A Backpackers Adventure

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The sticky heat was the first thing that hit Mia as she got off her flight in Bangkok. Even though it was past midnight the air was humid and the temperature was still in the high 80s. The airport was practically empty as she made her way to baggage claim and before she knew it she was hailing a cab. 

 

Mia was now almost halfway through her 8 months of travelling, having just finished 3 months in various countries in South America. Bangkok was her first destination in Asia, she would later visit Cambodia, Laos, The Philippines, and Vietnam before finishing with 3 months in Bali where she had secured a job as a surfing instructor at a resort. It was the part of her trip she was arguably looking forward to the most. From Southern California, Mia has been an avid surfer her whole life and couldn’t wait to see what the surf was like in Bali. 

 

Mia took in the sights of the city for the first time as the taxi snaked through the hustling metropolis that is Bangkok. Accommodation was so cheap Mia was staying in a hotel instead of a hostel for the 8 days she had in the city. Mia was grateful for the air conditioning in her room as she took a quick shower before going to bed. She wrapped up her blonde hair that reached past her shoulder blades into a towel, and began unpacking some essentials from her bags, before turning the lights out and falling asleep almost immediately. 

 

Exhausted from her flight she slept for almost 11 hours, waking up past midday. She reached for her phone and saw a message from Emily, asking if she was up yet. Emily was an old friend from high school, not a best friend but they had always been in the same friend group. As they both went to different colleges after high school they had only seen each other a few times in the 4 years since graduation. After her final year of college Emily had moved to Bangkok to start an internship for 6 months. Mia liked her but they weren’t normally people who would hang out just with themselves. However since they happened to be in the same city, meeting up was practically an obligation and Mia was grateful to at least have someone to show her around. She had lived here for just over 2 months so Mia was sure she would know some cool places to eat and explore. 

 

Mia replied and after a few more messages they had agreed that Emily would come to the hotel after work which she finished at 5. Mia spent the few hours sticking close by the hotel, getting some lunch from a street vendor and buying some stereotypical elephant pants as a gift for her sister. The sun was burning, with the temperature well into the 90s but it was the humidity that really got to Mia. After a couple hours of having her hair stick against the back of her neck she begrudgingly twisted it into a bun, finally feeling some air on her neck and shoulders. 

 

A bit after 5 she made her way to the lobby, took a seat in a lounge chair and scrolled through her phone. Out of curiosity she searched Emily on instagram, and scrolled through her feed. She had only posted once since moving to Thailand, a post with her and what looked like colleagues at a rooftop bar. Emily was rather petite, standing not much above 5 feet and with shoulder grazing brown hair. She wondered exactly what they would be getting up to together on this trip. 

 

“Heyyy!” 

 

The voice caught her off guard and she almost dropped her phone. 

 

She looked up to see Emily standing above her with a grin on her face. But Mia’s eyes were almost immediately drawn to her hair. Instead of hair that reached to her shoulders, she was sporting a pixie cut, short enough that her ears were showing. It was a delicate cut, the top slightly ruffled with the sides looking about as short as they could go without using a clipper. 

 

Mia got over her initial surprise and jumped up, embracing Emily. She couldn’t help but notice the feel of her cropped neck as they hugged. 

 

“How are you?” Mia asked. For the next couple minutes the customary catching up small talk began, as Mia explained how her travels had been so far and Emily explaining how her internship had been. 

 

“And I of course couldn’t help but notice your haircut, when did you get it cut? I absolutely love it” Mia asked, still in somewhat shock at her friend’s transformation. She couldn’t deny however that it was a stunning look, one that suited her very well. 

 

Emily’s hands instinctively went up to her hair and she couldn’t help smile a toothy smile. 

 

“Thank you. I only just got it cut like 2 weeks ago now. Legit haven’t been able to stop touching it since. It’s the weirdest feeling.”

 

“It’s seriously cute. What made you decide to go for it?”

