Who Let Us Do This? Our Worst-Ever Haircuts

Long live the mushroom cut

05.15.17

In journalism class, you learn to attack the six W’s first: Who, What, Where, When, Why and hoW? These basics help you tell your story so that the reader gets all the facts. It’s a useful formula for other things as well, like event invitations, phone call grilling tactics (frequently used by moms) and bad haircuts.

Oh yes.

Every time I come across a photo of myself from the age of baby-bald to straightened-bangs-plus-mousse-waves, the first I think is, Why, god, why? Then I ask, Who let this happen? Followed by, What was I thinking; Where did I go looking like this; When was this photo taken; How did I react upon various interactions with mirrors?

Because we had so much fun sharing our prom photos with you (and more than that, looking at all of yours in the comments), we figured there was no better time than to hair our dirty laundry among the Man Repeller public. Enjoy the slideshow above, and please, for the sake of community, tell us about your worst-ever cuts into the comments.

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  • streats

    One time when I was about 6 or 7, my dad was taking himself and my brother to the barber for a haircuts so I had to tag along. At the time I had a fringe (bangs) and my dad asked the lady if she could trim it. He usually did it at home (I can still hear the crunch of the scissors slowly severing my hair mere millimetres from my eyes, as I tried not to breath) but I guess he thought I may as well get a profesh to do it while we were there. She trimmed my fringe no problem, but then for some reason she also trimmed the side of my hair, giving me these WEIRD ASS STEPS. I cannot fathom why someone would do that to a child. It haunts me to this day. Here’s a photo of me in Saturday club, doe-eyed and forlorn. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c638b6c3dddc3b0404d778c3518fa3d3825c2b80597cccb23c757f17f390bd1.jpg

    • BuffyAnneSummers97

      WHOA HO HO HO!!!!

  • Anna

    Leandra, your haircut was so cool! It looked so good you’ve actually inspired me to cut my hair short in 2015 💕
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56a7864bc2d25420d63a0e7b26494fb2f1d8a2fe8e8fefea02f71c25d4926c5a.jpg

  • Helen

    I was a 10 year old itching to look like Harry Potter. I’m on the left wearing the griffindor t shirt and matching red shorts. Extra shout out to my practical sandals.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b19173df3547fe6c5ae4fa007428df3a394ead736f1294919fc5dca06c8d69e8.jpg

    • tmm16

      This is a lewk. Love that you’re rockin’ a same-color outfit

  • Abby

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/956ff59ed381776b6a791fcfb89e3701fa46f2f64cfca704aaa0c0095f830c51.jpg

    summer of ’99, thought it would be a good idea to cut one chunk of hair very short at the front of my head, took forever to grow out :)))

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/764dbd24c336c67635141f5d8a839a47c6798c9ccb2780d36094afe75cafcf3b.jpg

    I think the look on my face says it all (but look at my mom’s hair!!). I’ve never had straight across bangs again, but I wish my hair was still that blonde. You win some, you lose some.

  • Teresa

    What was arguably my worst childhood haircut (mom cut my hair to be almost as short as my “kindergarten bangs” wet, forgetting curly hair shrinks up) is the cutest nursery school photo.

  • Anne Dyer

    Just thinking about Jay and wondering what’s going on with the podcast. It was a highlight of my week for sure.

  • tbh I think mushrooms cuts are still cute (on children only)

  • Senka

    First one is me aged two, with a dirty blonde mushroom cut I seemed to like and appreciate at the time (eighties in a communist Yugoslavia). I had no issues with looking lika a boy.
    The other one is me and my cousin aged seven or eight at our mountain cabin, both rocking some serious fringe. My cheek biting started early and is still persistent, but my head grew to better acommodate my prominent ears since then. 😀
    I don’t have photo to prove, but my worst haircut ever happened at the age of 12, when my mom managed to persuade me into getting a “mushroom” again. That, coupled with the fact that I was both developing a female body I wasn’t too keen about, and somehow got a hold of a couple of basketball jerseys that I wore over everything (don’t know why because I’m a soccer girl), led to a very weird androginous look.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1972b1363e233362d412a9f59ee890f25b2c213d1ce470f7567afc850be7b184.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31fbc3e4f1fd58caf715d7e028f05568e2cd1e5e30d7057dc247644fdd7a2238.jpg

  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    my worst haircut was being vin diesel BALD!! in indian culture, it’s common practice to shave your child’s head during infancy so his/her hair will grow back long and luscious. makes sense, right? kinda! unless your mom decides to preform said customary ritual when you’re SEVEN YEARS OLD, TWO WEEKS before the start of second grade. i had to carry a note with me to every class explaining why i needed my minnie mouse bucket hat on at all times, even during the national anthem. fml.

  • Cristina

    This was me, courtesy of Anne-Marie from All Dogs Go to Heaven. My mom insisted on this short hair and the second she didn’t control it anymore I grew it out so long I could almost sit on it and I still keep it long. That is a major front bang swoop.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/698454e98997f62cd3ef9ba5a53e447a2cb793618415eccb6db7d7be979540a3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e34e281bc76e97db0065293af8e9b99925d11d8c141dbc34d7e24c114f1f319a.jpg

    • Antillanka

      I know your pain, sister!

    • BuffyAnneSummers97

      Mini Liza Minnelli???

  • Sheila

    I CUT YOUR HAIR!!!

