Stepping into a barber’s chair is a lot like doing a trust fall; you have to be willing to put your complete faith in the hands of another person who hopefully knows what they’re doing. That said, however, most times getting a haircut is a relatively drama-free occasion, especially if you’re a regular customer and your barber knows how you like your hair done.
But this list wouldn’t be any fun if we showed you how perfectly things go all the time, would it? So instead, we’re scoured the Internet for incidents where barbers completely botched the simple tasks they were given. We’re also including terrible lapses in judgment from barbers who should’ve known better than to commit these horrible crimes against follicular fashion but went ahead and did so to collect their fees. What’s the world coming to when you can’t even trust your barber?
15 Pin the tail on the numbskull
Male pattern baldness—where the hairline gradually recedes and bald patches develop—is responsible for a whopping 95% cases of hair loss in men who have thinning hair. While many modern treatments are available, not all of them are a guaranteed success and most men just choose to go with the flow and tell their barbers to shave their heads for a more even look. But not this guy.
We have no idea where this picture was taken, but we’re tempted to say that it was probably somewhere in the south because it makes us want to say, “Yee haw!” Just looking at this hairstyle evokes the feeling of being at the Kentucky Derby or attending a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert because it carries on the tradition of the mullet: business in front and party out back. Whether this hairstyle is this guy’s choice or his barber’s, it’s still a bad call.
14 This haircut is criminally bad
Have you ever gotten a haircut that was so bad that you felt like it was a crime? One person in Madison, Wisconsin, did and he even filed charges against his barber.
In December 2017, barber Khaled A. Shabani became so irate with a customer who he claimed was constantly fidgeting that he twisted the man’s ear. When that wasn’t enough, Shabani snipped the man’s ears with his scissors! But wait—there’s more. As the final touch of icing on the cake, Shabani then ran his electric clippers down the middle of the man’s head, giving him a reverse Mohawk! While bad haircuts may not be a crime, intentionally cutting someone with scissors is and Shabani was charged with assault. As for his victim, we suspect that it will be a long time before he lets anyone else near his crowning glory again.
13 Price check: One comb over
Some men who are losing their hair decide to just decide to follow the advice of a certain Disney princess and “let it go” while others try a number of things to desperately preserve their thinning strands.
This dude falls into the latter category.
You see, the trick to a good comb over is that the hair you’re using to comb over your bald spots should be thick enough to cover the spot convincingly. While this guy certainly has the length to perform the comb over technique, his stringy, wispy strands make the top of his head look more like a bar code. This is one hairstyle idea that needs to be returned to wherever it came from.
12 What a square
In western culture, being called a blockhead is not a term of endearment. In Taiwan, however, having a square-shaped head is apparently a sign of success and virility. At least, that’s what ONE person in the entire country thinks.
In 2014, 54-year-old medical scientist Wu Guoren had a well-paying job in a career he enjoyed, but true love still eluded him. So in order to make himself stand out from the crowd, Wu became his own barber and concocted his square hairstyle, which requires two hours of styling and two bottles of hair gel. The precarious pompadour, which can only be combed once every 15 days, has earned Wu the nickname “Squarehead Bro” and he’s been caricatured in local comics and Minecraft memes. However, his newfound fame still hasn’t helped him reel in a girlfriend. We guess nobody told Wu that square hairstyles are so yesterday, dude.
11 Just a little bit higher…
A lot of barbers obey the same golden rule that workers in the service industry follow: the customer is always right. This means that even if they think a customer is making a bad choice, they can advise against it; but ultimately, they’ll have to do what the customer wants.
Sometimes, however, if your gut is telling you not do to something, you should follow it. Take this barber here who looks like he’s following instructions to shave his client’s hairline way higher than it should be. While the client seems satisfied, we imagine that the barber must be shaking his head and seriously reconsidering his life choices. If he isn’t, then he should be because being a barber isn’t his natural calling if he thinks there’s nothing wrong with this hare-brained hairstyle.
10 The saint
If you’re going to rock a unique haircut, it’s probably not a bright idea to resort to a life of crime because the one thing you don’t want to do as a criminal is stand out in a lineup.
Too bad nobody told this less than angelic nimrod. We don’t know whether it was his barber’s idea to do this cut or his. But we do know that once his barber committed this atrocity to hairstyling, this guy was doomed to a life of epic failure. Even more ironic is that even though this guy’s “ring” hairstyle resembles a halo, he’s posing for a mug shot! Obviously his behavior must’ve been less than saintly to end up in this predicament. Or who knows…maybe you can get arrested for having terrible hair. Whatever the reason this guy ended up in trouble with the law, his barber certainly didn’t do him any favors.
9 A dastardly ’do
This dastardly criminal’s hairstyle matches his larcenous lifestyle so perfectly, we don’t know whether to insult his barber or laud them for giving their client the perfect haircut!
Something about this hairstyle makes us think of top-hat-wearing, old-timey villains from black-and-white movies and classic cartoons that would twirl their handlebar mustaches with maniacal glee while tying some helpless damsel to a railroad track. However, in this case, instead of twirling his mustache, this guy would twirl his ludicrous locks of hair. It’s such a befitting hairdo that we can even imagine a Canadian Mountie riding in at the last minute to foil this perp’s nefarious plan.
8 Chuck Norris has eyes on the back of his head
A lot of fans get tattoos of their idols, but it takes a real superfan to get the likeness of their hero shaved into the back of their head. And by superfan, we mean chowderhead.
