Turning 13 for any person is a big deal, but I think it’s even more special for girls. Turning 13 is meant to be a delightful occasion for all kids who are now entering their teens. It’s a time to celebrate becoming a young man or woman, a descent into adulthood. And it’s something that every 13 years old deserves to celebrate! What do people do on birthdays? They eat big chocolate cakes, hang banners that read Happy Birthday, wrap presents and give them out and wait for the birthday boy or girl to rip them open.
But this girl’s birthday was anything but normal. In 2018, a young Ohio girl was going to do something different for her birthday. But unfortunately for Kelsey Frederick, her new beginning as a newly turned teenager was going to take a turn for the worse. Why? That’s a good question. We’ll see why getting her hair styled and dyed led to her father’s unwarranted actions. And what she ended up doing about it.
A Day to Remember
Kelsey Frederick, a young girl from Ohio, was about to turn 13. Turning 13 means she has her whole future ahead of her, and she had a great one in front of her. Like any 12 year old, Kelsey was excited to finally become a teenager. Yay, a teen at last! Celebrations were awaiting her, and she couldn’t wait to spend some time with all of her friends and family and enjoy her special day.
But little did Kelsey know that a decision by her mother to treat her daughter for her birthday was going to turn their lives upside down in an unexpected way. There was nothing that could prepare the young girl for how her birthday was going to turn out.
Like Any Other Happy Girl
Kelsey was happy, like any other girl. She had a particular hobby that she loved: softball. Kelsey was a fantastic softball player, and she had her family name printed on the back of her jersey. Her family life was great, despite the fact that her parents were separated. She still was able to stay close to both her mom and her dad.
Most of the time, Kelsey stayed with her mom, Christin Johnson. But Kelsey would also spend days with her dad, Schaffen Frederick, too, who lived with his wife (Kelsey’s stepmother). Kelsey was a bright kid, and while she came from a fragmented home, she wanted to make sure that her relationship with her father remained strong.
Waiting to Celebrate
Kelsey also loved her Aunt Kelly and godmother, Haylee Ann, very much. Kelsey evidently had strong women in her life, and she really looked up to them. She couldn’t wait to celebrate her birthday with them. And so the day finally arrived, and she was to be a teenager at last. With her family by her side, Kelsey felt like she was officially growing up!
We all remember our 13th birthday, right? It’s ab age when you want to be so much older than you actually are. You know, that limbo age where you feel like a child, but you want to be treated like an adult. We would give anything to sit at the adult table at holiday dinners.
A Special Treat
Kelsey requested one thing for her special birthday: she wanted blonde highlights. At first, her mom Christin was reluctant. But since it was a special birthday year, she wanted to treat Kelsey to something that made her feel special. So she eventually agreed to get Kelsey’s hair done professionally. It was an awesome day for Kelsey, as you can expect.
But things were about to change. Excited about the makeover, Christin took the overjoyed Kelsey to the hair salon for professional treatment. She figured, if she was going to get highlights, they needed to be done the right way. No home treatment hair dye mess that Christin knew all too well. And so the mom and daughter pair went off to the salon.
Pampering, Gossip, and Hair
The two ladies enjoyed an afternoon of pampering and gossip, as women tend to do when they get their hair done. The two had a wonderful afternoon together, and the day was going just as young Kelsey planned. Her birthday was exactly was more than she could ask for. Finally, Kelsey’s hair treatment was complete.
After the hairstylist finished up the blow-dry and made last-minute touches, she spun Kelsey round in her chair to face the mirror. Kelsey was blown away! She absolutely loved her highlights – so much more than she imagined she would. She swung her hair from side to side and couldn’t believe how gorgeous her new blonde highlights looked. Her smile was from ear to ear.
A Satisfied Customer
Kelsey was a happy customer and, thus, a happy girl. Christin saw how pleased her daughter was with her new hairstyle, which also meant that Christin was a happy mom. She basically felt assured that she made the right choice. Anything that puts such a smile on her daughter’s face was a good thing in her books. But that would all change soon enough.
