To fringe or not to fringe? That is the question.

Here’s a picture of me from 2010 – this was the last time I got my hair cut. It’s now 2017 and I’m starting to resemble John Lennon at his peak happy hippy stage.

You see the thing is, I’m terrified of hair dressers. I’m not usually a vain person; I’ll leave the house without makeup most days and in general I’m not too fussed about what I look like as long as I don’t look like a scarecrow.

However, when it comes to my hair I’m precious as fuck. Let me tell you why…

In 2010 I had my first big internship at The Financial Times. There was no way I was walking into a city office looking like a scruff, so naturally I booked a hair cut to make sure I looked smart and presentable. I was 16 at the time.

I come from a small town with plenty of hairdressers. I can count 5 off the top of my head all within walking distance. Naturally I went to one a friend recommended that also just so happened to be about 5 minute walk from my house.

The only problem I failed to realise about this salon was the fact that someone worked there who didn’t particularly like my sister. This person had always been a bully throughout the years but things ramped up a notch when my sister (unknowingly) started dating a guy that she fancied. The scandal!

I didn’t understand it. My sister didn’t understand it. But nonetheless there was a weird kind of rivalry.

So imagine me, a 17 year old girl, walking into a salon full of grown women. Let’s be honest, sometimes it can be a bit intimidating if you’re a bit socially awkward like me! I sat down in my chair and a blonde girl with lovely hair wrapped a sheet over my shoulders. Before she even got started, the girl who didn’t like my sister says to the hairdresser “Can I borrow you for a second?” and they both scurried off to the back.

I kid you not – this is where things went wrong. I absolutely believe she told the girl who I was and because of this, the hairdresser gave me a shit hair cut. An hour later, I left that hairdressers with NO FRINGE and one side of my hair completely different to the other.

I won’t name names since this happened years ago and I doubt the people involved still work there!

The photo at the top was taken about six months after ‘the incident’. Thankfully as the hair grew out (fast) my mum coxed me into getting my hair styled by a lovely local man who’d been cutting hair in Turkey since the age of 13.

Without sounding dramatic, what happened still haunts me.

I remember crying to my mum because I genuinely thought my boyfriend wouldn’t like me anymore. I felt uncomfortable throughout my work experience – which should have been my exciting big break! Yes, worse shit can happen in life, but to think that two grown women convened to ruin my hair just because one of them fancied my sister’s fella is just beyond bizarre.

I wouldn’t say I have a phobia of getting my haircut – my fear is completely rational. Someone fucked my hair up, thus I’m scared of it happening again. However, it’s estimated that hundreds of people across the UK suffer from this very feeling.

So what should you do when a hairdresser fucks your hair up?

Sleep on it – It’s normal to feel a bit odd after a hair cut. A new ‘do’ can completely change how to feel about your face shape and it can be a shock to the system. Don’t kick up a fuss instantly – unless you’ve been involved in some sort of hair dye mishap where you can point out the issue instantly.

Call the manager – Think about what it is about the haircut that you think went wrong. Don’t just say ‘I don’t like it’. Be constructive and explain that perhaps you need more layers, more off the top or compare the cut to a photo you took into the salon.

If you’re able to describe why it is you’re disappointed, it will be much easier for the salon to correct what’s happened.

Put your bad review on hold – Every salon has their own way of dealing with customers, but you should at least see what the salon has to say about your experience before posting bad reviews all over the internet. You might not trust them to fix your hair, but you can at least wait and see if they offer.

Claim for corrections – This is where the Supply of Goods and Services Act comes into play. You won’t be able to get a refund on your first haircut, but you could be entitled to gain compensation if you have to seek advice from a second stylist to correct your haircut. The legislation protects you from ‘financial loss’, which in this situation would be the cost to fix your hair, but it could also refer to a loss of earnings if you’re a blogger or model who relies on your appearance for a living.

My advice would be to first see if the salon offers to correct the haircut – remember, if you’ve lost confidence it’s ok to ask for another member of staff to do this.

If they refuse, tell them you’ll be getting the haircut corrected by a third party and claiming the cost from them. When you seek third party advice from a different stylist, get their comments on the haircut in writing and a signed receipt. You’ll need both of these to provide evidence for your case.

Up close OOTD shot so that you can take a closer look at my NYX lipstick and how I paired it with the flowers on my playsuit.

So as you can see, I now have crazy hair. Seven years after ‘the incident’ I’m finally considering trusting a hairdresser again. I have too much hair and I have no idea what to do with it. Most days I have to put it in a bun, which I expertly twist to make it look like I actually have short hair.

It’s time I did something with it but I don’t know where to go or what to do with it. The only thing I know is this fringe, but surely there’s more to life than this!? Anyone with suggestions for styles is welcome to pipe up, because I absolutely have no idea.

How did I get over my fear? Well, I didn’t. I’m still really worried, but it’s got to the point now where I seriously need a hair cut. Hopefully you’ll get to that point too… but don’t leave it seven years like me!

