To the Stylist Who Butchered My Daughter’s Hair

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It was my fault, really. I had no business setting foot in your salon with my over-tired Kindergartener and her unruly little sister. Not when I was this tired myself. Not when I had already endured one of the worst mornings ever. I should have known better.

My mom tried to talk me out of it. “They don’t need haircuts,” she said. “Just trim their bangs and be done with it,” she said. I should have listened.

But I didn’t. Because we had family pictures scheduled for 9:00am the next morning with my husband’s whole family. Remember? I told you about it when we showed up and you said you could squeeze us in. I bet you saw it in my eyes – you knew I had a hell of a day, and you just wanted to help a tired mama out.

So Reese sat in your chair and I told you just to trim it and thin it. (That girl has so much hair). You started spraying and combing and cutting; and we started chatting the way women do in hair salons.

I’m still not sure how it happened. Maybe you were behind on appointments because you squeezed in a last-minute walk-in. You could have been distracted by my toddler running laps around your product display. Maybe you’ve got some personal stuff going on. Maybe you just plain weren’t paying attention.

You reached for the thinning shears, but you grabbed the scissors instead.

I heard you gasp and I looked down and you were holding a massive chunk of my daughter’s hair. And I just froze because I couldn’t believe my eyes.

My precious little girl with hair halfway down her back. The one who just told you she wants to be like Rapunzel. The one sitting in your chair with a chunk of hair cut all the way up to her ear.

I won’t even pretend that I didn’t have an urge to freak out. To yell, “What have you done?!?!” To snatch Reese from your chair and lead her away and assure you that we would never, ever come back here. Did I not just tell you we have pictures tomorrow?!

But what message would that send to you about who I am and what I believe? What message would that send to my daughter about walking in grace?

I saw your hands shaking, your eyes brimming with tears.  “Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” You said it over and over.

Before I could foster a reaction, I remembered the picture I saw that morning. The one of the toddler’s body washed up on the Turkish shore. Heartbreaking. I closed my screen and sent up a prayer for his innocent soul and his heartbroken people. What else could I do from here? In the face of such devastation, any act seems too small.

But I know one thing. This world is maxed out on the negative. We need more grace. More compassion. More love. And not just for the big things. For little things too. Little things like bad haircuts.

I took a deep breath. You probably saw me holding back my own tears. I wanted you to know that they weren’t about you. I wanted to tell you that my horrible day capped by this horrible haircut just got pressed into perspective by the mental image of a drowned toddler and all that his death represents.

Now that’s a crisis. This, my dear, is nothing.

And I told you as much. I said it was okay. It’s hair. It grows. “Compared to rest of the world’s problems, this is small potatoes.” It was all I could say without opening a flood gate and pouring my heart all over the floor of your salon.

Because I carry some heavy burdens these days. I bet you do too. We know nothing of each other’s battles.

Reese started asking questions. “Mommy, what’s wrong with my hair? Something’s wrong. I can tell.” I told her that you made a mistake but it would be okay. I knew our reactions would dictate hers, and she stayed calm because we stayed calm.

You said you wouldn’t charge me and I said I appreciated that. Before I left, I handed you a tip. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but it felt like the right thing to do in the moment. I guess I just wanted you to know that I forgive you. It was a mistake. People make mistakes.

Everyone deserves compassion.

I took Reese home and we sat in front of the full-length mirror. I showed her where her hair had been cut and we talked about the options. We could cut it all short or leave it as it is. She decided to leave it and let it grow.

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Then she turned and put her arms around my neck and scooted into my lap. “Mommy, I wish this wouldn’t have happened. I love my pretty hair.”

And in that moment your mistake gave us a gift. A precious teachable moment.

I started with validation. Hair is a deeply personal part of our identity. A symbol of beauty. A source of confidence. And the hair of a five-year-old is no less important. I reassured her that it’s absolutely okay to feel sad about what happened.

But I also told her that we should be thankful because her hair will grow back. It’ll get a little longer every day and someday it will be just like it was before.

There are a lot of problems that don’t reverse themselves with the passing of time.

Then I reminded her that you didn’t do it on purpose and that you were sorry it happened. We talked about the gift of forgiveness and the power of grace.

We prayed for you that night before she went to bed. She wanted you to know that she’s okay. We also remembered to thank God for some of the little things we normally overlook.