 

“Oh I don’t really know there were a couple reasons. I mean firstly this humidity was driving me crazy with my hair, like I seriously couldn’t stand that and so far it’s actually been a game changer with this cut. But also like I’m away from everyone else I know so I was like if there’s a time to experiment and cut all my hair off it’s gotta be now. But yeah this girl from my work also has a pixie and she recommended a place and yeah I went with a pic and voila. Bangkok actually has some really really good salons.”

 

Mia subconsciously started touching her hair, which was still pulled up into a bun. It must be much cooler with such a haircut she had to admit.

 

After another few minutes of chatting, Emily suggested going to a food court. After a short taxi ride they were in one of the many gigantic malls of the city, eating an early dinner. Afterwards the pair made their way to the top of the building where there was a bar. As the sun set, the drinks kept flowing and Emily proposed a different bar that 2 of her friends from work were already at. What had started as a dinner in a food court ended well past 2am as Mia caught a taxi home from the bar. 

 

Mia crawled into bed and couldn’t help but be somewhat astonished by Emily. The Emily she knew from high school was not the Emily she saw today. Mia remembered her as someone slightly timid, always thinking and worrying about how other people viewed her. In Bangkok she seemed a whole new person, outgoing, energetic, fun. And of course her new haircut. Mia had been looking at it the whole night. It was undeniably very stylish, adding this high fashion aura to her previous girl next door look. It wasn’t something Mia thought Emily would go for, which made it even more surprising that she looked so good with it. But what Mia really thought about was just how refreshing and cool it must’ve been for her. Mia had spent the night constantly redoing her hair, pulling it up off her neck to relieve herself from the heat. These thoughts occupied Mia’s head as she eventually drifted into her slumber. 

 

The next few days Mia spent exploring the city by day before meeting with Emily once she finished work and going for dinner and most nights followed by drinks. On her second to last night Emily had made a reservation at a restaurant, an upgrade from the food courts or stalls they normally ate at, and joining the two girls was Emily’s best friend in Bangkok, Tay. Mia and Emily got to the restaurant first and were brought to the table where they ordered drinks. Mia had decided to wear her hair down tonight, something she hadn’t done since arriving. After 5 minutes of chatting, a tall Thai girl walked to their table. It must’ve been Tay thought Mia. She too was sporting a pixie, her dark hair slightly shorter than Emily’s. Mia realised she must have been the friend that recommended Emily a salon. 

 

“It’s great to meet you,” Tay said, pulling Mia into a hug before taking her seat. The three of them chatted animatedly as Tay and Mia got to know each other. Tay was 26, a few years older than the girls, and was born and raised in Bangkok. As Tay continued explaining her life story Mia couldn’t help but gaze at her haircut. The sides were buzzed tight to her head while the top had a bit more volume. Mia couldn’t even begin to imagine being a girl who decided a pixie was her hairstyle of choice. Not that either Emily or Tay looked bad, in fact they both looked amazing, but it just seemed so foreign to Mia. Her hair had always been long, veering from to her shoulders to the small of her back. Now it was at some point in between those lengths, not quite reaching to her bra strap. It was thick with a slight wave to it, although for most of her trip so far it was tied up on top of her head. 

 

“So what are your thoughts on Bangkok so far?” Tay asked her, snapping her out of her daydream. 

 

“Loving it so far” Mia began, “Got a feeling 8 days isn’t quite gonna be enough. Still haven’t quite got used to heat though I gotta say.”

 

“Hmm yes even after all these years the heat and humidity still gets to me. Must be hard with all that hair too?” 

 

Mia was caught off guard by the comment about her hair. It was almost as if Tay had read her thoughts. Mia felt her mouth go slightly dry.

 

“Yeah it’s been hot” she said as she ran her fingers through her hair. “Putting it up in a bun isn’t too bad though” 

 

“Did the same thing for the first month” Emily said nodding in agreement. “Eventually followed Tay’s advice and went for the chop” Emily smiled at Tay as she said her last sentence. 

