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Bad Haircuts | 30 Real-Life Examples to Avoid

Looking for bad haircuts? We’ve got you covered. We rounded up our favorite (or rather unfavorite) haircuts for you to avoid. You’ll be glad you did! Read on to see the most cringe-worth cuts of this year.

Disclaimer: Some of these haircuts aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re so niche that 99% of people can’t successfully pull them off. I’ll be explaining why for each of these haircuts.

Image titled Style Roundup Bad Haircuts and featuring a guy with blue spikey hair

It’s no secret that haircuts go in and out of fashion, but some people don’t get that even some popular haircuts should be avoided. Not everyone gets those memos, though, so we’re here to show you exactly which bad hairstyles you’ll want to refrain from getting.

There are all kinds of reasons to avoid a hairstyle. For example, choosing a haircut that doesn’t match your face shape can result in disaster.

However, in this article, we’re going to be looking at a bunch of haircuts that are hard for anyone to pull off. From short-lived trends to looks that should have never been in style at all, here’s our list of 30 of the worst haircuts.

Bad Haircuts For Men

1. The Clearly Balding

Image of man rocking a nearly bald bad haircut

Stephen Orsillo/Shutterstock

Every man will deal with balding sooner or later, but there are graceful ways of dealing with it. The worst thing you can do is to choose a clearly incompatible haircut like this brushed back (sort of?) style.

This wouldn’t look too bad with a full head of hair, but on a balding man, it looks like someone hacked at the hair while blindfolded.

Instead, work with your barber or stylist to find a hairstyle that works well with the degree of baldness you’re experiencing. Even a completely bald head would look better than this abomination.

2. Window Blinds

Man in a red room smiling with a bad haircut that looks like aluminum window blinds

Zurijeta/Shutterstock

As you’ll see throughout this article, it’s risky to get most types of shaved patterns. This one really takes the cake, though, making the wearer look like they have a cornfield on top of their head.

It would look like an accident were it not for the neatness of the rows. To say this is unflattering is a gross understatement, but you get the idea.

3. Shaved Pattern and Fluorescent Dye

Shaved Pattern and Fluorescent Dye as a style inspiration for bad haircuts

Praiwan Wasanruk/Shutterstock

Here’s another shaved pattern style to prove that cutting lines into your hair should be done with extreme discretion. This asymmetrical pattern combined with the bright yellow-orange color makes for a head-turning hairstyle.

But, it turns heads for all the wrong reasons. It’s extremely bold, and there aren’t many situations where this would be an appropriate hairstyle. Unless you’re getting a haircut like this for a very specific reason, avoid this style.

4. Thick Crop

Man with a thick crop trying to look sexy while standing with his hands in his pockets for a piece on bad haircuts

Oleg Gekman/Shutterstock

Thick hair is great for many hairstyles, but you can also make it look bad by getting the wrong haircut. The thick crop is a prime example of this. The thickness of the hair is almost piled on top of itself, throwing everything out of balance with a top-heavy look.

5. Country Mullet

Man with a Country Mullet hairstyle stands and smiles while looking right

Sara J Lee/Shutterstock

Don’t get me wrong— the mullet has received many updates since its debut in the 80s, and it now has several cool variations. However, many types of mullets just don’t look good.

And this country-inspired curly mullet is one of them. It’s hard to wear this and not look like a redneck, so unless that’s your vibe, steer clear of this style.

6. Bowl Cut

Guy holding a mirror and scissors gasps in horror while looking in the mirror at his bad haircut that he just gave himself

Carolyn Franks/Shutterstock

Like the mullet, the bowl cut has experienced a renaissance, but there are still plenty of ugly bowl cuts going around. Perhaps the most offensive bowl cut is the “coconut head” look with its blunt, curved fringe line.

Bowl cuts are notorious for making it look like you’re wearing a helmet made of hair, and this haircut is a great example of that bad style. If you do choose to get a bowl cut, think about it first, and make sure you get one that flatters you and matches your style.