The next morning, our pictures went off without a hitch, and Reese looked darling in her pigtails. She hasn’t mentioned it much since it happened. I think it’s safe to say she’s over it.IMG_0607

And the money I saved on her haircut? It’s going toward a donation to the refugees.

Because everyone deserves compassion.

And no act is too small.

As for me, I’m not over it. I’ll see it every time she walks past me. I’ll see it every time I brush and style her hair to hide the short ends. Every time someone asks me what on earth happened.

I’ll never forget this.

And I’ll never forget what I learned about grace and forgiveness and the incredible power of perspective.

Thank you.

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106 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your inspirational and unexpected reaction. I might have caused a scene…a big one…unintentionally….but because of all my sobs scaring the other customers. As a friend who has walked with you on your life journey the last five years, this post perfectly reflects the beautiful person that you are and just how far you’ve/we’ve come. On those days where we wonder if all the meditations, self-help books, bible studies, etc are sinking in, I think this shows perfectly that yes, they in fact are changing us! Love you your beautiful heart!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Thank you for your beautiful story, and consideration for your stylist. You are right that the compassion shown is many times more valuable than hair, both to the stylist and your little girl!

    A wise man once said, “The real ornament of a woman is her character.” This story embodies that shining inner beauty, one that is far surpasses any external trait!

    1. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I’ve had people tell me it wouldn’t be that easy for them, but her sincerity made it quite easy. I just wanted to give her a big hug.

  3. Thank you for this post. I can really feel your anguish for your sweet girl, Reese. I also know how deep we have to dig sometimes to find the merciful response. I am impressed with your ability to keep the flesh under control.
    As a Christ follower myself and a mother, grandmother, hairstylist and mother of a hairstylist, your words have spoken volumes to my heart. There are so many ways this life lesson could have gone. (Believe me, after 37 years in the business I have seen many “other ways.”)
    You used the words perspective, grace and forgiveness, compassion, love, little things. I am sure these words, displayed for this hairstylist by your actions, have pointed to Jesus. Well done.

    1. Thank you so much for this encouraging response. It’s so hard for me to see people get berated for honest mistakes. I’ve already found ways to style her hair so it’s hardly noticeable. I’m glad I can look back on this and know that I didn’t overreact (which definitely hasn’t always been the case!)

  4. Your story is so inspiring. I have to give you major kudos for the way you handled the situation and what you taught your child. You are a fine example of the type of person we should ALL strive to be. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂 Oh, and if your daughter ever does decide to cut her hair, you can always use that as a learning experience too….you can tell her that she can donate it to other children who don’t have hair because of cancer, etc so that wigs can be made for them. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have to admit that patience is not my default setting (which is one of the reasons I write about it). I would love to be able to help other people who struggle to manage negative emotions. Walking in grace with Christ has changed my life, and I’m humbled that people have been inspired by this story.

  5. As a stylist myself, this brought tears to my eyes. You are an amazing mom and woman. Just know someone out there really admires you. You restored my faith in the fact that not all of society is doomed. In a world full of hatred and anger, you are a ray of sunshine. I’m sure that stylist appreciates you & your reaction more than you could ever know. Thank you kind soul. Prayers and blessings for you and your family.

  6. I’m a hair stylist, mom, receiver of bad cuts, and a Jesus FOLLOWER. I’d love to tell you about a hair growing product that will make you very happy!! 🙂
    I tried posting Before and After pics as well as product info on your page but couldn’t for some reason. If you’d like to get some information, give me a shout. 🙂
    Brenda Parker
    1-616-460-5189

  7. This is a truly powerful story. I believe you have left a lasting impression on your daughter about forgiveness, kindness and not sweating the small stuff. What a great mama you are. I’m going to remember this for years to come in case I ever find myself in the same situation.

  8. As a hair stylist and a believer I think this article does not have the best intentions. If you truly forgiven the stylist, you would be over it. It’s not grace if you did what you are supposed to do, keeping your temper in the situation, only to blast it on line to get people to validate it. Accidents happen, a chunk of hair is not important. I see people who sit in my chair who shave off all their hair for cancer, I see little girls with scarves on their heads waiting for wigs to be made. A teachable moment would be to have donated her hair and tell her how she helped a sick girl her age who doesn’t have hair feel beautiful again.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As a writer, I enjoy sharing stories. I was not aware that this post would travel so far, but such is the risk when we post things on the internet.