 

“You like it so far?” Mia found herself saying, unsure how the conversation had moved to hair so abruptly. She found herself shuffling in her chair, unsure where this feeling of nervousness was coming from. 

 

“Oh yeah definitely” Emily started ruffling her short locks. “Was a really liberating feeling you know and also just like practical.”

 

“I go to the same place, Club M salon, if you’re ever looking for something shorter” Tay said with a somewhat cheeky looking smile. 

 

“Always thought you would look cute with something short” Emily added. 

 

“Definitely” Tay nodded in agreement 

 

Mia nodded. “Ahhh thank you. I Maybe could do with a trim.” She swallowed hard after saying that. “Just gotta go to the toilet quickly” she said before standing up and walking towards the back of the restaurant. 

 

In the bathroom Mia stared at herself through the mirror. Was she overreacting or were those two almost taunting her into cutting her hair. ‘No’ she told herself, ‘they were just talking about her own haircuts and happened to suggest I would look good with one’. She looked at her hair in all its glory. She then gathered it and pulled it back behind her head. ‘Imagine if it was gone’ she told herself. She felt butterflies in her stomach. There was something both terrifying and exciting about the idea. ’Mostly terrifying’ she said to herself. ‘Maybe I’m going crazy being away from home for so long’ she thought as she released her hair. After regaining her wits somewhat Mia returned to the table. 

 

The rest of the night passed by uneventfully, there was no further mention of hair and slowly Mia relaxed again and enjoyed the company of Emily and Tay. She said her goodbyes to the others as she got into her taxi taking her back to the hotel. As she exited the air-conditioned taxi she marvelled at how hot and sticky it still was even at midnight. Subconsciously her hands went to her hair as she twisted it into a bun. She couldn’t help but think about her hair again. Something about Emily’s pixie had lodged the idea of short hair in Mia’s mind. As she entered her hotel she ran her hands up her exposed nape, realising this was how Emily’s head must feel all the time. Mia began to think about her next 5 months in Asia and how the heat and humidity wouldn’t change once she left Bangkok. She began envying how refreshing it must be for Emily with her neck and ears free from hair. As she got to her room she found herself standing in front of her bathroom mirror again pulling her hair out of the bun. ‘Could I really cut my hair short’ she thought to herself. She folded her hair so it reached to her shoulders. This would be about 6 or so inches of hair cut off. Then she pulled it back behind her head. Mia didn’t even want to think how much hair that would be. Those butterflies returned to her stomach. For the first time in her life she was considering a short haircut. The fact that she wouldn’t be returning home to see any of her friends for 5 more months reassured her, at least if she regretted it there would be time for it to grow back. She took a deep shaky breath still not believing the thoughts running through her head. ‘Do I really want to cut this’ she asked herself as she eyed her blonde waves. 

 

She remembered Tay mentioning the place both of them went to, Club M Salon. Mia pulled up her phone and searched the name. She was surprised to see it was only about a 15 minute walk away from her. She clicked on the reviews and read that it was great for English speakers and accepted walk-ins. She closed the phone and stared intently at herself in the mirror. And just like that she decided she would go tomorrow. What she was going to get she hadn’t decided, maybe something to her shoulders, maybe even shorter, she just knew some length simply had to go. 

 

With this decided Mia felt a weight released from her, and she undressed before slipping into her bed. She decided it would be best to go as early if she didn’t have an appointment, so set an alarm for 9 before drifting off to sleep. 

 

As her alarm went off Mia could barely believe the decision she had made last night. Part of her wanted to go back to sleep and forget she had ever thought about cutting her hair. But some part of her took over and she pulled herself from bed and turned on her shower. As she massaged in shampoo she realised her hair would not be this length when she returned. She still hadn’t decided what cut she would go for but she pushed that to the back of her mind, her first priority was getting to the salon without backing out. 

