In a perfect world, we could go to the hair salon and walk out looking exactly the way we want. However, even in the hands of a professional hair stylist, things can go wrong. Trying to hide a bad haircut can be tricky, especially if you aren’t left with a lot of options. But there is hope with the right tricks and styling tools.

If you’ve ended up with a bad cut, it can be easier said than done to not panic. However, emotions and anger won’t cause your hair to grow back so try to refrain from screaming at your stylist. But you are within your right as a customer to say that you are not happy with the cut. In most cases, the stylist will offer to redo the haircut and find a more suitable style. This solution may or may not help your case. On the one hand, you may be able to work with the stylist to find a better haircut that you won’t cringe at each time you look in the mirror. But then again, given the disastrous results the first time around, you may want to rethink allowing the same person to touch your hair again. If the latter is more of a concern, then politely decline and see if you can find another stylist who has a better track record of giving good haircuts and styles.

To avoid staring at the new haircut, throw your hair back into a ponytail or bun. Of course there are ways to wear ponytails or buns without looking boring. Use a fun headband, clips or other hair accessories to add some spice to your hairstyle. Even bobby-pins have started to make a comeback in hairstyles. You can choose from the traditional black bobby-pins or the more colorful and decorated ones.

For a bob haircut gone bad, add some volume to break up the bad cut. Use a curling iron or hot rollers to create waves of curls that will disguise your true cut and style. Curl the hair under and then comb-through with your fingers until you get the body and style that you like. Bangs that have been cut shorter than normal can actually get cut even more to hide the damage. You can turn to pixie-like spikes for an edgy look. To switch it up, add a touch of hair gel to sculpt the spikes any way you desire. Hair that has been cut too short overall can turn to styling products like gel or hair pomade. While your hair is wet, apply the gel or pomade and blow-dry from beneath. This will create extra volume. Now tousle your hair using your fingers and you can change the profile and shape of your too-short cut.

Above all else, don’t advertise your bad haircut. It’s hard to hide a bad cut if you’ve told everyone about it. Keep mum and don’t mention it to the world. Most people really don’t notice such things unless you point it out. Instead, follow the tips stated above and you should be able to fool everyone long enough until your hair grows back to its normal length. The more familiar you get with styling and taking care of your new cut, the better you’ll get at hiding the bad and bringing out the good. Who knows? Maybe the bad cut you think is horrifying may actually look fabulous to your friends. It’s all about working with what you have.