‘Robbed. And traumatized’: Black woman says she paid $195 for botched haircut

A woman says she was left feeling “robbed and traumatized” by a negative experience at a hair salon. 

In a video posted on Sunday, Black TikTok creator and podcast host Chelsea Vaughn (@chelseavaughn_) shares that it was her first time going to a hair salon in three years and that she went in with high hopes.

But she was deeply disappointed by the result.

“What I paid $195 for,” she says, revealing her haircut that spurred sympathy and anger from commenters. Many urged her to instead see a barber, as they’re more accustomed to doing short haircuts and fades.

“Barber here,” one commenter writes. “I wanna fix you up for free.” 

Vaughn says that once she came home and was able to see the haircut in the light, she was even more upset. 

“The way I absolutely lost my mind when I got home,” she says.

Commenters expressed shock at the cost of the haircut, calling it a “rip off” and believing that the quality of the cut did not warrant such a high price. 

“You mean $1.95?!” one says. Another writes, “There’s a decimal missing somewhere.” 

Vaughn shares that she received a full refund for the haircut after expressing her disappointment with the result. She did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via Instagram direct message. 

The hashtag “#haircuttrauma” has amassed over 900,000 views, with many others sharing their negative salon experiences that they say have left them feeling traumatized and afraid of pursuing professional haircuts in the future. 

Negative salon experiences can be especially upsetting for Black women due to the heightened scrutiny and social prejudice surrounding Black hair.

One stylist, Teresa Coleman, (@teresacoleman15) says that she has had clients cry during their appointments due to anxiety from prior salon experiences. 

Black women also face relatively high costs of hair products to haircuts. Afro News reports that Black women spend, on average, four times more on haircare than white women. 

Vaughn has documented her journey of embracing short hair in her TikTok videos, saying that she was “liberated” by shaving her own head and that she “hasn’t looked back” since her big chop.

Not allowing herself to be held back by the haircut, she has been attending New York Fashion Week and documenting the experience on her Instagram.


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*First Published: Sep 12, 2023, 6:46 pm CDT

V Roth

V Roth is a writer and editor from Tulsa, Oklahoma. His work has been featured in Them, Insider, and Cashmere magazine.

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