The Worst Thing Ever- Hair Stories

by Shelli of Hairscapades

So, about a year ago, my parents moved from their old house to their new one and my mom found some old pics of me and my sisters that she turned over to us. I’m about to reveal to y’all what was probably the worst hair of my life. The year was 1988. After having had a relaxer for about 3 years, I decided I wanted to wear my hair wavy as I could never get/keep it straight anyway. I wasn’t feeling the Jheri Curl, but the Wave Nouveau had just been introduced! YES! That’s the look I wanted! I dreamed of looking like this!!


Instead, I looked like this.

(I’ve come a loooooong way baby!!)

LMBO!! Told you. See a salon stylist, a so-called “professional,” thought it was fine to apply this curly chemical process over a relaxer. And … my hair proceeded to break horribly. Eventually, in my senior year of HS, I got my first totally short haircut ever to eliminate the remnants of the damage.

That was my worst hair year ever and was probably the worst thing that I ever did to my hair. So, the question of the day is:

What is the worst thing that you’ve ever done to your hair?

49 Weigh in!:
SashaB. said...

When I was younger, I loved-LOVED-Brandy. That was my girl (& still is). You couldn't tell me I wasn't Moesha; I wore the long "dookie" braids & got older and made the transition to crochet braids--I was doing the most, but that wasn't even the half of it. At some point in the late 90's, Faith Evans dyed her hair Fire Engine Red. Remember that? Yeah, well... I never forgot it. When I was old enough to make such requests to my hairdresser, I was all over it. Unfortunately, my hairdresser talked me into doing something less outrageous: a copper-y, auburn-ish color.

At the time, I thought I was looking spectacular, amazing, FINE! ...but about a year ago, I saw a picture of myself and thought--what the h-e-double hockey sticks was I thinking!? With my skin tone, (a beige/caramel color)--I looked like I'd been hand-dipped in gold from head to toe--(all but fabulous). Worst hair-decision ever.

Hands down. smh...

Annabel said...

Middle school I decided to get bangs and cut my hair into a bob. The stylist butchered my hair and gave me this one length mushroom cut and thick bangs. Back in the day, I didn't have a flat-iron and didn't realize humidity + relaxed bangs + poofy mushroom cut = disaster. I have the school picture to proove it. To make matter worse flannel (90's grunge phase) was in at the time, what was I thinking!!!

Anonymous said...

Let see… freshman year in college I decided I wanted highlights on my medium length relaxed hair. So myself and my roommate decided to go get a do it yourself highlights from the store. I wanted a honey brown color to compliment my dark brown hair. That night I tried the color in a box. Needless to say, my hair came out look like “Tony the Tiger” and it wasn’t greaaaaattttt! I then did another “no no.” We went back to the store that same night and got another color, this time jet black, and dyed my entire head black. This time it was looking pretty good. Then about two weeks later my hair started shading pretty bad. By the end of the semester my hair was so damaged that I had to cut it off. I ended up with a cute pixie cut and the knowledge to never do that again.

NickieLuv621 said...

Girl, I dyed my hair blond - at home! my hair fell out like nobody's business. i had to shave off all my hair and start from scratch. that was 2010.

Anonymous said...

I remember it like it was yesterday. August 5, 2005, I had gone to my stylist to have my relaxed hair colored. My hair is naturally black, and I was getting semi-permanent rinses every 4 weeks at the same time I was getting my relaxer done (every 4 weeks) to cover my gray hairs. Ha! So, I said I wanted to color my hair reddish/brown. Because the black in my hair didn't want to lift, my stylist, did a double process on my hair. The bleach took my hair from black to orange and white, then she deposited the color. It took in some places, but it wasn't the best coverage. The kicker came about 3 days later when my hair started shedding and breaking. I went back to my stylist a week later and asked for my $$$ back, which I did get, but that didn't compensate for my losing most of my hair. From August until November of that year, I wore my my thin stands pulled back in a clip, and slicked down my edges, just trying to hold on until I could get enough new growth to cut it pixie short. Once I got all of the damaged hair cut, I felt like a new woman, and I didn't dye my hair again! That is, until I went natural :-)

MsChina627 said...