They left the salon, and Christin posted a picture of the newly blonde Kelsey on her Facebook page, showing people how much fun her teenage daughter was having on her special birthday. After the salon, Kelsey was planning to spend some time with her dad as it was important for her to see him on her big day.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
Knowing that it meant a lot to Kelsey, Christin went ahead and dropped her daughter off at her dad’s house. Kelsey was going to spend the next couple of days with him and her stepmom. They were going to celebrate her birthday with them, too. But Schaffer wasn’t expecting to see what he was about to see, and Kelsey sure as heck didn’t expect what was about to happen.
Her dad caught a glimpse of his daughter, and after seeing her new hairstyle, Schaffen was simply shocked and immediately disapproved of her new look. He hated her blonde highlights so much that he decided he needs to teach his daughter a lesson. And by lesson, he meant business. He was going to do something Kelsey never expected, didn’t deserve, and ultimately broke her heart.
An Unfair Punishment
Kelsey’s dad was going to punish her for her new hair. He just couldn’t stand looking at his daughter with that hair. Which naturally begs the question: why??
As her punishment, Schaffen felt that there was only one way to send the message. He cut all of her newly dyed locks right off her head! He cut the back and sides of her hair very, very short. And thus, all her highlights were gone, just like that.
Kelsey was beyond devastated. Her day of joy instantly turned to a day from hell. She was totally humiliated by the whole thing and couldn’t believe her own father would do such a thing. And no one would blame her. The punishment was completely uncalled for, and Kelsey was crushed. Her birthday was ruined.
Her Mother Found Out
Understandably, Kelsey called her mom and wanted to go home. Her father dropped her off, and when Christin came to the door to find her short-haired and teary-eyed daughter, she was beyond shocked. Not only was she shocked, but she was also angry beyond belief. She couldn’t even recognize her daughter at first. What happened? Where was all her hair?
And above all else, Christin couldn’t figure out how her ex-husband and father of her daughter could do such a thing to their beautiful girl on her 13th birthday of all days! One thing for sure is Christin would not let this go, and she wasn’t going to stop until justice was served. No one was going to her hurt her daughter in such a way.
Wanting Some Answers
Christin was full of rage and wanting some answers. So naturally, she drove straight to Schaffen’s house. When she arrived there, she demanded from him to tell her why he did what he did. He replied with a very simple and unemotional response: “actions have consequences.” Like, seriously? That was his answer.
Christin was bewildered by his response (as I think any of us would be) and livid beyond belief. She ended up taking to Facebook to expose the ordeal to the public and basically let the people be the judge.
She shared a post with photos of Kelsey clearly upset, showing just how much her daughter’s dad traumatized her. It didn’t take long for Christin to start getting responses.
The Story Went Viral
Despite her intentions of only showing her friends and family on Facebook, Christin’s post went viral, and it happened fast. It also comes as no surprise considering the nature of the event. Most people who hear about such a thing are baffled and left confused with numerous questions. Like all of the questions, you have swirling around in your head right now!
Christin’s post got more than 40,000 reactions, and more than 25,000 people shared it on their own pages. It was pretty much understood that the public agreed with Christin – what Kelsey’s father did was wrong.
Both Christin and Kelsey never anticipated that their story would get such widespread interest in people on the internet. They were also pleased with one thing.
On Their Side
They were happy to see that the vast majority of the post’s reactions were in massive favor of their side of the story. People were obviously disgusted by Schaffen’s actions. The story ended up becoming the focus of national outrage. Supporters were coming in the thousands with written letters to the mom and daughter, offering consolations for such a “ridiculous” and “disgusting” reaction by Schaffen.
Schaffen was clearly the bad guy in the story and was being publicly shamed. He was labeled as cruel, and it got to the point that the haircut/punishment that her father gave her was an act of abuse.
There were no excuses for her dad’s extreme and barbaric method in which he dealt with Kelsey’s new haircut. Schaffen was essentially proving himself an irresponsible father.
A Broken Home
What kind of father would intentionally cause deep emotional pain to his daughter? The act was totally unnecessary and distressing. People on social media were identifying Kelsey’s new haircut as the result of a broken home. They labeled Schaffen’s reaction as revenge on his ex-wife Christin, trying to bitterly “get back at her” through their daughter in a twisted way.
People felt that Kelsey was therefore stuck in the middle of a broken marriage and was being used as a scapegoat as a result of the bitterness of a past relationship. It’s an interesting perspective on things for sure – and one that evidently, many people had online.
This widespread belief that she was the scapegoat meant that Kelsey was getting even more attention than she expected.
