Bad Hair Day

Meaning of “Bad Hair Day”

The phrase “bad hair day” has two meanings. One is a literal meaning and self-explanatory. The expression is also used when everything goes wrong. ‘Bad hair day’ is one of the modern phrases from an American TV show.

Origin of “Bad Hair Day”

The phrase “bad hair day” seems to have been used for the first time in Press Democrat, a Californian based newspaper, in its publication of July 1988. It goes: “Even those who emerge from the sea to casually braid their shiny wet vines into a thick coil with hibiscus on the end also have bad-hair days.” However, it was used with a hyphen at that time which was removed later.

Also, the ‘Bad hair day’ phrase was widely heard after its use in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie 1992. These are lines spoken Buffy to the one-armed vampire Amilyn: “I’m fine but you’re obviously having a bad hair day.”.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Bad Hair Days by Meggie Gultiano

Everyday is always a bad hair day for me
Mine is very curly, they told me it’s kinky
I have a hard time combing my hair, you see
Have to visit my hairdresser to fix it for me

It was very shiny, as straight as can be
It was always like these since I was a little lady
Now, I am used to see this everyday
Ummm, I don’t see what happened to me

Getting up early in the morning is not that easy
I have to have a ribbon to hold it, the neighbors might see
Never mind If they laugh at me and call me crazy
I have a God who loves me and take care of me.

Hey! I am elated this way, God created me like that,
And no bad hair day will ever make me give it back,
Yes! Truly blessed to have hair as pleasing as can be,
Think what you want, I absolutely adore it. He he he!

Hmmm..not a bad hair day at all…I love it..! ! ! He he he

The poem discusses both meanings of the phrase. At first, the poet is arguing that she has a bad hair day because of her curly hair. She mentions that she goes to the hairdresser to fix the problem and to make her hair look straight and shiny. Here ‘bad hair day’ signifies low self-esteem that causes the entire day to go bad. However, the poet begins to motivate herself and accept her natural hair. She recalls that she was born the way God created her to be and there is no reason to hate herself. As the poem progresses, she concludes that she doesn’t have a bad hair day.

Example #2

Bad Hair Day by William Smith

She woke up in the morning,
And her hair would not stay down.
And if she’d wet it anymore,
She thought that she might drown.
She pulled it back, she pushed it down,
She even put it up.
But no matter what she tried, her hair,
Would just not give it up.
She couldn’t do it, She had to give,
To save it, it was too late.
She cried and yelled, but all for naught,
Her hair controlled her fate.

The poem uses the phrase in the literal sense. The writer sounds frustrated because she is unable to manage her hair. Perhaps, she doesn’t know how to style and has less time to wash it. It also means that the writer has curly messy hair. She is to the point of despair and mental torture. The final verse shows the thematic idea of the poem as she exaggerates that hair controls her fate.

Example #3

Bad Hair Day by MxPx

I’m sorry i can’t relate i
Refuse to associate so
Don’t go balming me for
Your bad hair day bad
Hair day
I saw you yesterday you
Told me to go away i
Guess you were having a
Bad hair day bad hair day
Would you like an aspirin
For your bad hair day bad
Hair day

The song is about an argument. The speaker asks his beloved not to blame him for her bad hair day. The phrase could be used in a literal sense or for her day gone bad. He wants to clarify that he is not the reason of her “bad hair day.”

Example #4

Bad Hair Day by Adrienne Vincent Sutton

Bad Hair Day is a story of a teenage girl, Gabby McGee who has to deal with various situations from her parental control to her “bad hair” and a sense of insecurity at school. However, the most important thing is that she knows how to deal with her hair that becomes unruly and straight, making her go to a salon and then start the long tale of her love and schemes of getting money to pay for the salon services.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Yesterday was like a bad hair day for me, as everything went topsy-turvy.”

Example #2: “Susan seems ready to face a bad hair day with her courage and determination. She failed three interviews and that was the fourth one.”

Example #3: “Alan had a thick curly hair and was used to apply a lot of hair gel to keep it straightened. However, on Sunday he forgot to apply the gel and it was a really bad hair day situation for him.”

Example #4: “Every day is not your lucky day; someday it will be a bad hair day. The day will get better with your positive attitude.

Example #5: “Paula was frustrated with her new neighbors while she was having a really bad hair day. They always fought with her over a clothing line.”