expect a complete change of look to materialise after only one session when, in fact, this first session was just a "half-way mark" on the way to getting the look perfect. The even bigger problem is when you rush back in to "fix" the problem, the hairdresser might then try to achieve the very thing that in their first opinion was going to damage your hair too much. So even though anything is better than what you have at this point, really listen to what is being said to you as the hairdresser is not just trying to get out 'fixing your hair". They will probably have a genuine concern about damaging your hair or changing the shape too soon by rushing to the next stage. At the end of the day it all boils down to communication: listen carefully to the hairdresser to get what you want and always ask if you don't understand exactly what they mean.

So if it is a colour or perm that has not worked, ask lots of questions regarding the outcome of changing to what you really want. Any chemical process puts stress on your hair and damage occurs when another chemical process happens straight after or on top of the first. You may feel it is worth the risk, but remain clear headed so that the choice you make is not solely based on hating what you got in the first place.

As with any complaint there is a right and wrong way to go about it. If you scream at the hairdresser (even though you may feel like it) the effect will be to terrify them so that they cannot perform to the best of their abilities. With most situations it is because you were not understood in the first place and that comes down to communicating your needs so that the hairdresser can work out what they are. See too our section on making sure that your hairdresser understands you.

Good luck with getting it right, and hope this information will just show that we are all only human!

Leading Australian hairdresser, Anthony Whitaker has added a couple of extra tips:

"Be wary of hairdressers who profess to 'have a vision' of how you should look. You are usually the best judge of that at the end of the day it's not on for the hairdresser to give clients there 'signature cut' and for the person to race home and fix it. When a client cuts a client's hair, he or she must understand the important thing is the client's individuality, their tastes, lifestyle and needs, not the latest cut".


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