How to Spot a Bad Haircut... and How It Can Be Fixed!

Published on Nov 21, 2015

It is not always easy to tell if a haircut is good or bad. Whether you like a haircut or not can be be a subjective question.

However, there are times when a haircut is just plain wrong... or rather technically wrong even by fellow stylists.

So how do YOU tell if a haircut is just BAD?

To give you some ideas, we asked experts from Chez Vous Hair Salon to share some of the worst haircuts they've seen on their Expertligent Fix You Programme, a programme they've initiated to help customers fix their hair after a bad hair service at other salons!

Sign #1: Uneven Weight Distribution

Ever seen a haircut with obvious chunks of hair at the wrong places? When certain portions have more “shadow” than other portions or the gradation of the hair has sudden “breakage” or “interruptions”?

This is known as uneven weight distribution and is usually the underlying factor of a bad haircut.

It is not hard to spot a bad haircut with uneven weight distribution; a haircut with an uneven weight distribution may look more lopsided ie. certain portions are heavier than the other when it is supposed to be equivalent.

frizzy hair

The above example is an example from the Expertliigent Fix You Program.

There are a lot of things wrong with the above haircut but one of the major mistakes is uneven weight distribution. Look at the bottom part of her hair: there are “chunks” of hair that is accumulated at the left and right bottom corners of the hair. The outline of the hair is also not straight, there are jagged corners here and there.

What it is supposed to look like

Creative Bob (Oscar)

Even though the hair is styled or cut asymmetrically, the overall haircut is well-balanced in many ways from the nape all the way to the crown. With even weight distribution, the haircut looks complete.

A good hairdresser will distribute the weight of your hair while taking into consideration your head shape, hair growth pattern and texture; not just your hair density.

Sign #2: Badly Formed Hair Shapes

As the foundation of haircutting, the shape of the cut is very important.

A bad shape means that significant styling will be required to achieve the desired style. There is a example of a haircut with a bad shape (among other technical issues).

Bad Haircut

As you can see, the stylist was more interested in reducing the amount of hair and did not take any effort to sculpt the hair into any recognizable shape. With this hairstyle, it is almost impossible to style it properly.

Here are some examples of well-formed shapes:

Round Shape

Marsala bob

Diamond Shape

diamond shape face haircut

Square Shape

square face shape hair cut

As you can see above,  the hair will naturally frame the face in a recognizable shape if the haircut is done in such a way that the shape is formed well.

It is however often too late to stop a stylist by the time the bad hair shape is formed.

Therefore a tip for you to stop the stylist in the nick of time is... to check if the stylist knows how to section the hair well!

A good stylist will know exactly how to section the hair at the beginning for a structured cut and continue to cut in a systematic way, section by section.

Sectioning refers to how the stylist systematically divides the hair into different sections to begin cutting and designing the haircut he is looking for.

Expertligent Fix You Program

If your stylist does not section the hair properly or start to run their texturizing scissors all over the hair, you should consider bolting out the door as this is definitely a recipe for disaster!

Sign #3: Fuzzy Hair Lines

A haircut should ideally have clean straight or slanted lines (either soft or hard).

Example of Clean Hard Line

Clean hard lines

Example of Soft Lines

Soft Lines

That said, not everyone can have clean lines as many of us have jumpy hairline, wavy hair texture or uneven hair density.

In Singapore, the humidity also causes our hair to be unruly, which is why retexturing services, styling products and maintenance play an important role.

long bob cut and keratin treatment

In the makeover above, Tara was given the Amplified Keratin Treatment to smoothen her natural waves together with a long bob cut to give her a neater hairstyle with more defined lines. This helps to make her look more empowering!

Tip: A good hairdresser will carefully assess your hair first before cutting. He or she should be able to advise you on whether certain styles will suit you or not based on the nature of your hair.

Sign #4: Not Properly Blended

Unless you are talking about specific trendy haircuts, blending is crucial for most haircuts, whether for men or ladies.

Blending promotes movement and also ensures that the haircut last longer.

How do you spot a haircut that is not properly blended?

Not Properly Blended

Well, it is pretty easy to tell. A badly blended haircut will have visible demarcations  ("steps") and sudden chunks of hair like what you see in the above Expertligent Fix You case.

A properly blended haircut will have no visible lines of separation or "corners". When viewed from the side or back, you should see no lines or dark spots. From the front, there should be nothing sticking out. On the top, you should see no lines resulting from your barber or stylist picking up the hair and cutting it between his fingers - a good hairstylist will always cross-check the top from front-to-back and side-to-side.

  • Quick Check: Simply use your hand to flip your hair backwards! The hair will go back to its original position if the hair is well-blended!

