Bad Haircuts: Giving A Whole New Meaning to the Term “Muffin Top”

After a whole year of being lazy growing my hair into a horse-like mane, I decided that it was time to head back to the hairdresser’s. I was ready for a drastic change in my look and even stalked a friend’s Facebook page in advance, creating a creepy photo collage of her stylish haircut for my hairdresser’s future reference. I was positive that her (much shorter) cut would look perfect on me, too, even though my research gathering methods reeked of  Single White Female stalkery.

I placed a call to my stylist in Victoria and was crestfallen to learn that she was no longer with the salon. Chris had always cut my hair exactly the way I wanted it, creating retro, flipped styles that required minimal upkeep effort on my part. She was a true Hair Wizard in my books. And now she was gone. Poof! Disappeared!

An example of Chris' magic, styled by yours truly. Just 10 minutes with a round brush needed. Zero product involved!

With cautious optimism (and no way to get in contact with Chris again), I did the unthinkable and booked my appointment with the owner of the salon instead. I hoped with all my heart that she could perform even more magic with my hair. (Perhaps she was the True Master and Chris was merely her gifted apprentice?)

On Monday afternoon, I arrived to the salon with a greasy ponytail and shamefully showed my new hair stylist the Superfreak Collage of my friend’s hair. The stylist agreed that the cut was fabulous but felt I was “too tall” for the style and that the winter months were not an appropriate time to hack off gigantic swaths of hair, anyway. Defeated, I folded up my collage and (true to form) later burned it in our wood stove. Let’s never speak of it again. Anyway. The stylist ran her fingers through my flowing locks, gauging the weight and relative waviness of them, and she asked me questions about my personality and style in the hopes of determining My Perfect Cut. Here is a summary of what I told her:

1. I heart retro styles, especially ones that involve outward flips of the hair.

I was picturing this:

... but with less poufiness and blood-sucking lipstick

Or even this:

2. I am a woman, but if you could only use one word to describe me, it would not be “feminine”.

Most people, when pressed, have actually used the word “alternative” to describe me, whatever the eff that means. In my world:

a. Pants > Dresses

b. Low Maintenance > Flat Irons and Hairspray

c. Tall Boots > High Heels ALWAYS

d. Sage, Lavender, Citrus, Cedar, Patchouli > Anything floral

3. Please no Triangle Hair.

Dear New Hairdresser: If you value your life, do not give me anything even closely resembling this:

I will kill you.

Armed with this information and not-so-veiled threats regarding my severe loathing of triangle hair, my stylist embarked on Operation: Long Hair-B-Gone. She told me she would give me a “retro” cut with layers that I could easily style into 40s, 50s, or 60s looks. That sounded great!

So how, pray tell, did I end up with a gigantic muffin top on my head??

Tell me, doth this haircut not reek of femininity?? Thankfully this image is blurred for my own protection.

When I said “No Triangle Hair”, should I also have specified “No Elliptical Hair”, “No Spherical Hair”, and “No Mushroom-Slash-Muffin-Top Hair”? Did I really need to spell out all of the shapes? If so: No Rectangle Or Square Hair either, please.

Sadly, I ended up with the equivalent of a mid-calf-length skirt on my head. It would look much better if it were either a tiny bit shorter or a tiny bit longer, but this in-between length is unflattering and awkward. Yes, the haircut made me look “younger”, but I’m only 30 to begin with and didn’t really need to look 12. I’m afraid my issues with getting carded at liquor stores will only get worse until this cut grows out. 😦

Fortunately, I am an optimist at heart, so I’ve found three ways to look at the bright side of this mortifying situation:

1. Having a muffin top on my head can detract from potential muffin tops around my mid-section.

I’m still in the process of losing 20-some odd pounds and will welcome anything that diverts attention from my waist back up to my face. It’s a decoy muffin top!

2. My new haircut is probably the visual, follicular embodiment of complex mathematical equations.

For those of us who aren’t mathematically or scientifically inclined, be rest assured that my hair is now a perfect, graphical representation of light and sound waves… or the path of motion taken on elliptical machines at the gym. (You will never fail a “graph this” question on a physics exam again– Just think of my hair when you’re under pressure!) My haircut probably also harbors solutions to world hunger. Who knows what other marvels are burrowed in this muffin-shaped nest?

3. Speaking of dieting woes, guess who lost 1 pound by cutting off her flowing locks and having them styled into a muffin top?

Beware the low-carb diet craze– my new hairstyle proves that you can have all of the (figurative) baked goods you like and still lose weight! (Disclaimer: instead of “having your cake and eating it, too”, this 1-pound diet solution involves “having your muffin tops and wearing them shamelessly on your head… not like you have a choice in the matter at this point… too”.)

