Christina pulled the door shut a little too harshly as she resignedly sank back into the car seat, heaving a sigh.
From the driver’s seat her Mom didn’t say anything at first- she merely observed with widened eyes. “Well that’s… different,” she broke the silence, giving one of those encouraging Mom smiles that still hinted a sense of apprehension.
“I hate it,” Christina bluntly admitted.
“Yeah, it doesn’t really suit you,” her Mom dropped the farce, shaking her head with pressed lips. “What happened?”
“Well, I tried to tell them to cut it pretty short, but it was all ‘are you sure? Girls look so much better with long hair’, yada-yada, and then this is what was settled for,” Christina narrated as she pulled down the sun visor mirror. “I look like I’m about to barge into a Starbucks asking for the manager,” she loathingly looked at her reflection, the Soccer Mom-bob prominently mocking her.
Her Mom couldn’t help but scoff. “Aw sweetie,” she reached over to stroke through her younger daughter’s hair, though stroking the texture of it in her hands truly didn’t feel any better than how it looked to her. “Well I guess you can try and style it to look a bit less… “motherly”, when we get back later? Either way, I’m sure once you’re showered and you’ve got the product out,” she wiped a bit of the hairspray she got on her hands with a piece of tissue, “it’ll look a little better I’m sure.”
“I guess,” Christina sighed. “Whatever, let’s just go fetch Morgan already. We’re gonna be late if we keep mulling over this.”
“Alright dear,” her Mom concluded as she released the handbrake, and the two sped off.
They reached the arrival hall just in time to see a stream of faces gushing out from the customs centre. Christina’s Mom stood eagerly awaiting her elder daughter while Christina simply sat by the bench, watching from afar.
Eventually out came Morgan, her tall demeanour hard to miss as she lugged her little suitcase with her. Her searching eyes brightened as she found her Mom in the crowd, waving in excitement.
Christina watched as they crashed into an embrace, a little smile playing at her side as she watched her sister and mom hugging warmly. It didn’t feel like a long 2 months without her sister, but the absence was definitely felt without another person chiding at her in the house.
They exchanged their greetings, and smiling away before she could see that look in Morgan’s face asking “where’s Chris?”
Christina instinctively sighed and sunk her head, pretending to be absorbed in her phone. She saw her sister’s feet coming into view, but tried to appear completely oblivious till she spoke.
“Is that my little Chrissy?” Morgan asked as she stopped right in front of her sister.
Christina looked up, putting on a face of surprise when she heard the voice. “Morgan!” she followed her “surprise” through, reaching up to hug her tall sister. “How was LA? Better than Brighton?”
“Love, nothing could ever beat home,” she tightly embraced her baby sister. “But enough about me- look at you!” She definitely caught on to the evident change in her sister’s appearance.
“What?” Chris tried to act clueless.
“Your hair! It’s quite the new ‘do ‘innit?” she seemed a bit upbeat to talk to about it.
“I hate it,” Christina sulked, trying to eye her gaze away. “I wanted something proper short but those salon stylists prefer to think of it as ‘ooh the Mom cut would suit you more’.”
“Aw, sweetie,” her sister pouted with her. “Not short enough for you?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Not just that- it looks absolutely ridiculous,” Christina quipped, her mood a little soured at the topic. “But god, you’ve let yours grown out a little, haven’t you?” She tried to reflect the topic, running a hand through her sister’s jet black hair that edged past her shoulders. “That bob of yours didn’t really stick in LA, ay?”
“Oh, don’t get me started,” Morgan replied, her hand instinctively going up to sweep aside her overgrown bangs. “I didn’t really feel like finding some random place in LA to get it done, so I’ve just been putting up with it, really.” Morgan bit the bottom edge of her lip, seemingly in contemplation as she looked at her sister. “As for you, though…” she continued to Christina’s dismay. “Y’know, I could-”
“God, you two seem like you haven’t met in decades,” their Mom cut in to Christina’s relief. “Why don’t we hit the road and start heading home? I’m sure poor Morgan’s really tired and wants to have a little something to eat- I made spaghetti!”
“Sweet!” Morgan replied, turning to her Mom.
Christina forced a smile, her Mom reciprocating the gesture with a little wink.
Chris was relatively quiet during the drive home, absentmindedly looking out the window as her Sister and Mom talked most of the way through. She just wanted to get home- wanted to get to the bathroom to wash off that icky hairspray from her hair and figure out how she could salvage the situation on her head.
She’d been wanting to go short for awhile now- the transition into university life had given her that sort of impetus to make some changers in her life, and her hair seemed like a good place to start. All her life she’d gone to the same salon her Mom brought her to, and they’d done an alright job just maintaining her usual hair length- sometimes it was just past her shoulders, other times she wanted it a little above her collarbone. Naturally, she’d just go to the same place, hoping they would help her with her change.
A change it was- but it wasn’t enough for her. To Christina it hardly seemed like much difference in length from when it was just above her collarbones, and what was worse was how it was styled so awfully. She tried telling the stylist to go shorter, but they insisted it would’ve been “too short”. And now she bore the result of a salon stylist’s apprehension
The moment they reached home, she darted straight for the bathroom. Shutting the door, she immediately turned on the sink tap and dunked her head below it. She let the cool water gush through her scalp for a moment before she started running her hands through, vigorously getting the hairspray out. Once she felt like enough of the icky stuff was out, she switched off the water.
She lightly towel dried her hair, watching in the mirror as her chestnut brown hair fall into place. Her locks ended just past her chin, and personally for her that already failed as a bob. She huffed a sigh as she combed through it with her fingers, at least glad that it didn’t look so terrible with the styling it had. Regardless, it didn’t change the fact that it wasn’t short enough.
Her fingers drummed on the marble sink top, her mind scheming. She could try it- it was mad, but in that moment her hint of desperation took over.
She slowly opened the cabinet above her, her eyes searching through the bottles and apparatus for it. And there it was, sitting quietly all alone in a jar. Chris carefully picked it up from its black, plastic handles. She stared back at the reflection of her just holding the pair of scissors, her fingers now fiddling with the metal of it. Was she actually going to do this?
She stretched her forefinger and thumb, opening and closing the scissors as she saw the blades scrunch the air. With her free hand, she rang her fingers through the ends of her hair, watching it fall just past her chin to that disappointing length. She wanted to correct that.
