Thursday, April 10, 2008

How To Save an Accidental Mullet

A Daddy Likey Reader In Distress (or DLRID, if you prefer extremely uncatchy acronyms) just sent me the following email:

I went to get a sandwich and I came back with a mullet! It looks a little something like this:

What should I do? Should I try to rock it (ironically, of course) or should I wear those furry Russian hats for the rest of my life? What about on the beach? Should I still wear furry Russian hats then? Please advise!

Should've Known Better (Richard Marx version, of course)

So, first and foremost, you need to stop patronizing this sandwich shop immediately. God, can't a girl just get a turkey sandwich, no pickles, light on the mullet, these days?

Secondly, I have to admit that I'm not very well qualified to answer your question. I've had a lot of bad haircuts in my time (and a few french kisses from hairdressers), and I've never had the guts to do the universally recommended "march right back into the salon and tell them to fix it or else" thing. My strategy is more...a lot of crying. After the crying, I usually try desperately to work the bad hair into some sort of shtick--"These giant news anchor bangs are PERFECT for when I need to deliver headlines on live TV in 1986! Heh, heh. Right?"

In fact, my first instinct was to advise you to wear a cape and carry around a few floating, glowing orbs for the next month and insist you're always on your way to a Labyrinth-themed party (fun fact: at any given moment, there are 50 Labyrinth-themed parties occurring in the world).

And that is why I'm going to turn this query over to my readers.

So, what do you guys think? Has anyone out there ever done the "march back into the salon" thing and lived to tell the tale? Is anyone totally owning a mullet right now? Do you all enjoy the Russian-hat-on-the-beach imagery as much as I do? Please help your fellow reader, and, in doing so, help all the bad haircut victims of the world!


Anonymous said...

I have lived through MANY dreadful haircuts and never once went back to the salon since it would inevitably mean loosing even more hair, so I usually opt to keep whatever they have left me with.
n order to come to terms with the haircut, the first thing is to ascertain it's potential for being tied back. Failing that, draw attention to the cut by adorning it with assorted hairbands and clasps and just OWN that cut. It may require a slight and temporary wardrobe re-alighment, so your cut looks deliberate. And just keep in mind that after a month your hair will have grown enough to be able to make changes which will hopefully mean you'll be closer to the cut you ACTUALLY wanted. Stay strong!

WendyB said...

Someone recently described my current 'do as a "fashion mullet."

Mindy said...

I am sitting here with a bad haircut myself. My advice is to ask around and find a really good salon and have them fix it. Having said that, I do not practice what I preach and am too cheap to follow my own advice. I'm just going to ride it out for awhile.

Ms. Spinach said...

I have famously traumatized more than a few hairstylists by bursting into tears in the salon chair. (And actually, it was only warranted on a few occasions -- when I got home, I realized more often than not that the haircut was actually okay and I'd tormented the poor stylist for nothing.)

Moving on. I find a couple of weeks of growth, experimentation and personal adjustment helps a bad haircut tremendously. Try headbands, piecing it back in clips, pigtails, a ponytail... anything. If you still can't stand it, head to a better salon for help -- at least you'll have a little more growth to work with. Explain your situation in detail. Make sure he/she doesn't make it any worse.

Also! Hats are waaaay in. So you're in luck there, at least!

Unknown said...

If you're feeling gutsy and think you can work it, go all the way ang get a pixie cut. I've always wanted one, but it just doesn't work with my face.

Anonymous said...

start wearing hats!

SinSecret said...

No one can pull off the mullet like David Bowie. It is a sad fact, but true. I'd recommend picking out a nice hat and wearing it as often as possible, while using those flat clips to keep down/back those shorter strands.
If you're willing to have all your hair shorter, go ahead and head back, say it really wasn't what you wanted, and get a new, shorter cut.
Otherwise, I don't know. But good luck to you.

(you have cool blog here. props ^-^)


Anonymous said...

I have definitely requested a mulligan from a stylist. Its easier if you wait until after you leave the salon and call so you can talk to the receptionist not the stylist to reschedule. They're usually pretty gracious about it or maybe its just because I live in Iowa. Think of all the anguish you can save future victims by speaking up.

Anonymous said...

I have never gone back, I've never had the guts. But I do agree with ms spinach, you should give it a week or two, see what you can do with it, and if it's horrible, get it redone.
the slight wardrobe redo could work, could say you're a scenester or a hipster and say you MEANT to get a mullet-esque thing.
and I must admit, I'm partial to a Tegan&Sara(Canadian indie band) mullet-y thing, so you could get it recut like theirs until it grows more?

Anonymous said...

oh my god, I love mullets. I've always wanted to get one, so I definitely say rock your mullet! in fact, i'm having mullet envy right now from all this talk. If you're feeling down about your haircut, remember there are girls like me out there ogling you with green, covetous eyes.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. TWO David Bowie Labyrinth posts on a fashion blog within a month? Ms. Winona, you are in love with the Goblin King. Don't deny it.

