We've all gotten a questionable haircut once or twice — but it's borderline impossible to get your barber or hairdresser to fess up and admit they botched it.
But when they're protected by online anonymity? Then they'll cop to it.
A recent Reddit thread asked barbers and hairdressers to share their "oh, s***" moments. The answers prove hairstylists aren't perfect — and their clients aren't crazy!
1. Slicing a kid's ear is probably the worst that could happen...
While I was training at a pretty chic salon in London, there was a kid who came in for a cut with his mum. [...] Towards the end of the cut, she very clearly told the boy to stay still as she was cutting the stray hairs around his ears. She told him that her scissors had just been sharpened and would hurt a lot if she cut him. [...] He suddenly turned his head to something and she caught the top of his ear. [...] I will never forget the top bit of his ear just resting on the blades of her scissors and her wide-eyed pale expression of realisation of what had happened. I don't know if you've ever cut an ear, but those things bleed. - Panda-Beard92
2. Good thing the client was chilled out.
I was in school still at the time and was cutting this guy's hair, he brought his girlfriend along and she was watching like a HAWK over me. I'm halfway through the cut and almost done with the fade when the person next to me has their trolley too close to me so I go to move it but I didn't pay attention that my other hand had the clipper still running with no guard on. I made a nasty line through the fade that didn't look intentional at all and was sweating my ass off on how I was gonna fix this. The girlfriend of course points it out and the client is actually super chill about it and has me basically just run a super high 0.5 on the sides and back. 3 years later and to this day I haven't had an incident that bad - lefthook_hospital
3. Uhhh... wow.
Had a blind man come in once who said that this haircut was his first stop after getting out of a 25 year prison sentence for murdering his wife. Gave his name and everything. We looked him up and he did indeed murder his wife who was also blind.. - PerpetualIndividuality
During barber school I was the most eager to learn to straight razor shave of all the customers, so the instructor gave me all the hardest shaves, including an 80 year old dude whose skin was so loose and unhealthy that each time I pulled the blade over his flesh, it brought up just as much dead skin as it did hair. I wasn't cutting him or anything, he just had that much dead skin just chillin' on his face every other week. - PerpetualIndividuality
5. *double puke*
Had a mom bring in her son, about 8 years old, with beautiful long hair. Told me to shave it all off as short as we could go, which is a big red flag. Being still in school, I missed the warning signs and buzzed up the back of his head in time to see a bug as long as my thumb nail scurry back into where the hair was long. I inspected more closely and found several bugs of similar size. My instructor chewed out the mother very harshly. - PerpetualIndividuality
6. A scissor to the eye?!
When I was training, maybe a few months in so I had a bit of confidence, enough for me to not realise I still didn’t know what I was doing, i was cutting this guys hair and I got to his fringe. He wanted it really short and I was standing in front of him cutting along his forehead whilst chatting away. I took my scissors away to comb his hair but like, flicked them(??) around my fingers and they swung round and hit the guy right in the fucking iris. I froze. He froze. Eventually i asked “did I just hit you in the eye by the way?” He said “I think so”. Trying to act like it wasn’t sore for some reason. It eventually blew up in the shop once his shock wore off and someone else got him out the door. Found out a month later his wife was a nurse and she used some kind of eye drop and his eye was only scratched. Thank god because I thought I blinded him. I gave him a free haircut next time. Just the one though - Skinandbun
Beauty school. This tweaker dude and his hippie girlfriend come in for $7 haircuts. Immediately, something seemed off about the girlfriend; she seemed a little not "all there" and was cross-eyed and had dreads poking out of her hippie hat. The appointments were a bit staggered, so I finished the guy's 1-all-over buzzcut, and my classmate calls me over to "help" with hers. When she took off the girl's hat, her hair was completely matted and filthy, and beneath the matted hair were stinking, suppurating sores COVERING her scalp.
When we combed at the hair, her scalp would begin to give and split away wetly. We called over an instructor who tried to explain that we couldn't service someone who was literally oozing. She didn't seem to understand and they left without paying. I'll never forget that smell. - Piannisameat
8. This sounds entertaining, at least.
when bang trims go poorly. If you cut even slightly too high and a cowlick in the front goes "boing!" and springs the hair right up off the face. There's literally no coming back from a bad bang trim. To be fair, if it was that important, she shouldn't have been having students doing it. This also applies to colors. Local teenage girls would come in expecting a full head of highlights and then be shocked and angry when it goes poorly and takes forever and there's huge lines near the root. Arguments between 17 year old clients and 19 year old jailbird beauty school girls were really common. - Piannisameat
9. This sounds scary.
Years ago, I was working at a shop in SF's Tenderloin. I was standing near the window looking absentmindedly outside. This drugged-out woman on the corner decides that I was looking AT her, so she shambles into the shop right up to the station and starts threatening me, inches from my face. I become acutely aware that my razors and shears are sitting in plain view on the counter next to us, and that I have to get them into my possession and away from her before she can use them against me.