Raising her scissoring hand, she opened the blades and positioned it about an inch above her chin. She saw her soft brown locks just helpless there between the unclosed blades, about to be hapless victims to the safety scissors. Her own gaze was petrifying herself, tormenting herself in trying to reason this all out. Almost every part of her was in a state of shock, but her scissoring hand was steady as a rock. She wanted this.
“No,” she found herself whispering under her breath.
She raised the scissors, the blades just above her ears. “Yes,” a sinister whisper escaped her lips just as she- SNIP
It felt like an eternity, but there it fell within a split second. There it lay- about a solid six inches of her brown hair just lifelessly twirled in the sink. She couldn’t help but pick it up, biting her lip as it started to hit her.
She anxiously looked back up into the mirror. Her mouth went agape at the sight of it- the little tuft of hair that jutted out awkwardly above her ears. “Fuck.” was all that came out.
The toilet door abruptly burst open to her horror, and there Morgan was. The older girl froze as she registered the scene- looking at what her sister held in her hands, to the remnants of it on her head.
“Christina!” Morgan exclaimed.
But her sister was transfixed as well, overwhelmed by everything that had just transpired. Morgan heaved a sigh. She helped herself in, closing the door behind her and making sure it was locked.
“Chrissy… honey, are you alright?” she started calming her tone, gently holding her sister by the shoulders.
The younger girl steadied her breathing, trying not to panic in front of her own sister. “I just… wanted it to be shorter,” she confessed.
“I can definitely see that,” Morgan quipped, running her forefingers through the little tuft of hair that now stuck out from the right side of Christina’s head. “Were you really going to giving yourself a bloody bowlcut in the bathroom?”
“At least it would’ve been short enough,” Christina shot back.
“Oh, you poor thing,” Morgan pulled her sister in, ruffling through the younger girl’s head of not-short-enough hair. “Alright, listen- are you going to school tomorrow?” she asked just as she retracted, looking into her sister’s eyes.
“I only have class till about 12 then I’m done for the day,” Christina said warily. “Why?”
“Okay, good. I’ll fetch you from school, then we’ll get your hair sorted out, okay?” Morgan proposed instructively.
“Uh- okay,” she hesitantly agreed. “But… where though?”
“Don’t need to worry about that. I have friends who’ll be more than willing to help you out.” Then she raised a finger. “But you need to promise me you’re not going to tell mom anything about this- deal?”
Christina was a little dumbfounded, but found herself nodding. “Good,” Morgan gave a smile. She opened the cupboard above, picking out one of the little hair clips they kept in a box. She motherly clipped down the tuft of hair that jutted out of Christina’s head, carefully hiding it under the longer sections that still dominated her head. “Try not to be around Mom too much or she might find out about this. And make sure you get rid of that,” she gestured to the locks that Christina still held in her hand.
For a day of classes that would end at twelve, time moved surprisingly slow. Maybe it was the back-to-back classes, or maybe it was just the thought of what was to come after school. Christina was excited, yet also terrified. Where was this place that her sister wanted to take her? And why keep it so hushed?
Back when her sister was still in school, the two of them would always go to the salon together. Then one day, after her sister had graduated from university, she shocked everyone at home when she walked through the door sporting a chin-length bob with bangs. Her mom tried asking where she got it done, but Morgan kept dismissing it, saying it was just “some place at the other side of town, a friend recommended it”.
Christina had to admit- she was jealous of how her sister was so brave to just pull something off like that, while she herself was a little more timid. But ever since yesterday’s debacle, she only grew more determined. She wanted to get her hair cut short, and she was glad her sister wanted to help her out.
Noon came around soon enough, and Morgan was there at the driveway on the dot. Christina hopped in the passenger seat, and was welcomed by the sight of her sister all dolled up in a beautiful black dress. “Did I miss the memo that we were supposed to dress up for this?” she inquired, looking down at her flannel and jeans.
“Nah, you don’t have to. I was just… feeling it today, y’know?” Morgan tried to reason, only to be replied with a scoff from Christina. “Buckle up, Chrissy. Let’s get going.”
It was a short ten-minute drive to their destination, where they parked along Ellen Street. Chris followed her sister anxiously as they walked on the pavement, scanning the rows of shops ahead to see what could be this secret place her sister had been hiding.
“Are you nervous?” Morgan asked the younger girl, realising she’d been relatively quiet.
“A little. I mean, I don’t even know what this salon looks like,” she expressed, her eyes scanning past a florist, a barbershop, a cafe-
“Oh, Chrissy, dear- we’re not going to a salon,” was all her sister said before they came to a stop. Christina watched as her sister turned, going straight for the door of the barbershop. “This is the place”, was all she said as she stood by the door, eyeing her younger sister whose mouth was now agape.
Christina stood transfixed for a moment, taking in the exterior of the barbershop her eyes foolishly skipped just now. It seemed like a small shop, but it gave off that modern vibe that a lot of barbershops seemed to be going for these days. Christina didn’t know what to make of it. This was her sister’s secret the whole time- a barbershop? “But… that’s a b-”
“I know,” Morgan affirmed. “My mates from Uni own the place. But don’t panic, because they do girls’ hair too and they do it very well, mind you,” she took a moment to gesture to her own hair.
Christina was still frozen, blankly blinking as she tried to take it in. It was certainly something she hadn’t expected. But it did make sense- if anyone was looking for a place that could reliably do short hair, a barbershop would be the place they’d look for. Granted, it’s usually recognised as the place for men to go to to get their hair done, but the idea of women going there as well was something that never really occurred to Christina. But it was an idea she somehow seemed to be open to.
“It’s gonna be okay, lil sis,” Morgan stepped forward, wrapping an arm around Christina. “You can trust me on this- my friends would never ruin your hair.”
“Okay,” Christina almost instantly looked up, smiling at her sister. “I trust you.”
Morgan was pleasantly surprised her sister agreed to it so suddenly, but she didn’t complain. She went straight for the door, opening it and inviting her sister in with a “shall we?”.
The inside was about as posh as how it seemed outside- there were 2 barber chairs that were in sleek matte black, a huge floor length mirror accompanying each of them with various pictures of hairstyles decorating the walls. It was an empty shop save for a young woman that stood by the chair closer to the door. Christina was pretty impressed- the woman was dressed in a chic and fitting white blouse with an elegant yet not too prude black skirt. But what really caught her eye was the woman’s platinum blonde hair that was cut neatly to just about her earlobes all around- and if her eyes weren’t deceiving her, she could’ve sworn she caught a hint of an undercut that was being hidden.
