Bad Haircuts

We’re not sure if this was intentional or not but this guy (is this a mugshot?) has only about a quarter of his hair in cornrows while the other three-quarters are straight afro. If we had to guess, maybe he was interrupted while getting his hair braided.

Bad Haircuts Can Be Disappointing—Here’s How to Deal With It

Ashley Rubell

Ashley Rubell is an editorial hair stylist and beauty writer covering hair for Byrdie. She’s been doing hair since 2008.

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bad haircut

A lot of thought and careful planning is often spent on deciding what to do with your hair—how to style it, what new look you want to go for, and how to best compliment your facial features or rep your personality. So if all that excitement results in a totally unflattering result at the salon, you might feel a tinge of bad haircut disappointment.

But don’t fear. If this happens to you, there are several things you can to do mitigate the damage, according to stylists. Hairstylists Holly Seidel and Corinna Hernandez gave us their best tips on how to fix or make the most of an unfortunate salon visit. Read them below.

Meet the Expert

  • Holly Seidel is a hair stylist splitting her time between Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington. She is known for cuts that emphasize natural texture and movement.
  • Corinna Hernandez is a hair stylist, educator, and founder of PONY studios + salon in Oakland, California.

Talk to Your Stylist

Open communication with your stylist can go a long way, so be open and frank about how you are feeling. We get it: It can be intimidating to approach a professional artist and say some version of “I don’t like your work.” But a good stylist knows their cuts are personal to the client, not the stylist. The beauty of the job (take it from me, a professional) is making people feel good about how their hair looks.

If you’re a long-time client and feel comfortable with your stylist, Hernandez encourages having that conversation. “It could have been a simple miscommunication,” she points out. Or maybe there are a few minor things that you don’t quite like, in which case, Seidel says, “your stylist can still make adjustments.” If it’s more than a few minor tweaks causing your distress, it may be time to re-evaluate your choice of stylist. But before you jump into another artist’s chair, “most professional hairdressers would love the opportunity to fix it and make sure you’re happy, [perhaps] by comping a service or product,” says Hernandez.

Get a Second Opinion

After talking with your stylist, you may opt for a second opinion from the salon owner or a more senior stylist. If it feels like you and your stylist are missing each other, there may be someone else around the corner who is on the same page. “If you let your original stylist know that you are getting [your cut] fixed, they may refund you or comp the new service so you’re not paying twice,” says Seidel. And while Hernandez points out that a more skilled stylist is usually more expensive due to their high demand, “[their] cuts usually grow out beautifully. If you only end up needing a haircut one to three times a year, you’ll be saving your dollars in the end.”

“Most skilled cutters are not only better at their craft, but can better understand your wants and needs more accurately,” says Hernandez. Seidel agrees: The more seasoned a stylist is, the more capable they are of helping you navigate the best choices for moving forward. Don’t be ashamed to seek out a second opinion—invest in your haircuts.

Grow it Out

One benefit of a bad haircut is that it will grow out, and sometimes, patience is the best option. Have you ever gotten a cut that has been made drastically shorter than you’d hoped for, only to realize it’s too late and there’s no turning back? It can feel apocalyptic, we know. But what you do not want to do is fix it yourself. “This can often make [your cut] much worse, and the grow-out period could take much longer,” Seidel warns.

We realize that growing out a bad cut may not seem like the ideal option, but depending on how your hair’s been cut, it may be your best solution. “Don’t panic,” Seidel says. “Not only does hair grow quickly, but more often than not, some adjustments can be made by your hairdresser to help your hair sit better as it’s growing in.” If you mess with a bad haircut too much, you risk the potential of making matters worse. Hang in there. And if you simply can’t wait it out, see our next recommendation.

Try using natural hair growth products like Japanese cypress, peppermint oil, lavender, panax ginseng, and polygonum multiflorum to boost the rate of hair growth and get you locks longer, faster.

Try Using Hair Extensions

Hair extensions can add length and volume to a bad haircut, helping mend the damage while it grows out. Maybe your hairdresser got a little snip happy. Maybe your layers are way too extreme. Bad cuts like these can rely on the safety net of hair extensions. These nifty little wefts of clip-in hair are extremely easy to use for beginners, with no prior experience necessary. Extensions can add length and/or volume, and they can also help blend a bad haircut. Plus, they’re honestly pretty fun to wear.