    2. I have to agree with Maggie on this one, Im also a hair stylist, and I think you either want to rant about the situation, or a pat on the back for keeping your cool.

      1. I don’t think she’s looking for a pat on the back. It’s her blog; it’s where she shares her thoughts and experiences. This was an experience she had and her personal reflection on it. She didn’t know where it would end up being shared. (shrug) I wouldn’t take it as an attack or self-serving post.

        1. Thank you, Erin. You are correct. I had absolutely no idea this post would be shared so many times. I’m just a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing and sharing stories. Thank you for stopping by today.

    3. Sorry I have to disagree with Maggie and Tammy. This isn’t about her ranting- read the post and the words she used. This was a learning experience for her that she shared with us. Plus forgiveness doesn’t mean what is forgiven no longer has an impact on us. I have forgiven individuals behind many dramatic instances in my life, however, those instance still have an impact on me and my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t truly forgive those people or that I haven’t moved on- it simply means I forgave them of their act.

      Thank you for sharing Lisa, I definitely need to work on my patience and reacting with grace.

      1. Wow. Thank you Diane. Your words are encouraging. I’ve been on a long journey of learning to manage my own negative emotions, and I hope to use my passion for writing to help others do the same. Thank you for stopping by today!

    4. Oh what would that be locks of love who takes pretty much all the proceeds an all those little girls who will probably never see a wig u got nothing out of this story

      1. That’s a different angle that I decided not to take because I know nothing about childhood cancer. I tried to stick with what I have personally experienced. I got a lot out of this experience and so did my daughter. Thank you for commenting.

      2. Not locks of love. There are many organizations that are non profit and do donate their wigs to cancer patients. One of them I send to us Wigs for Kids. There are many more out there than just that one.

  9. You are an awesome Mom! When I was little, my brother played ‘barber’ (my Grandpa was a barber so we played that alot.) and cut my pony tail off right above the rubberband…the night before our family portrait. My Dad was supposed to be watching us as my Mom was at a meeting. He had put us to bed and told my Mom what happended when she got home. She flew into our bedroom and woke me up to look…and started crying. It was apparently the end of the world to have a knobby little pony tail. You are right….kids look to the adults to guage the importance of an event. I remember being very upset over my ‘scalping’ for a long time…and I’m sure my brother and father felt badly as well. In the end you have to look really close at the photo to see that my hair was chopped at all. You are correct..it’s hair, it grows back, plenty of things with more consequence in the world. I wish my Mom had your perspective at the time.

  10. I read your whole story and I agree with all the previous comments…but I would like to add that your choice of words in the headline “BUTCHERED” seems to me to be pretty harsh…you are a writer, maybe you could use a different description..Butchered makes it sound ( to me) that she intended to do it, or she was an incompetent beautician. …

    1. Actually I think butchered is the exact word that probably described how she was feeling at that moment in time. That’s why it’s best to step back and not respond when we’re upset because most times we don’t feel the same highly exaggerated emotions at a later time. And as she relayed in her message, ” is it really a battle worth fighting in the grand scheme of life?” I wish more people were this compassionate and level-headed. Imagine what our world would be like if we all actually cared how our actions affect others and do unto others as you’d have done to you…not as they do unto you.

      1. Thank you, Michelle. I’ll admit that I struggled with the use of that word in the title, but after failing to find an alternate (but equally honest) word, I went with it. It’s not easy to see the negative comments. Thank you for your support!

  11. I am also a stylist and I love this article. Unfortunately, we all have our bad days but it’s all about how you handle them. I am sure that stylist is beating herself up for this mistake and I pray this article falls in her hands. What a beautiful lesson you were able to teach your daughter. After all, you could have laid into the stylist, but what would that have taught her??

  12. In this you said your daughter wanted to be like Rapunzel, and as I was reading, I couldn’t help but think about Tangled, the movie. In the movie, one strand of her hair is cut, just like in this story. It may be a small connection, but I think it is a cute coincidence. You are still, very brave.

  13. I love the article. I love even more how you responded however. Having been a stylist for over 20 years, this really touched me. You could have set out to ruin this stylist but instead you lifted her up when clearly she was broken. What a wonderful lesson to teach your daughter. Though she may not understand the significance of your actions right now somewhere in her future this will serve a greater purpose!