Omg those stories sound funny but I can relate all too well and I know from my experiences its funny to laugh at now but at the time I thought the world was over. So some years back, when Destiny's Child came out with the music video to "Bootylicious" I just thought Beyonce's hair was soooo fierce! Blonde hair with pink tips...oh you couldn't tell me that wasn't fly lol. Soooooo since I was so in love with her hair I convinced myself that I could rock it too. Now mind you I have like a light caramel complexion and I told myself well I'm only a few shades darker than Beyonce. *Sigh & smh...so I brought this diy coloring kit and some colored hair spray to spray my tips pink like Bey! When I got home I mixed up the solution which included this thing called B2W. Me not even knowing what that stood for proceeded with the mixture and applied it to my hair. When I rinsed it out I had 5 different colors going on!!! Around the hair line my hair was albino blonde! The next few inches up my hair was a gold color, then it went into a bright orange color, and then because of a previous jet black diy job that I did, the ends of my hair were light to forest GREEN! So much for the pink tips right?! Ugh I was devastated but I tried to make the best of it by blowing out and flat ironing my hair and it still looked a hot mess! When I showed my mom the look on her face made me burst into tears! She comforted me and told me we all go through some sort of hair drama but that's how we learn. The next morning she took me to the hair salon to color correct the huge mess that I made. Oh yeah and I failed to mention that all of this was done on relaxed hair!!!I'm lucky I didn't go completely bald!

Janel said...

Probably beg my mom to let me do my own hair in middle school. I think it was around 5th grade when "mean girls" in school were like "your mama still do your hair?!" So, of course I begged her to let me do it. By the time I was in 7th grade I was putting my hair in a high ponytail with not enough hair to reach, so it stuck out ALL around. Talk about Krusty the Clown.

M said...

That stupid Keratin treatment! NO BUENO!!!!! Took all the curl out of my natural hair and broke it off like nobody's business. Never again.

MrsNumbles said...

Letting my mother put a Leisure Curl in my head. Thank goodness I put my foot down and refused to enter high school with it...

CurlyInTheA said...

LOL. Why do I remember that Revlon ad with Beverly, Iman and Louise like it was ysterday? Showing my age, I guess. No bad horror stories, but back in high school in the early 90s, I wanted the curly look but Jherri Curls were kinda played out by then. So I put shampoo in my hair to get curls! This was obviously before anybody knew anything about the tightly curly conditioner method (what can I say, one of my hair crushes back then were Cree Summers and Lisa Nicole Carson). My hair looked HAM, but I wore it that way for about a week until my "curls" were limp and weighed down with shampoo. I probably had bubbles in my hair, LOL. My hairdresser couldn't believe what I'd done. I had a perm then, but when she took me back to the wash bowl, she was like, WTH did you do to your hair?

http://www.hairnista.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Went to a "professional" (ha!) stylist for some highlights or light auburn streaks. The results resembled gold Christmas tree tinsel. Very brassy or copper pot scrubber-like. Don't know what happened. They were so bad I couldn't take it. I was too scared to get them dyed over. I just went through my entire head and CUT them all out. Better to have plugs in my head than the space alien-style streaks.

BreatheFashion3c said...

LORD HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!! I am about to get put out of this office laughinh at these stories!!! My worst hair time had to be my freshman year in high school when my aunt and I decided to do each other's highlights! We got our African Pride highlight kit and it was on and poppin! Mind you, I did my classmate's hair in high school as a side gig, so me doing her hair was not so out of the ordinary. Chile please! We put those highlighting caps on each other's head, pulled the sections of hair through the cap with what looked like a crochet needle, and you are talking about PAINFUL! And that was before we started the highlights! Needless to say after it was all said and done we looked like some brown and blonde skunks by the head! And those darn highlights got lighter by the year! I cut the last bit of them off my freshman year of college!!!!

Miche'al said...

My sister and I was always scissor happy. One time we shaved the sides of our head like Lisa Lisa. I would have to say the worst thing I every did was get a Salt-n-Pepa haircut. My hair length has never caught up to itself since then.

mw4451 said...

My natural hair journey has been going on for about two years now but the growth I have now is only the result of the last year or so and THAT's because the worst thing I have ever done to my hair was try to relax it myself! Yup that's right, after my first year natural I decided I couldn't take it anymore and just spread the stuff all over and sat with it in for about 35 min, and oh boy did I think I was cute with my curly perm! I even died it on top of that!...and then it started to break..and so I did my second Big Chop in August of 2010 and haven't looked back since..phew! that was a close one.