 

She pulled a top over her head and slid on a skirt before surveying herself in the mirror. Her hair was still damp as she left the hotel. It was just after 10 and with Club M opening at 9, she hoped it would be relatively empty there. As she followed the navigation on her phone she couldn’t deny just how nervous she was. She tried calming herself down, preoccupying her mind by taking in the neighborhood she was walking through. According to her phone she was only 50 metres away and she looked down the narrow street it was located on. Then on her left she saw the salon. It had a rather small shop front but was modern looking with floor to ceiling windows. Mia paused for a second, tried to be brave and then pushed the door open. 

 

“Sawadee Ka” the receptionist called out the moment she stepped inside. 

Mia took in her surroundings. The shop was narrow with a small waiting area and reception desk directly in front of her. Behind a small screen she could see a number of chairs with a few stylists already working on clients. One woman about 30 years old was sitting on her phone in the waiting area. 

 

Mia walked towards the receptionist. 

 

“Sawadee Ka” she said in her best Thai. “It is possible for a walk in?” 

 

The receptionist looked down at a clipboard. “Just cut?

 

“Yeah just cut”

 

 “Yes David is open in 10 minutes. Take a seat” She pointed at one of the chairs in the reception. 

 

“Ok thank you” 

 

Mia sunk into one of the chairs. So her stylist was called David. Mia guessed he was a foreigner too which somewhat calmed her not wanting any language barriers to get in the way. She opened her phone and distracted herself with her Instagram feed. After what felt like only a few minutes she heard the receptionist.

 

“Miss” she called out. Mia looked up. “David is ready” 

 

Standing to the right of the receptionist next to the screen between the waiting area and salon was who Mia assumed was David. He was tall, probably 6’1, with dark brown hair and a beaming smile on his face. 

 

Mia stood up and began walking towards him, giving a slight smile back. 

 

“David, how are you?” he said, extending his hand. Mia couldn’t say for certain his nationality from his accent but it sounded slightly British. 

 

“Mia” she said as they shook hands. “I’m good thank you” 

 

“Great to hear, come follow me please” he walked behind the screen and Mia took in the rest of the salon. There were 3 chairs on each side of the room, but only 2 stylists on one side and a solitary stylist on the other. At the back of the room she saw 3 washing basins and a door that read toilet on it. 

 

David led her to the furthest most chair on the left side of the room. He turned the black styling chair towards and motioned for her to sit. She slid onto the chair and he turned it to face the mirror. 

 

“Have you been here before?” David asked as he looked at her through the mirror. 

 

“No it’s my first time in Bangkok actually. I’m travelling through Asia for a few months. 

 

David nodded back. “Ah I see. So where are you from then?” 

 

“California actually, just near LA” 

 

“Very cool, I’ve always wanted to visit the US. Ummm, anyways so you’re here for just a cut right?” 

 

Mia couldn’t help but swallow. The small talk hadn’t lasted long, now it was time to talk business. 

 

“Yeah” she said with some uncertainty. 

 

“Just a trim?” 

 

Mia couldn’t deny how much she wanted to agree and leave the salon with just an inch or so less hair. She looked at her blonde waves that reached to just about her breasts. The image of Emily’s short crop filled her mind. 

 

“I’m looking for something shorter, but I’m not quite sure what exactly. Sorry.” She found herself apologising thinking it was weird to come to a salon without a clear image in mind. 

 

“No no, no worries at all” David said with a warm smile. “It’s part of my job to help with choosing.”

 

Mia felt a bit more reassured. At least David seemed like a professional. 

 

“Is there a specific reason you’re looking for a change?” he asked. 

 

The question caught Mia slightly off guard. She tried to think of the exact reason why she wanted to cut her hair. 