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Tape-ins or bonded extensions are more of a longer-term solution, whereas clip-ins or halos can afford you the daily decision and don’t require professional installation. A little back combing at the root will give your clips some good grip to hold onto so they don’t slip out. And if you spend a little more money on getting Remy hair (aka real human hair that’s not synthetic), you can heat style with your extensions in as you normally would. For top-tier quality and service, we recommend going to a store/website like The Hair Shop.

Accessorize with Clips and Hats

Accessorizing can be a great way to mask any minor problems with your haircut. Unfavorable bangs? Opt for a ‘00s poof. Chunky layers? A fun claw clip can jazz up your half-up ‘do with minimal time and effort. “Cute updos with fancy hair clips can make the most out of your hair situation until your hair gets long enough to wear down,” says Hernandez. And as Seidel points out, accessory options like decorative pins and oversized clips have been making a big comeback, so your styling options won’t feel limited. “Also, there are so many great hat options for every season,” Seidel says. “This could be a good time to find your hat personality.”

Consider Looking For a New Stylist

Seeking out another stylist after getting a bad cut from your tried-and-true should come with some serious preparation, investigation, and certainty that the move will bring relief. “Realize that not every hairdresser has the same aesthetic style, training, or experience,” says Seidel. “Hairdressers are very specialized nowadays and gravitate towards certain types of hairstyling, similar to tattoo artists.”

But how do you know which new hairdresser will be right for you? “Ask people you know with good haircuts and similar hair as your own where and who they go to,” suggests Hernandez. Or Google what you’re looking for: “[Search] best hairdresser in your town or nearby.” When you think you’ve found someone good Hernandez recommends checking their social media or website—asking yourself, Does this match my hair type? My aesthetic?—and reading their bio, making note of the education they’ve received. “The more education they’ve had, the better,” she says. “That’s usually a good sign that they put some studying into their craft.”

Try Styling Your Hair in New Ways

A bad haircut can be an opportunity to try styling your hair in new ways. Some of us have had the same hair routines for decades. When dealing with an undesired haircut, this could create some hiccups in what you’re used to doing and the styling habits that feel familiar. But it’s important to remember to keep an open mind. Different styling options are a great way to get through the transition. “Maybe switch up your part or flip your hair out,” suggests Seigel. “Even using a curling iron to add waves can disguise a bad cut well.” After all, a bad haircut is only temporary, “so why not give a new style a try while your cut grows out.”

Get Another Haircut

While it might seem counterintuitive, another haircut from the same or a different stylist might fix some of the most offending damage. If you don’t like how your bangs look, or a layer is too chunky, or maybe your ends are too blunt, then a second haircut might fix some of those issues.

Even if it means you lose more length than you wanted, getting another haircut that looks good in the meantime while you regrow your hair might help with whatever aspect of your chop is bothering you. Your current stylist will likely fix it for free, but if it’s too awkward, try asking someone else for a fix.

Use Products to Add Volume and Body

If your hair is looking thin, flat, or falling in an unflattering way, using products to add volume and body can totally transform your look. Styling tools like curling irons, crimpers, or rollers combined with texturizing spray, root lift, or volumizing mousse can give you some va-va-voom that you may have been lacking from your bad haircut.

If you are unsure of how to style your hair for these results, ask your stylist and be honest about how you’re feeling. Otherwise, seek another stylist who can give you some tips on how to best style your particular haircut. And, of course, there are always tutorials you can follow to try new techniques.

40+ Hilariously Bad Haircuts That Will Never See Again

bad hair.png?resize=1200,630 - 40+ Hilariously Bad Haircuts That Will Never See Again

We all want the perfect hair, whether it’s nicely styled or silky smooth, we aim it to be perfect and beautiful. Well, for some people this isn’t the case.

The people you’re about to see, however, decided to really stand out from the crowd–and stand out they did. Whether it’s in a good way or a bad way? We’ll let you be the judge.

Here are 55 people that have haircuts that are so bad–we’re not quite sure what they were thinking. But they sure made us chuckle!

Get ready for a good belly laugh.