    I
    did it on the back porch – you insisted that you wanted it really short
    in the back and straight around the front. I don’t remember Maggie
    being the inspiration but that makes sense because you had a
    friend-crush on her and wanted everything she had. I remember Michael
    saying something like “that’s really short…” and made a comment that
    you looked like Moe from the Three Stooges – you did. I was all “well,
    this is what she wants”. I thought it was cute because you had such a
    “vision” and I wanted to support your self-expression – oy vey.

    It grew out that semester and I think Bebe fixed it in time for the Christmas pageant and I never cut your hair again.

    Sorry 🙂

    • cute

      this tea

  • I haven’t looked at the rest but I just have to say: AMELIA YOU LOOK FABULOUS

  • Caro A

    Omg, Amelia. I can’t

  • Haley Nahman

    amelia’s pic is my iphone wallpaper

  • Beth Herrin Cole

    I had that mushroom cut (exactly like Haley… like scary exact) from like 3 (when i finally had hair) until 6th grade! My mom was in charge & thought it was adorable.

    • Haley Nahman

      cancel moms!

      • Haley Nahman

        jk dont

  • Vida Rose

    You’re all adorable.

  • Molly D

    This collection is 75% Playmobil and it’s making me super nostalgic

  • PCE

    Oof…in 4th grade I was trying to go for the Jennifer Aniston Season 2 of friends haircut, but instead I got the 1980s Tina Turner cut…it was painful. Coupled with braces and a growth spurt that made me taller than everyone and gave me a C-cup….darkest school days ever.

  • Erica

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55d396addd0ac84b2a887d66a5d987b24d0b2ef476aa8153a7f52cb14d33e445.jpg

    cut my bangs the day before picture day (thanks for letting me play with scissors mom???) as you can see, they’re extremely uneven and choppy – a precursor to cutting my own side bangs 10 years later.

    as my mom attempted to fix my jagged bangs, she got too close and cut off part of my eyebrow!!! needless to say neither of us touched a pair of hair scissors ever again after that.

  • Jennifer

    Amelia! I.CANT.STOP.LAUGHING.

  • disqus_YnfR59os6W

    apart from Amelia, you all look fine…

  • Inaat

    When I was prob 8, my mom let me pick a photo from a cheesy book at the salon and cut my perfect Anna Wintour bob into a spiky 90s oldbuttryingtobeyoungandcool pixie. I felt so cool and loved it, but when I got to school everyone made so much fun of me I said my mom made me do it because she didn’t want to brush my hair. Added a photo so you can imagine this kind of haircut (but shorter!!!) on a slinky 8 year old wearing dungaree overalls. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af9324552b9831ba688869a6c1e8e6c2b79981fd2bdf362e10db44773b02a5f7.jpg

  • traces of light

    Leandra, I kind of want to take that picture of you to the hairdresser with me next time I go, because that is my perfect bob haircut!

  • After reading this I feel like there should be a mushroom cut PTSD club for girls who now fear cutting their hair. When I was 4 or 5 I think I had reasonably long hair (I’m guessing shoulder length otherwise I wouldn’t have been so upset after), went in for what I thought was a trim and came out looking like Dora the Explorer.

    • Senka

      Mushroom cut PTSD club is necessary!

    • Antillanka

      I would join :’|

    • BuffyAnneSummers97

      I’ve always wanted a bowl cut but I have Afro hair. It just seems so utilitarian and minimalist. Just get a bowl, put on your head, cut around it, done. Like, Buckminster Fuller would approve of this haircut.

      • I couldn’t pull it off anymore. Until I was about 12 my hair was pin straight, then it went wild. Now it doesn’t even stay straight after my stylist does it.

  • Leandra… your hair looks amazing short… what are you talking about…

  • 808kate
  • Emmie

    At school our 6 Ws were known as 5 bums on a rugby post – I’ll let you figure out how that all fits together

  • Bo

    Can’t stop looking @ Amelia

  • Kay Nguyen

    You know what makes a bad haircut even worse? Glasses and braces! That was my life for a while.

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • I was 12, had long thick black hair down to my butt. it was great hair. My mom’s friend told her I needed a ‘style’. She took me to First Choice….the woman looked at me. Parted, gathered the front half, and proceeded with expert hands to give me a mullet. A mullet that didn’t grow out for 2 years! I sobbed so much, wore headbands – with hair sticking out all over the place. Needless to say my Mum is no longer friends with this woman.

  • lily

    AMELIA YOUR HAIR WAS BLACK?

  • lily

    ELIZABETH I ALSO GOT MY HAIR CUT AT AROJO AND IT WAS SO AWFUL. I HAD A MULLET SITUATION. WHY IS AROJO LIKE THIS

  • Marley Arviso

    This mullet I had all throughout 8th grade was prob the worst. I’ve never felt super attached to my hair which is why it changes so often. I got a pixie cut this weekend and I have never been happier. But this mullet was trash, idk why my mom let me do this to myself -___-

    BONUS: the close up photo of the bummed out boy is not me, it’s my little brother but I had to share because this hair cut was soooooo fucking funny. My Dad took us to super cuts and for some reason the women felt as though my brother needed a mullet w/ bangs hahahahaha My dad ended up shaving his head when we got home because it was so terrible lololol https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af2afe80b27d74a01acd031fde9b1e511544ed1b18defb962dd0dac2c8a635e5.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9e16c80887f8646c2197a7a1941eee2713cd9553649ecda0c5acbe054c3b97b9.jpg

  • Lyla

    I actually really like most of these.

  • Daniela

    Leandra, your hair was so freaking perfect that I cut mine and never regret it. I couldn’t disagree more. You were cool af with that cut

  • Meredith

    Terrible haircuts. But Edith, that’s such a baller photo. Wish my parents took that cool of photos of me as a wee one.