After the story reached the hands of social media, thousands were reaching out to Kelsey in particular to give their support and guidance. Many people were worried about Kelsey being able to find her strength and confidence again after what her dad did to her. The comments and messages were rolling in every day.
Almost all of the comments and messages were based on an attempt to rebuild Kelsey’s confidence. She was this broken young girl hurt by her father, and she deserved the support she was getting. Nothing could justify the pain she was feeling at the hands of her dad.
This viral story thus would also create a powerful dichotomy – it was Kelsey and her father; two sides.
Christin took the post and went even further. She eventually set up a page on Facebook called ‘Team Kelsey.’ Her mission was now to raise some money after what had happened. Capitalizing on the incident was Christin’s way of funding projects that deal with such ill-treatment of innocent children. Beyond raising money, the group also helped raise awareness.
Team Kelsey was also aimed at raising awareness of children who are treated or have been treated, like Kelsey, in the past. Slowly but surely, the message was getting out, and some good was starting to come out of the dark. Team Kelsey was becoming the silver lining of the shadowy story. And it goes to show that sometimes we need to look at that silver lining.
Taking it to Court
The page was for fundraising and awareness, but it was also used as a way for Christin to keep those interested and to follow the story up to date. For anyone who cared, Christin would post updates on how Kelsey was coping and how she was doing. Even though time was passing, there was still a huge buzz over the whole ordeal, and Christin was still looking for justice.
Christin was essentially a mother on a mission. She decided to take the case to court and explained on the Facebook page how the matter then sent to the hands of the court, and thus, some details were legally limited. Regardless of that, she still notified members of Team Kelsey that Kelsey was getting better and feeling more confident as time went on.
Regaining Her Strength
With the days, weeks, and months that went by after her birthday from hell, Kelsey started getting back to a normal life. She had to find a new normal with her unfortunate haircut and a dad who did that to her. One of the first things she wanted was to get back to playing softball – her favorite thing in the world to play. And she didn’t lose her touch, either.
Kelsey was finding happiness again, jumping back into the field to play softball and going on fishing trips with her cousins, which she always loved doing. Kelsey was finally acting like the teenager she was meant to be after turning 13.
But while she was getting on with her life, her father, on the other hand, had some issues to deal with.
Dealing With the Police
The legal process that was now taking place meant that Schaffen was in some real legal trouble. At that point, he was legally in part custody of Kelsey, but now his actions were being condemned as abuse. Not only were members of the public seeing this, but now it was in the hands of the law. If Schaffen was seen as abusive, he could potentially lose custody of his daughter.
A police officer who was in charge of this case described the whole incident as nothing like he had ever seen before. He, like many others, was distraught by Schaffen’s response of “actions have consequences.” These words were important to the case. And ironically, Schaffen’s actions have consequences that for him could be dire.
Facing the Consequences
Schaffen could even be punished himself. According to the authorities on the case, Kelsey’s ordeal was a case for potential abuse. Investigations from family services were then conducted, and it was decided that both Schaffen and his wife were to face the consequences. That’s right; even the stepmom was held responsible. Both of them were then immediately suspended from their jobs as firefighters at Middletown Township Fire Department.
Christin and Schaffen were officially put on administrative leave. As can be expected, Schaffen then lost custody of Kelsey, and she was not to live with her father again. Instead, she was sent to live permanently with her mother. Christin now had full custody of her daughter, and Kelsey chose never to see her father again.
Funding & Support
Although it doesn’t seem fair that the stepmom was also punished for the ordeal, she still had to face it. There wasn’t much she could do in retaliation to an official order. Christin, however, earned full custody of Kelsey, which made her happy. But Kelsey still had a lot of her clothes and possessions at her father’s house. The thing is she didn’t want to see him.
To help her out, Kelsey’s godmother set up a GoFundMe account to fund her recovery from all the trauma she had experienced. It was no longer just a bad haircut or feeling heartbroken from her dad’s behavior. It was now losing her father as a legal guardian. It was a new normal that she was going to have to live with.
Reaching the Target and More
The target was set at $1000. But that target wasn’t just reached, it actually tripled, and the internet funding account saw a massive $3543. Kelsey and her family decided it was time to move on from this all and put the story in the past. But they couldn’t help but feel moved by all the words of encouragement that were pouring in.