I know. I love him too.

Robo said...

You know, I actually ended up with a modified mullet once, too. Funnily enough, it was one of the maybe 3 haircuts in my life that got me the most compliments. Of course, right when I got home I was horrified, but after washing out the crazy styling, I played around with it. And, lo and behold, it worked!

I'd recommend taking the fur hat off and messing around with it a bit -- flat/curling iron, products, etc. Well, maybe you can keep the fur hat on for like another week until your newly cut hair settles down. But it's not that bad, I promise. Besides, when was the last time you could say, "Business in the front, party in the back, baby!" Ok, maybe don't do the last part.

Note to Winona -- I very much *heart* your blog (I think I said that before in another comment), and I've linked your blog on mine ( Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I have done the "march right back" trick and she actually took it very well!

It was hilarious because she had forgotten to get my hair wet first, then she razored it and sht before cutting it first (and there was like a good 10 inches coming off too) so by the time she was finished raking my head to blo.ody bits and taking little bites of a turkey sandwich in between (just kidding about the sandwich, I had to intertwine it in there somehow), she had left a ton of chunks just like.. laying there!

I've got to tell you I was NOT PLEASED quite frankly I was very angry and did cry when I looked into the mirror.

So I went out and it only took a few looks, snickers and tears to realize that I was not going to live life this way! My mom took me back and demanded that she UNSHITTIFY my beautiful hair. And the chick actually did it too!

Darling they want to impress you, make you happy- most of all they want your money. And you want them to work for that money right?? Well it better be damn good work for it if they're touching hair! Especially if it means you in a Russian hat on the beach (which I would love to see btw)

- That One Lindsay Grl

Anonymous said...

If you have the money, go somewhere else and get them to fix it. If not, go back in tears with an irate parent (as described by the anonymous poster above). If you do not have an irate parent to hand, borrow someone of an appropriate age and bribe them with chocolate. This is less effective if you are over 25, you could try an irate partner but it makes you look a bit weird!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this month's Real Simple? Hillarious bad haircut stories. The one that made me almost laugh my lunch through my nose ironically happened the day John Kennedy died. Must read.

Anonymous said...

My query would be how did nipping out for a sandwich result in a mullet?

Anonymous said...

Definitely go back and get them to fix it. It's only happened to me once - I just booked another appointment (fully prepared to pay for it, too)... and she had no problems with it... did it for free! Of course, I've been using the same stylist for 10+ years.

Poochie said...

I got so fed up with my last stylist I just quit going. the cut and color kept looking bad and not what I wanted. Why go back for more of the same. The last time I went in I wanted a trim and they hacked off like 6 inches before I knew what was going on.

That was the end of that! I'm at at new place and much happier now.


Anonymous said...

For most of my life, my mom, a beautician, cut my hair. Consequently, when I got a bad haircut, my only way to resolve it was crying for a few hours in the bathroom and then sucking it up.

I would definitely call back to the salon and make an appointment in about a week for a fix-up. In the meantime, try playing with headbands, scarves, clips, and ponytails. If you find that you can live with it, cancel the appointment. The hairstylist is there to make you pretty. If they don't do what you want, you have all the rights to go back in there and get it done again.

Krista said...

Yes, definitely call back. I just had a bad haircut happen to me last week and even though I felt awkward/guilty, I called and went back in to have it fixed. I was chopping my really long hair off to donate it and so I guess I didn't realize how bad the short hair looked until I got home. Needless to say, I went back, everything's fixed and my hair is much cuter now. So if you don't want to pay, go back to the same place. If you don't care about the money and just want a rad haircut, go to a new, quality salon where they can probably do wonders making your mullet look fashionable or totally fix it in some other style.

Or, if you're feeling gutsy, rock a short cut. They're incredibly cute and take practically no time to style!

N/OutofFashion said...

I'm way too shy to complain.

I would go somewhere else and have it cut shorter.

reg said...

Gurrrrl! I am IN your shoes. About.. a month ago, i let my stylist give me a cut she described as "the fashion mullet" (Oh my god, what was i thinking when i agreed to that) Well, my stylist has fabulous hair, and she's badass and i loove her, so i was like, uh.. sure?

Well guess what, it turned out HORRID. A fashion mullet without the fashion. I was like :O but just like you, i didn't want to complain..

What i do to get over this, is i wear it back in pony-tails or pigtails, (supercute) and sometimes if you have a small curling iron, you can curl it to make it look 1940's-esque with bangs.
Seriously, we should have a mullet support group. We ARE VICTIMS!

Brandi said...

Yes,I've gone back. My stylist happily remedied the problem at no extra cost. Plus, she knew better what I liked in the future. The trick is not to be a raging witch.