 

“Well so far I’ve found this humidity kinda unbearable with my hair, like I’m constantly pulling up on top of my head and stuff, and like my neck gets all sweaty. And I have a friend here and she has this… pixie.” Mia found that last word hard to say, almost scared David would pounce on the idea of giving her something that short. “But yeah she really likes having something off her ears and neck I guess. But I’m not sure I would want something like that” she said unsure of her words now. “Just something shorter than what I have now.”

 

David pursed his lips and slowly nodded. “Do you mind if I touch your hair?” 

 

Mia nodded and he started pulling his comb through her locks. “So we could bring it up to somewhere around your shoulders. “He placed the comb at a spot just above her collarbone. “Or if you want the neck more free, we can go for a shorter bob something up by your chin.” Again he moved the comb up a few more inches. 

 

“Okay, okay” she nodded approvingly. 

 

“Or if you’re feeling brave, something even shorter like you mentioned, with the ears free.” He pulled her hair back behind her head as he said this. 

 

Mia shifted in her chair and felt her mouth go dry. ‘Am I feeling brave’ she asked herself. She looked at herself with her hair pulled off her face. There would be no hiding behind your hair with something so short she thought. She saw the image of Emily and Tay with their crops in her mind. 

 

“What do you think I would look good with?” she secretly hoped he would suggest the less short option. 

 

“I mean it’s your decision obviously” he said with a shrug as he continued combing through the hair. “But I have to say I was very excited when you mentioned a pixie, I think it would look fantastic on you,” he again pulled her hair behind her. “you have a face shape most women would die for, really something that is ideal for a short cut. It really just depends how short you would be willing to go.” 

 

Mia swallowed hard. She tried as hard as she could to picture herself with a pixie. She deep down had this feeling that if she left with something shoulder length she would wish she had taken the leap and gone shorter. ‘Plus’ she thought to herself, ‘A rather attractive man is saying I would look fantastic’. 

 

“I think I’m feeling brave.” she said, not feeling very brave on the inside. 

 

“Great, I’m glad to hear that” David said with a beaming smile. 

 

“If I went for a pixie what would you suggest?” Mia could barely believe what she was saying. 

 

“Hmmm” he said as he began manoeuvring her hair. “We could do something where it’s like all sorta the same length, a bit of an elvish look if you know what I mean, just short enough to be off your ears and with some sorta wispy bangs.” 

 

Mia was somewhat lost with the description but she could at least understand it would be very short. 

 

David seemed to take Mia’s silence as disapproval of that cut and continued. “Or we could do something super short, something you won’t have to get recut for a while.” David collected her hair behind her head again. “Take the sides down really short” he said as he ran his fingers up from beside her ear into her hairline. “And with a bit more length on top.” 

 

The butterflies in Mia’s stomach were going crazy now. She couldn’t believe what she was actually discussing with a hairdresser. Just a week ago she had never even considered a short haircut, now here she was on the verge of one. Despite her nerves she couldn’t deny there was this weird sense of excitement within. 

 

“I think I’m looking for something quite low maintenance” she began, still in awe of the words coming out of her mouth. “Which one do you think would be better then?” 

 

“Definitely the shorter one then, and I could do the top not too long too.” 

 

Mia found herself nodding her head. 

 

“I’ll take the sides down really short like a number 3 or 4 and then sorta fade it into some more length on top then?”

 

Mia nodded again even though she was unsure exactly what he was describing. 

 

“Sounds good?” David asked, clarifying while looking at her through the mirror. 

 

Mia looked at her blonde hair spilling over her shoulders. She wondered when it would be this length again, it would take years she realised. ‘Fuck it’ she muttered to herself. This trip was the perfect opportunity to do something crazy and she wasn’t gonna let her nerves get in the way of that. 

 

“Yep” she said, giving a brave looking smile. 

 

“Amazing!” David said with enthusiasm, clearing enjoying the fact she had agreed to such a dramatic haircut. 

 

Mia still wasn’t sure just how short he meant but she was too scared to clarify, not wanting to spook herself and back out. 