The woman turned at the sound of the door opening, a bright smile coming to her face when she saw the familiar face. “Morgan, darling! You’re back!” she immediately went up to embrace the tall girl.
“It’s been too long, Lily,” Morgan expressed, tightly hugging the blond girl.
“And you,” Lily retracted, redirecting to Christina who was not expecting the attention. “You must be the little sister we’ve all heard so much about.”
“Huh,” Christina’s eyes perked up, turning to her older sister. “Nice to know you talk about me, yet I had completely no idea about this place for the longest time.”
“God, I like this one already,” Lily admitted, nudging a guilty-looking Morgan. “I’m Lily. Welcome to the shop,” she introduced, extending a hand to the younger girl.
“I’m Christina- but you can call me Chris,” she accepted the hand gladly, thrilled to know she already had a good start with the person who was potentially going to salvage her hair.
“So is it a Sisters Haircut Day today?” Lily asked the older sister.
“Well it was originally meant to be just me, but a little accident happened yesterday,” Morgan nonchalantly patted her sister’s back. “And now it’s gonna be haircut for two. Anyway, where’s Alicia?”
“Oh love, you’re gonna have to wait a while- Alicia literally just left to go grab some takeout lunch,” Lily regrettably said.
“Oh,” Morgan seemed genuinely disappointed, a face Christina had rarely seen her sister pull off. “Well, actually, you know what- I’m gonna go call her then,” she recovered, pulling out her phone. “I’ll see if I can tag along and get myself some lunch too. You haven’t eaten, right?” she turned to her sister.
“No…” Christina awkwardly answered, wondering why lunch was suddenly on the older girl’s mind when they were very clearly here for a different reason.
“Great. I’ll be leaving you alone with Lily, but don’t worry; she won’t bite. I’ll go get you some takeout. Lily, why don’t you start with my sister then? She can happily explain to you how desperately she wants to cut her hair short and what she tried to do yesterday,” Morgan snidely proposed, moving back towards the shop door.
“That’s a story I’d be more than happy to hear,” Lily smiled warmly to Christina.
“Chrissy, darling, you’re in good hands- but make sure it’s not too short okay?!” she wagged at the both of them. “My sister better have enough hair when I get back or I’ll make sure that undercut of yours spreads upwards.”
“Don’t worry, she’s gonna look fantastic- trust me,” Lily waved goodbye just as Morgan left the shop, her finger still wagging with a threatening look as she walked away. “Nothing like your older sister just dropping you off at a barbershop all alone, eh?” she turned back to Christina, who was still a little stunned at how fast her sister was to just abandon her like that. “Come have a seat, dear, and we can have a little chat.”
“Okay,” Christina accepted, walking over the chair that Lily had turned for Christina to get into. Sinking into the chair, she heaved a satisfying sigh, embracing the unexpected comfort the barbershop chair gave.
Being in the chair, Christina managed to get a better view of the pictures the decorated the wall around Lily’s station. And they were all a very similar style- mostly short haircuts where the sides and back were cut really close to the skin, though it blended in gradually towards the top of the hair. She had to admit there was a edginess to the style despite its shortness, and she secretly wondered whether she could pull it off.
“So what was your sister on about,” Lily broached the topic as she took out a little brush, running the bristles through Christina’s not-so-short brown hair.
“Well, I sort of wanted to cut my hair pretty short, but salons being salons, they weren’t the most comfortable cutting too much hair off cos it’s just not ‘ladylike’,” Christina emphasised the word with disgust. “In the end the stylist gave me this sort of, Mom Bob that wasn’t even higher than my chin.”
“Ahh, I know the struggle- most of my salon experiences for short hair back in the day weren’t the most memorable,” Lily empathised.
“After that when I got home and washed off all the stupid hairspray they put in, I just sort of… I don’t know, snapped,” Christina confessed.
“Oh no. Did you…” lily looked into the mirror, meeting Christina’s gaze with eyes that could almost tell what she was about to find out.
Christina carefully uncovered the hair on her right side, slowly removing the hair clip to reveal the awkward tuft jutting out. “I did,” was all she said.
“Oh, that’s peak lesbian culture right there,” Lily casually remarked, to which Christina only replied with a raised brow. “God, so many of us have had that moment- even your sister. Although yours seems a little more… mild, I’d say,” she added, carefully fingering the short tuft of hair that reached just above Christina’s hair. “Your sister stopped you in time, didn’t she?”
“Yeah… how did you know?” Again, Christina was rather stunned at how much Lily could tell about her. The blonde girl shrugged.
“Was a sort of wild guess- but then again, the way your sister describes you gives me the impression you would’ve finished the job, unless something stopped you…” Lily reasoned, hoping she didn’t sound too intrusive.
“Wow.” Chris didn’t know whether to be impressed or creeped out.
“But it felt good, dinnit’?” Lily asked with a smirk.
Christina nodded. “Fucking liberating,” she added. “Honestly wished my sister hadn’t stopped me, but I guess I would’ve regretted how ugly it could’ve turned out.”
“Well, you’re here now,” Lily remarked, moving in front to pick out something from her work station. She turned, offering the steel pair of scissors to the girl in the chair . “Have yourself a bit of fun. I’ll do it proper for you once you’ve had enough of a thrill.”
Christina eyed the scissors, startled at the offer. “Like… for real? You’d let me just, cut off my hair like that?”
“Mate, it’s your hair. Just give it a good few snips, it’s no biggie,” Lily pressed the scissors into the younger girl’s hands. “You know you want to.”
Christina slowly picked up the scissors, opening and closing them a little. Unlike the ones at home, these were definitely more professional- meant to actually take a good chunk of hair off for real. She bit her lip, taking a look at herself in the mirror. Turning from side to side, she tried to summon back up that impulse, that desire to correct what was wrong to her- that feeling of just letting go.
With her free hand, she lightly fingered down a section of the hair beside the little tuft that stood out. “Let’s continue where we left off,” she uttered to herself, while Lily stood by the side watching in anticipation. Christina opened the scissors, placing it right above her ears. The cold steel of the shears sent her a few shivers, but this time it only spurred her even more. This was what she wanted.
