Well I better introduce myself first, my name is Jessica, or Jess as most people call me. I’m a 15 year old girl, one of three children. It was me, my older sister Sandra and my younger 10 year old brother James. Just to give you a brief description, I’m about 5 ft 5 tall, quite thin and have thick dark blonde hair with highlights through it which falls a bit past my shoulders. Which brings me to the beginning of the story. I’m sitting in my best friend Kate’s car as had just stopped outside of my house. She gave me a ride home that morning after we went to a party last night and I ended up staying at her house. My parents thought I was just staying at Kate’s house, but what they don’t know wont hurt them.
We are chatting about the hottest guy I met last night, but that’s another story which u don’t want to hear. We’d been sitting in the car for a few minutes when I noticed my sisters car in the driveway, immediately it sent a nervous shiver down my spine, but I will get to that part in a minute. “Hey isn’t that Sandra’s car” , Kate said. “…oh my god I didn’t’ think she was coming over this weekend….” I stated. “Well sorry darling but I’ve gotta go, good luck!”. I swallowed and got out of the car. Kate beeped her horn and drove off. Now I can begin to tell you about the predicament I was placed in.
My sister Sandra is 20, she graduated from hairdressing college about 1 year ago, the same time she moved out. Naturally she does all our families haircuts to save money and just generally save time from going to the salon. However the problem is, my sister would get a little insulted if she knew I just referred to her as a hairdresser. This is because she isn’t one, she’s a barber. I know… how embarrassing, my sister is a barber. My girlfriends all tease me a little and always jokingly ask if I had made any appointments with my barber. I know they were only joking but I still hated the fact that it was true. I got my hair done by a barber.
She works in a barbershop not really that far from our house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister and all but I just don’t really like her doing my hair. In my vision, barber’s are just failed hairdressers who cant do colors or perms and can only give short haircuts. My sister had studied coloring and female hair styling/cutting but found she preferred to specialize in male hairdressing, why… I have no idea.
Sandra is really pretty, she’s tall, has an extremely elegant figure and even though I don’t like it, her haircut looks pretty stunning on her. I’m not good with short boyish hairstyle lingo but its been cut or hacked as I would call it very short, but still remains feminine. Makes her cheeks eyes and lips look gorgeous. Far to gorgeous to be working in a men’s barbershop. I bet hundreds of clients just got to her because she’s attractive. Sorry I’m getting off the track a little, I’m meant to be explaining why I don’t want to go inside. I’ve been making up excuses for not having my haircut by her for the last few months. Every time I knew she was coming over I would conveniently not be at home. Like I said my hair was long and getting longer. As I brushed it in the mornings I started to notice split ends, I needed a haircut. Problem was Sandra was never content on trimming my hair, she always tried to persuade mum to let her give me a new style, new cut, new length. It was always something new new new, which I didn’t want. I know I’m 15 but my mum is really strict and still has about 95% of say in my haircuts. She always says “if your living under my roof blah blah…”. Doesn’t really worry me cause she’s always just let me grow my hair and have the ends trimmed, except for lately. She’s been stroking my hair a lot and commenting on the length which always makes a little nervous. The past few weeks she has said a few times “I think I will give Sandra a call this week, its time for a haircut Jess”. I would usually just try and subtly change the subject.
So here I am standing at the front door, what brilliant scheme can I come up with this time to avoid the chair? I opened the door and walked down the hall. I could hear voices up stairs and hoped they didn’t hear me come in. “Jess…, Jess is that you…?” I couldn’t just ignore mum. “Yes Mum…”. “Come upstairs honey..” she called out. I sighed and began to climb the stairs. I walked closer to the bathroom and I could hear that familiar sound of hair clippers. I peered into the bathroom and noticed my mother and sister standing over my brother who was a caped victim to my sister. They all looked up and we exchanged hellos. Sandra continued to clip my brother until there was just about no hair left. My mum looked on approvingly as Sandra shut off her clippers and began dusting around his face and neck. “Now you’ll be like all the other boys this summer’, she said and she quickly whisked away the red cape from his tiny neck with a shake. I ran my hand over his head, she completely sheared him, he’d been absolutely….barbered. There was no other word for it. I looked down at the ground and his previously longish blonde locks surrounded the base of the chair.