    1. Thank you! That’s why I didn’t share the name of the salon. I definitely didn’t want to add insult to injury. My daughter has some health problems that are exacerbated by stress, so we work hard at keeping a calm perspective. Thank you for stopping by today!

  14. Thank you for being real. And HONEST. We all make mistakes, and to be able to understand this after a challenging day shows your kids what it REALLY means to walk in faith. I am certain that stylist will never, ever forget you, and then in turn, will likely offer another person the same grace because of you! Great job keeping life in perspective!

  15. I’ve totally done this before…except it was in the middle of someones bangs! Luckily, it wasn’t horrible and I could fix it. I think my client knew I messed up, but I never missed a beat and everything looked great so she never said anything.

    Mess-ups happen all the time and stylists cover them up all the time…..
    Your best bet is to find someone you like and always plan ahead. Most stylists will build a relationship with you and your kids. Truth is…..a stylist may take more care of people that they have a connection with….rather than those they don’t (especially if there are screaming/hyper children involved). One reason why those “walk-in” based hair salons have a certain reputation.

    Complacency happens….that’s probably what this girl did. You were so nice about it, bless you!

    There is always something worse happening to someone else…..something I constantly remind myself of when I complain. Good luck next time!

    1. Thank you, Erika. I definitely contributed to the situation because I didn’t think about getting haircuts for my kids until the day before our pictures. So I definitely did not plan ahead. Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you were able to correct your error and not have it be noticeable. I’ve already figured out ways to style Reese’s hair so people can’t see it, which makes me even more glad that I didn’t make a scene. Definitely not worth it.

      1. It’s a horrible feeling…when you realize you used the wrong shears….your heart stops for a second!

        Short Story….

        In the 4th grade my mother decided to cut my bangs on picture day. She said they were too long. I remember crying, and being “too hot” because her bathroom was small and the curling irons were on….what a terrifying memory….lol!

        Anyways, she couldn’t get them straight….so she kept going. They ended up being an inch long! She says that it was the best school photo I ever took. Somehow she pulled it off with a swoop and a barrette. The difference in my mom and most mom is that she had skills….she used to work for a hairdresser and did all of the “grunt” work.

        So, your mother is partially right. Probably the old school way though! Cutting your kids hair at home is a bad idea unless you have boys with a buzz cut!

        1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve failed miserably at cutting bangs. Once I almost poked my little one in the eye with the scissors! I’ve never attempted to cut bangs again. It’s well worth the money to have them trimmed by someone who knows what they’re doing. Thank you for sharing this story!

  16. Seriously? Butchered? It’s just HAIR for Pete’s sake! And I can say this having lost ALL of my hair for no other reason than my body was rebelling against itself. She looks great in pigtails and probably would rock a shorter cut. But for you to “not be over it” because you see it all the time is too much. How about when you have to look at your bald head and your husband trying to stay positive about the whole situation but still gives you looks of pity and concern. At least you learned some compassion and didn’t take it out on the hair dresser. There is that.

    1. I think you are misunderstanding my final point. It’s not that I get mad or upset when it see it. It’s that seeing it reminds me of the importance of grace and forgiveness. My apologies if you misread the final message.

    1. Thank you so much. I had no idea this story would travel so far. It’s not easy seeing the negative comments, especially on a story that’s supposed to be about hope and grace. Thank you for your kind words.

  17. You can tell your daughter Rapunzel had her hair shorter in the same spot from Gathika when she was a little girl also 😊 my daughters love that movie also definitely a family favorite

  18. Your control freak is showing. Your daughters hair was not ‘butchered’. A piece was cut out of it. Unfortunate, but not butchery.

    1. I completely agree.. I see the the point of this story and happy it all worked out. But it almost seemed back handed & condescending..You could have told your story and gotten your point across with out the word BUTCHERED.. Sense the moral of story is that of forgiveness & compassion.

    2. one of the definitions of butcher in the dictionary is “to bungle; botch” a job. I think the word was quiet fitting actually.

  19. Tell her Rapunzel had a little short section of hair too! In tangled, Mother Gothel tried to cut her hair when she was a baby and it never grew back out.

  20. I had read some comments above from people saying you were wanting validation or a pat on the back etc.. I completely disagree. Being a mom of two daughters, I can only imagine how i would have felt in that moment( I don’t know if I could have kept my cool) I will most definitely keep your story in mind next time I run into a “crisis”. This world could use more kind, compassionate people. I too was deeply moved by the images of that sweet little boy….it really puts things into perspective.

