I think the worst thing I’ve ever done to my hair is bleached it. It was in the early 90s and I must’ve misunderstood the directions because I figured I was supposed to put the little plastic cap on after applying the bleach. After a minute or so I started wondering why it was feeling a little warm in the room…within a few minutes, my scalp started feeling SO HOT and the pain made me scared out of my mind and I ripped the cap off. I think the cap may have even started to melt. That bleach burnt my scalp off. (I’m exaggerating, but not much.)
I didn’t know it was about to happen, but a hairdresser once ratted my hair. It shocked me. Not having had my hair done before, I assumed that ratting went out sometime in the 1960s.
Other than that, not much. I’ve never bleached or dyed it, or had a perm.
I let it all fall out in my late 20’s. Never had a problem with it since then, though.
Boot camp hair cut, MCRD, San Diego
ETA: that first night, lying on my rack, I tried grabbing at my hair between two fingernails but could not. My hair was too short. By far the longest hairs on my head were my eyebrows.
I accidentally “touched up” a quarter-inch buzz cut without the quarter-inch attachment being on the clipper. Fortunately, being a guy, there’s always an emergency fallback option to fix any hair mistake: I briefly went cueball.
I recently found some pictures of myself from the 90’s…with HORRIBLE permed hair. OMG, I can’t believe I walked around like that.
In high school I wanted dreadlocks. Being a white guy with the thinnest hair imaginable, I didn’t think it was in the cards. But someone “helpfully” offered a suggestion: Put eggs in my hair. Then tangle my hair up into something approaching locks, and leave it on until … I don’t know. Until it worked?
So as you can imagine, having nasty raw eggs in my hair got real old within just a few hours. I washed it out before the night was over, with no permanent damage except to my pride.
When I was sixteen, I was growing out a home permanent my mom had given me. It just got frizzier and frizzier, until one day I couldn’t stand it anymore. In a moment of madness, I put my hair in a ponytail and cut the ponytail off. This inspired several further moments of madness in which I kept trying to “fix” the damage by continuing to cut the hair on the back of my head. Eventually I had to go to Mom for help, but of course it was beyond help by then. I wound up with a very boyish hairdo which was ugly as hell. My stepfather said I looked like Sid Vicious.
I’ve given myself a lot of bad haircuts but that was the worst.
Well there was an unfortunate summer time incident with “Sun In” and the resulting dye job I had to get as it grew out back in the 80’s. I shudder to remember it.
Then there was the really bad perm I got at a beauty school in the 90’s (hey - it was cheap!) and I had told them to NOT LEAVE IT SIT TOO LONG AS I HAVE VERY FINE HAIR AND IT WILL BURN but they didn’t listen and I still have a spot that will never ever grow back.
Two “incidents” here. I can’t decide which was worst…
In the late 70s, I permed my long wavy hair to make it curly. When it started to grow out with the straight inch-and-a-half on top and then the sudden obviously unnatural curls below that, I decided to “conk” it. I conked it all right. My hair was lank and lifeless, pathetic really, until I finally got it cut short. It was like having thread for hair.
Just this last summer, at the age of 50, I decided to have my hair clippered super-short all over. It was striking, I think you could say, as evidenced by the many people who looked pretty… stricken… when they first saw me. But, I got a lot of compliments on it so I guess it wasn’t all bad. The negative thing about this is that my hair has now grown out to, oh, maybe 2 1/2 inches and every single hair on my head grows completely straight out from the follicle. I have an electric halo. One friend calls it my “crazy genius hair.” I have a bright white-gray splash in front, to only the right side of my part so it truly looks “electrified.” I recently gave up on white people’s hair products and am using black people’s hair products, which at least makes it look more conditioned.
Probably the worst was a couple of years ago, when I made an agreement with my hairstylist that I would try one last time in my life to grow my hair long-ish (it doesn’t really grow much past my shoulders). Even when I changed my mind and wanted it cut shorter, she wouldn’t do it- she was going to make me stick to our agreement. It’s not as bad as it sounds- we are friends and she cut my hair for years. Anyway, my hair is fine, and it ended up looking very thin and lank, unhealthy, and just dragged my whole face down visually, so I ended up just looking old and unwell. It was not good, I knew it didn’t look good, and I didn’t feel good about myself because I knew it didn’t look good. When I finally did get it cut shorter, and it again looked full, healthy, shiny, and bouncy, people were like Wow! So, yeah, not doing that again.
Also, one time, the night before picture day of 8th grade, I decided it would be really neat to put mayonnaise in my hair, because I had read in some magazine or other that it would make your hair shiny and beautemous. More like greasy and nasty, and I will forever have the photographic proof of that.
When I was 20 (1993) I had long thick heavy hair. So I went to the hair salon in KMart (first mistake) and asked for “a couple of layers, just so it’s not so heavy.” Long story short she cut my hair into mullet. I didn’t realize what had happened until I put my sweater on to leave and I had no hair to pull out of the collar. So, since my hair was already ruined, I decided to dye it black. My hair is naturally auburn. I had the black hair for a while until I got sick of dying the roots so I had to grow it out. Picture a redhead with a big black ponytail. As soon as I had enough natural hair grown out I got it cut super-short and have stuck with red shades of dye and been paranoid of hairdressers ever since.
Dyed my hair bright red for a fancy dress event at university. It was supposed to be washable dye. It wasn’t.
My hair was still a distinct pinkish blond two weeks later, when I went for a job interview.
ETA: I’m male, if that makes a difference…
It was the 80’s. Everybody had a perm. My mom thought my fine straight hair needed “body”.
There are no pictures of me for about ten years.
In the eighties just before separating from my husband I dyed my hair black. Just after I got a poodle perm. What I was thinking I have no idea.
Funny thing is that cut shorter and growing out from the perm it’s never looked better.
Pulled at it because of stress.
A good friend of mine bleached hers and then wanted to perm it. Another friend (they were both stylists) warned her against it. She didn’t listen. What resulted felt like wet angora wool - hopelessly matted and fragile. She ended up with a cute pixie cut for a long time.
I dyed the bottom part of my long, blonde hair black. I thought it looked cool. My mom didn’t At least I had done it very straight, so the stylist could do a nice blunt bob.
When I was eight I decided to cut my own hair! Fortunately it was summertime so I didn’t get too embarrassed. My Dad took the barber shears and practically shaved my head. Kids called me Yul Brynner for weeks after that. :o
I had been dyeing my hair with various plant-based dyes for a while, and then went without for a few months. Somehow I got the idea in my head that I should try to go blonde using bleach at home. I forgot that indigo doesn’t lift from bleach, but that henna does. I had sky blue chunks of hair surrounded by yellow-blonde hair. Then we tried to cover it with another dye, which turned my hair green. Then we called up the local hairdresser and I paid nearly $300 for them to do something approximating fixing it, as I didn’t have an “unnatural colors allowed” job. It was literally the only time I’ve cried about my hair.
Basically everything I did to my hair between 1985 and 1992 was a crime against humanity. Especially my poor bangs. I think I single-handedly created the hole in the ozone layer.
In college I also went through a brief goth phase where I died it jet black (I’m a fair-skinned blonde). Reversing that mistake was not fun.