1) The (almost) literal rat tail

Not only is this guy rocking a rat tail but he has the silhouette of an actual rat to complement the tail. We’ve got to hand it to him for creativity. We’re hoping it was just a joke?

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2) The scary portrait

We don’t know who this man is that has been shaved into the back of this guy’s head but it’s slightly terrifying, to say the least. Is it someone he knows? Is it a celebrity? Is it himself? All we have to say is–yeesh.

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3) Mullet with teased bangs

Oh, school photos. When we’re younger, we’re usually at the mercy of our parents. Wearing whatever they want us to and having our hair done the way they’d like. Apparently, the go-to choice here were giant teased bangs and keepin’ it long in the back.

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4) Straight bowl cut

Oh, the bowl cut. They were so popular in the late 80s and early 90s for some godforsaken reason. This young girl now has documented proof that she definitely had one. It literally looks like someone put a bowl on her head and just cut.

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5) Even Justin has made mistakes

All of us have had a bad haircut or style in our lives. None of us are exempt from that–even Justin Timberlake. Just remember, at one point, he decided it was a good idea to rock some cornrows. We’re glad he let that go.

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6) Helicopter hair

We’re almost a loss here with this funky hairstyle. We’re not even sure how they were able to pull it off! But, it appears that this girl really wanted her hair to take flight with a style that mimics a helicopter.

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7) Hearts

This guy’s actual hairstyle really isn’t the issue here. Sure, his long flowing locks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s his body hair that has us scratching our heads and shielding our eyes. He seems quite smitten with his look, too.

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8) A treat for later?

Now, here’s a hairstyle that prompts one question after another. First off, wouldn’t this be heavy? How does he sleep with those in there? Wouldn’t they start to melt and become sticky after a while? We’re not really sure what this guy was thinking.

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9) Award-winning mullet

Wow. Just…wow. This guy is rocking the mullet of the century. Check out how long and lush that blonde hair is in the back! And for the front? He went for a straight military-style buzz cut. And the best part? He looks so confident!

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10) Not quite done

We’re not sure if this was intentional or not but this guy (is this a mugshot?) has only about a quarter of his hair in cornrows while the other three-quarters are straight afro. If we had to guess, maybe he was interrupted while getting his hair braided.

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11) Racing fan

Again–not a haircut but too zany not to share. What does a major car racing fan do when they have enough back hair for a dozen men? Shave in your favorite car’s number, of course! We wonder what his wife really thinks about this.

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12) Krusty the Clown?

If you’re a Simpson’s fan, you might really get a kick out of this one. It appears this man walked straight into the barbershop and asked for an exact replica of Krusty the Clown’s iconic look. It’s quite the style.

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13) Why? Just why?

Imagine crawling inside other’s peoples’ brains for even just a moment. It would probably be the most frightening thing ever. Take this guy, for example. For some insane reason, he wanted a guy pooping to take the focus of the back of his head. *facepalm*

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14) Are these bangs?

Oh, the late 90s. What a time. If we had to guess, his favorite bands were probably Slipknot and Korn? Either way, his choice of hairstyle for his school photos is quite something. All buzzed except for the bangs, which in turn, have been secured in the iconic multiple-rubberband look that so many people liked back then.

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15) Spiky

Punk rock meets “what the heck is going on here?” This guy probably goes through a lot of hair gel or mousse each time he wants to leave the house. Spikes in every direction with a little half curl in the front. Wow.

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16) Strawberry fan

We’re just crossing our fingers in hopes that this was either an April Fool’s joke or a Halloween costume. But, it’s probably just a hairstyle that he wanted to wear for shock value. Not only is the strawberry-themed haircut ridiculous but he had to get his facial hair involved too.

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17) Blush brush?

Although this guy’s flat top is impressive due to its sheer height, we have to say that it bears an uncanny resemblance to a makeup brush. How much time did it take to grow this out and get it to stay so perfectly stiff?

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18) What is happening?

What is with involving the facial hair to be a part of an already-ridiculous look? This guy’s hair isn’t even bad. It’s the strange hairline that he’s shaved and even weirder connection the facial hair that’s throwing us for a loop.