Just then I quickly snapped back into life, what if she asked my to take a seat next?! I had no escape, I hadn’t prepared this at all! She shook out the cape again and folded it neatly over the back of the chair. I think I was safe for the time being. “Just going down to get a drink, wont be a second” she said as mum took her place in the chair. I breathed a sigh of relief when I noticed mum had taken her seat. We just chatted generally until Sandra came back in the room. It was just then that my fate became pretty much sealed. I felt her manicured nails stroke my hair from behind… “Jess,…..what have you done to your hair. Look at these split ends, you’ve got such beautiful hair and letting this happen!”, she exclaimed. “Jess its quite damaged, why didn’t you call me…”. “I was silent and racked my brains for ideas… “I thought mum was organizing for you to come over”. That seemed to work for the time being as she let go of my hair. “We’ll fix you up in a minute”, she said and she flipped open the cape and shook any loose hairs off it. Mum sat in the chair with a concerned look on her face as the cape glided over her and was drawn closed at her neck with a snap. “She missed her last haircut remember, I completely forgot to call you back. However your 15 now Jessica you shouldn’t have to get me to call your sister for you”. After much chatting and bickering, Sandra proceed to trim mum’s bob. I silently walked out the door and headed to my room. Sandra then yelled out, “Don’t you go to far away, your next’. I sighed, there was no getting out of this.
I lay on my bed for about 15 minutes just flipping through my new cosmopolitan magazine and dreaming about that boy I had met last night. My dreams was quickly ruined when I heard my sister yell out, “Jess!”. I got up, looked in my mirror and ran my fingers through my long hair. I looked up to the sky with clenched fist together, please let me get out of this” I whispered. Mum then knocked on my door, Jess, don’t keep your sister waiting. I walked out of my bedroom and down the hall to the bathroom. Sandra was standing behind the chair shaking out the cape once more, “take a seat and lets clean you up missy”. Mum stood right behind me, I think just to make sure I wasn’t going to get out of this one. I sat down in the chair slowly and in no time with a flick of the wrists I was swathed in the cape which was drawn very tightly around my neck. My sister stood behind me and began to tussle my locks, whilst mum stood over me studying the damage. “With summer coming perhaps its time to go for that shorter cut….what do you think” said mum. I could tell Sandra was more eager than ever, “definitely, definitely I really think that would be the best option…”. Finally she would get her prize and get to restyle my locks anyway she please, or should I say re-barber.
Just then Sandra’s phone began to ring, she left my hair and answered her cell, “Hello..”. The person on the other end did a lot of talking and my sister was just saying a lot of yes and ok. “I’m just about to give my little sister a haircut so……… oh ok, yeah that’s a good idea” she finished with, “see you soon”. She explained it was her boss from the barbershop, they were so busy she had to come in to work early. This meant only one thing!! I was off the hook to live another day! “Well what are we going to do about Jess’s haircut…?” mum asked. “Oh no that’s cool, Jenny said to bring her down to the shop this afternoon and I can do her there when we are not busy”. Well this last comment wiped the smile completely off my face! I did not believe what I had just heard, my mouth hung open in amazement. “Bring me into the shop…..”. I thought. “Oh that actually works out well because I have to doing some shopping at the mall this afternoon, I will drop her off then whilst I go and do some shopping” said mum. I usually wouldn’t do this, but this time they had over stepped the line, “I’m sorry but there is no way in the world I am walking into a barbershop and there is no way in the world I am getting my haircut in a barbershop!!”. “Oh yes you will young lady, you’ll will do exactly as I say Jessica or Sandra will be visiting a lot more frequently in the future!”. I gulped, “But mum a barbershop!! What if someone sees me, how embarrassing!!” “No buts young lady, you should be grateful they will take you and you don’t have to pay for your haircut. If you didn’t let your hair get in this mess it wouldn’t have happen would it?”. With that the case was closed, I was doomed for a trip to the barber’s my worst nightmare. Sandra unsnapped the cape and drew it away from me, “until this afternoon little one” she teased.