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  1. Ali Rost
    March 4, 2017 / 5:06 am

    I can so relate. I’ve been there done that with the unfortunate hair cut .. although nothing like what happened to you! That’s absolutely awful .. I’m so sorry. I also can relate to hair that I have no idea what to do with at times and up it goes into a bun. Can’t wait to read what you end up doing with it!

  2. March 4, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    EEK! Nothing like a bad hair cut to put the fear in you but as much as I LOVE your hair! It’s stunning! I do think a fringe would be fab on you.

  3. March 4, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    This sounds horrible and even if you dislike someone, I’m surprised hairdresser did it. It is disgusting! Fringe suits you. I always thought fringes suited me, but really didn’t and like it grown out. It’s finding what suits you. Help conquer your hair fear. It’s important to find a reputable hairdresser that you like and makes you feel comfortable. It makes an incredible difference! x

  4. March 5, 2017 / 4:12 am

    Well I’ll just say I think your long hair is gorgeous. I wish I could have hair like that-my hair is too thin and scraggly to ever look good long. But you’re beautiful!

    Anyway, I am interested in knowing where you learned that hundreds of people across the UK have a similar feeling??! That’s such an oddball statistic, I’d love to know where it came from!

    It’s ridiculous that you had that experience with the hairdressers. Why would a grown woman do that to a girl?? My guess is that she had some problems. I wouldn’t say your fear is rational, however. Understandable, yes! Trust me, if you look at my blog you’ll see I understand trauma very well. But it’s not so rational so try not to feel trapped by it. It sounds like you’re very well equipped if something does happen!

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 5, 2017 / 10:10 am

      It’s mainly children who are effected by tonsurephobia, but apparently 1 in 5 American women are also effected. Over in the UK we don’t have too much research so I put a call out on Response Source and contacted the MHI for specific UK stats, but to no avail. Luckily I had a few hair stylists get back to me with comments, but I wasn’t too sure of bias so I didn’t use them. When I looked a little deeper on SAS forums and ‘fear of’ forums I found so many women and men talking about their experiences – literally hundreds. I’ve added all the links to this comment if you want to look a littler further into it.

      Definitely would say my fear is more rational than most as I know where it stems from and I’m starting to control it. If you know what I mean? My point was that at least it isn’t phobia based.

  5. March 5, 2017 / 4:32 am

    I debate on the same thing regularly! It never was a question to me before–it was fringe all the way but these days seem to call for no fringe. You look beautiful both ways but definitely more mature looking without the fringe.

  6. March 5, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    I dont have a fear of the hairdressers but but I have had a couple of terrible experiences. The only thing to correct the is just togo shorter and I hate that. But if you’re ready for a change, do your research and make sure you go to someone who will talk you through all your options and spend time with you working out the best thing for you!

  7. March 5, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    This is my sister, she just absolutely hates getting her hair cut and so does my mum, infact I dont think my mum has had hr hair trimmed in over ten years!

  8. March 5, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    I definitely have Tonsurephobia, I panic every time it is the time for a hair cut, I fear being left with no hair!

  9. March 5, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Oh god, that’s bloody awful, no wonder you were traumatised! I love your crazy hair now though. Jo x

  10. March 5, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Ahh your experience sounds horrendous! I haven’t been to the hairdressers in 2 years and have a similar length of hair to yours. I’ve never had any problems I just don’t ever go and I refuse to have any more than an inch cut off haha! xo

  11. March 6, 2017 / 9:34 am

    I can understand why you’d be worried about going back that isn’t a nice situation to be in. I actually have a hairdresser who comes to me as I find it much more relaxing than being in a salon x

  12. Elizabeth O.
    March 6, 2017 / 11:11 am

    I’ve had a few regrets over the years. A bad hair cut isn’t funny, you’re going to have to live with it until your hair grows out and most of the time, it takes a while. These are good tips, it’s important to let the establishment know that you’re not happy with the results so that they can improve on their service.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      March 6, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Totally agree. I can look back and make jokes, but having a bad haircut is actually an awful experience. Even for those who generally wouldn’t usually be too fussed about their appearance.

  13. March 6, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    My mummy had a really bad experience with Toni & Guy and ended up writing an open ‘break-up’ letter to them on her blog. They scarred her for life and now she has no real trust when it comes to hairdressers which is a shame. Feel your fear x

  14. March 6, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    Aw I can’t believe you had such an awful experience, thats rubbish. Please dont let it put you off going to a hairdresser again. One of my good friends owns a hair salon and regularly gets new clients who are so frightened because of past experiences and because shes so good, she puts their mind at rest and they end up leaving the salon happy with their hair and trusting her. If you’re ever in the North East, let me know if you want an appointment! xxx

  15. March 7, 2017 / 8:10 am

    I hate going to the hairdressers. Sorry to hear about your horrible experience. Love your long hair.

  16. March 9, 2017 / 10:11 am

    I would def say say fringe. Sorry about the unpleasant experience. This makes me cringe because I need to make my hair next week.

  17. March 9, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I am so glad I am not the only one! I can’t do hairdressers its just the whole atmosphere that gives me a panic attack and really puts the fear into me. My fiance has booked me in at a vintage salon which looks beautiful and I am still panicking i felt like an idiot but reading this has made me feel better knowing that it isnt just me x