    1. Thank you for saying that. I’ve been blogging for 4 years and have never had a post travel like this. I realize this is the risk we take in sharing things online, but I did not expect this at all. It’s been hard to see some of the negative comments. I want God to have the glory, not me, and I worry that posts like these will hurt my witness for Jesus because of the assumption that it’s about attention. Thank you again for your kind response.

      1. Many many years ago , I too picked up my scissors instead of the thinning shears! The Mother of the little girl handled it exactly as you did, with grace and forgiveness. The little girl was thrilled because she wanted her hair short to begin with and her parents wanted it long. I had a harder time forgiving myself as a professional hairdresser, I should never ever had made that mistake. But I am human! This happened to me over thirty years ago, and I can truthfully say, it still upsets me to think about it!

        1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I bet it would make the stylist feel so much better to know that there are others out there who have had similar mistakes. If I had a nickel for every absent-minded mistake I’ve made…. well, let’s just say I’ve got no right to judge this stylist or her skills. Bless you for sharing this example!

  21. You’re reaction to the situation was spot on. Good job mama. Great example for your daughter. And such a great reminder to the things that matter. How touching that you treated the stylist with such Grace! I’m going to try and learn this lesson. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Kids learn how to react to stress by seeing how their parents react to it. If you freak out when your kid needs a shot, your kid is going to freak out every time the doctor needs to give one. If you can manage stress and reign in the urge to blow up, your kid will learn that it’s pointless to meltdown when there’s a crisis. I think you did a good job. It’s so hard to be rational when anything troubles your baby. Those cavemom urges get so rough!

    1. Thank you, Brandi. I agree. My daughter has some medical problems that are exacerbated by stress, so it’s very important to me to teach her that calm reactions are your best bet.

  23. I just can’t believe the negative comments I’m seeing here. Some people are really good missing the air & moral of your words & story! I truly admire and envy how you reacted with such grace & kindness to this hairdresser. I don’t know that I could’ve done the same thing in your situation; but I can tell you after reading this, that my reactions to the ‘small potatoes’ (I love that! Haha) stuff in daily life is going to change! I want my kids to be calm and react in grace just like this and you gotta lead by example! Great job Mom!
    P.S. I just gave my 15 month old son his first haircut myself and thank god its curly b/c if it wasnt, you would definitely be able to tell that I ‘butchered’ it! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kristi. I appreciate your kind words. I’ve mentioned this in a few other replies, but my daughter has some medical problems that are exacerbated by stress and it’s really important for her to learn to properly manage and channel her emotions. We’re taking this walk as a family, and it has changed all of us.

      1. We Are human and its natural that your first response was that she had butchered your daughters hair. By Sharing those feelings, you Also show us how you overcome them. Most commendable is that you demonstrated grace and forgiveness to your daughter. As another mother, I’m proud of you and hope that I too demonstrate forgiving behaviors to those who let me and my family down.

  24. I am also a hairstylist and while I am grateful that you didn’t tear this poor Women apart, I’m sure she is doing it to herself. The way you wrote this blog across as negative, and it’s on hair dressers blogs. Your stylist was sweet to not charge you when her only income is by each service she does. We all make mistakes in any job. Of course dealing with someone’s own personal look is important to not mess up… But it happens. She deserved that tip because I’m sure she didn’t sleep
    At night. Instead of praying for her, you should let her know the photos came out good and everything okay. Its stressful doing what we do, but we are hair stylists because there’s a passion and love there. We need respect, not a put down in a blog. I’m glad you and your family learned something from this, and I guarantee she did too. let her know in person everything is okay. Be grateful she didn’t cut off an ear or anything serious. Hair grows and this will all be forgotten in 6 months.

    Sorry for being harsh, but every new client I take I hear “well my last stylist didn’t so this….” So my heart goes out to this women who “butchered” a haircut when all she really did was grab the wrong shears probably while trying to talk to you and not run behind schedule for her other clients. I would have cried too if I was her.

    1. Thank you for this, Kristen. I don’t think you’re being harsh. You’re obviously very passionate about hairdressing, and thank God we have people who are or we’d all look quite silly having to cut our own hair. You make an excellent point. This is a local salon, and it would be very easy for me to take my daughter in and show this girl that when I part it on the side you totally can’t even tell.