Anonymous said...

You can successfully march back in and demand they fix it, without fear of a pair of scissors to the eye. It all depends on how much the mullet (sandwich) cost you. If it was an expensive fine-dining affair, get your money's worth and request they de-bogan your do. If it was the haircut equivalent of a 7-eleven dodgy snack, you'd be better off going elsewhere to fix it.

Or.... take a photo of it and post it on

Unknown said...

I've never gone back to the salon. If they didn't do it right the first time, why would I let them near my hair with scissors a second time? I'm also probably too shy to do it. (Though I did once leap out of a chair when it became clear that the hairdresser wanted to Beckhamize me).

I've had lots of bad haircuts, and my hair gets mullety if I don't get it cut often enough. I just tie a scarf around my head, peasant-like. Tie it behind your head, not under your chin. It looks intentional, and, unlike a hat, you never have to take it off indoors.

Anonymous said...

all my life, my mother has cut my hair. she did a little haircutting back in the day to help pay college tuition, but.. she's a little rusty. i haven't let her touch my hair in about 2 years, because the last time she did i refused to leave the house for a week straight. it was like a fashion mullet.. only the bangs were crooked and waaaay too short, and it ended just below my jawline. ive been too scared to get a haircut since, even though its getting ratty and dry.

i'd say, go back and make em fix it.

Rachel said...

I too was the victim of a mullet, once upon a time. I was going to Paris and thought it would be TRES cool to get my hair cut there, so I asked my stylist if he could recommend some ultra chic French salon. "OH! Yes, yes, you MUST go to ____, it's just FABULOUS," he gushed. So off I went, and boy howdy did I end up with a French fashion mullet. I barely spoke French, so I was in no position to march back in. What I did do when I slunk back home was say how totally cool the hip French salon was where I went, and how the guy there gave me THE current French shag cut that all the cute French girls had (these things were true, but the haircut still looked sadly awkward on me). Basically, I did my best to just suck it up and rock the cut.

So you could talk about how fabulous and French and avant-garde your hair guy is...or (probably better) gather the front pieces and fasten them to the top of your head in a fashiony little bouffant thing. It could be cute. At least in my imagination.

xoxo material girl!

la petite fashionista said...

hahahhaha i just went back and read your french kissing hairstylist story. awe winona you must be scarred for life :( haircuts will never be the same lol

i had an unfortunate haircut as a 5 year old while playing beauty shop with my neighbor. I didn't realize she was cutting my hair off with REAL scissors until our parents came in screaming! needless to say i got confused for an awfully pretty little boy for the next year with my pixie cut.


Anonymous said...

i'm of the opinion that if someone screwed my hair up once, there is no way i'm going to let them do it again. unfortunately, playing with a bad haircut often just makes it worse, especially if you're only at shoulder length to begin with. figure out a way to put it up, and just let it grow...and then find a new salon!!

that said, does anyone have any recommendations on finding a good salon in a new area?? i've been going back to my hometown for haircuts and the past few i just haven't been that happy with what's been done...nothing awful, just not what i want. i need a new place, and short of accosting women in grocery stores i don't really know how to get any advice!

echidna girl said...

When I was younger I had trouble asserting myself to get what I wanted but now that I'm older I don't care whether the hairdresser gets upset or not.

Dammit it's my head and my money. If I really hate it I complain to the manager and ask for another hairdresser to fix the problem. Tant pis on them if they've got a pissy woman in the place, they've got just to deal with me.

Luckily now I have someone I like but even so, I have no problem asking her to do a minor repair if I'm not COMPLETELY happy with what she's done when she hands me that mirror at the end.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm way late with this comment (I just found your blog and I adore you!). I've only once actually told the salon they did a crappy job... I had just moved recently and was avoiding finding a new salon to do my brows and my hair and my wedding was coming up... so I bit the bullet (luckily it was still a good 6 months pre-wedding). I found what seemed from the ads to be a trendy "European" salon - my eyebrows were first, then my haircut - my eyebrow lady was a skinny uppity European girl with a heavy (Russian?) accent. I was feeling enthusiastic, her eyebrows looked great (I should've had HER eyebrow person do mine). She immediately ripped out about 3/4's of my brow, took out about 1/2 of the top that was left, and didn't do a thing to the scragglies that were growing under the brow. I looked horid. I cried. I couldn't breathe I was crying so hard (my mind wondered to my wedding and those brows). Everyone kept saying "Is it your first time having your brows done?" and I was so upset I couldn't even scream. Finally I told them there was no way I was letting some lady there cut my hair, I'd walk out bald. The brow(removal) wax ended up being on the house. Yippee!

Anonymous said...

When things like that happens to me, I'm too shy to say how I feel. So I just go somewhere else. Thank for the post.

Karmalize said...

this just happened to me. i came across your blog while i was looking for a support group.

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