Anonymous said...

I dyed my natural hair and then relaxed it a week later. All of my hair fell out; had to start from square one. This of course was during my teen years-where was my Mama? The second worst and one of the dumbest was to go to one of the salons in Harlem to get a blow out; they yanked my hair so hard I ran out of there with a Half-fro cause I couldn't stand the pain and the stench of burnt hair.

Anonymous said...

Two times: First in highschool. I got curl and started with TWA because all of the perm had to be cut off. My hair grew and grew and I decied to blow it out and WOW, I finally had a lot of hair and of course, I wanted to be cute and wear it straight. But decided I needed a perm to do so. So I got a perm over my curl and my asymmetric bob cut and was so fly for a minute. That is, until my hair broke off.

Second time was in the late '90s. I had been natrual for a minute and got tired of the long hours of twisting and also I thought with virgin hair, my perm would take better. With a relaxer, my hair is alway dryer on one side and I thought if was from the years of overprocessing, so with virgin hair, all would be equal. No, same thing again. It was okay on one side but already coarser and dryer on the other. I was so disappointed. But also, my hair wasn't straight even after I endured some additional burning to let the relaxer sit on my head longer to make sure it was straight. I went home and wet it with some activator and rocked a curly perm (a purl as my friend called it) until it grew out. Oh, the lesssons learned.

Anonymous said...

A friend of my mom gave me my first perm and they only had super so she took it. It looked nice the first day but over time, my hair came out in clumps, end up with a short short short hairstyle. I had to endure my whole high school year being teased for my broken off thin hair.

Taneica said...

The Rihanna bob that I tried a few years back was by far the dumbest, but pressing my hair this past Thanksgiving is proabaly taks second. lol

Anonymous said...

I burnt my bang off when I was a freshman in high school. My mother had the curlers you put on the stove and I decided to use it one morning. I didn't realize how hot the curlers were and I ended burning my bangs off. I had to walk around with a burnt off bang for a month or two before I got braids put in.

Another time is when I was 13 and my mother decided to grow my relaxer out. The problem was that I had a relaxer since I was six and was used to dealing with straight hair. So as my hair started to grow out I thought I could use that gel called Dep. BAD IDEA!!! Half of my hair was hard and crunchy and the other half was straight. LOL Finally a few months later my mother took me to relax my hair again and I was back in business.

It wasn't until I got older that I decided on my own to go natural.

Jas

Hxyzyn said...

In 2008 (my sophomore year in college) I put henna and indigo in my relaxed hair. The henna/indigo were from a trusted supplier (one that I still use today with no problems), but my relaxed hair was not feeling it. When I was finished my hair was knotted up in huge clumps and breaking like crazy. I cut it off myself on the night of Obama's election and was so scared of putting in another relaxer that I just went natural.

Initially I was extremely upset about my mishap because I had a serious anti-black complex and was striving hard for that straight, relaxed "good" hair. But my oh my how things change lol. That henna mistake ended up being one of the best decisions of my life, going natural "woke me up" so to speak.

PhenomenallyMe said...

When I was a fresh-woman in college, I let a lady(supposed professional) pump my hair with protein. Not knowing a thing about hair, relaxed or natural, I thought she knew what she was doing. My hair was so hard and crispy with a rollerset. Of course I know now but back then, it resulted in a absolute disaster of hair falling out. I was almost bald in one spot of my head from that! I had to get a cute summer cut and went on to get some braids.

The second mistake was continuing to get relaxers after all that...Never again

Netta Dee said...

I colored my hair honey blonde in high school. Since then, now knowing what I know, I have not been able to maintain growth past my nape. Relaxed and colored whoa, i didn't know about caring for my hair with two chemicals.

Erica S said...

The worst thing I personally have ever done to my own hair was put color on top of color on top of color. Now I'm working through layers of color and heat damage. The WORST!

Anonymous said...

