Wicked Wednesdays — Our Worst Hair-dos

Okay, Wickeds pull out those photo albums. Whose mom cut their bangs too short? Who had big hair in the 80’s or bad perms? Mohawks? Anyone had the same hairstyle forevah? Feel free to share more than one.

Edith: HAge3a! Talk about short bangs. Here am I about age three or four.

I rather liked my hair during high school, even though I slept with 3-inch diameter plastic rollers, my pillow tucked underneath them. But then there was the summer during college when I was a nanny at the beach for a month in 1973. I cut my hair, which had been below my shoulders for years, to what I thought would be an easy short cut. Disaster! Had to start pinning the bangs to the side so they could grow out. Argh. Good thing hair grows… It got long again, but for the last twenty years I’ve pretty much had the exact same hairstyle.

The unfortunate hairdo with l-to-r,  my cousin Paul, my aunt Jo, and my cousin Andy.
The unfortunate hairdo with, L-to-R, my cousin Paul, my aunt Jo, and my cousin Andy. A couple of pairs of unfortunate pants, too!

Jessie: During the summer between second and third grade my mother cut my little sister’s long hair to shoulder length and she looked adorable. She looked so nice I wanted my mother to cut mine too. My mother, wisely, refused saying my hair was nothing like my sister’s and it would not look the same. Not being one to take no for an answer I kept asking until I drove her crazy and she chopped it off. It looked bad enough that there are no photos of me during that time period at all.  I’ve never worn shoulder length hair again.

Barb: I feel like I’m getting way with something because all my photos are up north, so you’ll never see the short do, or, thank goodness, the perm. Both mercifully short lived. My mother used to cut my bangs when I was young, too, and always, always too short as far as I was concerned. It was the focus of our most epic battles.

1983? C’mon, when are those glasses coming back?

Julie: My worst hairdo wasn’t my fault. It was a combo of the time, lack of product, and my hair itself. Back in high school and college my hair was crazy curly. (That is not a perm.) It was also the 80’s, which meant asymmetrical haircuts were the rage. Products weren’t what they are today. There were three choices, max. Hence, bad hair. But really good times.

Edith: Julie, are those six-inch long feather earrings? I kind of liked big glasses, too!

Sherry: If I ever say I want to cut off all my hair again please stop me. And what is with all the short bangs? IMG_2631IMG_2641

Readers: Tell us about your worst hair-do!

35 Thoughts

  1. I remember hating my curls. Tried to iron them out. Couldn’t be done. All my haircuts were bad. I always looked like I had a do. Tried forever to undo the do. When I let my hair grow so it would look like the other girls’ two giant dreds would form at the nape of my neck one to each side. Hah. Silly girl moi.

    1. Hardly any curl on me, just a bit of wave. I had fine hair, although it’s a little coarser now that it’s gray. Can’t imagine ironing your hair. Ouch!

      1. Oh… no. The ironing didn’t work. I did it as a suggestion from a fellow band member over in Marblehead who said his sister did it. My hair is excessively thick but very fine. So it kind of just burned off. And smelled bad for about six weeks. 🙂

    2. Sherry… a pillowcase? Really? No wonder. That’s what I get for taking advice from a boy who said that’s what his sister did!

  2. I always wanted curly hair until someone told me that “it doesn’t do what you want it to do – it does what it wants to do”.

  3. What a fun post!

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a haircut that I really liked. Tolerated, maybe. My hair is thick and no one seems to know what to do with it. I’d kind of like 80s big hair to come back in style since my hair tends to do that on its own. I have a Glamour Shots portrait from the 80s where my hair takes up half the picture. No lie.

    My mother trained as a beautician in high school and even had her own shop before WWII. I have three sisters, so we had our share of perms growing up. I also remember her using a curling iron that she heated up on the gas stovetop.

    Julie, I have a photo of me from 1984 when my oldest was born, where I have the same hairstyle, except mine was a perm. I also wore braces on my teeth at the time–not a good look for a 27 year old. I should probably find that photo and burn it.

  4. My hair is super thick with lots of cowlicks, straight in some places and wavy in others. It also looks really bad long, which is how I wore in in 8th grade (the ONLY time)! I actually had a bad hair DECADE, in my 20’s, not because of the cut but because I had been progressively going gray since the age of 16 and by the time I got to be about 23 or 24 people kept saying, “When are you going to do something about your hair?” because it was white on the sides. When I finally gave up trying to hide the gray with blonde highlights and decided to color it, I discovered that it turned orange every time I spent any time in the sun. It was such a relief to get into my 50’s and finally to feel old enough to just let it be gray!

    1. Glad you arrived at that point, Eileen! My aunt Ruthie had the same experience, and I remember thinking how lovely she looked with her true white hair! Her sister, my aunt Jo, kept dying hers into her eighties.

  5. Like Jessie, I decided to cut my own hair when I was around 4. I think I lost interest halfway through, because as I remember it, it was long on one side, short on the other. My mother was not amused. Nope, no pictures.

    High school was “The Flip” (and those blasted curlers we slept in!). How on earth did anyone manage to get the ends to turn up neatly all the way around, all at the same time? Ridiculous!

    1. There was one period, eighth grade maybe, when my sister and I would wash our hair in the evening, and then gel the flip in. We’d walk around without moving our heads until it dried. Incredible!

