We love sitting around the fire and telling scary stories as much as the next girl—but as hair experts, hearing hair-related horror stories is just as terrifying as ghost stories. Whether DIY bangs (yikes) or bleached hair gone wrong (bigger yikes), we’re committed to helping our audience resolve their scariest hair horror stories this Halloween.
Well, we asked a few of our Mane Campus influencers and TikTok followers to share the spookiest hair stories they’ve experienced—and they didn’t disappoint. We’ve rounded up nine top hair scares and tapped Laura Frazier, Redken artist, and Bradley Leake, Hair.com ambassador, for their expert fixes. Read on for our complete roundup of what not to do.
Hair Scare #1: “I cut bangs in my hair one time myself. It was really bad and was not for me.” -Abby Wright, @abbywright0616
The Solution: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment
While there’s no fast fix to growing out your bangs (sigh), keeping your hair as healthy and strong as possible is the key to preventing split ends, which otherwise won’t allow your botched bangs to grow. Leake suggests picking up Redken’s Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment, a best-selling leave-in treatment that protects against hair breakage, so split-ends happen less often.
“Try to avoid over-heat-styling to ensure a faster grow-out,” he adds.
Hair Scare #2: “I slept in my clip-in extensions, and my hair became matted."
The Solution: Redken All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Conditioer Or One United Leave-In Treatment
Frazier recommends a detangling formula like Redken One United Leave-In Conditioner if you have slightly matted her.
“Mist this product in your hair, get yourself a tail comb, and instead of combing, you want to use a ‘stab and stir’ technique to loosen up that matting,” Frazier says. “Then, you can comb through.”
To do the stab and stir technique, place the tail end of your comb in the middle of your matted section of hair and move it around in a circular motion to loosen the tangles.
Dealing with a spookier case of matted hair—like, severely matted clip-in extensions? Opt for a more heavy-duty detangling product like Redken All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment. This hyaluronic acid-infused leave-in treatment hydrates and softens the hair, making it easier to brush through.
Hair Scare #3 “My mom finally let me [do the dip dye hair trend] after months of begging her, and then I decided I was gonna do [an at-home DIY with a drink mix]. It dyed my hair blue, but then it turned green. It was like that forever, and I had to cut half of my hair off.” -Bailey Nicole, @baileeyy_nicole
The Solution: Warm water, a lot of patience, and a hair mask.
Time and a steamy shower will be your best friend when it comes to fading temporary dye.
“Washing your hair with hot water will open up the hair cuticle and speed up the hair color fading process naturally,” explains Leake.
Sure, there are many DIY fixes circulating that claim to strip unwanted color from hair, but they can ultimately leave your mane in a state of further disrepair. When in doubt, visit your salon professional for help, and consider adding a deep conditioning mask to your routine to counteract any dryness or damage that results from food dye. We love Biolage Professional’s Strength Recovery Deep Treatment Pack, a rinse-off formula that relies on vegan squalane to provide intensive repair and increased strength in severely damaged strands.
Hair Scare #4: “I left my curling iron wrapped around my hair for too long and burnt it.”
The Solution: Redken Extreme Shampoo And Conditioner
Burning your hair with a hot tool is a big yikes, but you can improve the look and feel of that damage with a shampoo and conditioner like Redken Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner. Made with amino acids and arginine to strengthen and repair hair, this system for all hair types helps hair grow longer and stronger—and can reduce damage up to 75 percent!
Hair Scare #5: “Don’t just brush your hair 24/7 if it’s really voluminous like mine….I used to have a fluff ball of hair by doing that.” -Keilani Naipo, @keilanihair
The Solution: Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray
“I recommend using a leave-in product to help detangle and smooth the hair,” says Leake. “Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray is a great option. Just grab a wet brush or wide tooth comb to ensure an easy brush out.”
Leake’s primary rules of thumb are to brush through hair when it’s wet, never dry, and always detangle your mane starting at the bottom and working toward the top.
“Hair oil will also be your best friend to extend the life of your shampoo days while giving your [frizzy] ends some control,” says the Hair.com ambassador. Looking for a new option to add to your routine? Check out our complete guide on the best hair oils to try now.
Hair Scare #6: “I decided to bleach my hair at home, and it's breaking off...needless to say, I regret not going to the salon."
The Solution: Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate
For salon pros, there’s nothing scarier than an at-home bleach job. The first thing you’ll want to do after an at-home bleach session gone wrong, Frazier says, is to call your stylist.
“They will assess the situation and can recommend some bleach recovery products,” Frazier says.
Once your hair is back to a relatively healthier state (be patient, this could take months), Frazier suggests using a system that targets damage, like Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate. Formulated with citric acid and the brand’s Concentrated Bonding Care Complex, this multi-step system helps rebalance your hair's natural pH levels for stronger strands. Visit Redken.com to discover which combination of products works best for your hair’s needs.
Hair Scare #7: “My blonde hair turned green from the pool, and my mom made me soak it in tomato sauce to fix it.”
The Solution: Head to the salon for a hair color correction.
Leave the tomato sauce in the kitchen—this is a hair scare that definitely can’t be fixed at home. To get your blonde back to its pre-spook status, you’ll need a hair color correction. This salon service aims to correct the tone of your hair, whether you want to go darker, lighter, or fix an undesirable color result. Your colorist may use a hair gloss like Redken Shades EQ to cancel out the green undertones in your hair while refreshing your blonde.
Hair Scare #8: “I've seen a lot of gray hair lately. I'm in my early 30s."
The Solution: Redken Shades EQ And Color Gel Lacquers 10 Minute Permanent Color
Gray hair is on the list of hair horror stories for so many women, but it's extra scary when those grays peak through in your 20s or 30s. If you’re battling premature grays, don’t despair! Frazier has a few gray coverage tricks up her sleeve.
“First, I like to start by blending gray,” Frazier explains. “I’ll reach for Redken Shades EQ..It colors each gray rather than covering it, so nobody will know I'm getting my hair colored aside from my grays, and I’ll get a beautiful, dimensional blend.”
If you want to focus on gray coverage, Frazier says to ask your colorist for a permanent hair color like Redken Color Gel Lacquers 10 Minute Permanent Color.
“What I love about these formulas is that you get a nice even coverage, every strand gets the same amount of saturation, and it's a quick gray coverage,” Frazier says.
Hair Scare #9: “I let my hair go gray...but now it’s starting to turn yellow.”
The Solution: Matrix So Silver Purple Shampoo and Conditioner
So, you let your hair transition to gray naturally, and now (gasp) you’re noticing brassy yellow undertones. While yellow hair is certainly spooky, it’s fixable with a toning system like Matrix So Silver Purple Shampoo and Conditioner. The duo contains contain purple pigments that help cancel out yellow tones for a brighter-looking gray.
Are you overcoming your own hair horror story? Head to Hair.com for salon-grade products and potions to banish the scaries.