My journey with hair has been strange throughout my whole life, but for some reason I was cursed with bad haircuts for almost a solid two years. Tears were shed, tantrums were thrown—it hasn’t been pretty (and neither has my hair). Here, I will walk through exactly what I have done to cope and what I have learned along the way.

First off, I’d like to point out that I’ve never had a regular salon and stylist that I went to growing up. I usually just went wherever and whenever and it was fine for the most part. My hair is naturally wavy and I embraced it until I decided to chop my long locks into a long bob a little more than 3 years ago now. I knew the price of having a long bob with my hair type and accepted all responsibilities of blow drying, straightening, and investing in a ton of hair products (shout out to my favorite hair product line Living Proof). Hey, this hair isn’t going to behave by itself.

I maintained this style for a year and a half with some variations—sometimes it was cut shorter, sometimes it was cut more angled—but I saw the same stylist twice. However, one day, I decided to change it up. I didn’t feel like continuing with a long bob because everyone had it. So I had a wild request to do blunt cut “with some layering.” You what know I got? This.

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When I cut my hair in January 2016. What even was this though…

I call it my news anchor haircut or my Miss Hattie from Despicable Me look. Here is a photo for reference.

Image result for miss hattie

I was honestly miserable with it. It was way too short and just awful. So I spent the next 11 months growing it out and booked an appointment with another place.

I knew that I needed to find an Asian salon because they understand how to work with my thick hair (especially when thinning it out). So I went to this appointment and though the stylist was nice, she insisted that I have side bangs even though I did not ask for it. A few months later, I booked an appointment at a different Asian salon and it was an okay haircut, no complaints really.

After a few months, I decided to face my fears and go back to the original salon that gave me the news anchor haircut because the stylist I used to see knew how to cut long bobs. But, my mistake was that I did a walk-in appointment and a man cut my hair. He basically held his hand over my hair so it was taut against my neck to achieve the shape of the long bob. I actually thought he was going to cut me with the shears. And when I asked him to thin it out, he said “okay,” but did not get rid of anything. It was also summer, so my head felt weighed down and my hair stuck to the back of my neck for about two months.

I went back to this salon and a different woman cut my hair and I told her about my woes about my hair not getting thinned out and she said “don’t worry, I can fix it.” I fully trusted her and felt so relaxed in there, only to realize that she did a horrible job. I asked for a long bob and she did an asymmetrical cut, but did not make the side where my part is shorter than the other—she did the exact opposite, so it looked lopsided. She also “thinned out” my hair, but failed to realize that you’re supposed to thin someone’s hair from an inner layer. She thinned out the outermost layer, so it was extremely visible. I somehow lived with it for three months, and here we are now, where I returned to the second Asian salon I mentioned and just had my hair cut. I told her all of my drama and so far it looks okay (key word: so far). It really is a no-frills haircut: it is a long bob with very little angling and I watched her entire process.

Patience is obviously key when growing out your hair, but preparation and knowing yourself is most important when getting a haircut. These are the few things I learned along the way to get through it:

Put it up.

Half-up half-down hairstyles are my best friend. I love making a bun or a loop to style it, it’s very easy and conceals half the volume of your hair anyway (especially in the summer when it is too hot to wear it down).

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Roughing out a sweaty summer at the Museum of Ice Cream in July 2016. This hairstyle fights against frizz and humidity so well.

Take biotin supplements.

When I had the news anchor haircut, my hair was not growing as fast as I wanted to and was so much shorter than I was used to, so I took biotin supplements to speed up the process. There was definitely a huge difference from the beginning of that year to the end of it.

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The state of my hair in November 2016—10 months after my news anchor haircut.

Bring photos.

Honestly, this was something so easy that I could’ve done from the beginning. Search for the hairstyle you want and save it to your phone. I created an album so it’s easier to find them now. And bring in a lot so your stylist will understand.

Know your hair.

Through this process, I have learned that Asian salons just know how to handle and work with my thick hair. Today I noticed my stylist use a specific tool to thin out my hair and she communicated with me that it would not be noticeable. These were small instances that made a world of a difference compared to my previous haircuts.

Change up your part.

I usually do a side part and I absolutely hated the way it looked after my last haircut, so out of desperation I tried out the middle part and I actually really liked it. That was my go-to look while my hair was growing out—that and the aforementioned half-up half-down style.

Remember that it will be okay.

Hair will grow back eventually, it isn’t the end of the world. You’ll still look phenomenal and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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