 

“I think this is gonna be an great change for you I gotta say, have you ever had anything short?” David said as he moved to the counter by the mirror. 

 

“Nothing shorter than my shoulders I think.” Mia said. 

 

“Well then this is gonna be a massive change” David looked back at her with a smile as he produced a black cape from the counter. 

 

Mia tried to steady her heart rate with a few deep breathes. David came behind her and with a sweeping action pulled the cape over her, pulled up her hair slightly, before tightening it around her neck. He pulled out his stool and then grabbed a spray bottle and began misting her hair. 

 

“I really think you’re gonna find this so liberating,” he said as he finished misting and began pulling a comb through her damp hair. “Plus you’re pretty much not gonna have to do any styling or anything in the morning you know so it’s nice and easy for you”. 

 

Mia nodded but was so nervous she wasn’t sure she would be able to speak. 

 

“I’m gonna put your hair into some ponytails so I can remove most of the length okay?” 

 

“Okay” Mia said as she took a deep breath. 

 

He pulled a small trolley from next to the mirror   Then he pulled her hair from the left side of her head into a ponytail, tying it off 4 or 5 inches from her scalp. Mia watched him work as she sat there silently. Her hands were gripping the arm rest tightly. He then was at her right side making another ponytail. The butterflies in her stomach were going crazy as she realised that the whole 10 or so inches of hair in the ponytail would soon be detached. This was all feeling like some sort of fever dream to Mia at this point. 

 

David then moved to behind her and pulled the remainder of her hair into a final ponytail.

 

“Excited?” David said as he placed his hands on her shoulders and looked at her through the mirror. 

 

“Yeah” she said even though she felt like she was struggling to breathe. 

 

“Bit nervous too I’d imagine?” he added with a smile. 

 

“Yeah, just nervous to see how I look” 

 

“It’s gonna be stunning I can promise you that” 

 

Mia wished she could trust David’s judgment. She tried focusing on her breathing and remembering just how great a pixie looked on both Emily and Tay. 

 

David then opened a drawer from the trolley and produced a pair of shiny silver scissors. He snapped them together a few times while raising his eyebrows as he looked at Mia. She could feel her chest tightening. 

 

“You ready?”

 

Mia looked at herself in the mirror. She took in the 2 ponytails protruding from either side of her head, acknowledging she wouldn’t be able to make a ponytail with her hair for at least a year. 

 

“Ready” Mia said.

 

“Awesome”

 

David moved to behind her and gently tipped her head slightly forwards. Mia held her breath as she looked down at the black vinyl of the cape. 

 

“Here we go” David announced. 

 

Mia felt him pull the back ponytail slightly before she felt the metal of the shears set squarely against her neck, just above the cape. Mia squeezed her eyes shut. Then she heard the noise of the scissors slicing through the wet hair. After just a few snips, she heard the metallic noise of the scissors closing in on itself. 

 

“There’s the first one” David said as he moved to her left side holding up the ponytail. Mia almost fainted looking at how much of her hair he had removed just like that. He casually swung it back and forth before laying it down on top of the trolley adjacent to her. Mia couldn’t help stare at it, in complete shock of what had just occurred. 

 

Before she had time to recompose herself he lifted the ponytail on her left side. She watched intently through the mirror as he pulled the hair straight out from her head and brought the scissors up again. The noise of the scissors was now so close to Mia’s ears she couldn’t help but almost shudder. With just a few snips the second ponytail was removed and it too was placed atop the trolley. Her hair was now unbelievably short on the side, falling in between her chin and earlobe when before it had reached her breast. 

 

David was then at her right side and pulled up the final section of her long hair. Without any hesitation he chopped it away and gently tossed it onto the trolley. Now any evidence of her being a long haired girl was gone. Mia turned to look at the trolley and couldn’t stop a feeling of total panic from rising up from within. The three ponytails laid there lifelessly, when just minutes before they had been attached to her head. “What am I doing” she thought to herself. 