  25. Thank you for sharing this! I’m a teacher and had “one of those days” today where it seemed that I wasn’t doing anything right. It’s a great reminder to me to look for the good, breathe through the “bad” and seek those opportunities for those “teachable moments” with my students. I often find myself struggling to push through all of the curriculum and standards when really I want to take more time to stop and connect with my students, especially during those times when I’ve made a mistake or someone has used unkind words with another. Your story has encouraged me to find those mini moments in the day where I can connect more with my students.

  26. Why would anyone write a negative response to this article? I’m also a stylist and if this happened in my shop or to one of my family members I would also use the word “butchered”! It happens, I’ve heard of it, I’ve seen it. This lady was not looking for a pat on the back, and of course she isn’t over it because she is going to see it every time she walks by. Why would anyone disagree with you? Just because it’s hair and will grow out or just because she can fix it to hide the mistake does not mean it’s forgotten. People need to stick to their own business and stop putting others down! She was trying to prove a point that over reacting sometimes the way some do is pointless. I hope everyone that wrote a negative comment on here can see mine and reads the whole thing. Take your negativity elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I see the the point of this story and happy it all worked out. But it almost seemed back handed & condescending..You could have told your story and gotten your point across with out the word BUTCHERED.. Sense the moral of story is that of forgiveness & compassion.

    I too am a hairstylist, I’m sure the girl feels horrible for the unfortunate mistake, she already has to forever live with that mistake and now a blog is out about how you FORGIVE her for BUTCHERing your daughters hair. To use that word sounds like it was done intentionally and it was clearly a senseless accident but still an accident.

    And I don’t think your daughter should grow up thinking the only thing that makes her beautiful is her hair. A women’s worth & young girls for that matter is far more then the hair on there head. Hair grows, long, short or bald she is beautiful no matter..

    1. I disagree with you completely. I believe she uses the word butchered for a reason. It is a contrast to her initial feeling versus the way she decided to respond. Every day we all have a choice on how we respond to situations. Those situations may be large to us while seeming small to others. She chose to handle this with love and forgiveness and I commend her for it.

    2. If this was your child, how would you feel? Did you not see this child’s hair? It wasn’t a trim, it was a huge chunk. So yes it would be butchered. I have a daughter with long beautiful curly hair and have never cut it. I would have been bawling if this was my daughter’s hair. I honestly applaud this mom for forgiving this hair stylist. Yes hair does grow back, but that is not the point. If you know anything about curly hair, you would know that if you cut it, it may never grow back curly. My son had also curly hair and when we trimmed his, not did an actual hair cut, his curls were gone and never grew back. Do we ended up cutting it so he had short hair. His hair was down to his shoulders with the curls and was only trimmed. Yes this hair stylist messed up, but this mom forgave her. Maybe instead of cutting down the mom for writing a beautiful story, you should also applaud her for what she did. Just remember, everything you write is on social media for the whole world to see and for your attitude to be so negative is a good way for you to lose your clients. Just saying you might want to change your attitude. Your clients are the reason why you have a pay check every week.

  28. Lisa,

    God knows your heart and I’m sure He sees and these haters have no heaven or hell to put you in. God bless you and your sweet family, I pray that you continue to be a Light amidst the darkness and a champion of the faith to your family (your first ministry).. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  29. Every little girl needs one bad hair cut i am 22 and i still remember having a mullet at 6 because i got to adventurous with my moms sissors. We talked about how the stylist was trying to fix what i had done and i think it helped foster a true appreciation from my own hair,something most women lack unfortunately. You did a wonder buy holding it together ! Mommies don’t get enough praise for their good deeds and we are so hard on ourselves when we mess up. So air hug and high five you did it sister. You spread love and gave grace when it was sorely needed. Hoping this storie helps me remember the true blessing of biting my tongue.

  30. Reading your story makes me reflect on how I raised my own children who are now, 25,23, and 20. I can only hope that I would have handled this situation as gracefully as you did. What a wonderful teachable moment! And “butchered” IS an appropriate verb for your title.

  31. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been consciously working on showing more kindness and grace with different services or businesses out in public because I know what it’s like to have that one customer who is just rude beyond all measures when it doesn’t have to be that way, but this post just took it over the moon for me. I love how you taught your daughter that grown ups (even strangers) make mistakes and that you gave her the option on what she wanted to do. She’ll have to learn that when she get’s older on how to handle these situations and you lead by perfect example. With our first on the way I want to remember to teach grace like this. Plus your family photo turned out awesome!