I’m having a hard time taking myself seriously, dear readers. What say you?

35 responses

  1. Do you feel at all guilty that maybe Chris would still be around if you’d given her any business last year?

    Here in Shanghai it can be hard to find a hairdresser who speaks English, and when you finally find him/her, they always seem to move away in less than a year. I’ve had 5 or 6 hairdressers in the 7 years I’ve lived here.

    • I was too ashamed to even bring it up, but YES– I feel like I might still have Chris at my service if I had been a better patron to her Hair Wizardry. (At the very least, I might have been privy to the information re: where the hell she went!) Chalk it up to lessons learned the really hard and self-esteem crushing way.

      I hope Mrs. GG doesn’t suffer from terrible haircuts, having to visit a new hairdresser every few times. (But what does it say about my new hairdresser, given that she DOES speak English and still managed to give me the exact opposite haircut I asked for? At least I could have blamed it on the language barrier in Shanghai.)

    • Oh thanks, Kathy– my shattered self esteem appreciates your compliment. 🙂 I puffed the hair up even more for the purposes of the blog photos, but it feels really big and round just on its own (even after washing it and begging it to behave). The cut I wanted was actually quite a bit shorter than this, but now I’m praying that my hair can grow really fast to weigh it down and lessen the puffiness a bit. Come on, gravity!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and to reassure my fragile self, Cindy! 🙂 The pics I put here were taken after I had done an hour of extensive cardio while wearing a smaller-than-small ponytail. When I got home from the gym, I shook my hair into sweaty submission, so it was at least better than it was when I was walking out of the salon. Oh my goodness, when the stylist kept piling soft, pillowy curl on top of other soft, feminine waves, I nearly died. MUCH TOO KITTENY FOR MY HEAD, THANKS!

      I really appreciate the reassurance. Give me a day or two– I’ll learn how to own this haircut, especially because it’s either that or hide indoors for 3 months. 😉

  2. I actually agree with Kathy that the cut is cute, probably even more so when you’re not sabotaging it, but I sabotage my hair daily (unintentionally) so understand the challenges in that regard. I understand your paranoia for the triangle hair but think it’s layered enough at the end to be more of a diamond with the bottom third lopped off. Not a “feminine” diamond mind you :).

    I LOATHE the hairdresser relocation program. Seriously. Google help?

    All that said, your post is hillarious and could your math equation hair pic be any better? I think not!

    • I appreciate your elaborate description of my non-feminine-diamond-shaped hair, Rose! I had to concentrate really hard trying to figure out what a diamond with the bottom third lopped off even looked like, which momentarily distracted me from the horrors of my haircut. Awesome!

      Looking back on the whole situation, I wish I saw Chris enough before to learn her last name and then be able to find her when she relocated. Alas. We live and learn, that’s all we can do.

  3. I was glad to read the comments to confirm that I wasn’t crazy…It looks GOOD! Just run a brush through it and you’re perfect…Sometimes I think we women can’t see us like other people do. We look in the mirror and see how we felt when that horrid kid made fun of us in middle school, or the teenage dweeb broke our heart, etc. All those things stick with us and color our self image. I’d love to do your makeup to go along with this fabulous hair! You’d look not like a 12 year old AT ALL, but a 21 year old Victoria’s Secret model…ease up on yourself! 🙂

    • Wow, thanks! Makeup and I go on a date maybe once, MAX twice a year. For the most part, I just use plain old lip balm, so maybe it’s my fresh face and not my haircut that’s making me look 12? Something to ponder…

      (Funny, though, when I was 12, I wore a ton of makeup to try to look older. Now that I’m older, I hardly touch the stuff.)

      • YES, I definitely think a little would create a look that is more polished and finished, thus more mature which is the look you’re going for, I think. 🙂 I’ve had very good luck with Bare Minerals. It’s makeup that doesn’t feel like makeup and tends to look more like you, only better. In fact, the advertising and instructions on it always say, “less is more” and apply with a light hand, and that sort of thing. Whatever you do, avoid those department store makeup counters where the sales ladies wear the entire line–all at once. LOL

  4. Uh…I like it! You look good! Although the pictures with the comments and little drawings were hysterical, I think you look beautiful. I had my hair chopped off about a year and a half ago..she took about 8 inches off, it was even shorter than yours is now. It felt like I had lost 20 pounds, such a freeing feeling. Think of the money you’ll save from using less shampoo! And being carded is something you’ll enjoy when you get to your 40s like me.