I spent the next few hours actually on my bed just dreading that afternoon. I decided to ring Kate and tell her what had happened. She was in hysterics laughing and asked if she could come and watch. At first I said no, absolutely not, but then she proceeded to beg me and I decided that perhaps my sister would be a little more lenient if Kate was there. She was so excited as she had never been into a barbershop before. About an hour passed and there was a ring at the door, it was Kate. Mum let her in and soon she walked into my room. She hugged me in sympathy but then also laughed at my situation. “This is going to be so funny” she giggled. I got changed into my favorite denim skirt, slides and singlet top then applied some makeup, just in case there were in cute guys at the mall. Not that it mattered cause I’m sure they wouldn’t be attracted to a girl getting her hair done in a barbershop. Mum then yelled “Come on girls time to go”. I took a deep breath and we both left my room and headed for the car.
In absolutely no time we arrived at the mall. Mum walked with us to the door and then went on her way, “Now Jess be good for your sister, if I hear any bad reports there will be trouble’. I said bye to mum and turned to see Kate already proceeding for the door. I still could not believe this was happening…
The glass door open and the bell chimed. We stepped in and took all the surroundings in at once. The smells, the sights and the sounds. I immediately felt out of place and searched for my sister to relieve me of this foreignness, but I couldn’t see her. I’m pretty sure most eyes were on us but I wasn’t looking. Just then one of barber’s turned when I was about to explain who I was, but before I said a word he told us to take a seat on the waiting bench. I’m not sure why but I just immediately complied so Kate and I found ourselves taking a seat. Once we were seated amongst the waiting clients I was able to breath a little easier and take in the situation. It wasn’t a large shop, there was only three chairs. Not like salon chairs either that I was used to, big huge steel chairs that looked like it would take a crane to shift them. On each chair, at the base there were big pedals, which I assumed were to adjust it. In front of each giant red leather chair was a large mirror and a counter full of various barbering equipment I suppose. On top of the mirror was each barber’s name. The barber to the left was apparently Jenny who had a man in her chair, then next to her was the male barber who’s mirror said “Tom”. He had an older man in his chair. The final chair on the right was vacant. Above the chair was written, “Sandra”., obviously my sisters. A long red cape was draped over the armrest of her chair and a broom rested up against it. There was a small pile of cut hair amongst what looked like tissues beneath her chair, strange. “Where is she…” I thought. I began to relax a little and thought perhaps she was waiting out the back for me and soon she would come out. However, there were a few people waiting for haircuts so it seemed a little peculiar.
A few minutes had passed when I finally turned to Kate, we hadn’t said a word since we entered. I think we were just too taken back by this virgin surrounding to us both. I began to pay more attention to what was going on in the chairs now. Jenny, the barber on the left was probably in her late twenties or early thirties, actually quite an attractive lady, another that shouldn’t be working in a place like this. Was tall, thin and had beautiful thick curly blonde hair to her shoulders. What she wore was really kind of fashionable as well, a black skirt to the knee with some very nice long pointed boots. I wanted a pair just like this except mum said I was too young. The top she was wearing was also nice, but looked out of place in here. It was a white halter neck, suited her really well. I then wondered if she knew where Sandra was, however I was game enough to ask. Over in the other chair, “Tom” was just finishing up his customer by dusting the clippings from his neck. The cape was undone and quickly folded over the armrest after being removed. The man paid for his haircut and “Tom” returned to his chair, Kate and I watched on in amazement. He grabbed the same cape and flicked it open. “Next”, he yelled. Kate and I almost jumped in fright when he said this. We sat and watched a mother and young child, about my brother’s age make their way to the chair. The young boy was lifted up into the huge chair by his mother as “Tom” walked forward to the wall and pulled this long strip of what looked like tissue from a roll out of a dispenser. After it was torn clear he stood behind the boy quickly and firmly wrapping it around the boys little neck, it was bizarre. Next with a quick shake and a flick the giant red cape covered the boy and was drawn close over the tissue. After “Tom” and the mother had discussed styles she sat down and the barber proceed to reduce his hair to very little. Kate then turned to me, “Guys hairdressers are so weird….”. “I know, what’s with that whole tissue thing, I’ve never seen that at the salon”. “I know, strange”.