Do note that this principle applies to MOST haircuts. There are however haircuts where the stylists intentionally designed for disconnections within the cut or for the cut not to be well blended in certain areas. Do discuss with your stylist if this is something you are not comfortable with!

Sign #5: Bad Contouring

A bad haircut is one that does not complement one's facial features.

For example, if the customer has a long face shape, the fringe should not start from the top. This is because the long fringe will elongate the face shape further.

Bad Contouring haircut

Seen on Flickr

There are many more negative examples. That is why it is important to find an experienced stylist with strong technical skill to help you bring out the best of your facial features!

Fixing a Technically Bad Haircut

Don't despair even if the haircut you just got is really bad! It is NOT the end of the world!

There is always something that can be done to salvage the cut or at least something that can be done to make it better... if you manage to get your hair seen by the experts at Chez Vous Hair Salon!

For the past year, Chez Vous Hair Salon has been helping many people fix their hair under the Chez Vous Expertligent Fix You Program. With their amazing skill, the directors managed to transform the hair of many distressed men and ladies into hairstyles they are now proud to sport.

Read on if you want to see what Chez Vous did for two botched haircuts they rescued in October 2015!

Case 1: The Haircut Where Everything Went WRONG

On 18th October 2015, Chez Vous received a SOS email from Ms M regarding her unsatisfactory haircut she had gotten from one of the reputable salons near her work place.

frizzy hair

Ms M had previously bleached her hair and over-processed it. Hence, she was hoping to get a trim to get rid of the frizzy portions while retaining her chic asymmetric bob. The main objective of the cut communicated to the previous stylist was to tame her hair. Unfortunately, the end result was far from what she expected.

Since it was not possible to remove all the fried hair portions without going too short, Associate Salon Director, Thomas Teo decided to soften the lines to diffuse the attention away from the frizziness.

The Transformation

frizzy hair

Stylist in charge: Thomas Teo

Thomas was shocked when he first saw the state of Ms M's hair... Everything from weight distribution to blending was done incorrectly!

As it was not possible to remove all the fried hair portions without going way too short, Thomas decided to soften the lines to diffuse the attention away from the frizziness

Expertligent Fix You Program

The Result

A soft asymmetrical pixie cut that frames and emphasizes Ms M’s features while taking away attention from Ms M’s damaged hair!

After Expertligent Fix You Program

Before vs After

Before and After Expertligent Fix You Program

Case 2: From Zero to Hero

On 10th October 2015, Chez Vous received a SOS email from Mr K regarding his one-day old haircut. Mr K regularly gets his hair cut at one of the express-cut salons since it is near his house and the result is usually acceptable. However, that particular day his regular stylist was unavailable and he tried a new stylist … that’s when his nightmare began.

Bad Haircut

Mr K felt that his new hairstyle was unmanageable and unsuitable for work. His usual haircut allowed him to style his hair within minutes for work. However, with the new haircut, it was impossible to style without looking messy. His biggest dissatisfaction was that the new haircut appeared to have a lot of “holes” and made him look like he was balding.

Expertligent Fix You Program Email

The Transformation

Stylist in charge: Oscar

This was a really tough fix for Associate Salon Director, Oscar as there wasn’t much hair left to work on. To create the illusion of more hair, Oscar trimmed certain portions of the hair.

Expertligent Fix You Program

Next, a body perm was done to conceal the gaps.

Men's perm

The end result was another big transformation that gave Mr K his confidence back.

Other than being professional and wearable for work, the perm actually made him look a lot more stylish!

Notice also how Oscar's haircut and perm changed the shape of  his hair to better suit his face shape!

Before vs After

Men's Perm (Oscar)

Tip: A body perm is also recommended for men with hair loss problems.

Our Thoughts

A haircut can make or break your overall style, affect your image and self confidence.

A $10 express cut can cost you a lot more, particularly if you count the costs of emotional distress and loss of pride from a higher risk of bad haircuts.

It is therefore important to look for a reliable stylist especially before the festive season begins... as any mistake will be captured in dreaded photos in big gatherings with friends and family!

Ms M and Mr K were fortunate to have their hair fixed by Chez Vous Expertligent Fix You programme but not everyone will be so lucky to have their hair fixed by the professional hair directors at Chez Vous. The programme will also be temporarily halted during Chez Vous' peak period from 15 December 2015 to 13 February 2016... so you have to make sure that your hair is not botched during this crucial period!

Instead of needing to get your hair fixed, consider going for a worry-free hair service at Chez Vous Hair Salon or other similarly high quality salons to make sure that your hair is done right the first time.

Even if the haircut is not technically wrong, you may still NOT like the haircut if the haircut does not suit you, your lifestyle or your work. Therefore, look out for our next piece on our exclusive tips on how to make the best of your haircut!

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