One woman named Tatum Mathis sent a message that really meant a lot to Kelsey and the family. She posted something for her fellow short-haired beauty, expressing her support. She said that even though her hair was taken away from her unwillingly, she still thought she was incredibly beautiful.
Tatum’s message helped boost the GoFundMe account, but it, more importantly, gave Kelsey the boost of self-esteem that she needed.
Back to the Salon
So what did Kelsey decide to do with the fund money? Well, first things first, Kelsey wanted to go back to the salon, of course. The hairstylist did her magic and transformed Kelsey into a long-haired princess once again. She got a wig woven into her hair with golden brown tips, and Kelsey loved it! She felt like a girl again.
Kelsey got the makeover she deserved, and Kelsey and her family never looked back. While her new wig would probably make her father angry, the real question is: who cares? And while we still don’t really know for sure why he did what he did, we can say that Kelsey doesn’t need his approval any longer. She’s happy now and has the support of thousands of people she never knew she had before.
Schaffen and His Wife
In many families where parents decide to get divorced, the addition of a new mom or dad into the equation can be difficult. But Kelsey never had a problem with her stepmom. Schaffen’s second wife, Sarah Murray, was an important figure in Kelsey’s life, and it turns out that she uniquely met Kelsey’s dad.
Schaffen and Sarah were at the time volunteering at a local firehouse when they met each other and later fell in love. And even though this story is clearly favored towards Team Kelsey, there are still two sides to every story. No matter how extreme it may be, every coin has two sides. Are you wondering what Schaffen and Sarah have to say?
They’re Not Saying Much
Kelsey’s father and stepmother have basically remained as silent on the issue as they can be, particularly due to the legal case that they are still facing, which is what a Facebook post by Sarah Murray portrayed. Two months after the evil haircut took social media by storm, Sarah posted a meme on her page.
Her post proclaimed: “People talk about me behind my back and I just sit here like, ‘Damn. I got myself a fan club’.” So, it looks like whatever had motivated her husband to do what he did, she must have stood behind him and supported his decision along the way. They were steadfast in their convictions. And so Kelsey’s social media fame had some backlash.
The Negative Side
There were also negative responses from Kelsey’s image being spread all over the Internet. The social media followers felt that it was irresponsible to release such an image and personal information of a minor in this manner. But what they weren’t aware of was that Kelsey had actually given her mother permission to make the initial post. The problem was that once a post is out there, it’s out of their hands.
The Internet is filled with people who like to hide behind their screens and spread unkind messages. Such postings made their way into the first few comments under the GoFundMe page. Some people mocked the entire campaign, saying what Kelsey went through was not even a big deal.
Moving On and Up
In the end, no charges were filed against Sarah or Scheffan, and Sarah even went on to complete her probationary period in the fire department and moved up the ranks. It looks like by this point, the incident and everything revolving it is finally becoming a thing of the past.
There is no word on whether or not Kelsey is currently talking to her father and/or his wife, Sarah, but if she continues to focus on the positivity she received online, she will be just fine. What happened with her father and the results of it all are tragic, but she’s young and young people tend to be resilient. Not to mention how pretty she is, with or without long hair!
Haircut Horror Stories
Considering that this story was at some points depressing, I thought it might be fun to look at some funny bad haircut stories from people who shared them online. We have all experienced a bad haircut at one point in our lives, and sometimes they’re so bad that they deserve an honorable mention.
Going to the salon is a vulnerable experience, especially if it’s a new hairdresser, and you’re putting the life of your hair in their hands. Maybe it’s your friend’s recommendation or the $10 Groupon you want to use; there’s always the risk of getting a bad haircut. Like this one guy who shared his story online about how his barber had a nosebleed and bled all over him while he was getting his haircut. Ew!
At Least She Had a License
Reddit user (or Redditor as they like to call themselves) by the username furby_furb shared her own haircut horror story that shows us that even though her mom had a cosmetologist license, she didn’t do her job so well.
“I was 5-years-old, ready to start kindergarten in a new school at a new state. My mom, who had a professional cosmetologist license back in the day, decided that it was time for a haircut. I had pretty thick hair halfway down my back with some curls to it. She claimed it was going to be just a trim, which means an inch tops in my book. Well, she says that I jerked my head and she cut wrong. I ended up with a mushroom cut. Luckily it was popular in the early ’90s.”