There was a collective gasp. Lily watched as that chunk of hair just collapse down onto the girl’s shoulder, sitting there lifelessly. But the girl in the chair didn’t stop to look.
Snip. Snip. Snip.
Lily’s mouth went agape, watching Christina just opening and closing the scissors relentlessly, the scissors almost reaching the nape before she stopped. Her brown hair slithered downwards, where it lay in the younger girl’s lap. Christina carefully lifted the severed locks, then turned to Lily- a huge smile etched on her face. “Bloody hell,” she uttered with the most satisfied voice.
“Any regrets yet?” Lily asked.
“Not a single fucking one,” Christina let out, handing the scissors back to the barberette. “Thank you for that.”
“Anytime love,” Lily happily took back the scissors. “Here, let me clean you up a little,” she said as she got out a neck brush to dust off the some of the stray locks that still hung to the girl’s shoulder. “You wanna leave it like that? Just a nice, edgy sort of asymmetrical look?” Lily jokingly asked.
Christina chortled, clearly amused by how ridiculous she looked in the mirror. “Maybe next time. For now let’s just do proper short, please,” she requested, excited about what was to come with her barberette for the day.
“Anything for you love,” Lily said as she started getting out the required apparatus.
She started with a neck tissue she tore off from a roll, wrapping it snugly around the girl in the chair. Lily lightly dusted off the red pin-striped cape before she flung it over Christina’s figure, letting it envelop her body comfortably before securing the clip nicely behind the girl’s neck.
“I see you’re taking an interest in the fade cuts,” Lily pointed out while Christina continually perused the pictures on the wall.
“They’re so… cool,” the younger girl had to admit. “I mean, it’s really short, but it has a sick style to it.”
“Well you’re in luck, cos I’d say that’s my specialty. I don’t mean to boast, but a lot of girls that want the chick fade come here specifically for me to do their hair like that,” Lily advertised her expertise.
Christina looked back at the pictures, her eyes widening a little as she only just realised most of those pictures were actually pictures of girls with fades, and not men. “Wait, those are all… girls?” She stuck out a hand from under the cape to point.
“Most of them, yes,” Lily affirmed. “Most of our clientele are women that like to keep their hair short, though we still get lots of girls with long hair or just men who want their hair cuts as well. We don’t really discriminate here, we try to be versatile.” She lowered down to a whisper with the girl. “Although, between you and me, I honestly believe only girls can pull off the fade. Guys just usually look like total wanks with it.”
Christina chuckled, finding it hard to disagree. She knew she wanted something short, though she wasn’t sure if this extreme short would’ve been too far. But looking at those photos, she couldn’t help but be jealous.
“Give me one of your specialties then,” she instructed her barberette with a grin.
“You sure, love?” Lily asked with a tad of apprehension.
“Yes, please. I think it’s time to properly go short without turning back,” Christina announced.
Lily shrugged. “As you wish, Chris,” she obliged. “But how short do you want it altogether though? Towards the skin on the sides? Much longer on top?” She sought the details.
“It’s up to you,” Christina smiled broadly. “I mean I hardly have a vision for it’s what gonna turn out, so I wanna trust you to make that call for me. Just make sure it looks good.”
It was almost like a dream to Lily- for someone to just let her do as she wished with their hair. But it was also terrifying- the thought of screwing up someone’s hair, let alone that of her best friend’s sister, who was she was beginning to really like. “You won’t regret it,” she said just as she turned the chair, making Christina backface the mirror.
She first took out a few hair clips, using them to secure the top part of Christina’s hair while the hair on her sides and back stayed down.
Christina watched as her barberette brought into sight a pair of maroon clippers- an instrument she had heard about but unsurprisingly never saw in the salon. She knew it was meant to cut hair really short, and she had to admit she was excited to see what it could do.
Lily fixed a an attachment on the head of the device before she flicked the switch on with a pop. The clippers droned, its buzzing filling the room with a sort of ominous energy that Christina anticipated. “Head down for me, love,” Lily instructed, to which Chris obeyed almost immediately. “I’m just gonna get rid of the bulk first- this might tickle a little bit.”
Christina let out a sound of understanding, though it was drowned by the loud humming of the clippers. She felt Lily’s soft hand holding the crown of her head, then let out a little gasp when she felt the vibrating metal on her neck. Without much ado, she felt the blades creep upwards into her nape.
The clippers made a roaring sound as it met with her hair, and she could feel it cutting away at the locks that were at the back of her head. It gave an oddly warm sensation as it did its work, sort of like a warm massage that tickled slightly.
For a good few minutes Christina sat there in total obedience, looking down at the pin-striped cape that draped her while Lily manoeuvred the clippers all over the back. She could feel her head get lighter with each pass as a sizeable chunk of her hair fell each time, some of them heading straight for the floor while the rest stubbornly gathered at that little section of her neck that was still exposed.
Lily nonchalantly swept it aside with her fingers, and Christina’s heart skipped a beat when she saw those long locks fall forward onto the cape in front of her. While she didn’t like the length that her hair was at, she honestly didn’t expect it to be that long. Before she could mull it on further, she felt Lily pushing her head to the right as the older girl transitioned to her left side.
While she completely craved to go short and was desperate to rid herself of that hideous long bob, she couldn’t help but grip the seat handles as she felt those clippers devouring through her hair with its menacing tune.
Bzzzaaa. Down fell a hefty lock of hair, roughly six inches in length if she could even guess. Bzzzaaaaa. And another. Bzzaaaa. And another. Bzzzzzaaa, bzzaaaaa. Terrifying as it all was, there was no stopping it. She kept her mouth shut as it all transpired, gritting her teeth as her lap grew heavier with hair.
“You alright there?” Lily asked when she realised the younger girl had stopped smiling.
“Mhm,” she tried to push out a smile, while her eyes told a different story as they glanced to those working hands beside her. Bzzaaaa, bzzzzaaa. She bit her tongue when she felt it, but she couldn’t believe it.
As if Lily knew exactly what the younger girl sensed, she impishly gave a quick swipe across the top of Christina’s left ear. Chris gasped- her hair wasn’t touching her ear anymore. She was dying to see it- how it all looked like, but she was completely left to her other senses to take in this surreal feeling of her head being so exposed now. All that cold, chilly air wafted over her practically naked ear, with no more hair to protect it.