7. Dyed and Spiked

Image of a guy with spiked and dyed hair looks in the mirror and stands next to a candle on the wall

Jaimieandkyleshootstock/Shutterstock

This dyed and spiked look is one of those styles that most people can’t pull off. The fully-dyed look paired with the tall spikes makes for a dramatic and edgy result that just isn’t going to work for most people. Unless you’re a guitarist for a punk rock band, you’ll want to avoid this one.

8. Greasy Styles

Photo of a guy in a suit and a 90s grey gingham suit smiles with extremely greasy hair

Ysbrand Cosijn/Shutterstock

For whatever reason, slick and greasy hair was pretty popular in the mid-to-late 1900s, and some older men still sport the style today.

All it takes is one look at this style to figure out why it went out of fashion. While guys hoped it would make them look like mobsters, it just made them look like they hadn’t showered in a year.

If you do choose a slicker style, use a water-based pomade instead of an oil-based one, and don’t apply too much. This ensures you get a light shine in your hair and not a headful of grease.

9. Actually Messy

Man with unkempt hair and a hipster open-collar shirt smiles big while standing in a white room

Luanateutzi/Shutterstock

There are many “messy” hairstyles that tousle the hair in creative ways, and then there’s actually messy hair that looks like someone rubbed a balloon on your head.

In other words, you get the real “just rolled out of bed” look, which is far from flattering. For guys, this kind of messy hair often makes the wearer look juvenile, since you can’t really pull off this hairstyle past the age of seven.

10. Long Asymmetrical

Thin pale-faced man tilts his head with an emo cut, also called a bad haircut

Volodymyr Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock

While there are many ways to rock long hair as a guy, this ain’t one of them. Short on one side and extremely long on the other, this style lacks the sense of balance a good haircut should have.

Even good asymmetrical styles will be evened out in some way. This one tries but ultimately falls short.

11. The Aging Rocker

For a piece on bad haircuts, one featuring an aging rocker on a guy in a dark brown leather shirt

OLJ Studio/Shutterstock

Another long style that misses the mark, this shoulder-length look is bad in a couple of noticeable ways. First, the hair is messy (and not in the good way). Second, the hair is brushed back from the forehead, which immediately makes you look like a dad who really misses the 70s.

12. Emo Fringe

Man in a baseball crew shirt looks like he just woke up and rocks a bad haircut

Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

This style should’ve died with Myspace, but somehow it’s still kicking and screaming. The straightened, swooping fringe was all the rage, but even former emos agree that this is pretty cringe-worthy now.

13. Gelled Spikes

Scary looking guy with an emo outfit and an emo-esque bad haircut featuring spikes

Cameron Whitman/Shutterstock

Gelled spikes were popular in the 90s, survived in some subcultures in the 00s, and virtually went extinct in the 10s. However, some guys still opt for this style when they want an edgy, rebellious look.

Unfortunately, the heavy gel makes your hair somehow look damp and dirty at the same time. (And in this particular example, the tiny mutton chops definitely don’t help.)

14. Matching Beard & Hair

Man with a bad haircut featuring a matching dyed KFC-style beard and hair

Just dance/Shutterstock

If your hair and beard colors naturally match, great! But if they don’t, then don’t force it by dyeing one or both. This is especially true for unnatural hair colors like the yellow shown here. The result makes you look like a weird video game character.

15. Extreme Punk Spikes

Man with extreme punk spikes that are blue and purple for a piece on bad haircuts

Kolbakova Olga/Shutterstock

For when the mohawk just isn’t enough! This hairstyle that looks like something out of a science textbook is completely over the top. While it will definitely catch eyes, it’s one of the most impractical hairstyles in existence.

If you’re going for a punkier look, there are so many better options that will give you the edge you want without requiring such a commitment.

16. Balding Bono

Bad haircut named the Balding Bano on a young man in glasses

Marko Tomicic/Shutterstock

If Bono were balding and refused to change his hairstyle, he’d look something like this. This look brings back the bad parts of the 90s and combines them with the attitude of a middle-aged man who wants to look young. Need we say more?