It’s the Babysitter’s Fault
“I had long, beautiful brown curls all the way down my back. The babysitter decided that it was time you had a haircut.’ And lead me into the bathroom, where she used kitchen shears to cut off most of my hair, and mangle what was left, Redditor ‘TheOneYouAbandoned’ wrote in her post.
“When my mother got home, I was crying in the corner, and the moment she saw my hair, she started screaming at the babysitter about how she had no right to do that to me. At one point in the berating, my mother actually grabbed scissors and tried to cut the babysitter’s hair similarly to what mine ended up with. The babysitter fled, but not before losing a huge handful of bangs and bleached hair – my mother standing in the doorway, menacing the babysitter with the handful of hair, and screaming obscenities into the night. She sat and rocked me to sleep; I couldn’t stop crying. I’ll never forget my first haircut; I was 7 years old.”
She Said it Would Frame Her Face
Redditor ‘hair emergency’ wrote about her hair nightmare that resulted in a haircut that made her look like Javier Bardem from ‘No Country for Old Men.’ Ouch. That’s not a good look. Here’s her story:
“My normal hairdresser is on maternity leave, she has always cut my hair exactly how I describe to a T… However she has been gone for three months, and I couldn’t wait any longer for a cut, so I made an appointment for another hairdresser at the same salon. I even showed her a picture of exactly how I looked after my last haircut. I told her ‘long bob, all the same, exact length, not layered’ because I like the blunted edges.”
“So she starts cutting, so far so good. Then she snips a huge section out of the front of my hair, saying she was ‘framing my face.’ At this point, it was too late to say anything because she already made the cut, so I try to see how it will turn out. It was hideous. Not me at all, and especially not what I asked for. So I told her I hated it and I really needed it to be all one length. She feels bad, and I start to tear up because it is seriously so ugly on me.” Long story short… she ended up with a bowl cut, like Javier.
A Chunk Was Missing
Redditor ‘applesangria’ shared her personal story about how she left the salon with a chunk of her hair missing. “I went from a blunt shoulder-length cut to a chin-length mom bob with bad layers and bad bangs. I have no clue what the stylist was thinking; she’s given me great cuts before. This is literally the worst haircut I’ve ever had in my life.”
Poor thing. She said how “The layers are completely uneven, the bangs are just a blunt-chopped section of hair, and she did a ‘face-framing’ layer that is really just a chunk of hair missing (on one side only! So uneven). Truly not flattering or well-done in the slightest. I went to another stylist who I trust, and she said the only thing to do is let it grow!”
You’ll Be Needing a Hat
Words you never want to hear from your own hairstylist are the words, “You’re probably gonna want to wear a hat.” But that’s exactly what Redditor user ‘wkukinslayer’ heard from her stylist when she got her hair cut at the salon. As she explained in her post…
“I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so I couldn’t see what was going on, but the girl in training was having trouble, so she called her boss. Boss fiddles with my head then finally ask me (remember, I can’t see anything): ‘Do you wear a hat? You’re probably gonna want to wear a hat. Sorry.'” Wow, I don’t even know how I would react if my stylist said that to me! What would you do?
A Striking Combination
Redditor user ‘badaedi’ said she looked like a combination of Orphan Annie & Joe Dirt. Now, that’s a winning combo. “I was excited to get a haircut after growing my hair for years. The stylist I have trusted for years was overly ambitious. She managed to cut it so short (due to layering), and now I look like Annie at the sides, Joe Dirt in the back, and a Viking in the top front. It will grow back, but still. I’m bummed,” she wrote.
Then there’s the mom who forgot to put on the clipper attachment. Redditor user ‘Hero_of_Brandon’ wrote how “When I was a kid, I used just to let my mom buzz my hair in the backyard. She forgot to put the attachment on the electric razor and shaved a strip diagonally right across the front of my head. Needless to say, that was the last time she cut my hair. Thank God I was only 10.”
She Was Supposed to Look More “Adult-Looking”
“I just wanted a trim. My hair was so long and thick and pretty. I had been growing it out for years. It was beautiful. I just needed the ends and layers trimmed up. She. Cut. It. All. Off. To my shoulders. And then butchered my bangs. They are in the middle of my forehead, thinned out, and uneven. I could have done a better job on them myself,” said Redditor user ‘catcat6.’