“You’ve got cute ears,” Lily complimented cheekily, giving Christina’s now-exposed left ear a little rub.
“You think so?” the younger girl asked, still trying to come to terms with the fact that she was so naked now.
“Absolutely. It’s a shame they haven’t seen daylight much,” she replied as she cleaned up the left side. “But that’s all gonna change today.”
Christina guised herself with her classic smile, while internally she was a complete mess of emotions. While her excitement swelled, it was only accompanied with worry; worry that she now didn’t have her safety blanket- not even a little bit to help hide her.
Nonetheless, she couldn’t help but admire the way Lily worked. There was a seriousness to the way she moved, a professional sort of ruthlessness that Christina couldn’t contend with. But she was also gentle- very careful such that she didn’t accidentally cause any hurt.
“You still feeling alright?” Lily asked as she tilted the girl’s head to the left, now working her way to start on that last section.
“Yeah… Well, part of me can’t believe this is actually happening, like it’s just a dream,” she said just as she heard the bzzzaaa, watching a hefty heap of hair tumble down onto her shoulder. It was nerve-wracking, but she braved her smile. “But the other half is just screaming ‘yes, finally!’”
Lily let out a silvery laugh as she ploughed through the right side that was already short thanks to Christina’s scissor-happy moment earlier. “Trust me, once you go short, it’s hard to go back,” she said. “Soon it even becomes like an addiction; you keep toying and wondering how much shorter it can go, and the next thing you know you’re wondering if you’d look good shaving it all off.”
Christina bit her bottom lip. What a thought to entertain- for a girl to want to shave off all her precious locks. “Have you ever thought about it?” she had to ask.
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t,” Lily teased. “I mean, when you ask for an undercut, and you’re sitting in the chair watching the hair on your sides being shorn off so short, your mind tends to wander…” she trailed off as she cleaned up the right side of the younger girl’s head.
And wander her mind did. As she felt Lily confidently shear her hair with the clippers, her thoughts could only think of what still remained on top of her head. Those still-long locks sat there comfortably, held so securely by those hair clips while the rest of her head had already been shorn so severely.
She bit her tongue. All it would take was a verbal command, and it could all change. As she saw her lap fill with her shorn locks, she couldn’t help but think of it just growing bigger from that hair on top of her head. The thought of it was electrifying, and she could feel her heart just racing with that adrenaline. Slowly her teeth unclenched, freeing her tongue that wanted to say it wante-
She blinked out of her reverie the moment she heard the door of the shop open, where she saw Morgan trailing in along with another woman. Morgan paused- her eyes scanning that girl in the chair who she didn’t recognise. Then her eyes widened.
“Bloody hell, Chrissy, how much did you ask her to cut off?!” she exclaimed.
“Oops” Christina gave her sister an innocent look. “Maybe I told Lily to take a little too much off, eh?” Lily giggled as she turned off the clippers.
“Wow, first visit and she’s already going shorter than you ever have,” the other girl that walked in barged in front to have a closer look at the girl in the chair. “I can’t believe you’ve kept your sister from us all this time, babe.”
She was definitely an eye-opener for Christina- she was about the same height as Morgan, but her black hair was cropped really close to the scalp (not more than an inch, if she had to take a guess), and the sides were faded out towards her dark brown skin. If she had to guess, the girl’s hair was probably Lily’s handiwork.
“Well she was technically never supposed to know about all this,” Morgan gestured around her. “But being the kind sister who wanted to help her with an emergency, I didn’t have any other choice. And now it seems she’s in really deep,” she glanced back at her sister, who was beaming from her exposed ears. “God, Mom’s gonna flip when she realises she can see your ears now.”
“Lily says I have cute ears,” Christina added, sticking her tongue out like a little girl.
“She does though,” Lily backed her up as she got out her neck brush. “I can’t believe it’s taken her this long to get something this short- this is why you don’t trust salons, love.”
“Well at this rate, I don’t think I’m ever going back to the salon,” Christina said as she felt Lily dust off the little stray hairs on her sides and back, where she couldn’t help but smile at the tickling the bristles did. “Consider me a new regular for you.”
Lily blushed, clearly delighted by a new customer. She bent down and gave Christina a little peck at the back of her head. The younger girl’s cheeks coloured, but she kept her head down, not intending to expose how she felt about it.
“Well now that we know your sister’s hair is going to be more than fine,” Alicia turned to Morgan, her fingers running through the long-overgrown bob that the taller girl wore. “It’s time to fix yours.”
“Yes, please,” Morgan delightedly said before she set down the takeout lunch on the waiting bench, then helped herself into the other barber chair that was beside Christina’s.
Christina wanted to try and pay attention to the little conversation they were going to have about her sister’s haircut, but eventually got distracted by the sound of Lily’s clippers roaring back up to life. She felt herself rising up with the chair as Lily pumped it up with the pedal below the chair.
“Now, you’re gonna have to do me a huge favour and keep absolutely still for me, alright love? This is the part where I have to be really really careful and it can be very easy to mess up,” she asked Christina, sparing a look into the younger girl’s eyes.
“I’ll be as still as rock,” Christina affirmed, though she had practically been staying that way throughout the whole haircut.
“That’s my girl,” Lily said before she got to work.
And so the meticulous part came in, where Lily would begin to shape the fade on the sides and back. She started low each time, and Christina could feel the clipper’s blades were a lot closer to the skin now. It almost felt like it was practically no guard on the head of the clippers, and she felt as the bare blades ate into the little stubble that Christina had, leaving behind probably just skin at the lower portions. She saw as very small bits of hair fell unceremoniously, but she made sure not to move her head. It was oddly calming, feeling the clippers just carefully moving up and down the sides and back.
As Lily progressed upwards, she fixed on the longer clipper guards, letting the fade take into shape as it blended from the skin and gradually got longer upwards.
And as it happened, Christina’s mind couldn’t help but wander once more. Just feeling those roaring blades on her scalp could send her into such a reverie. Feeling it all over her sides was such pure bliss, but she couldn’t help but imagine what it could be like all over on top of her head.
Then the clippers came to a halt, and she couldn’t help but sigh. It always seemed so fast even when the process lasted longer than a few minutes. But she was happy here at least- happy that she may finally have a regular place that could give her the right stuff she wanted.
