Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Bad Haircut with Layers

Q: Hi, I am really upset. My hair was thick and about 4 inches long from my shoulders. I went to the hairdresser today and asked for a trim and a few layers. The hairdresser has left my hair thin and short, just below my shoulders and light. The layers are short up by my ears. When she was cutting my hair she cut it at an angle, as if cutting up the hair and not across for a blunt finish (which I wanted). She even opened the scissors and cut down my hair, hence how thin it feels. I was just wondering how I am going to grow this out and what technique do you think she used so I can avoid it in the future. Thank you, any advice appreciated.
A: First of all, I am so sorry you received such bad service. I don't know if the problem you had was a result of poor communication between you and the stylist, or whether the stylist simply failed to listen to what you were trying to convey. Whatever the reason, it is obvious you didn't get what you wanted.
This is why I stress the importance of finding a stylist who will listen carefully to you and who will explain to you exactly what he/she is going to do and what the effect will be BEFORE he/she makes any cut. A good stylist never picks up his scissors until he's positive that both he and the client are clear about the goal for the client's hair.
I'm afraid that the only thing for you to do is be patient while the layers grow back to a length you are comfortable with. Given your description of the length of the shortest layer, I expect you will need at least 6-8 inches of growth to reach a point near where you started before going to the salon. This means about two years of growing when you factor in regular (and accurate) trimming to prevent and remove split ends, etc.
Bad haircut

The only other alternative I can see would be to have your hair cut again so that the longest and shortest lengths of the hair layers are closer together. This would mean losing several inches of the longest lengths which have been thinned so dramatically, then allowing the hair to re-grow together. This would rid you of the overly-thinned portions of the hair, but may mean you have to live with hair much shorter than you are accustomed to having. The decision obviously is one that only you can make.
As to the method that was used to "thin" your hair, it sounds as though the stylist performed a technique called "slithering", where the scissors are held open and guided through the hair away from the scalp along the length of a section. It is generally used to create a very steep, smooth tapering in long hairstyles. However, it can remove a considerable amount of hair and should never be overused.
Be sure to keep your hair well-conditioned during the re-growing period to minimize split ends and keep the hair strong and healthy. If you decide to take the option of letting the shorter lengths catch up to the longer ones, be especially cautious of blow-drying and heat styling the hair. Now that there is less hair at the ends, there is a greater risk of over-drying and heat damage, because there's not as much hair to absorb the heat.
I wish you the very best.
Related posts:
How to get a good haircut
Hair pointing and hair slithering
Thinning gone wrong
My hair was thinned too much. Are there any shampoos to make it thick again?