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19) Spirit animal

We’d like to know the thought process of this guy’s brain. Maybe we don’t. But either way, what happened here? He longed to have his head match the pattern of his spirit animal, the leopard? Good thing hairstyles aren’t permanent.

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20) Just let it go, dude…

Male pattern baldness is a fact of life. But, for some reason, some guys like to hold on to the hair they do have for as long as humanly possible. Take this guy, for example. Balding on top, but shaved the sides and kept the hair in the middle?

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21) Hmm…

I mean…when it comes down to it, this haircut doesn’t seem that crazy. But, you can’t help but think it looks like chocolate Easter egg? Maybe an almond? It’s a straight oval of hair on top with comb lines that are just a little too symmetrical.

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22) Helmet?

Nice helmet, dude! Oh, wait…my bad. We’re not even sure what is actually going on here. This isn’t his natural hairline, so, was it tattooed? Is it painted? We’re so confused! And also, the most important question–why?!

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23) Almost nailed it

Carving patterns and pictures into hair isn’t really anything new. In fact, they can sometimes come out looking really creative and cool-looking. This little boy was going for an Air Jordan look and came out with a cartoon-y version that didn’t quite hit the mark.

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24) So much happening here

My Little Pony fans might really love this look but we’re thinking it’s a bit on the totally outrageous side. Although the pastel colors are quite lovely, how are you supposed to lay down at night with those dangling ponies in the back?

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25) Tropical delight

Pineapples are delicious. They’re sweet and slightly tart. They’re refreshing. And they taste yummy when turned into a piña colada. But as a hairstyle? We’re not so sure about that. One thing is for sure–she’s certainly making a statement!

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26) Mullet to the max

We’re not sure what’s scarier–this kid’s maniacal look in his eyes or the mullet with side steps. It even looks like they’ve left some tiny short little bangs in the front. The only saving grace is that this photo looks like it was taken 30 years ago when mullets were somewhat acceptable.

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27) Dreadlocks gone wrong

Some might say that white guys shouldn’t try and pull off dreadlocks others don’t care (we sure don’t). This guy is marching to the beat of his own drum, that’s for sure. But, we’re not so in love with all that scalp that’s showing.

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28) Out of this world

The amount of hair that is happening in this picture is pretty mind-boggling. He has so much hair in this (school?) photo that the entire fro almost doesn’t even fit in the frame. Again, thankfully, this picture appears to have been taken in the 60s or 70s when afros were present amongst all races.

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29) So much emo happening

The emo haircut. So many layers. So big. So jet black. Of course, you have to have the side swept bangs that start at the opposite temple. And the look wouldn’t be complete without a lip piercing and jet black eyeliner. The early 2000s to the fullest.

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30) Oreo love

You guys–she loves Oreos, okay? I mean, who doesn’t? But she really really loves Oreos. So much so that she dyed half of her head blue and stuck Oreo decals on top to represent the brand everywhere she goes. They should pay her for this type of marketing.

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31) Oh, Donald

Mr. Donald Trump. The President of the United States of America. Whether you love him or you hate him, you have to admit–his haircut and style is just absolutely horrendous. What is even happening here?

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32) We don’t know where to look first

The faux hawk, the side patterns, the swirly facial hair–we don’t know where to focus our attention! All we know is that the look on this guy’s face says “I’m loving this” and that’s all that matters. Confidence is key when it comes to rocking a look like this.

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33) A mugshot to remember

Two massive dreadlocks. That’s it. That’s the look this man was going for. Clearly, he isn’t exactly in his right mind considering this photo was taken before being booked into the slammer. But thanks for the entertainment, man!

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34) Oh my…

Here’s another style that almost leaves us at a loss for words. Buzzed in the back, little spikes on top, faux sideburns, and bangs that look like a barcode. We just want to know how on earth he came up with this idea in the first place!

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35) Money on the mind

Yikes! We don’t know whether to scream or be in awe of this beyond-interesting hairstyle. His head was transformed into a Louis Vuitton purse that unzips and spills money. Actually, we don’t care how creative this is–it’s just too creepy.

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36) Side mullet?

Wow, wow, wow. So long, luscious, and curly on one side and so shaved and confusing on the other. He thought this would be an awesome look for whatever photos these were and now he has this photo to look back on for the rest of his life. And for us to laugh at for the rest of eternity.