“That’s the sides done. Why don’t you give it a feel, love?” Lily told Christina as the older girl went to put back the clippers.
Christina took a hand out from underneath the cape, her eyes casually glancing down at the hair on her lap. Warily, her fingers reached up towards the back of her neck.
She let out a low gasp. “Fucken hell,” she whispered, her mouth agape as those prickly short hairs on the back of her neck tickled her fingers.
“You like how it feels?” Lily asked, though she already knew the answer.
“That feels so sick,” Christina commented, this weird feeling intoxicating her.
“Looks sick as well, I’ll say,” she heard Alicia compliment from the other chair.
She turned to smile at the other barberette, who was standing in such a way that it blocked Chris’ view of her sister, though she could see that Alicia had similarly positioned the chair such that Morgan was backfacing the mirror as well. “Your sister’s not going that short, unfortunately,” Alicia commented. “But I think she deserves something a little shorter for letting her hair grow out too much, don’t you think?” She teased, just as she opened her pair of scissors.
Snip, snip, snip.
It wasn’t that clear a view, but Chris couldn’t help but bite her lip when she saw her sister’s ebon tresses falling onto the striped cape that draped Morgan, to which Morgan’s eyes widened. What a weird reality she found herself in- her and her sister in a barbershop, getting really short haircuts together. She never would have guessed any of this the day before.
“Don’t be too worried about your sister, love. Alicia’s scissorwork is beyond divine,” Lily cut in as she unclipped the top portion of Christina’s head of hair, letting the jarringly long locks sweep the younger girl’s face. “Her scissorwork is so good, the top salons in London were offering her jobs after they saw her performance at one of our showcases in school.”
“No need to tell the whole world, clipper master,” Alicia chided playfully, winking at her fellow colleague. “Besides, salons are overrated- they charge you hundreds for the simplest things. It feels so much better to just work in the neighbourhood and do affordable services for everyone.”
“And that’s why I absolutely adore what you do,” Morgan complimented out of the blue, and Alicia couldn’t help but smile. Alicia bent down to give the girl a kiss on the head, one that Chris felt to be oddly long for a friendly kiss, though her suspicions were already running wild from the moment the two of them walked into the shop.
Lily returned to Chris’ side with a comb and a spray bottle. The older girl unclipped the hair that was still on top , then got to work wetting the younger girl’s hair vigorously with mists of water as she combed through the top section.
“Now, do you want me to just cut a little so it’s more of a long undercut fade, or do you want me to cut it a shorter so that it’s more of a boycut that you can style and stuff?” Lily asked the girl in the chair.
Chris was left in a dilemma in the chair as she wondered, thinking of what would look best on her.
“Or… do you want its extra short like an Emma Watson-crop on top where it’s almost spiky that you don’t really have to style it?” Lily asked when the other girl hadn’t replied, adding in that last option when she remembered the girl might be craving something much shorter.
“Oooh,” Chris couldn’t help but let out when she heard it. She bit her lip, tempted between going really short but also keeping enough hair to style it about. “Uhh, w-well…” she stuttered, her hands nervously tapping the handgrips underneath the cape. Her heart was pleading her, “short, short, short,”, but her mind kept her down to Earth, suppressing her desires. “Is it possible to have something really short, but still with enough hair to play around and style?” she asked nervously, wondering if it was too much of a compromise.
“For you? Of course I can make it work,” Lily agreed confidently with a wink at the younger girl. “So something shorter than boy-short, but longer than Emma Watson-crop, yeah?”
“Mhm,” Chris nodded.
“You got it, love,” Lily announced as she put down the spray bottle and got out a pair of scissors.
Positioning herself at the back of the chair, Lily started by combing the younger girl’s head of hair forward, which ended up masking Christina’s face in a heap of her chin-length locks.
She started from the back of the crown, combing up a portion of the younger girl’s brown locks and holding it with her forefingers.
Chris heard the snip snip snip as she felt foot-long locks fall from the side of her head and onto the shoulders. Snip snip snip. Snip snip snip.
Lily kept at it, moving towards the front of the younger girl’s crown as her hair started raining forward, though Chris could only get glimpses of it through the long hair that still draped her from in front.
Slowly her crown felt lighter, but she could feel the cape growing heavier at her lap. All she could was imagine as her barber snipped away- her mind drifted to that image of Emma Watson when she cropped her hair some years ago. Her heart went electric just thinking about how short it was, about how she was going to get something close to that. She remembered all those years ago when Emma Watson cut her hair short, and how so many people were conflicted about that drastic change she made. But Chris knew she loved it- she knew it was a great look and thought it was a shame when she grew it out eventually.
Now that she thought about it, it was actually around that time when her sister first came home with her short bob with bangs. It probably helped fuel her sister’s desire for short hair back then, and now it was Christina’s turn to fulfil her desire that had been building up slowly over the years.
She snapped out of her train of thought when she saw the silhouette of Lily in front of her, her vision still clouded by all that brown hair that was still spilled in front of her face, though now it was clearly a lot thinner than what it was a few minutes ago. Lily combed down through the mass of hair, plotting where to make those important snips of the younger girl’s hair.
She raised her scissors, setting it on its position. Christina felt the icy steel of the blades on her forehead, and she bit on the tip of her tongue when she realised how high Lily was aiming. It was above the eyebrows- way above it, at least halfway if she could bet. She wanted to close her eyes, fearful of the reality that she was going to lose that last bit of hair that helped to mask her guise. But her heart pumped ecstatically, excited for this to finally happen after so long. She was going to watch it happen- she was going to watch it fall.
Snip. She almost flinched at the first cut as she caught her eyes half-squinting, which she forced back open. Snip. She saw those locks falling down from the left, zipping past her eye as they took their place with the mound on her lap. Snip, snip, snip. Her pulse skyrocketed, as the older girl sped up, and Christina could’ve sworn she saw the ghost of a smirk on Lily’s face. Snip, snip, snip, snip. Christina found her arms gripping ever so tightly on the seat, but her eyes were wide open as her vision cleared up. Snip, snip, SNIP.
And it was done.
Christina steadied her breathing, coming to grips with the fact that she could see now- with the fact that her head was officially freed of any of her long locks. She looked down to her lap full of hair- those chestnut brown tresses that were once on her head, covering her head like a safety blanket- now gone.