    • OK, OK– I’m getting more accustomed to it as the days pass and believe it or not, I think I’ll survive! 😉 The initial shock was more to do with the styling than anything. Now that I’ve had a few days to try styling it myself, it doesn’t look so big and puffy. It’s not flat, either, but I think we’ve achieved a perfect medium. Thanks for the compliment!

  5. I really like it. But I know the feeling of taking the plunge and then regretting it. I spent several years growing mine out and one day before christmas I was in a mood and decided I needed a change…not the right change I’m afraid. I cut off seven inches and had it dyed a shade of red. Can you say mistake. The color is changed back thank God but the seven inches of curls will take a while to grow back. Next time I’ll sit down and figure out what’s bothering me instead of jumping the gun and trying to solve my issues with a terrible hair cut….live and learn. For the record when I look in the mirror I see Phyllis Diller. hugs from Newfoundland

    • I guess I should be thankful that I didn’t get a cut AND a colour, too. That could have been disastrous. 🙂 I’ve had a whole week to live with the new cut, and it’s getting better. It’s still not my favourite style, but I’m managing. Thanks for the compliment!

  6. Dana, you are hilarious with your faces and diagrams! Even then, sorry, but the haircut suits you! Your hair is probably poofy because it is relishing in the release of all that weight (a whole pound!) that was dragging it down. It will calm down and resume the more relaxed style that you are looking for. You look great!

    • Thanks, Robin! Glad to hear that I suit my scientific, world-peace-bringing haircut. 🙂

      My hair was definitely taking advantage of its new found freedom. So puffy! So soft! I’m getting better at taming it (read: using barrettes!), but I’ll still be happy when there’s an extra inch or two at the bottom.

  7. Haha, cute!
    I’m so afraid of hairdressers that I haven’t seen one since I was 12! (It’s HER fault I haven’t been back.) Friends have been cutting my hair ever since… somehow it scares me less to have an amateur chop away randomly than having to deal with the “feminine” whims of a professional. I hope you’ve managed to embrace your new look!

    • You know, I cut my hair by myself for years and years, but once it got long I was afraid to “mess it up” by sticking to my home haircutting regime. There was a lot less to lose (literally and figuratively) when my hair was only 2 inches short. Now that it’s long, there seems to be way more at stake. 🙂

      We just spent a weekend in the Big City, and despite a few puffy, crisis-of-confidence moments, I was mostly okay going out in public. It can only get better from here.

  8. Dana, you always make me laugh! You are so funny. Going to get one’s hair cut can be awful, awful. (That’s why we stick with the same stylist for years & years, long after they’ve quit cutting it in any chic style.) I think you look just wonderful. My hair has always refused to cooperate. I had to cut it before Nicaragua, though, because my mom would say something otherwise. Sigh…it’s awful when you’re still trying to get a 79-year-old to approve of your hair.

    • Haha– this comment made me laugh (even though it ended up in my spam for some reason?) Does your mother approve of the same haircut over and over again but disapprove of any deviations from the decades-old norm? It can be so difficult to switch things up. I had really short and spiky hair for years. Now that it’s long, I’m so afraid to chop it off again. My younger, more stylish self would be horrified! 🙂

      • You wouldn’t believe it, Dana, MANY of my comments to blogs since returning home have turned up in spam since returning home. Feeling like such a low-life. WordPress promises me it’s fixed but I have to keep returning to individual blogs to see, since no one is sending email notifications anymore. **sob**

        • Well, if it makes you feel better, I just got this comment in my regular inbox and not in spam. Maybe WP is right that the issue has been fixed? (Can’t a girl just go to Nicaragua, enjoy a tropical destination wedding, and come back to find her slice of the internet in complete order?? Sheesh!) 😉

  9. You are so funny!

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with spherical hair. It looks really hard to not be cute when you’re you.

    Nevertheless, I do feel your pain about AWOL hairstylists. I’ve had two go that route and it was a devastating loss each time.

    • Maybe somebody should implement a hairdresser GPS tracking system. They could each be tagged like deer or bears in the wilderness, and we could study their migration patterns. It would save a whole lot of heartache, methinks. Why must hairdressers move around so frequently (and secretly)?

  10. Listen, I’m still sporting that bloggy wedding beehive from a month ago. Sucker is a tangled mess! I think you look adorable and your head muffin top cancels out muffin top muffin top equation is pretty much genius!

  11. Pingback: 20 Struggles Only People With Thick Hair Can Relate To - Just Girly Things

  12. Le samedi matin, Williams sera un favori lourde contre Sharapova, après avoir dominé la Russie deuxième tête de série dans leurs dernières réunions.

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