In 2012, Texas middle schooler Patrick Gonzalez decided to show his support for his favorite basketball team by getting the likeness of San Antonio Spurs center Matt Bonner shaved into his hair. Needless to say, school officials were less than impressed and threatened to suspend Gonzalez if he didn’t get the design shaved off. While some people might cite school dress codes for the harsh punishment, we think the real reason why the school’s staff demanded the removal of the design was because it was a terrible likeness of Bonner. To us, it clearly looks like Chuck Norris, especially with the karate-chop-like hand gesture.
7 Just “don’t” do it
This next haircut fail shows a barber way out of his depth. While many barbers are capable of elevating the art of cutting hair to whole new levels, like any skill it takes hours of patience and practice to get good at anything. Something tells us the barber who mangled this kid’s hair lacked both of those things.
On the bright side, we can still sort of see that this hapless hairstylist was trying to recreate the Air Jordan logo.
Unfortunately, the barber made such a horrible mess of the design that Michael Jordan’s muscular silhouette has been reduced to a stick figure and the basketball he’s meant to be dunking could easily be mistaken for a grapefruit. This is one clueless barber who definitely should’ve used a stencil, because he can’t freehand for nuts.
6 Rattail fail
Ready for another example of a barber’s lapse in judgment that might also make you throw up in disgust? Ready or not, here it is and we smell a rat.
Rattail hairstyles are pretty terrible in the first place. But just when you thought they couldn’t get any more awful, this hillbilly somehow managed to convince a barber to shave a rat onto the back of his head so that the rat’s tail formed into the actual rattail. Depending on what part of the country you live in, some of you out there might go, “Whoa, cool! Where can I get a haircut like that?” We, on the other hand think that this is another sign of the impending apocalypse.
In the 1990s, while Cristiano Ronaldo was still a little kid playing kickball in a yard, another Ronaldo was soccer’s most famous athlete. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is highly considered to be Brazil’s greatest soccer player, second only to Pelé. In his prime he was a prolific goal scorer and was the epitome of Brazilian “samba” soccer.
Like most celebrities, Ronaldo experimented with fashion and hairstyles because when you’re a famous celeb, you can get away with anything, right? The answer, of course, is WRONG. Even famous people can make style missteps and Ronaldo flopped hard with this half-dome haircut which made him look like he had reverse male pattern baldness. While Ronaldo was probably one of those people who knew what he wanted, we also have to lay blame of this look on his barber who should’ve known better than to just blindly obey instructions. It just goes to show you what can happen when you surround yourself with “yes” men.
4 Why you shouldn’t cut your hair with a blender
Despite being known for getting his breakout role playing a sparkly, emo vampire, Robert Pattinson has shown that’s he’s a pretty capable actor. His acting chops, however, also seem to be eclipsed by his questionable grooming habits, which makes us wonder, “Why hasn’t he fired his hair stylist by now?”
Throughout the Twilight movies, Pattinson was frequently photographed sporting a tousled, unwashed hairstyle. But even that was nothing compared to this messy bowl cut that he rocked in 2014 that featured an added surprise in the back: a reverse soul patch. Whether this follicular folly was Pattinson’s decision or his barber’s, who knows? But what we do know is that it looks less like a fashion statement and more like a furry hatch in the back of Pattinson’s head where someone obviously surgically removed his sense of style.
3 Jersey bore
In 2009, the world forever changed. Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, Michael Jackson sadly passed away, Hamas and Israel declared a ceasefire in the Gaza War…and the world was introduced to DJ Pauly D’s horrible “blowout” hairstyle on Jersey Shore.
The person originally to blame for this monstrosity of a mane was Pauly D’s longtime barber, Ant G, who—in all fairness—probably didn’t know that his Jersey jerk of a client would turn the helmet-like hairdo in his trademark. But like a bad STD, Jersey Shore—and Pauly D’s awful hair—endured for several seasons and he was stuck with it. Eventually, even Pauly D tired of the high-maintenance style and he briefly chopped his locks in 2013 after the show wrapped. However, recent pics in 2017 have shown the blowout making a creeping return. We don’t know about you, but we’re getting shivers up our spine.
2 A well-defined look
Yet another example of someone who really knows what he wants and a barber who should’ve raised objections is this style-challenged nitwit. Seriously; just look at him. Sure, we’ve heard of customers wanting well-defined hairlines, but this is just plain ridiculous.
The resulting hairstyle doesn’t even look like hair; it looks more like someone rubbed some shoe polish all over his head and buffed it.
Whatever this hairstyle is supposed to be, we at least hope that the customer is happy with it and knows what he’s getting into. But as long as he’s happy looking like a real-life bearded emoji, more power to you, dude! We still wouldn’t recommend your barber, though.
1 The Benjamin Button Special
We’ve listed a number of accidents and bad judgment calls, but this misbehaving barber takes the crown for being worst barber EVER because he intentionally gives bad haircuts to punish misbehaving kids.
Barber Russell Fredrick of A-1 Kutz in Snellville, Georgia, gained social media notoriety back in 2015 when he began posting photos of the “Benjamin Button Special,” a haircut meant to resemble male pattern baldness. The victims of this hairstyle all happened to be children, whose parents claimed were so out of control that they had no other way of disciplining them. While some parents lauded Fredrick’s take on punishment, child psychologists claim that publicly humiliating kids is a lot worse than beating them. All we know is this is one barber we would not want to go to just in case he happened to be having a bad day.