My mother would never allow me to get a perm growing up so, when I was old enough it was on and poppin (why listen to silly mom...right?) I learned the hard way that permed hair and relaxed hair are two different animals. You need to wait at least 6-8 weeks to perm again not four. You should not apply color the same day you apply a relaxer. Why would I pay attention to the warning labels? Come on now, I was 19 I knew everything. Needless to say my hair fell out something awful. Before the chemicals my hair was past my shoulders. After the chems... oh well lets just say I could no longer put my hair in a pony tail :( Now I am TEAM NATURAL!!

Anonymous said...

The Jheri curl in elementary school and dyeing my hair bronze in high school. I looked utterly ridiculous! LOL!

Melinda said...

I let my hair grow out for a year before I chopped of the perm ends in the summer of 2007 and, listening to my friends, I tried to dye my hair (Which would never dye due to my jet black hair) so finally I decided to use a permanent dye that was a bright orange/red color...needless to say my hair turned an ugly boo boo brown that did not match my complexion AT ALL

And to make things worse I listened to my friends AGAIN and dyed it kool-aid red 6 weeks later. My hair broke off in chunks and it took over a year for the middle of my hair to grow SMH

Then last year I decided to straighten my hair and I was so happy to see that my hair was APL...until the stylist said I had split ends and he cut my hair to right above my shoulders...couldnt even do a ponytail with straight hair so when i washed it out...SMH >~/

Lets just say it is hard to convince me to do anything now-a-days

ShoeHOTLINE said...

Used a super strength box perm trying to get my hair bone straight. My darn hair still hasn't recovered.

hairscapades said...

Wow, we really do some serious numbers on our hair, don't we?!?! But, I think almost everyone does something heinous to their hair (or has it done to them) at some juncture!!

I'm still waiting for Nik's story though.

Jas, oooh girl!! A burnt off bang?!?! Now THAT'S bad!!

And, I so wish you could share pics on these comments!! Well, for those of us who are far away enough from the trauma to be able to laugh about it! Those with recent "Worst Hair" ever stories and still recovering, sorry:(!! You're in the right place! It'll get better!!

Thanks for sharing! Keep 'em coming!

Shelli

(p.s. I can't believe no one commented on the glasses and Kool-aid grin. You guys are cool as ice;)! LOL!!)

D said...

Wave Nouveau! I had one of those too in 5th/6th grade. I thought I was going to look soooo much better than my cousins who had Carefree Curls. Despite the fancier name, it still looks the same. I still argue people down to this day that a Wave Nouveau was much better than jheri curl. My other hair don't is putting one of those Just For Me hair straighteners on my natural hair that they say really isn't a perm, buuuuuut it is just like a perm. The hair that grew in was so much kinkier than the straight hair that it broke off constantly. That led to a big chop so I can't complain too much.

Dana said...

Oh Lawd! Thanks for the laugh that almost made me pee on myself!

I was always too scared to do anything to my hair. The most I ever did was get a relaxer in grade school....never had color or any other process (Jheri curl, Wave Nouveau, etc.)

Thanks for sharing though!

Karissa said...

I let my roommate who was in cosmetology school at the time practice doing a sew in weave on me. #fail She couldn't braid. I was able to take it down in literally 5 min with one tug of the string. And it was blonde and black.
Then I decided I wanted a quick weave based off one of my coworker's suggestions (because hers looked fab) I put too much glue on the weft, stuck it to the stocking cap and plopped it on my head. The glue seeped to my scalp and consequently, the hair hat was glued on to my hair.
THEN,(mind you I had long thick hair all of my life until this summer), I wanted to get a relaxer touch up for my birthday. I bought the perm. My roommate applies it but before she does, she did NOT let me know that the relaxer wasn't mixing properly and put it in anyway.
Minutes later, we washed it out in the kitchen sink and long story short, y'all remember when Tina Turner colored her hair blonde...well let's just say we had a real life reenactment on my head. My hair had fallen out over the next few months to the point where I had bald spots.
I decided (when my hair washed down the drain months prior) I was going natural. Enough was enough. So after 6 months I BC'd in my bathroom and let's just say some (a lot) of spots didn't require cutting because all the relaxed hair broke off. And here I am, 5 years later with a big ol' curly head of hair!

Anonymous said...

It has to be either the highlights that my former lousy stylist put in my relaxed hair. I waited two weeks for it, and by the time my hair was relaxed again, I noticed all kinds of wicked breakage! I mean, hair on the pillow, on the floor, in the comb!