17. Cowell Flat Top

Simon Cowell of The X Factor stands in front of a microphone for a piece on bad haircuts

S_buckley/Shutterstock

The regular flat top is already a hairstyle that not many guys can pull off, but Simon Cowell’s flat top is something else. This style (which seems to be the only one Cowell’s hairstylist knows) makes him look like a rectangular Chia pet.

Granted, it’s far from the worst haircut on this list, but still, I think it’s a good idea to stay away from this one.

18. The BoJo

Photo of Boris Johnson with a haircut we call the BoJo

Frederic Legrand- COMEO/Shutterstock

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is well-known for his messy, frizzy hair that’s rarely styled or even combed. He appears to just let his hair fall flat onto his head, giving him an unsightly bowl cut-esque style.

It’s one of the worst looks for thin, flat hair because it highlights those qualities. Pro tip: If you have hair like BoJo, don’t copy him. Just about anything will look better than this.

Bad Haircuts for Women

1. Karen Haircuts

Gal with a karen haircut holds her right hand to her chin

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

The Karen haircut is still the scourge of retail workers everywhere, and it’s not coming back anytime soon. There are many Karen haircuts, so we’ll highlight just one: the short crop.

Even a younger girl wearing this immediately looks like a middle-aged soccer mom who wants to speak to the manager.

2. Shaved Shapes

Woman with a bad haircut (shaved shapes) looks to her right in a dark room

Dmytro Kolesnikov/Shutterstock

Shaved designs don’t really work for guys, and sadly they don’t really work for girls, either. This is especially true if you have darker hair, as the shaved lines will really pop.

Having a couple of shaved lines for effect is fine, but think twice before you go all-out on an entire design.

3. Minnie Mouse

Lady with a minnie mouse haircut looks down and to her right

Popcorner/Shutterstock

Putting your hair up into a bun is a sensible choice. Putting it up into two buns is another story entirely. It tries to be cute, but it only succeeds in making the wearer look like an off-brand anime character.

It’s worse if you have dyed hair, but it doesn’t look good even with natural color. We think this style tops our list of bad haircuts.

4. Mohawk

Photo of a woman holding up the rock on sign and wearing a huge mohawk that is a bad, bad haircut

Boris Ryaposov/Shutterstock

The traditional mohawk is one of the most famous extreme hairstyles, and there’s a reason you don’t see too many of them. You need to not only grow your hair out long but also spend tons of time styling it.

On top of that, most people don’t even think it looks cool, and even people who do like it would find it difficult to go to the lengths required to actually have one.

5. Thick Mohawk

Lady with a thick red mohawk gazes out of the corner of her eye seriously

Luba V Nel/Shutterstock

This might look a little better than the standard mohawk, but it’s also worse on many levels. The regular mohawk is bold and impractical.

But it’s definitely a style of its own, whereas this style looks like you wanted to get a mohawk but also wanted long hair. The result is a messy, overgrown look to avoid.

6. Mohawk Variations

Gal with a mohawk sits in overalls and slouches in a chair for a piece on bad haircuts

Charla/Shutterstock

In case we didn’t make this clear, you should generally stay away from any mohawk variations. Here’s an extra-long style with an unkempt mohawk that’s short but also thick. It’s a confusing style that attempts to mesh several styles together and absolutely fails.

7. The Beehive

Laughing woman with a lollipop smiles and wears pink sunglasses with a bad haircut

Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Unless you’re dressing up as Aunt Bee, don’t attempt the beehive. While it’s technically a retro style, it’s definitely outdated and unflattering for most women. It’s also a style that just doesn’t work with today’s fashion.

8. Bold Dyes

This is another style that most women aren’t going to be able to successfully pull off. Having fluorescent hair and shaved sides is bold and usually impractical, especially if you’re a student or worker.

Even if you don’t have any of that tying you down, this might be a hairstyle you regret, so think carefully before committing.