I decided that if I'd have to stab a crackhead in self defense, I'd use my trusty 8-inchers. Before it gets to that, my coworkers intervene and begin corralling her outside. At the doorway she starts swinging, punches one coworker in the face and bites the other on the chest. Cops showed up pretty quick and arrested her about a block away. I spent another year at that shop constantly looking over my shoulder, certain that she'd one day reappear. - Piannisameat
10. Imagine passing out from a haircut.
Once had a dude pass out after a haircut. Based on what he told me, he had some sort of sensory issues, and the combination of heat, the neck strip, clipper buzzing and noise of the shop overwhelmed him. If you've ever dealt with a person fainting, you know what an "oh s***" moment it is; one minute dude is standing up and looking a little worried, next he is crumpling to the floor. I'm a little guy, but I was able to sort of "catch" him and ease him down without anyone getting hurt. It was pretty scary, my first thought was that I somehow killed him. - Piannisameat
11. Surgical glue!?!?!
And my personal worst story: I was cutting one of my regular's hair, and he always insisted on scissor-over-comb instead of clippers on the side, which is fine and kind of my thing anyhow. I was working in the lower right corner of his nape moving upwards with my biggass 8" inch dry-cutting scissors, and he sorta twisted toward me to say something at the precise moment my shears closed, causing me to close the pivot of my shears right onto the flesh atop of his ear. It wasn't like a little common nick, I felt my tools puncture living flesh.
The whole top chunk was like hanging off and bleeding profusely. My coworkers said I looked pale and panicked, and I still don't know how I did it, but I managed to get the ear chunk back in place with surgical glue and staunch the bleeding with talcum power. The craziest part is he kept coming to see me, insisted on paying full price plus tip, and continued coming back up until he moved away a year later. About 5 years later, not a day goes by at work where I don't think about the sickening sensation of metal on flesh, and I'm happy to say nobody has been hurt since. - Piannisameat
12. This is why they say don't use box dye...
Did you know that some hair dye chemicals don't play well together? Turns out the lady had used some sort of home hair dye chemical that basically has tiny bits of metal in it. She didn't mention. My mom goes to dye her hair and puts the professional dye on it... and the hair more or less starts melting as the dye reacts.
Her hair was totally ruined, there was no saving it. Only thing to do was to just get the new dye off as fast as possible. She was pretty understanding about the whole situation though. - ShiraCheshire
13. Just a little light child abuse.
The barber my dad took us kids to growing up kept a plastic ear in a big glass jar of water. Told all the little kids (jokingly) that it was the ear of a little boy who wouldn't be still when getting a hair cut and he accidentally cut this kid's ear off. Said he was keeping it in "formaldehyde" to remind us all to be very still. It largely had the desired effect on the younger kids. - redditclark
I had a client come in with a super tight haircut (looked like it had just been cut) and asked for a “zero on the sides.” I’m not sure what this guy was on, but a zero is bald to me. So I start my bald line for my fade and he freaks out that it’s way too short and I ruined his haircut. Since this never happens to me I got super upset and felt absolutely terrible. - tiny_pizza
15. So romantic.
Not a barber but my cousin worked in a salon when I was a kid and I would hang out there a lot after school. One day she cut a guys head pretty bad with the clippers. Lots of blood but it wasn’t too serious.
This led to them dating and eventually getting married - Dsplysbluth
16. Sounds like a win-win.
During my very first mens haircut when I was in school I accidentally cut this guy’s skin tag off. I was absolutely horrified but he was super nice about it and was genuinely stoked he only had to pay 5 dollars + a tip to get it removed! - hair-witch
17. What a look.
I went to a barbershop where the barbers spoke very little English and somehow there was some sort of communication error between us and he ended up shaving my sideburns up to the top of my ear. Ugh. - Flyingpigfriend
18. Sometimes it's better to hide the truth.
My mother is a barber. She was tasked with cutting my husband's hair for our wedding. The guard comb thing that goes on electric razor popped off while she was enthusiastically talking to me. She accidentally buzzed a "Zero" on the back of his head. (A zero is the shortest you can cut the hair without it being bald I believe). We never told him and no pictures were taken of the back of his head. If I cam help it I'll be taking this to my grave. If not, he'll forgive me but I'll feel bad still. - NemNemGraves
19. At least it'll grow back.
One time I was doing clipper over comb to blend a client’s haircut, and I sneezed unexpectedly. I made a hole on the side of his head. I turned him around and tried to blend it in the best I could but the damage was done :( - dontforgetmorgan