It then became apparent to me that Kate and I were the only ones on the waiting bench, apart from the child’s mum. I started imaging being in that chair of “Tom’s”, I could not think of anything worse, anything at all. My little day-nightmare type thing then came to an end when I noticed Jenny dusting off her client and helping him from the chair. She then proceeded to fold the cape over the back of the chair and head to the register. After her client paid and left she returned to her station and I thought nothing of it but watched to see what she was going to do.
This next part was the beginning of the most nerve racking experience of my life. She reached for the cape and with a few little shakes it was unraveled. With one quick motion she whipped it against her chair, “Next!” she yelled out looking directly at me. I looked down the bench, but there was no one waiting except me Kate and the mum…. “Next” she questioned again. It took a few seconds for me to get the words out but I finally was able to say “Oh um, no its ok, I’m waiting for my sister… Sandra”. “Sandra is gone on her hour lunch break, she will be 45 minutes and told me to take you if you came in…..” . I was shocked, I had no idea what to say, “umm…” “come on, up u get”, she said as she stood by her chair like a matador with the cape in hand. “I know the whole story sweetie and I know that mum wont be pleased if you don’t come and take a seat”. Now I was really scared but found myself walking towards her chair. Seemed to take forever to finally make it over there, but when I did my legs almost collapsed in fear. She stood behind the chair as I placed my left foot on the big iron footrest. The other foot followed and then I placed my tiny behind slowly on the very edge of the plush leather seat.
Next I felt a hand on each shoulder drag me right back into the chair. I watched in the mirror as she tossed the cape over her shoulder and walked towards the wall. Jenny reached for the roll of tissue from the dispenser and pulled at a fresh sheet. It was torn clear and she then positioned herself behind me once more. I wanted to jump from this huge chair and run so fast and so far away. Next I felt the soft tissue being tightly applied around my neck, she folded it at the back so it would stay taught. I stared into the mirror, I couldn’t believe what was happening. She then grabbed the enormous red cape by the ends and thrust it out in front of me with a swish. It quickly settled over me and was pinned tightly against the tissue. Then the whole chair began jerking up and down until I found myself rising higher and higher. I noticed Jenny had her right foot on the pedal pumping it up and down causing the chair to ascend until it reached her desired working level. I looked in the mirror at Kate with the most horrified look on my face. Kate couldn’t believe it either but she was laughing so hard, I must have looked ridiculous.
“Now young lady, Sandra tells me that mum wants something nice and short to get rid of these split ends and to keep you cool for summer….”. There was silence as she combed my hair long ponytail. “She also said that your very good at avoiding haircuts….we’ll don’t worry honey, I’ll take care of that…”. She then untied my ponytail and picked up her scissors. For some reason I knew what she going to do but still couldn’t believe it when it happened., “SNIP, SNIP” and it was in her hands…my hair hung just below my jaw. I was absolutely amazed, my mouth hung open. My pony was then thrown to the floor and the scissors were placed on the counter.
Jenny then began combing through my hair. It now fell just between my shoulder and jaw, I couldn’t believe how quickly that transition took place. Next Jenny reached forward for the next item which I wasn’t ready for, clippers. Just like the ones that I had seen my sister sheer my brother with that same day. Jenny fiddled with the plastic teeth like thing that clicked onto the clippers. I cant describe to you how nervous I was at this stage. I almost felt myself attempt to flea from the chair, however not before Jenny placed her hand up the back of my neck and gently but forcefully guided my head down to my lap. “Click,……hummmm’ was all I heard. Jenny continued to tease my hair and run her fingers through my nape. Next I felt the plastic guard at the base of my neck. I gasped out loud and as a result felt Jenny’s grip tighten a little. The clippers firmly passed up my neck, I felt thick amounts of my hair fall away to the floor. Pass after pass was made until I felt Jenny run her fingers up and down the clipped area with approval.
The same procedure was then repeated all over my nape. Tufts of hair continued to float away to the base of the chair. Jenny then brought my head back up so I could see myself in the mirror. There was no noticeable difference apart from my severed pony tail. Next both side layers were clipped up to giver her access to this area. Her left hand held the left side of my head whilst she proceeded to clip all the long strands on my right side. In no time it was all shorn down to a number 2 length. The same process was then quickly repeated on my left side. After having clipped my nape and both sides of my head, she unclipped my top layers to let them fall over the newly clipped area. This was the first time I had a chance to look back at Kate. Her eyes where open wide as she bit her bottom lip. I couldn’t see or feel how short or high my neck had been clipped, but judging by Kate’s reaction I knew it must have been short.