Lily tilted Christina’s head upwards gently to take a closer look at the work she’d done. The two found themselves staring into each other’s eyes unwittingly, and Christina couldn’t help but admire the older girl’s blue eyes.
Lily blinked, trying to pay attention to the hair on the younger girl’s head. She tousled the short brown locks that were left on Christina’s head, smiling to herself at how well she looked with much shorter hair. Christina looked up wide-eyed as her barberette inspected, the butterflies in her tummy fluttering at that smile- she had completely no idea how she looked, but Lily seemed more than delighted at the new Christina.
“I swear, you were literally made to have short hair,” Lily broke the silence. “You look absolutely stunning,” she complimented before she slowly turned the chair over to face the mirror.
Christina froze when she looked into the mirror. She didn’t recognise the girl that stared back at her- this girl with really short brown hair on top and faded sides, smiling away in the reflection. It took a good few moments for her to take it all in- to actually accept that that was her without all that hair, with an exposed neck and naked ears.
She slowly brought out a hand from under the cape, curious to know how the top felt with so little hair. Chris ran a hand through her crown, and gasped. Never in her life had she had it that short on top. She still had enough hair to part and give it a few style options, but otherwise it was still done really short. Almost like Emma Watson.
Then her other hand came out from under to join the party, this time caressing her neck and sides. She stifled a moan, surprised at how she was feeling about herself in such a position. But she couldn’t resist it- it felt so fucking good.
“I fucking love it!” she half-exclaimed. “Only you are gonna do my hair from now on. You’re phenomenal, Lily,” Christina couldn’t help but compliment, utterly satisfied at the outcome.
Lily chuckled, ruffling the younger girl’s hair- a feeling Chris really seemed to love for some reason, when her hair was being played with like that. “Well I only want what’s best for you. You can drop by anytime for a touch-up or trim, I’m here almost every day,” Lily said. “Now sit tight, I’m still not done with you.”
Chris only gave a confused look as Lily walked over to her workstation to collect some stuff. She returned to the younger girl’s side, fitting a towel into the collar of the cape around Christina’s neck. Then, she heard a whirring sound as Lily filled her palm with foamy, white substance. Lily carefully spread it across Christina’s neckline and sideburns, wiping the excess off on the towel. She then got out her straight razor- something Chris didn’t think she’d seen before, let alone being used on her.
“Now, I’m gonna need you to-”
“Keep really still, no problem,” Chris interrupted he girl with a cheeky smile, steadying her head for the older girl.
“That’s my girl,” Lily said, returning the smile.
Christina surrendered herself to Lily’s touch, facing downwards yet again as the blonde girl tilted her head forward. As she was forced to look back down at that mound of her own brown hair that lay motionless on her lap, she felt a familiar sensation of cold steel on her neckline. But this time it was sharper, and Chris felt as Lily carefully made careful, clean strokes with the razor.
It was oddly satisfying- feeling the sharp blade scratch against her skin though it didn’t cut her in anyway, like someone giving her a scratch on the neck region. She sat there obediently as Lily slowly worked her way around cleaning up the neckline and sideburns, wiping the blade on the towel after every few strokes. She loved how meticulously the other girl worked- how she was careful and firm with her movement, and never caused even an inkling of pain.
“Can’t believe my sister kept all of this from me for years,” Christina expressed. “To think I could’ve had much better haircuts for a few years now if only she’d been a lot less secretive.”
Lily laughed, glancing to her side to realise the other two in the shop didn’t hear what Christina had to say. “I’m sure she wanted to show you all this eventually- she just wanted you to be a little… older, I guess, before she showed you this side of her,” Lily played at the topic, though still unfazed in how she worked. “But that’s alright. What matters is that you’re here now, and you most probably won’t ever have to go to those dreadful salons anymore.”
“Definitely never going back,” Chris sighed out in relief. “Technically speaking I could go around telling people I have a regular barber now,” the thought crossed her mind. “Or, barberette, if that’s the right term.”
“Either’s fine, really, though saying barberette gives the extra kick that you’re getting it done by a woman as well,” Lily corrected.
“Alright- I’ve got meself a very attractive barberette that does my hair,” Christina announced proudly.
Lily bit her lip, thankfully not accidentally cutting the younger girl when those unexpected words left her lips. “God, you’ve flattered me too much today,” she commented as she gave the razor a final wipe. “And that’s you done, love.”
The blonde barberette removed the towel and the tissue from Christina’s neck, giving her a brief wipe on her now-exposed skin. She slowly undid the cape from the back, getting out a neck brush laced with a flowery powder. She gave the younger girl a nice dusting around the neck- flicking off any excess hair as Chris couldn’t help but giggle at how ticklish it felt all over her exposed neck.
Lily whisked the cape off, letting those long, severed locks fall to the ground as she presented the new Christina. The girl in the chair took a moment to take it all in- the look of her with her hair and her clothes and everything just adding up altogether. It was overwhelming- the new woman she’d become over the past hour or so had been liberating.
“Lemme help you style it a little,” Lily said as she palmed a bit of styling cream in her hands. She casually worked the substance thru the younger girl’s fresh head of hair, styling it this way and that way till it became a simple, tousled sort of look. “You can experiment it however you like at home; you’ll be surprised how versatile such short hair can be.”
Christina smiled, excited at the possibilities that awaited- but even more so to feel it all over again. Her hand reached back up, trying to get a feel of her hair all over, and she was in love. The way it all felt on her hands was just so refreshing, and she wondered why she hadn’t done this so much sooner.
“Come on, love, lets go outside. You’ll absolutely love the wind in your hair,” Lily invited as she ruffled the girl’s hair a little, Chris grinning at the feeling of it.
Lily brought their takeout lunch outside as they had a seat on a little bench that was placed just outside the door of the shop. Chris took a seat and sighed- there was something just so oddly serene about having that much wind caressing the skin on her head.
As they ate they took a good peep in the window of the shop, watching as Morgan got her well-deserved haircut from keeping to too long for so long. Lily was all-smiles watching the scene unfold while Chris was left perpetually on her seat, a pleasantly shocked expression on her face as she fed herself her egg noodles.
Morgan was getting absolutely sheared by Alicia- the girl’s hair was nowhere near her shoulders anymore, and was now deftly above her chin, just slightly shy of her earlobes. Alicia was viciously snipping away with finesse, a feat Chris couldn’t deny was really impressive.
