It happens to all of us at some point. You see an amazing Instagram photo or watch a video for a hair hack that shows just how easy it is to DIY a layered cut or add some highlights. Then, disaster strikes, and you’re left with uneven, melted or broken locks. Take fast action and head right to the salon to get the damage fixed by a pro. No matter what you read online, DIY solutions rarely work and often make things even worse.

1. See a Professional

Photo by @jenpluscolour

Whether you tried to trim your bangs yourself or accidently fried your hair with a curling iron, don’t try to DIY the repair. Additional cutting or attempts to fix it could leave you even worse off than you were in the first place. Attempting to “even things up” or applying another color to cover the first could result in additional damage. Just call your salon, describe the damage and head in for professional help.

2. Don’t Start Cutting

If you have accidently damaged your hair with heat or chemicals, or even tried a DIY trim, put the scissors down. Your stylist can often correct what looks like terrible damage, as long as you don’t cut it away. Plus, the more you cut, the less length they have to work with when it comes to evening things out or choosing a style. Cutting it yourself will just make things worse.

3. Tell the Truth

According to experts at Paul Mitchell, if you have used a product like henna on your hair but don’t own up to it to your stylist, you could be in for even more trouble. Chemical dyes, even those used by professionals and designed to be gentle, interact with henna in really, really bad ways. Breakage, damage and even hair loss can follow if you do not let your stylist know exactly what you did to your hair.

Prepare to spend a little more time than usual in the stylist’s chair if you have heat or color damage; corrective procedures will take a while to complete. Chances are, though, your stylist can restore your look or give you a fresh new style you’ll love after a DIY disaster.

Photo by @girlgonebronde