“The most obnoxious part? I showed her about 10 pictures of what I wanted, and she gave me nothing like any of them. She didn’t listen to anything I had to say. And, when I expressed my discomfort, she told me that my old hair was childish, and this is more “adult-looking.” This was a “fancy” salon, one of the top-rated in my city. You’d better believe I wrote a scathing review on Yelp. But nothing can grow my hair back for me.”
Would You Want to Come Out Looking Like a Poodle?
“Back in high school, after a few perms, my stylist knew that my hair took a perm really well. She always cut the time the solution was left on my hair. Toward the end of my sophomore year, I needed a perm, but my stylist was out having health issues. The lady she chose to cover her clients was horrible. She wouldn’t listen to me about not cutting my hair until after the perm, and she didn’t listen to me about reducing the solution time. I came out looking like a closely shorn poodle,” wrote Redditor user ‘TodayIAmGruntled.’
“I started crying in the chair; then, when she got rude and huffy (and my mom didn’t even back me up), I threw a fit… The owner finally came over to see what he could do. He ended up washing my hair to remove some of the curls, adding magic crap to it, and then trimming some areas. Ugh. I still looked terrible, but it was better than before. That was the summer of the bandanas and baseball caps.”
Don’t Drink and Cut Hair
Redditor user ‘DearZelly’ will attest to the fact that it’s not a good idea to drink alcohol and then cut your, or anyone else’s, hair. The result of her drunken hairdo? She came out looking like someone from Dexter. And not a hot girl. She wrote: “I was drinking one night and after watching about 100 rockabilly music videos, decided I wanted straight bangs. So I wet my hair, brushed some to the front, and cut straight across.”
The problem was, “They were the right length when wet, but the thing is my hair curls. As they dried, they curled about an inch upward. My husband and friends called me Mandark (from ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’) for months. I wore a lot of headbands.”
Her Friends Thought She Was a Boy
“I grew up with bad ‘at home’ haircuts. One time, I told my mom I wanted an inch off, which turned into like 5 inches, and I looked like a boy. I looked so much like a boy that later that summer I made friends with a girl who called me ‘he’ and when I said ‘I’m a girl’ she stopped talking to me,” Redditor ‘ifoundxaway’ recalled.
Then there is a man who had to deal with this: “The hairdresser took perfectly nice shaggy medium-length indie men’s cut and replaced it with the hideous lovechild of Uma Thurman’s bob from ‘Pulp Fiction’ and what Hollywood thinks monks look like, regarding bangs. She was incredibly pleased with herself because this is ‘more feminine’ than the photo I showed her. This haircut is appalling, in addition to being spiritually unappealing. It is worse than the time when I got drunk and gave myself a mullet,” Redditor user ‘fenxibat’ wrote.
She Wanted to Look Like Her Mom
Brit+Co has some more stories where women divulged their hilarious yet horrifying hair stories. Victoria Haas from Channel Marketing shared her personal bad haircut nightmare: “I made my mom cut my hair in middle school because there was this television actress who I wanted to look like. My mom chopped my hair from mid-back to above my shoulders. My thick, curly hair shrunk two inches more. I looked like a poodle.”
“I had to go to a hair salon for them to thin out my hair. My mom also hadn’t cut it straight, so they cut off even more. I then entered my “awkward years” for the next two years until my hair grew back. Curly hair takes for-ev-er. Traumatic. Tears. Bad call, Vic.”
McDonald’s Style Hair Salon
Lisa Raphael, an Editorial Director, has her own story: “I went to college in New York City. Due to that and assorted other factors, I was both aware of and concerned about my appearance, and also very broke. I went to one of those McDonald’s-for-your-hair salons to dye my hair once (I think it cost $40), and they ended up having to dye it three times,” she explained.
“The first time it was green, the second time purple and by the third time, my hair was bleach blonde and fried. I was told not to wash it for as long as possible so it wouldn’t break. I waited an entire week, shampooed, conditioned, dried, and thought I was okay until I spotted an inch-long segment sticking up straight in the back. There was one lonely chunk of hair that just broke off at about the spot where my old roots had ended. For a long time, my friends called it my ‘angry inch.”