It didn’t take long before she was done, and Chris was ecstatic to see how it all came together for her sister. Cheekily enough, Alicia made sure she turned the chair to face the window first, so that her audience could get a first look before Morgan herself could see it.
Christina was in awe- her sister’s shaggy black tresses were no more, and was now cut in a very sleek short bob that was barely touching her earlobes, and her forehead gleamed a sexy set of micro bangs the framed her face very well. Chris smiled to her sister who was looking a little nervous despite trying to hide it. Chris gave a wink as Alicia turned the chair back to the mirror to let Morgan see the final product.
There was shock at first, then the most pleasant grin of excitement Christina ever saw in her sister. Morgan got her hands out from under the cape to feel it, and Chris could tell she was absolutely in love with it. Alicia walked forward to inspect it a little closer- then Morgan pulled her in.
Gasp. Christina couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Morgan planting a full-blown kiss on the other girl’s lips as they got into a lip lock, and by now christina’s cheeks were colouring as she understood the implication of everything.
Lily saw what was happening as well. But as she turned to see Christina’s reaction, she realised. “Holy fuck,” she covered her mouth. “You weren’t supposed to know, were you!”
Christina turned, cheeks still red at seeing what she wasn’t supposed to see. “Is this why she kept the shop from me all this time? Because her barber was her… girlfriend?” she meekly asked, though she very well knew the answer to that already.
Lily bit her lip, a look Christina could actually get used to, her eyes widening. “Well then,” she shrugged. “I guess that saves your sister the trouble of coming out to you.” Christina chuckled. “What about you, though?” She redirected the question to the younger girl.
“Me?!” It caught her off guard, though she eventually came to accept that it was a fair question. “Well, uh… I don’t know really. Never really thought about it that much? I mean, i guess I’m straight… but we never really know, eh?” She tried to seem neutral about it, though the question really did make her wonder about herself.
“Haha, it’s no biggie. It takes time for us to know who we truly are, and that’s okay,” lily tried to comfort the other girl. “I mean, id like to think I’m bi, but yeah, we’ll never really know.”
Christina felt like she should’ve added something there, but got interrupted by the door chime ringing, with her sister walking out proudly in her new ‘do.
“You look stunning, Sis,” Morgan complimented, her face still red from the little display of affection she got herself into.
“Not as stunning as you though,” Chris beamed back at the girl that made today possible.
Alicia popped out from the shop, giving Morgan a sneaky hug from the back and pecking her on the neck. “You better make sure that hair doesn’t grow out into an ugly mop anymore, understand?” Alicia cheekily reminded Morgan.
“I won’t, love, I promise,” Morgan affirmed, surrendering herself to her lover.
Lily eyed Chris, probably trying to think up some reminder to give her about maintaining her hair length. But she just shrugged. “If you wanna get it touched up, I’d say you can come back every few weeks or so- it’s up to you, love,” she winked at the younger girl. “Regardless, my chair will always be open for you,” she said as she ruffled the girl’s hair.
“I’ll definitely be back,” Chris promised. “Probably for a lot more than just a trim,” the voice whispered at the back of her head.
The car ride home was relatively silent- not a single word spilled about the day, and Chris was a little thankful for it. It had been overwhelming- finding out her sister had been getting her hair cut at a barbershop, being a customer in a barbershop, getting the shortest cut she’s ever had (and absolutely adoring it), and finding out her sister wasn’t straight. She wouldn’t even know where to start if she wanted to broach the topic, so she sat in silence as her sister drove.
Mom wasn’t home when they got home, so it was still a tinge of relief that they both wouldn’t have to face her shock so soon, yet they both knew it just postponed the inevitable. Chris went straight for her room, shutting the door behind her and then sat in front of her vanity.
She stared into the mirror for a while, still registering how real this all was. Her neck and ears were completely free of hair, only left with a short crop on top accompanied with faded sides. Her hands reached up to feel it once more, that liberating feeling of having such short locks just prickling her fingers. There was something about it that just made her feel jittery inside; how parting with her long locks had simply unleashed something inside of her that made her want more (or rather, less).
The door barged open, and Chris was caught off guard as she turned to face her unexpected guest.
“Have you still not learned how to knock?” she quipped at her sister.
“I’m sorry,” Morgan seemed a little flustered as she helped herself into the room, closing the door gently behind her. “Now, just give me a few minutes- I need to say a few things.”
Chris stared at her sister, wondering if this was the “talk” she was anticipating the whole time. Then she nodded.
“Firstly- yes, I’m a lesbian. That was the main point of keeping you all away from the barbershop, because I wasn’t ready to come out, and I technically still am not, though I think starting with you is a good first step.
“And yes, Alicia is my girlfriend. We met in Uni through a mutual friend, she once helped me with a hair disaster I had and she’s been doing my hair since, and we’re in love.
“And lastly,” Morgan took a deep sigh, fiddling with something in her hand. She handed a small, folded slip of paper to Chris, who accepted it warily. “I don’t know where you stand on the spectrum, and I completely understand if this isn’t gonna be your thing, but she wanted to give it a shot.” Morgan gestured to the slip of paper,
Christina slowly unwrapped it, revealing a string of numbers and a familiar name above. Lily. Chris’ mouth went agape, and before she could say anything her sister was already reaching for the door.
“Now, no need to tell me what you’re gonna do with that- I’m just the messenger,” Morgan stated as she began helping herself out. “And before I go- I think you look really good with that new hair.”
Chris looked up, her cheeks now red as she felt overwhelmed with everything that just came at her. All she could do was smile back at her sister as Morgan closed the door behind her, and she was now left to her own thoughts.
She turned back to the mirror, embarrassed at how flushed she was over that. She carefully picked up her phone, staring at the blank message page.
The day had been a wild ride of finding herself, and perhaps life was just to get about more exciting for her.
She looked back in the mirror, and couldn’t help but smile like an idiot at her new hair.
Hey, it’s Chris. Send.
She put her phone down and immediately crashed onto the bed, her insides churning even worse than when she was in the chair. What in the world was this feeling- what was she getting herself into?
She heard her phone vibrate, and her heart stopped. It could’ve been another message from someone, could’ve just been a notification on Instagram.
Chris crept up and picked up the phone, taking a deep breath before she looked at the screen.
Hey Chris! 🙂