Stylists Share Their Hairstyling Horror Stories – L'ange Hair


October is here…

...a time for ghouls, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night!

But before your Halloween festivities take off...we’ve got some truly terrifying tales to share…

...courtesy of our panel of brilliant professional hairstylists!


All together, the master stylists we spoke with for this column have logged literally decades behind the salon chair.

That means their skills and ingenuity have faced all manner of styling issues…

...including some so crazy, disgusting, or flat-out dangerous...they could send even the best in the business running for the hills!

“Some hairstyling mishaps are enough to make you want to pull your hair right out of your head!”

So, we asked these seasoned styling veterans:

“In your years as a stylist, what’s the most horrifying hair disaster you’ve encountered?”

We hope their stories will ease your mind about your own unique styling challenges.

Because no matter what obstacles you’ve tackled in taming your hair…

...we’re confident you’ve never battled anything as scary as these stories!


When you’re working with a pro stylist, it’s important to be thorough about your hair’s history.

That’s because, if your stylist doesn’t know what treatments and products you’ve used…

...they may attempt a new treatment that turns your tresses into a tragedy!

That’s what happened to Nathaniel Hawkins, a celebrity stylist whose clients include Uma Thurman, Robin Wright, and music superstars Shakira and Adele.1

Hawkins recalls a bleached-blonde client who wanted a perm, “just to give her hair some body.”

Hawkins had an extensive pre-perm consultation, so he started the treatment “confident that I knew her entire hair history.”

But for some reason, the client’s hair wasn’t responding to the perm solution. She claimed her hair was just “really stubborn and takes a long time to get a perm in.”

“Getting a permanent is scary enough...thanks to the harsh chemicals used to shape and twist the hair.”

Then, as Hawkins started rinsing her hair, “I hear click, click, click.

“That’s the sound of the rods - with her hair on them! - breaking off and falling into the sink.”

It turns out over the years, this client received a number of other hair treatments she’d forgotten about…

...and their lingering effects caused the bad reaction that led to this devastating perm fail!

Hawkins says this kind of memory lapse is not uncommon.

“Clients remember their last service,” he notes, “but they don’t remember every service they’ve had in the past year or two - and that stuff is still on the hair, and will affect it.”2

So this sort of calamity doesn’t happen to you, we recommend keeping a journal outlining your hair treatment and styling history.

This journal should include:

  • The dates of any coloring treatments you have undergone, including bleaching, balayage, and ombré coloring
  • Your most recent haircuts, including the clipper numbers used to shape your style
  • Any pieces, extensions, or weaves; whether they are human or synthetic hair; and the method used to apply them to your scalp
  • Your regular hair washing schedule
  • Any allergies you may have to styling products or treatments

That way, you’ll never forget to share any part of your hair’s life cycle with your stylist...

...and you won’t end up with a new, heartbreaking hair story to tell!


In his 35 years as one of Florida’s most celebrated stylists, Valentino has seen it all.

And in one memorable instance, a client took “seeing it all” to a new level!

This client, who was “well into her 70s” with dark gray hair, brought in a reference photo, to show the stylist what she was looking for.

The photo was of a much younger woman with voluminous blonde locks, which didn’t surprise Valentino. “I’m used to people coming in with visions of hair that exist only in a fantasy land.”

“When sharing reference photos with a stylist, it pays to be realistic...and to know some hair is simply all but impossible to achieve!”

But then he noticed the photo was folded in a way that cut off the tips of the hair. So he asked the client to unfold the picture so he could see everything…

...and “everything” was just what he saw, when it turned out the shot was from Playboy, and the model was completely nude!

Valentino never saw this client again.

“I don’t know if it’s because I told her I couldn’t make her look like that,” says Valentino, “or because she was so embarrassed.”3

Now, make no mistake:

Hairstylists love it when you bring photos to your consultation. It gives them a glimpse of what you’re looking for in a way that’s sometimes hard to put in words.

But, to save yourself from a potentially compromising situation… may want to keep your reference photos purely PG-13!


Naturally, we couldn’t share Halloween hair horror stories without getting just a little bloody.

So here’s a genuinely gruesome hair mishap, courtesy of the great Akin Konizi.

Today, Konizi is co-director of the UK’s influential HOB Salons, and a four-time winner of the British Hairdresser of the Year award.4

But the first haircut he ever gave would have been more likely to win a prize from Stephen King!

“Sure, you want a sharp-looking haircut...but you don’t want it to feel sharp while you’re getting it!”

“The first haircut I ever did was on my cousin,” says Konizi. “I told him I’d been hairdressing for months, despite it being my first time.”

Soon enough, of course, Konizi showed his cousin just how much of a novice he still was.

“During the cut,” recalls Konizi, “I slipped and snipped through part of his ear.”

In fact, this cut was so deep, the ear “was hanging off by a thread.”

Even with all the screaming, Konizi says, “I managed to speedily replace the chunk, without him realizing the full extent of the injury.”

Fortunately, the sliced ear healed up...but Konizi says even to this day, his cousin’s scar tissue is “at a slightly wonky angle to the rest of his ear.”5

We’re sharing Konizi’s story not to gross you out...but actually to give you some encouragement.

If you’re ever struggling to achieve the hairstyle of your dreams...don’t be too hard on yourself.

After all, even one of the world’s most honored stylists wasn’t an expert right off the bat.

And his cousin’s got the scars to prove it!


We all dream of a hairstyle that makes us look and feel truly unforgettable.

But sometimes, the quest for that extraordinary style leads to a salon experience we remember for all the wrong reasons.

In fact, as our expert stylists have shown us today, some salon moments are so disastrous...they leave even seasoned professionals shaking!

So here’s to an October free from any hairstyling horrors for you…

...and to a lifetime of absolutely fearless style and glamour!



  1. “Artists - Hair - Nathaniel Hawkins - Editorial.” Tracey Mattingly: The Premiere Agency in Los Angeles and New York for Hair, Makeup, Grooming, Styling, Nails, Color and Photography,
  1. Sullivan, Kate, et al. “15 Shocking Stories From Real Celeb Hairstylists.” Refinery29,
  1. Staff, Newsweek. “The Nine Worst Salon Customers.” Newsweek, 1 July 2010,
  1. P.Seddon. “Biography and Latest Hairstyle Collections of Akin Konizi.” The History of Hair and Hairstyles through the Ages,
  1. Gander, Kashmira. “Hairdressers Reveal the Most Bizarre Things Clients Have Done.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Nov. 2017,


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