Or, it could be the tex-lax that I let a new stylist put in my natural hair that resulted in an "afro-mullet" and big chop #2.

See, that's why people who live in Delaware get their hair done in Philadelphia...

773natural said...

I remember it like it was this morning! It was the summer of 1999 and I was too fly for my own good! I had just relaxed my hair which was the length of an ant's leg earlier that week and decided that I wanted to dye my hair to reflect my "Summer Freeness" that I had going on...or at least I thought! I dyed.....I tried to dye my hair a very light shade of blonde.....over already dyed black hair.....hmmmm....didn't turn out so well I ended up with playdoh green hair, so I cried like a baby in the mirror wishing I had hair so I could get mad at it and cut it off. Instead someone told me to put a red rinse over it and it would cover the green......well lets just say I ended up looking like a mildewed treasure troll by the head! NEVER AGAIN!!

Anonymous said...

In high school I wanted color in my hair. But my Mama, of course, wasn't trying to hear that. Being a teenager at that time, you know I had to find a way. After asking around, I found out that you could put straight peroxide in your hair to lighten it. It felt like I hit the jackpot! #notquite

I started spraying my bangs and the tips of my hair with peroxide...a whole lot of it (I had BSL hair with this big thick china bang back then). *Ya'll see where this is going, LOL.*At first my hair got to this nice shade of brown... "yeahhhh, I'm all that...how ya like me now"...lol...UNTIL it started to get lighter and lighter every day. First it got redder, then light red, then - in a matter of days - it was PINK. Yes pink. As in almost carnation pink. SMH. By that time, my Mama had figured out that the story I was telling her " I don't know why my hair is getting lighter, Mama...it's just the sun I guess" charade was some foolishness. So she took me to the hairdresser to get it corrected...the lady ended up having to cut a bunch of it off. Stupid silly-dilly...I didn't know that peroxide by itself will take the complete color out of your hair. LOL #fail

Anonymous said...

MICROBRAIDS.

It took me and my roommate (a guy) about two days to take those damn things out of my hair. My hair was never thick to begin with, and when we were finished removing these braids my hair had thinned out so much, and I had a job interview the next day. I tried gathering it in a ponytail on top of my head and fanning it out for a bun; my roommate said i looked like Pebbles Flintstone and he damn near had to talk me off the ledge i was so upset. I was so traumatized by that (happened over a decade ago) to this day I can't remember how i wore my 5 strands of hair to that interview.

Adrienne said...

OMGSH!!!! I was in the 7th grade and wanted one of those short in the top but long in the back type of styles. I wanted it cut in layers in the top but the stylist only cut one layer in the top. SO.....I got scissor happy the next day. I was determined to get my layers so SNIP SNIP!! I ended with with HUGE bald spot in the middle of my head! I "tried" to hide it for 2 months until the hair grew back enough to completely cover the bald spot!

cellotlhicks said...

I got a relaxer my freshman or sophmore year I think and had no idea what to do with it, so it started getting super thin. I was still obsessed with being prettier and having straighter hair, so I would use the pressing comb (old fashioned stove one) and curling iron often. I had a little ponytail I would put the curling iron on. One day, I burned off 1/3 of it and felt so bad ;( I started to get braids then, and transitioned back to natural hair for the first time. Wish I never went back to perms but i did once, and same story. not to mention the peroxide streaks in the front that looked chewed up a few months later. For the first time in my life, the top of my hair is to my shoulders now. Its always been super fine there compared to the rest so I cringe at the abuse I put it through.

Anonymous said...

Its a tye between using elmers glue to hold in some weave that I cut off of a doll head..... or using peroxide from the first aid kit to bleach my hair! I was a laughing stock for a loooong time.

Anonymous said...

This was harder to answer than I thought...

The worst thing that was done to my hair was having a relaxer put in, first at age 4, then at age 12. Both times the relaxer broke my hair off completely. You'd think my mom would have learned from the first time...but it was an era where getting relaxers was a rite of passage so...

The worst thing I've done to my relaxed hair was to go to a cheapie hair cutting place in the mall for my first real haircut. I was in college at the time. This chick cut my hair in three layers all around my head...LITERALLY. Think of a bob. Now think of that bob laid out as three long semicircular shingles around a semicircular roof. It was almost impossible to style without it looking weird.