  32. Lisa, your responses to one and all have been gracious and classy. The original story delivered more than I expected from the title, I will agree with that. But it left me with such a warm feeling in my heart.
    Yes. It’s only hair, and it will grow.
    I remember when my daughter was in middle school and I tried to highlight her hair myself days before school pictures. The “orange” results left us with a meltdown I can only describe as Chernobyl!! My response to her when she could listen was that mommy has many wonderful skills, but we had just discovered that hairdressing was clearly not one of them. We would find her a REAL professional and fix my error. She forgave me and we moved on and it is a family joke now. She’ll start giving me attitude and I’ll tell her “Don’t make me color your hair!” It has been known to diffuse a situation as we both laugh about how that turned out.
    Grace and forgiveness are a wonderful gift. Treasure the fact that you are teaching that to your children. So many don’t. God bless you and your family always! Clearly He already has.

  33. I’m playing devils advocate here. Madam, this situation is your fault. Your absolute lack of respect for my profession is very clear. You did not do your home work by finding a reputable and experienced stylist. You allowed your toddler to run around the salon, disrupting other clients and stylists. You expected to be squeezed in and expected perfection. Would you do this to other professionals like your doctor or dentist? I bet you wouldn’t. That poor frazzled stylist probably cried for days because I’m sure she wanted to do a great job despite the lack of time to cut your daughters hair. That was the salons fault, squeezing your daughter in, in the first place. You sound like the type of mother who researches baby formula and reads the labels on foods. So why not put that effort into seeking a stylist.
    Sincerely, a stylist with 30 years experience and has seen it all.

  34. Please add me to your email list. Blessings on you and your family, Lisa. I’m a grandmother (married) raising a granddaughter. We would love to share your insights.

  35. Thank you for this story. I am stylist, have been for 23 years. I am overwhelmingly moved by your compassion and perspective. I can tell you had the stylist been me, I would’ve had a crisis of faith in myself. I would have gone home and cried myself to sleep. Then spent weeks rebuilding my confidence and trust in myself. Your reaction to the situation would not have removed my process, but at least let me forgive myself faster than other standard reactions.

    Thank you for sharing. I wish for more parents like you. Your kids are very lucky.

  36. I hope, during your teachable moment, that your shared with your daughter stories of children with cancer who have no hair at all, but are more beautiful and courageous than kids who grow up being obsessed with image and buying into society’s skewed interpretation of beauty. Grace and forgiveness? How about depth of character? You cried over hair. The family photos I love best are the ones in which our truth shows, which is far from perfection.

      1. In fairness, if you allow anyone to subscribe to your blog you are subject to interpretation, regardless of what your intent was in writing. I got the point. It just wasn’t the point you had hoped I would get.

  37. Hair is not a part of our identity. That’s ridiculous. Yes I’ve had my hair screwed up, no I don’t care. I am not my hair. You had to blog about this to validate your feelings. Smh….

  38. I too, am a hairstylist. I’ve done hair for 20 years and I’ve seen and experienced my fair share of mistakes, oopsies and butchered jobs. Your title in my opinion, is appropriately worded. It describes your feeling, experience and end result. It has nothing to do with the stylist that made an honest mistake. Those that have commented about it being innapropriate are not living your life nor experiencing it firsthand, so I say, let the haters hate and the lovers love.

    Yes, hair is a security blanket. It is how most people identify with themselves. It’s how we show character, personality, style and flair. We express who we are with how we choose to style, color and cut our hair. It is healing and protective. When an unexpected change happens with our hair, it creates insecurity and self doubt. For those who say ” our hair is not who we are and not to put so much of our identity on it”, are either fooling themselves or identify with themselves through other physical attributes. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder whose looking at their own reflection in the mirror. Bad hair days can and do affect our mood and day, but a great hair day can change mood, energy, emotions, it can put a bounce in your step, a smile on your face and even the sun shines brighter and the day runs smoother. It’s not for us to dictate how your hair makes each of us feel. It’s your own expression of how you outwardly feel.