I was brought back to reality when I felt a cool mist being sprayed over the remaining locks. Jenny combed through my hair quickly before replacing the spray bottle with her scissors. This is where I find out how really short my haircut would be. I pleaded within my own mind for her to leave me with some sort of length, but it was like she read my mind because as she was combing it out for the last time she stated, “now time to neaten you up a bit missy, something shorter’. I sighed as jenny combed my long locks up vertically between her middle and index fingers. Snip, Snip, Snip, was the sound as her scissors effortlessly sliced through 10 inches of my long locks. She cut it about half the length as I watched my tresses fall into my lap in front of my face. A tear rolled down my cheek as more and more hair fell to my lap and shoulders. The long strands slide down the front of the cape and deposited themselves in my lap or fell fast enough to fall to the floor. Jenny worked closer to the back of my crown and quickly continued to reduce the long strands. With more combing a snipping my hair was blended on the back and sides to fade from the clipped region. It was short…. After re-combing my hair Jenny decided that she wanted it shorter so she resumed her position behind me with comb and scissors in hand. She combed more hair between her fingers which were laid flat against my scalp. My hair couldn’t be cut any shorter with scissors. After the hair all over had been cut as short as possible, Jenny dragged her comb over my head for the last time. All the hair stuck up and righted itself into a uniform position immediately. My neck was long and slender, my cheek bones were elegant however I still hated this haircut. It was short but feminine, but it so wasn’t me. I continued to cry.
As Jenny was trimming my hairline with some littler clippers as Sandra walked into the shop. She noticed me in Jenny’s chair and immediately covered her mouth in amazement. “My god Jess you look beautiful!” she said as she ran her fingers over what was left of my hair. Jenny placed down the clippers and dusted off my neck and face with this brush which seemed to deposit some kind of talcum powder over my skin. My sister’s hair was similar to mine now except my was a much shorter version. As Sandra poked and prodded at my new style as I looked down at the floor to see the damage. So many hours of styling and preparation lay between to the two girls shoes. It would be swept away with other peoples hair thrown away in the rubbish later that day. Next I felt some relief as the cape was unpinned at my neck and dusted clear. The cape and tissue were then drawn away from me as the chair lowered to the sound of hydraulics.
“I’m going on break now Sandra, are you right to take the other one?” said Jenny. “The other one I thought..?” It was only Kate at the bench as the mother had left with her son. “You bet, come on Katie, come have a seat with me” said Sandra as she walked to her chair and swept the cape off the arm. “uuhhh no thanks I’m fine, I’m going to my salon soon anyway…” “Free of charge darling, come on, come have a set, let me touch your ends up”. Kate then looked at me, I shrugged my shoulders not knowing what to say. “Well I guess just a little trim to get rid of the damaged ends…”. Sandra was delighted, the hardest part was over. Sandra hesitantly walked across the tiled floor and made her way to the big red leather chair. I sat myself on the bench and ran my hands over my head, I still couldn’t believe what she had done to me. It was gonna take me about a year to grow that back into a bob and that’s without any more trips here in between. The only positive thing to come out of this haircut was that I didn’t look like a dyke, it still looked semi feminine.
Now it was my turn to relax a little and get to watch proceedings unfold. As I did, Kate timidly placed both feet on the iron footrest before slowly lowering herself into the chair as if she was getting into a bath that was too hot. My sister eased her back into the chair before walking toward the wall for the tissue. She pulled a long sheet from the dispenser and tore it clear. After positioning herself back behind Kate she professionally wrapped it around her little neck and tucked in tight at the back. Next with a flick of the wrists Sandra settled the cape over her and drew it tightly against the fresh tissue with a snap. Kate looked so foreign to this procedure, it made me giggle a little. I hope I didn’t look that silly. “Ever tried anything shorter sweetie?” Sandra asked as she undid Kate’s ponytail…”umm..”