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37) You have something on your head

Have you ever wanted your hair in the shape of a chameleon hugging your head tightly? Yeah, we haven’t either but, apparently, this guy did! Again, the creativity is pretty great but we aren’t really sure about a day-to-day look.

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38) Another full-blown rat tail

Remember that first rat tail we showed you on slide one? Yep, it turns out he wasn’t the only one with this genius idea. Here’s another rat tail attached to a rat for you. You’re welcome and we apologize at the same time.

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39) Hat fro?

By the look on this guy’s face, it appears that he’s pretty proud of himself and his eclectic hairstyle. Is it a hat? Is it an afro? It’s both! How did they get the brim to stick out so perfectly like that?

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40) Mustache bangs

“Shave everything but the tiny locks of bangs in the front, please,” is what this guy must have said walking into the barbershop. It looks like he has an old-timey mustached attached the top of his head. It really is quite the look.

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41) So much happening here

He just had to take a mirror selfie to make sure he showed the world his outrageous-looking haircut. It’s like he walked into the barbershop and said, “You know what a broom looks like? Yeah, let’s try that.”

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42) Halo?

After scrolling through all of these haircuts we just have to wonder what the heck is going through these people’s minds. Do they really think these look great or are they just messing with us? This guy went for a real ‘halo-around-the-top’ look.

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43) Orange on the top

“Go ask that guy wearing the orange beanie, oh wait…” That is not an orange hat, ladies and gentleman. That is simply a very bad decision. Such an interesting statement to make but at this point, we’re questioning everything.

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44) Wait, what?

Is this girl wearing a wig on top of her hair? We’re so confused by the thickness and height of this that we’re not entirely sure what exactly is going on. In addition to the ultra-thick bangs and top, the sides are shaved which makes it look extra odd.

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45) Mullet 2.0

This guy opted for a look that is a mullet but…updated. He’ll just go for a slight ponytail look in the back and shave the rest of it. At this point, we don’t know what’s happening in the world anymore.

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46) No. Just, no.

We aren’t real fans of this look one bit. There’s some weird green going on in the middle. Some dreadlocks that are very unkempt. And they are sticking straight up like a pineapple but a pineapple that’s gone horribly wrong. Yucky.

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47) Someone messed up

We have a feeling that this guy was hoping for a better outcome but ended up only paying for a $10 haircut that went terribly wrong. Maybe he wanted a fade but someone got a little too crazy with the clippers?

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48) Straight up

We have a feeling that there are a million school photos from the early 90s that look similar to this one. We don’t know if his parents did this to this poor kid or if he begged them for this cut and they gave in. Bet they weren’t counting on the internet to exist in the future.

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49) More barcode bangs

You guys, I’m not sure if I want this guy out on the streets protecting and serving us when he makes haircut choices as bad as this one. It looks like you can scan his bangs with a barcode scanner. WHY?!

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50) Why? Why? Whyyyy?

This is the only time we’ve hoped that someone actually happens to be balding from the bottom up because if this was an actual hairstyle choice, we’d lose all faith in humanity.

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51) Cotton candy, anyone?

We just can’t put our finger on it but for some reason, this person’s hair makes our mouths water for some cotton candy. Either that or long for our childhood troll dolls that we used to collect.

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52) Sprouting plants?

What on earth could she have walked in and told the person at the salon? “I want long ass bangs and three locks of hair that stick straight up like wheat growing in a field.” What does it look like from the front?

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53) Straight scary

Have you ever wanted to have a style that says “I love rams!” Apparently, this guy did. His hairstyle is quite frightening, really. We don’t like it. We don’t like it one bit. Let’s just keep scrolling to the next one…

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54) Bob Ross!

Even though this hairstyle is absolutely 100% ridiculous, it’s actually freaking amazing because who doesn’t love Bob Ross? He turned a little bit of his afro into Bob Ross’ afro and he honestly deserves a round of applause.

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55) Can you spare any change?

Why? How? What were you thinking? The questions are endless with this one. I guess if there’s one perk to this, she’s always prepared if she needs to feed a parking meter or grab a quick snack out of the vending machine.