 

Looking in the mirror only worsened her nerves. Her once long thick blonde hair was now this short shaggy mop. She hated it so far, the cut looked like a boy in desperate need of a trim. She felt her eyes begin to water up. This is not what she had expected, she thought this would be empowering and exciting but now she just felt foolish and very unattractive. 

 

“A lot of hair to get rid of at once huh?” David said. “How are you holding up?” 

 

“It’s a bit scary” Mia said, not wanting to reveal the extent of the inner turmoil she was experiencing. 

 

“Nothing to be worried about,” David said soothingly. “The first steps of these dramatic makeovers are always a bit scary. Plus it’s gonna look a bit raw now before I put some shape into it you know” 

 

Mia took a deep breath and tried to relax herself. David was right that this wouldn’t be the final product, so Mia had her fingers crossed she would like the final result. 

 

David went back to his trolley, returning the scissors and pulled out his comb and a few clips. He then combed down the sides and back of her head, and clipped up the crown. He then went to the counter under the mirror. Mia’s eyes widened as she realised he was reaching for the pair of clippers sitting on charge there. She knew she was getting something short but hadn’t even considered those machines would be used on her. Again she felt panic taking over. She realised she didn’t even fully understand what sort of haircut she was about to get. “Am I about to be shaved to the skin?” she thought. She opened her mouth to try and clarify exactly what was about to transpire but found she had no voice. 

 

David was now back to her left side brandishing his black clippers. 

 

“So I’m starting with a number 4 okay?” David said, making eye contact with her through the mirror. Mia must’ve had a mystified look on her face because he then clarified, “Do you know how the numbers work with clippers?” 

 

“Sorta” she lied. Mia had always had long hair, she had no brothers and her dad had grown out surfer hair, she doubted she had ever even seen a pair of clippers with her own eyes before. 

 

“So #4 is half an inch right,” he held up his fingers barely apart to show, “then I’ll use a 3 or 2 to just sharpen up the sides a bit more, so those are even a bit shorter.” 

 

Mia found herself nodding in agreement even though his words were making her feel physically ill. Half an inch was barely anything, in fact when she got trims she would normally ask for half an inch to be cut, now that would be the amount left on her head. 

 

“First time these have been used on you I’d guess?” 

 

“Yeah it is” Mia said looking fearfully at the clippers through the mirror. 

 

“Ok well this might feel a bit strange but it can’t cut you or anything so don’t worry.” he said as he placed a hand atop her head. Gently he tilted her head slightly to the right and then flicked on his clippers. Mia flinched at the unfamiliar sound and turned her gaze trying to catch a glimpse of what was about to occur. 

 

David moved in with the whirring machine and placed them just in front of her ear, the noise even more amplified now. She felt the blades touch her skin before being pulled up into her hairline. A small clump or blonde hair fell onto her caped shoulder before David nonchalantly swept it away with his hand. The clump rolled down the cape to the floor. 

 

David gently folded Mia’s ear and the clippers again were placed against her skin before being pulled up to the top of the section. Mia could hardly breath as she felt the clippers shearing away her hair, sending another clump to the floor. David methodically moved his clippers to the next section, moving away from her ear, and ran the clippers up her side. Mia could now begin to see in the mirror just how short half an inch was. ‘There’s nothing left’ she realised as she saw her newly cropped sides. Mia didn’t even know what to think anymore. David again pushed his clippers into her hairline, more thick tufts of hair silently rolling down the cape. 

 

David’s hand moved Mia’s head forwards so her chin was against her chest. She felt the clippers against her nape and could feel hair falling onto the back of the cape as the clippers went to work. Mia began to think about how she would explain this cut to her friends and family, since going for something so extreme was rather out of character for her. She already knew she would hate all the attention and the endless questions people would ask. At least her not being home for another few months could delay those in person interactions. 

