'I paid hundreds of dollars for an awful hair colour. And hundreds more having it fixed.'

A few weekends ago I was feeling pumped and excited as I walked into my hairdressers armed with a whole album of Pinterest inspiration. I had been a client at this salon for over a year and had been happy with my previous hairdresser who had recently left. I was booked in with the salon director so I was confident all would be well.

To illustrate what I was going for – here is a sample of what I showed the hairdresser before I hopped in the hotseat:

I was extremely prepared. Image supplied.

A sweet and stylish little ‘lob’ with bangs and some genteel and subtle bronde lowlights. I relaxed into the seat and whiled away cups of tea, biscotti and ample access to trashy magazines.

Two hours later, as the hairdresser tousled my new ‘do and showed me the back, I felt confused and was clearly squirming in the seat. I felt hot and sweaty and I just wanted to get outside to reassess. Her authority as salon owner and the fact she seemed pleased and was using phrases like ‘sunkissed’ confused me. I gulped as I handed over my credit card and quickly made my way home, where my husband, who never usually notices my hair, said “umm is it supposed to be stripey?”

To illustrate the end result, here is a photo of what one friend termed my ‘ginger spice’ hair.

Sitting in the salon that was going to fix my hair nightmare. Thank you, New Black Industries! Image supplied.

*The author would like to note that the salon pictured above, New Black Industries, is where her colour was fixed. “They’re excellent.”

My husband’s comment was enough to reduce me to tears. I texted a stylish friend with photos and she confirmed my worst fears: I knew that whatever filter I put on Instagram, it was hideous and needed immediate rectification.

In all my 36 years I have only ever gone back to a hairdresser once due to a lopsided cut. At the time I rang up the salon, explained the issue and was invited me back the next day. After a quick examination and apology, they fixed it up and I continued to frequent the hairdresser in question for many years.


Last weekend I decided to take the same approach and as much as I dislike confrontation, I mustered some courage and gave the hairdresser a call. I apologised and explained I wasn’t happy because the colour was too stripy, uneven and the roots too obvious (see pic!).

I was told by the receptionist (after a muffled conversation in the background) that they could not fit me in until after Christmas unless I went with the junior the following weekend, which in a moment of panic I said yes to.

A bad hair cut, or bad hair colouring incident, is not the end of the world. No one was hurt, it was just my hair and I decided I should probably just get some perspective.

All weekend I tried to rationalise it, make light of it. I told everyone and laughed about it but then when I caught my reflection in the mirror I cringed.

We’ve all been there.

It looked terrible, I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t confident that the new junior could fix it for me. I asked around for suggestions and I booked an appointment a few days later with a salon that came highly recommended and gave great Instagram.

I spent the week with my hair in a bun and hoped no one would notice. Thankfully only a few people did and I got my story out fast enough that they didn’t feel obliged to offer a false compliment.

A few hundred dollars and several hours later, it was fixed. My new hairdresser was appalled by the first job and I bonded with the woman next to me who was also in having a bad haircut rectified.


Since talking to friends and contacts, I realise I am not alone. One friend admitted to walking from one hairdresser straight to another to get a botched cut fixed and another told me how her “stripy style” put her off having her hair dyed ever again.

Watch Mia get the ‘Sliding Doors’ haircut. 

All of the women I spoke to instantly understood my inexplicable distress – ‘it’s your HAIR FFS!’, ‘You poor thing!’, ‘I would have cried!’.

The relief I felt walking out after the fix up job was powerful. I was ‘me’ again

Like any profession, hairdressers all have their off days and one bad hair job in 30 odd years is pretty good odds. I am more thankful than ever for all the good hair cuts and dye jobs I have had over the years and to those lovely people I offer my sincerest gratitude.

I shall never underestimate the importance of a good hairdresser.

Bad hair days are a part of life but bad hair weeks are not something I want to experience again any time soon – there is only room for one ginger spice on this planet and that will never again  -fingers crossed – be me.

Have you ever had a shocking hair experience?