    I love the lesson portrayed here. I love the caring, kindness and grace in which was shown. We really do deserve more of this shared to one another. The lesson taught to your daughter is ultimately priceless. I love that you shared this, your view, stand point, honesty courage and emotion. I don’t believe in accidents. This may have happened in order to assist with your donation. Who knows, the money sent may have been the moment that changed fear into relief, hate to love, hardness to softness and doubt to hope. What a beautiful gift.
    One last thing. As a hairstylist, knowing how to use your tools properly is a must. This stylist had mistakenly grabbed the wrong shear. It happens. It sucks but it happens, we’re human. With that being said, it is important as a stylist when using thinning shears to take smaller partings, never use near the hairline or top layer of hair (when removing thickness) and always at an angle, not straight across (horizontal). Having known or followed these basic lessons would gave changed this mistake to a less butchered result. Although, Like I said, there are no accidents. This unfortunate experience was meant for a much more important and priceless lesson for you, your daughter, the stylist and all of us readers who have an open heart and mind to accept your teaching.
    Much luck, much appreciation and gratitude to you and to all.

  39. How deeply ironic that on a BEAUTIFUL post about how we all make mistakes, we all need perspective, and we all need grace, so many people are being unkind and ungracious. You wrote about not flipping out over the [relatively] small mistake your daughter’s hairdresser made, but people are disproportionately flipping out over their own misinterpretations of YOUR actions and attitudes. Those of us who’ve been reading your blog for a while know your heart, and you handled yourself well not only in writing this post, but also in responding to the venomous, ill-conceived remarks of people who likely didn’t even read the whole thing.

    You don’t need to allow their comments if you don’t want to. Blog on, blogfriend. 🙂

  40. What a beautiful story in the midst of so much sadness! Seriously, I am crying a little right now. This week I have been thinking of a momma who lost her children, and children who lost their momma, both to car wrecks, both to drunk/drugged drivers, but in different states.

    You are absolutely right that we need more encouraging stories like this one, that teaches a lesson we can all live up to and imitate. God bless you and your family, and all families everywhere.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. Some responses have not been so kind. I lost my dad in a car wreck a year ago. I’m 32 and I think I’m too young to have lost a parent. I can only imagine how that must be for children! Heartbreaking. My prayers go out to those families.

  41. In the first salon I ever worked in, my clipper attachment flew off and left a small bald spot on this guys head. I was almost in tears and he said to me: Don’t worry, in 2 weeks it will grow back.
    I will never forget his kindness. I was only 18 at the time.

  42. God bless you, Lisa, and your family and your local hair stylist and the faraway refugees. God bless the readers of this blog that understand if your comments seem “back-handed and condescending” that they still come from a place of honesty. You have a right to be upset at the end of a long hard day when something goes so terribly awry. The fact that you were feeling those emotions and acknowledge that, yet refused to allow them to escalate the situation… instead choosing compassion and understanding… sets you apart from others. The fact that you wrote about it, probably to help you work through your own emotions, has become a teachable moment for many more than just your daughter. Don’t let the negative comments get you down. People will take from this blog post what they need most from it. You’ve already gotten what you needed from it. The good Lord works in mysterious ways and He’s touching the hearts of so many people through your words right now. You know you did the best you could under the circumstances. So do we. So does He. This is a beautiful and moving story… partially because of the deeply personal nature of the “small potatoes” but also because of the reminder that things could be so much worse… and they are for some. Again, God bless you!

    1. Thank you, dear. I just disabled the comments for this post because I’ve heard enough. Thank you for coming with something positive to say. The encouraging comments have been so uplifting!

  43. I couldn’t help but cry as I read this. It was so well written and filled with compassion. You would think others would understand the message here. Thank you so much for sharing!

  44. Thank you so much for your post Lisa,
    I am a mom of 7 adult children, and I’ve had moments like yours. I’ve learned through many trying years of just trials and tribulations, not just bad haircuts, but of life itself, to put things into a greater perspective. Don’t sweat the small things. Putting it all in the hands of the One that can handle life much better than I can. Oh, I haven’t always learned so quickly, but it’s ok. I’ve learned needless to say. Have a grace filled day Lisa

    1. Thank you, Geri. I just had to close the comments section because of some of the hurtful responses. It’s sad that people can no longer share positive comments either, but I don’t get to choose which ones I see (although I do get to choose what I approve, so the worst ones do not appear. I can handle people disagreeing with me, but blatant hatred is not welcome). Thank you for closing this on a positive note! Have a blessed day!

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