 

David was now positioning her head to the left, with the back of Mia’s head clipped down to the desired length. As he began working around Mia’s right ear a chunk of hair slide down the front of the cape, settling in her lap. Mia studied the 4 inch locks, still struggling to come to grips with just how short she was going. Even Emily and Tay would find this radical she realised.    

 

The clippers were switched off as David moved back to the counter. Mia took a quick glance to the ground and saw clumps of her hair littered around her in a semi circle. She turned her head to fully take in the damage so far. It was short, ridiculously short in fact. Mia swore she could almost see skin. How David thought she would be fine with something so dramatically short she didn’t understand but unfortunately there was no going back now. 

 

David was back by her side, flicking the clippers back on. 

 

“Gonna go with the #3 just to make the edges a tad shorter and it’ll just make it look a bit sharper if you know what I mean” he announced as he placed the clippers by her right ear. He only took a few minutes cleaning up the edges before the clippers were turned off again and this time returned to the charger on the counter. 

Mia breathed a sigh of relief that at least she wouldn’t be sheared by those machines anymore. The hair on her crown was unclipped and David retrieved his scissors once more. The hair that remained flopped awkwardly over her now shaven sides. Mia watched intently as David pulled a section from the back of her crown upwards, before taking it in between his fingers. His scissors snipped across the fingers and another few inches fell to the ground. 

 

The hair left was so short it spiked up on its own, Mia estimated it couldn’t have been much more than an inch and half long. She realised with a sense of gloom she was being cropped short all over. David took another damp section between his fingers and with a couple snips another clump of hair slide down the cape. 

 

David worked his way forwards snipping away her hair to a uniform length. The final section was lifted up by her fringe area and snipped away, the locks falling onto Mia’s lap. 

 

With the majority of the haircut now complete Mia closely surveyed the damage in the mirror. It was unbelievably short, much much shorter than she had anticipated. The longest parts of her hair were probably even shorter than Emily’s shortest. Mia could barely recognise the face looking back at her. Instead of a thick curtain of blonde hair framing her face, there was simply nothing there. 

 

David continued cutting, instead of sending inches to the ground he was trimming only a few millimeters, blending in the short undercut and slightly longer crown area. 

 

“Just a few more minutes then we should be all done” David said with a smile as he continued trimming away any loose hairs. Mia mustered enough energy to smile back, at least this ordeal was coming to an end. 

 

After finishing blending the layers David retired the scissors and blasted any loose hairs away with a hairdryer. Mia watched forlornly as David swept away the chunks of her blond hair. He then pulled away her cape. Mia noticed just how light her head felt. Her hands went up to her hair and her mouth went agape when she felt just how little hair she had left. There was nothing, nothing on her ears, nothing on her neck and nothing to hide behind. Mia couldn’t deny the buzzed sides felt amazing. She continued staring at herself, taking in the new Mia. David was right, when she was freaking out the cut was nowhere near complete. Now he has made it much more sleek and femine. ‘Maybe this wasn’t such a mistake afterall’ she thought to herself. 

 

“You liking it?” David asked, snapping her out of her thoughts. 

 

“Yeah, yeah I do. A massive massive change but yeah I do” Mia said turning her head left and right running her hands over it. 

 

Mia couldn’t stop touching her new crop as she thanked David, paid and made her way outside. The humidity hit as she left the air conditioned salon. But this time it felt different. She still felt cool, her neck and shoulders free of her heavy hair. Mia couldn’t help but smile. 

 

Thanks for reading!!! Please feel free to leave any feedback/comments.     

 

inspo: 

after pic:

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiL-biOveTrAhWK66QKHdQgCfoQjhx6BAgBEAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F149463281372074178%2F&psig=AOvVaw1yCQeClNlAwYb3wbFFzTb_&ust=1600029626241873

 

4 responses to “A Backpackers Adventure

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