9. Sharp Bob

Lady with a sharp bob and poofy hair looks to her right at the camera

Volodymyr Baleha/Shutterstock

Bob haircuts can look great, but they can also look badly dated. Even worse, some bobs—specifically the inverted or A-line bob—put you at risk of looking like a Karen.

Generally, thick or sharp bobs are the ones to avoid. Short, blended bobs will look much better for most women.

10. Ombre Bob

Gal with an ombre bob haircut and purple lipstick holds her chin mysteriously

VAndreas/Shutterstock

A step up from the regular bob, the ombre bob combines two things that really shouldn’t go together. Ombre hair itself is mostly regarded as a trend that went out of style years ago.

And women who do sport ombre hair today have more subtle looks. This style just looks like you’re wearing a wig, so you’ll probably want to pass on it.

11. Asymmetrical Fringe

Photo of a woman with a dyed pixie, also known as a bad haircut

Photographer_ME/Shutterstock

Asymmetrical hairstyles, in general, are hard to get right, and they become even worse once you deal with the fringe. Here’s an example of a half-and-half fringe that has razor-cut bangs on one side and swooping hair on the other. While it’s not the ugliest hairstyle, it just doesn’t work.

12. Frizzy Hair

Sensual image of woman with a bad hairstyle outdoors that's super frizzy

Volodymyr Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock

Frizzy hair is another style that’s often shown in fashion circles but is impractical for real life. What’s more, it doesn’t even look that good when professionally styled, especially if the hair is long or thick. There are better, more stylish ways to get messy volume.

How to Know Which Bad Hairstyles to Avoid

It can be difficult to know which hairstyles are bad and/or which ones you should avoid. Hairstyles can rapidly go in and out of fashion, so what’s considered stylish one year may be unstylish the next.

Here are a few tips to help you identify bad hairstyles that just won’t work for you:

  • Consider your face shape. Your face shape is a crucial factor to take into consideration when choosing a hairstyle. Even great hairstyles can look terrible when combined with the wrong face shape, so pay attention to the kind of face shape you have and which styles complement that shape.
  • Don’t go too extreme. While it can be fun to go to extremes in life, you’re better off being more conservative about your hair. Most people need to be presentable for work or school, and choosing an extreme hairstyle may jeopardize that. That’s not to say you can’t go for a fun, edgy style, but you might want to reconsider that tie-dyed half mohawk.
  • Avoid most styles associated with one culture/time period. This is a good rule of thumb to follow, even though there are many exceptions (such as men’s hair from the 1950s). The more niche a style is, the less of a chance you have to pull it off. That’s why styles like beehives, gelled spikes, and emo fringes should generally be avoided nowadays.

And there you have it! You’ve got all the tools you need to avoid bad haircuts and save yourself from being embarrassed. Now that you’ve had your yearly dose of bad haircuts, check out our blog for the good stuff.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the worst haircuts?

While what’s “worst” is a matter of opinion, there are specific haircuts deemed to be horrible by the majority of the public. Some of the most unpopular haircuts include The Rat Tail, The Mullet, The Comb-Over, and The Bowl cut.

How do you know if you have a bad haircut?

It’s easy to tell that you have a terrible haircut if the cut does not compliment your facial features. If you get a new cut and your nose or whole face looks more prominent, the cut may not be suitable for you. It’s best to look at hairstyle pictures on people with similar features as yours before committing to a particular cut.

How do you hide a bad short haircut?

For men and women, hats are the easiest option. Hats come in various colors and styles and can be coordinated with both casual and formal styles. Clip-in hair extensions or wigs are popular options for women to hide a bad haircut.

How long does it take to grow out a bad haircut?

Hair grows about ½ inch per month. Depending on how long you want your hair, it could take several months, but the good news is that the lousy haircut itself will start to vanish in a few weeks, and the more your hair grows, the more options you will have to style your hair until it gets to the length you want.

How can I fix my bad haircut myself?

If your hair was cut unevenly, you might be able to even it out. If one part of your hair is too long, you may be able to cut it shorter to blend in with the rest. Working in small sections will keep you from doing anything too drastic and worsen the bad haircut.