The worst thing I've done to my natural hair was coloring it with a box color from the drugstore (something by Clairol). My hair was dry as a desert for a good 4-5 months afterwards and nothing I did would change it. I haven't colored since...and in the unlikely event I do color again, I will pay the money and go to a colorist who knows what they're doing.

Mica Renee said...

Oooh this is fun! My first one was the time I straightened my hair with the highest setting on a flat iron every other day and got severe heat damage.

The second was when I let this idiot so called natural hair stylist cut my hair in layers. It came out so freaking uneven I was shamed to wear my hair down.

The final and probably worst was when I got so frustrated with my hair that I hacked it off, then went to an asian beauty salon to get a perm. She had no idea how to apply it and I felt like a zoo exhibit as everyone gathered around to watch -___-

Anonymous said...

Had to be third grade when er'body had a jheri curl. I begged my mom to let me get one she finally agreed and went to the store while my aunt put it in. I had long gorgeous thick hair down my back, that is until my mom came home and found that my aunt cut my hair off to my ears because "that's what you needed to do". I looked like a jheri curl afro fool. My hair never ever got back to where it was.

Then there's the time just a few years ago before I became natural. I decided to by a store dye and have "honey caramel" hair color needless to say I ended up looking like Ronald McDonald and wore a hat for a looong time until all of it broke off.

SharpLady said...

I was 9 yrs old and begged for a Jheri Curl so after months of begging my mom gave in. My hair has always been thick and long and reached the middle of my back. I got my wish and my curl and about a month later my hair began to fall out in clumps. Eventually I got rid of the curl and got a perm. While sitting in the chair at the salon my scalp was on fire from the creamy crack. I heard the stylist whisper to my mother, "Her scalp is bleeding." The chemicals were so strong and my poor young scalp was burned and bleeding. After 25 yrs of curls and relaxers I am now relaxer free.

Ammie Ma said...

I relocated to Hong Kong from the UK in January. Ihave a Wavew Nouveau perm and did my homework before I left home. I discovered there was an African hair dresser. When I got to Kong Kong and my hair and my new growth needed to be touched up I called her only to disccover that she no longer does hair because she is not licensed. I literally begged her to come to my flat and do it as 'a friend' but she would not. I looked all over and found no-one who would do African American hair and no where to buy products. What did I do? Flew to London over Easter to get my hair done!!! talk about an expensive hair cut. Now prepared I bought (or so I thought) all the products to do my hair myself. It's time to re-do my perm and at this very moment I'm in the middle of self-relaxing and discover I did not know how to get the hair rolled on the roller very well; nevberthe less I tried and after TWO HOURS finished rodding my hair. When I sat at the comcomputer to read the next two steps I discover I do not have the 'Finishing Solution! Ladies, if anyone is reading this now in real time, can you help me? What can I do in lieu of the Finishing Solution? I have 5 minutes to go to put on the Shape Lock and have absolutely no idea what to do without this finishing solution. Is it really important? Can I just wash and condition the hair after the curls have set? HELP! It's 14/7/12 and 3.40 in the evening in Hong Kong.

hairscapades said...

OMGosh Ammie! I'm just seeing this!! I would have had no idea how to help you, but I'm sure a google search would have provided some direction. If the finishing solution is like a neutralizer for a relaxer, I hope that you found something to neutralize it!!!! OMGosh, I just feel so bad. I hope that you sent a message to someone:(.


Shelli

Pennie Cuevas said...

Oh I'm so sorry that happened to you. I hope you can look back and laugh about it now because how you told it made me laugh :)

Pennie Cuevas said...

Great story! Although horrifying! lol

Pennie Cuevas said...

Oh I feel your pain. Where's a 'worst hairdressers" post? lol

Pennie Cuevas said...

lol it's been a long time since I've heard the term "boo boo" XD

Pennie Cuevas said...

You know, reading some of these "I loved so and so's hair" and it makes me think: that probably was not their actual hair! lol

The glasses were the parlance of the times Shelli :P

I didn't do much to my hair except for relaxing the crap out of it every 2 months. However, the day before my senior picture was taken in high school, I put red streaks in my relaxed hair. I'm not sure it suited me :P When it faded it was this orangey pink deal that at the time I thought looked awesome but in retrospect...probably did not :)

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