How I Salvaged a Haircut I Hated in 10 Minutes

Hair is a such huge part of our identity, whether we choose to grow it out, shave it off, dye it—whatever we're feeling in the moment. For some, the fate of our hair doesn't lie in our hands, and while the result may shape our outward identity, it's not necessarily a representation of how we're feeling on the inside.

In any event, we all have a very personal relationship with our strands and a vision of how we perceive them to look best, so when we have a bad hair day, a bad cut, or a situation that's transformed our hair into the opposite of what we wish it to be, this can mess with our inner confidence. Personally, I've been quite comfortable in my hair because it was always the same—long, layered, and, come college, artificially blonde in places. But after recently deciding to take off a sizable amount of length, the aplomb I was accustomed to had dissolved.

Let's bring it back: In September, I got the urge to get what I call "The Olivia Munn," or a fun, textured lob. I've never cut my hair above my shoulders before, but I was itching for a change and wanted to join the cool club of lob-wearing celebrities and tastemakers who were probably able to get ready in half the time I was. I impulsively called a salon I was somewhat familiar with, booked the appointment with whichever stylist was available, and watched as long pieces of my dirty-blonde hair fell around me. Considering how polarizing of a change this was, I was oddly serene and excited for the end result.

But when the stylist passed me the mirror to check out my new chop from all angles, I told her how much I loved it, even though I was pretty dissatisfied. We've all been in that gray area—how do you balance not hurting the stylist's feelings while staying true to your own? I chalked it up to her not styling it the way I wanted to and decided I'd play with it once I got home until it was a bit more Munn-esque. Though as I walked home, I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window and started to panic. I hated it.

When I walked in my apartment door, my boyfriend could read the immense regret all over my face, and I disappeared into the bathroom for a half hour while I wielded my Ghd curling iron, wrapping small sections in opposing directions around my head and misting my roots with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I also worked a bit of V76 Molding Paste throughout the mid-length and ends by warming it up against my palms and sliding my hands through section by section. After zhushing and tossing my hair around, I finally was in a place where I liked it. In fact, I was starting to love it—so much that a series of selfies commenced (evidence of one below).