    2. Oh the curlers… Then came the juice cans. Thank god they switched to cardboard juice cans and we could no longer use them. Somewhere between juice cans and the next torture device, I met Steve who preferred it the way it came out of the shower. Of course he didn’t know I worked on it a lot before coming out of the bathroom.

  6. My worst haircut was inflicted on me just about a year ago, when my long time faithful hairdresser defected to outer outer suburbia, so I went searching for another. After one false start (she just couldn’t get it right) I hit upon a highly recommended and somewhat pricey woman, and let her go at it. Holy $%#*! I couldn’t believe how terrible it was. I was in tears knowing that I would never never in my life have nice hair again, because there were no more hairdressers in the world who knew what they were doing. Over the next few days, as I whined, two different friends commented, “You just had your hair cut???!”

    So that was my liberation point. I knew I couldn’t possibly do a worse job myself. I bought a pair of haircutting scissors and got a book from the library “Haircutting for dummies” and studied the internet a lot. One piece of advice they all agreed on was “DO NOT CUT YOUR OWN HAIR. ONLY OTHER PEOPLE’S”

    I went ahead. Over the past year, I’ve had more compliments about my hair than in the previous [mumble mumble] decades combined.

    1. I’ve come home from the hairdresser numerous times and got out my own hair scissors and fixed the cut. I used to cut my boys’ hair until they were in high school. I have clippers, too, that I use on hubby’s head twice a month. If I could see to cut the back of my hair, I’d probably cut my own all the time.

  7. I don’t remember a lot of bad haircuts. But there is this: In the early 80s, after the movie “10” came out, a lot of girls in my elementary school were crimping their hair like Bo Derek did in the movie. You wash your hair, and then braid it all into tons of thin braids. After it dries, you take the braids out and brush it, and you have crimped hair, which I remember looking cute. Well, one day in my late twenties when I was avoiding doing something, I thought I’d crimp my hair. Let me tell you, it did NOT look cute. Thankfully, all I had to do was wash my hair and the result went away.

    1. Funny, Barb! I remember as a teenager leafing through the haircut books and picking out a do. Somehow I thought if I got my hair cut that way, the rest of me would look like the model, too. Alas…

  8. I had the same basic haircut growing up. Parted on the side and trimmed around the edges. Looked great.

    When I was 25, I decided it was time for something different. At the dare of a couple of friends, I bought some clippers and proceded to shave off half of my hair. Hey, it was a Saturday and April Fool’s Day at that. After a couple of hours, I shaved off the rest. (And I can’t seem to find the pictures quickly and easily, sorry!)

    I’ve been buzzing my own head ever since. I did go the Mohawk route a couple of times, but never with a long top since that would require growing out my hair.

    (And here I bet you thought a guy wouldn’t have any crazy stories to share, right?)

  9. I do not have a photo of my “bad hair cut” days. My mom would never allow it. Until I was in the second grade my hair was nearly to the back of my knees. Mom would comb and braid it every night before I went to bed. She did not appreciate dealing with tangles or knots. One morning Mom agreed to let me wear a new headband and leave my hair flowing. Later that day, as I was using the rest room in school, my hair became tangled on a sweaty pipe alongside the toilet. Try as I might, I could not get away from it. Sister Angela Marie came to the rescue with her handy….and very large…sewing scissors. When Mom came for me that afternoon half my head had long hair and the other side was cut to my shoulder. My mom nearly fainted!

  10. I used to say my worst hairdo is every hairdo, but then I went through a thing where my hair fell out. Not all of it, but enough to make me appreciate what I still have, which is not as curly as it used to be. I grew up with curly hair. It felt like the bane of my life. Worse than being skinny and bespectacled.
    My cousin Linda owns a beauty parlor and has for the past 40 years. She knows everything that happened in that town since the beginning of time.

  11. I was in high school, mind you. My aunt decided I’d look good with bangs. Unfortunately, I must have agreed. She combed my hair over my face, held a hunk tight, and clipped. My remaining hair, released from her hold went BOING! Stood up straight. For a few weeks I wore a tiny ribbon on a bobby pin holding all the hair off my forehead. Can you imagine a teen with a little kid bow on her forehead?

  12. I have to say I had great hair when I was younger. It would take any curl or wave in minutes. My worst haircut had to be the one my sister gave me while my mother was gone. I had super long hair but loved having my hair brushed. So I kept telling her she could cut more as long as she brushed my hair. Ended up being just below my ears. I learned at a very young age that it is just hair and it will grow out, back or not.

  13. My hair is very straight, thick but fine–even with a lot of mousse and a curling iron, I could never achieve the Farrah look. My hair just didn’t have the right texture. So I started perming, which only helped some. Then I went straight again in college (I went to a very preppy school and straight hair cut blunt just above the shoulders was the norm for girls), until my junior year when I visited a friend in Greenwich Village and got an Isabella Rossellini razor cut (remember, super short, with little points in front of the years?)–looked pretty good, as I recall, though I’m not sure if there are any pictures to be had. Hair technology has come a long way, thank goodness, because now with better cutting techniques and better products, I can actually get some body into my very straight locks. But oh, there was one particularly bad haircut–when I was in elementary school I got a shag cut–you know, like Mrs. Brady? With my round face it looked absolutely awful. My head looked perfectly round a la Charlie Brown. My mom still has all the pictures, so I can’t post one here. Darn it!

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