Here’s Part 1 (here)
Fiona was a red-head with long naturally straight hair, suitably layered and reaching her mid-back. She was blessed with volume in abundance, but at times, during summer, it was a curse as well.
“Can you give me a guess, please?” she asked him in the mirror.
It was against the rule, but Luke took a slight pity on her. “I can’t say the cut, but its summer-appropriate and stylish.”
Luke, after de-tangling her hair with a flat brush, gathered the hair into a ponytail and tied the band a little higher. Fiona knew that the clippers were coming as she heard the tell-tale buzzing. The sound changed a little the moment it came in contact with the hair. The teeth were so brutal, it took mere seconds to chop off her long locks, and Fiona instant felt the warm tears. Three years worth of growth snugged in a moment!
“Darling, you okay?” Luke asked in a sympathetic voice.
It was true that she was consensually sitting on that barber chair and abandoned the fate of her hair to the whim of luck—but Luke obviously didn’t want to upset a pretty girl.
“I am fine,” she said and smiled warily through tears. “I am a bit overwhelmed.”
“Do you want a moment?”
“No, I just want to get it over with quickly. It’s just hair.”
“Let’s do this then.”
With that, discarded the long severed ponytail on the counter and picked up a different clipper and attached a #5 guard. Luke swirled the chair away from the mirror, and when Fiona saw him approaching with the clippers in hand, she was expecting a bob look like her friend got.
Luke stood behind her and cupped her chin from the back, maintaining a firm hold without hurting her. “I want you to stay very still for this.”
Maybe he is shaping the bob, thought Fiona.
“Okay,” she said in an audible whisper.
Without preamble, the teeth of the clipper were placed on her forehead and at the hairline. Once it came alive, it sailed towards the crown, mowing the path and leaving only 5/8 inch of hair in its wake. Before Fiona could realize or even a squeak passed her throat, the middle and the left side of her head were buzzed down with the clippers.
“Tilt this side a little, please,” Fiona heard Luke and felt her face maneuvered to the other side as she was completely immobilized. Clipper haircutting was one thing, but getting buzzed? It was a wild nightmare for her to imagine, except she was experiencing it. Susan, pressed a hand to her mouth to avoid the gasp but couldn’t take her eyes off. So much hair was falling all around, it was exhilarating.
Luke, like he did a hundred times, kept on running the clippers until the buzz was evened out. This time, he issued no command whatsoever, and firmly pushed her head down, maintaining a hold on the crown.
Short dry clippings of red hair littered the floor and covered the cape, with the pile increasing with each pass of the clippers. Perhaps it was just an illusion, but Fiona actually felt light-headed. It was a whole new experience to feel the clippers ruthlessly shearing her down.
The sound of the drone finally ceased, and Fiona was left with 5/8 inch all over. She couldn’t help but quickly brought out her hands and feel it helplessly. Her fingers skimmed over nothing but soft pelt of hair.
“Oh, my God! Am I bald now?” Fiona asked.
“You are buzzed, darling, not bald,” Luke corrected, though it made no sense to her. “I will tell you what you chose: you picked a long buzzcut with a fade haircut.”
“So, I am done, right?” she asked timidly.
“We are done with the buzz part,” Luke said, and picked up another clipper in his hands, without any attachment. “Now, we will do the fade portion.”
Fiona gave a wry look at the comparatively small clipper and thought that it couldn’t do much damage to her shorn look anymore. So, resignedly, she agreed.
Little did she know.
Luke splayed a hand on the top, tilted her head forty-five degrees to her left and clicked on the clippers. He shaved down the sideburns and climbed towards the temple, past the level of her eyes. This time the clippers left nothing in its wake—no more oft reddish pelt—but only white skin. Moving on, he did the same at the back—shaved to the skin till the occipital bone.
Luke paused a little and gave a thought. Fiona had the perfect head shape for this kind of haircut, even though she never realized, so he took the shaven line a little further above. The other side was done quickly, leaving a stark contrast between the buzzcut and shaved back and sides.
Fiona sniffled softly like a little girl on the barber chair while Luke grabbed another clipper to merge the harsh line. “Is there anything left to cut on my head?” Fiona thought.
But to her surprise, the clipper buzzing went on and went for around 15-20 minutes until Luke had skillfully merged the fade with the buzz.
When she saw him approaching the counter to grab the foam, she asked with trepidation, “Do you have to shave me?”
“Well, I can skip it if you want, but it won’t look neat or smooth. But I will make an exception and leave it up to you,” Luke said. “So, yes or no to shaving?”
Fiona was elated for a moment but gave it a second thought. “If I have come so far, why not go all the way? What more harm it can do?”
“Okay, you are the professional. You do what you have to do.”
“Trust me, you won’t regret the look,” Luke assured, smearing the foam onto her sides and nape. “It might take a day or two to get used to the look, but you won’t ever want to grow out your hair again.”
Fiona simply nodded. He took out the straight razor, pulled up the skin taut with the thumb, and slowly scraped the area clean. Whatever minute length of hair was left, everything was shaved clean with small, determined strokes at the hand of the professional. He raised her hairline by at least 3-4 inches, with the fade beginning from the occipital bone. The after-shave lotion was applied, filling the air with a refreshed aroma, and then he used a gel to set it nicely.
Finally, after about forty minutes or so, Luke dusted her off and released her from the cape. The moment, he turned the chair towards the mirror, Fiona simply stared wide-eyed.
With both the raised hands, she gingerly felt her head, that had nothing but the soft short length of hair with brutal shaved sides.
“So, what do you think?”
“I don’t look bad…” Fiona admitted. “But it’s a manly haircut. How will I carry it off?”
“Sweetheart, a haircut is a haircut,” Luke told her. “As long as it doesn’t make you look bad, it’s a style.”
“I think he is right, Fiona,” Susan acquiesced, coming to stand beside her. “This whole shaving thing is so radical, but so amazing, too.”
Susan felt Fiona’s haircut, stroking the pelt softly and somehow, inwardly wondered, “What if, I had chosen this haircut?”
Did you guys like the story? Would you like Part 3 as well?