The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

Because, pain. Real, emotional, heart-breaking pain.

The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

We've all been there at one point or other: That terrible, terrible moment we realize the haircut has taken a wrong turn and is quickly headingturning south. There's nothing quite like the pure, blind panic we get when sitting in that linoleum salon chair, watching our pretty locks fall to the floor, dead. It's terrible. And nerve-racking. And tear-inducing. And there's always hysterical laughter bubbling. It's a complete and total roller-coaster. Below are the seven emotional stages of getting a bad haircut- dare you relive the pain?

1. The "Something's Wrong" Stage

The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

Call it intuition, but you're thinking that one giant hack she just took when you said "just a small trim" feels kind of...wrong. It feels a tad off, a skosh too enthusiastic, maybe. Trusting that the woman with the scissors isn't currently maiming you, you hold back your thoughts and see how this will play out.

Because surely she has a plan.

2. The "She Has No F*cking Plan" Stage

The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

Nope. Nope, nope, nope you should have most definitely said something back there. Because now you're at that point where U-turns are no longer an option. Why? Because your hair is barely grazing your earlobe at this current point in time and she seems to keep on trimming. How? There's no hair left. How is she still going? And more importantly, why are you still not saying anything?! It's shock. Shock has rendered you speechless. 

3. The "Small Suggestion" Stage

You clear your throat and with a weakened voice throw out a small suggestion — like a life raft. "Maybe that's short enough," you quip, your face apologetic. Apologetic. Like you'll hurt her feelings over the fact that her inspiration was Fantine when she came at you and destroyed your life. 

When she says she needs to just "even out the other side", you nod your head and accept your fate. Who knows, maybe you can pull off this French-Revolution-chic look? 

4. The "Denial" Stage

Alright, it's actually not that bad, right? All you have to do is just wash it when you get home, work in some of your mousse in there, tousle it up with waves or what have you. It'll be fine, once you style it your way. No one will notice those Dumb and Dumber bangs when you just add a little bit of product...right?

5. The "Am I Really Going To Pay Money For This Nonsense" Stage

The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

At this point you're sitting there pretty tight-lipped and trying your best to avoid making eye contact with the giant mirror in front of you. Instead you stare at the foiled-up lady behind you, or the kid pulling on his mom's smock, or the heaps of your once beautiful hair lying on the flo- oh God, no, don't look at that. 

You glower at your hands, thinking of how exactly you're going to hand over your credit card at the end of all of this. $75, that's what this freak show is going to cost you. Awesome sauce. 

Maybe you can somehow pretend you forgot your money and do a like IOU/ when-pigs-fly exchange?

6. The "Game Of Attack" Stage

Welp, there's nothing you can do. You look like that Barbie doll you brought safety scissors to when you were five years old; this is karma. She took her sweet time, but Barb was in it for the long con when it came to revenge. 

As your hairdresser begins to style your cut into a new level of hell you didn't think you could achieve, you begin to think of your game of attack. Maybe there's a paper bag you could ask the receptionist for, so you can make it to your car. After that, it'll be all beanies and ponytails from there on out, until it grows out into the cut you wanted. About seven months from now.

K, you've got this. You can do this. 

7. The "I'm Never Cutting My Hair Again" Stage

The 7 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Bad Haircut

It's over. You're standing by the register, holding back the wild screaming you're doing on the inside. Yep, there's half of your grocery money Cuts 'R Us, you're welcome and thanks for nothin'. You're never cutting your hair again, you think. And on top of that, you're not leaving your stylist anything extra, because honestly, that would be just salt on your wounds. She knows what she's done. Everyone in that room knows what she's done- no one would even make eye contact with you via the mirrors as you walked down with your Russian-orphan haircut to the front desk. 

That'll serve her right. 

Sighing, you pen in twenty-five percent and slink towards your car. On second thought, you'll just be a silent martyr. That's more your style. 

Darn. You forgot to ask about that paper bag. 

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: