A mum says a barber’s “absolutely awful” haircut left her tearful son looking like Jim Carrey in the classic comedy Dumb and Dumber.
Carley Dormer took her son Mason Thompson for a pre-lockdown haircut on Tuesday at his regular barbershop of Pitsea Turkish Barbers based in Basildon, Essex.
The mum said her nine-year-old son and her partner Aaron Russell have both been customers of the barbers since it opened two years ago and the staff usually do a “fantastic” job.
But the 31-year-old says she was left stunned when they visited this week and claimed the barber “mutilated” her son’s hair, leaving him with a short, wonky “bowl cut” fringe.
Carley said: “It was absolutely awful. He looked exactly like Jim Carrey out of Dumb and Dumber – not how a nine-year-old boy wants to look at all.
“He’s just getting to the age where appearance is really important to him, and he was a little bit distraught, worrying that kids at school were going to take the mick out of him.
“I’d be devastated if that was me or my partner – he wants the latest, most modern haircut, not something like that.
“He ended up crying as the barber just made it worse after we told him twice to try and straighten it out.
“It was a really bad experience, overall.”
When Carley “politely” asked for her money back – having paid £12 for her son’s haircut – she claims the barber responded by telling her “not to come back anymore”.
She said they have never had a problem with the barbers before, and they had done a great job with her partner’s hair during the same visit.
She had instructed her son’s barber, who she says has cut his hair previously, that they just wanted the usual – but when she checked how it was going during the appointment it “looked like it had had a chunk taken out of it at the front, and it was really uneven.”
Despite her partner asking for it to be evened out, she said it was still “really slanted” when the barber finished it off.
“I said, sorry, I’m really not happy with this, could you make it a bit more even please?” Carley explained.
“Even one of the other customers in the barbershop agreed with me and said that it wasn’t straight.
“The barber huffed and puffed and tried to straighten it, but it was just getting worse, so I told him to stop.
“I tried to politely ask if we could just get our money back for my son’s haircut, as I wasn’t happy with it.
“Then he yelled at us, ‘How about you just don’t come back anymore?’ He was so argumentative. It was bizarre.
“We were perfectly happy to pay for my partner’s haircut as we didn’t have any problem with that.
“I understand they are under a lot of pressure at the moment, but we’re paying them for a service which hadn’t been done properly.”
Carley eventually got her money back but says they were ushered out of the shop without an apology.
After she posted about it on Facebook, another local barber – Steven Gomma, of Goodycuts – saw it and offered to fix Mason’s hair for free despite working long shifts to fit in all his clients before lockdown.
The manager of Pitsea Turkish Barbers said Carley and her son are welcome to come back in the future if she chooses.
The man, who only identified himself as Ali, said: “We employ only the best barbers who are professional and certified in the industry.
“I do not believe there was anything wrong with the haircut. The lady made the child distressed by shouting and being aggressive to my staff.
“The child was happy with the haircut, however his mother was adamant she wanted her money back.
“I know it’s a tough time for us all, however if she really wanted a free haircut she could have asked and we would have helped her, because we understand that we are in unusual and challenging times.
“We gave her a refund and she is more than welcome back if she chooses to come.”