Since about as early as I can remember I always had this excitement and fascination with haircutting and shaving when I was a child me and my siblings would always have our heads buzzed down to the skin on the whim it seemed it was to keep the grandparents happy, they never like when our hair gets long.
Ever since those days I’ve always kept my hair in a long shaggy messy style, having long forgotten the feel of the clippers. It was the end of may and my hair had long overgrown since the last time I had I went in for a cut, by now I’ve been rolling with a middle part that has my long bangs hanging down around my mouth with long hair swept back on the sides draping my ears. It’s been close to a year since I’ve had a haircut and my mom’s been nagging me repeatedly asking me to get a lot of this time as to look “presentable” for graduation photos in the coming months.
It seems I finally had no choice as my hair would stick to my face in the summer heat, it swayed in and out of my eyes and vision constantly and was starting to hinder me in just daily ordeals. Lately I’ve been fantasizing about short haircuts and forced/surprised makeovers, and have been itching to feel again what it is like to be in a salon, last time I went for a haircut I had a ponytail length as the first days of school were coming, my mom booked me into “her salon” and I ended up having most of my length scissored off shorter then I’ve ever had it, and it’s been growing back ever since over about 3/4 of a year.
I told my mother to book me in the same place as last, and when asked who I wanted the appointment with I simply shrugged, as I’d only been once and didn’t catch her name. It looks like I’ll be getting whoevers open, which sometimes bodes a feeling of uncertainty regarding my look.
I wake up the next morning in a startled manner, as my hair appointment loomed over the next hour. I get ready to head out and spent some time on my phone procrastinating looking and taking photos of my hair before it would more then likely be chopped. Before I knew it, I had about 9 minutes until my appointment, I jolted to my bike, starting the engine and racing out as to not cause a wait. Soon enough I walk inside looking in the mirror as I do observing my hair at the longest length it’s ever been.
I put on my mask and take a step inside, where I’m greeted with three middle aged women sitting at a front desk, one a little older who I’d recognized as the lady who cut my hair the last time! I walked timidly up to the desk where they seemed to already be expecting me, the short-haired receptionist would glance over to the lady “All yours Caroline” It was here I’d hear her name for the first time. She beckoned me with a finger “Come this way darling, I’ll have you all set up in the back”. I walk inside further down an alley where we take a left to a room with three barber chairs, us two being the only ones there. “So how much are we taking off today?” She spoke in a wiry British accent and seemed to want to dive straight into things “Take a seat please” I’d hop right in the chair looking around at all the clippers guards and scissors sprawled out on the tables. I’d sit hesitantly before nervously speaking out
“Well.. I haven’t given it too much thought to be honest”
She’d chuckle as she’d put her hands on my shoulders “That’s no good dear, the last time you’ve had this cut was with me no? All the way last year” I nodded in silence as her face was a little shocked at the fact I haven’t kept it regularly trimmed or managed, something she urged me when I left the last time.
“I guess just shorter on the sides and and back?” She would cut me there
“Shorter on the sides? Well how shorter love? I can make it really short with the clippers but that’ll be very short”
“Right… Well if the top is long I think that’ll be fine” I was barely spitting out words at this point I felt overwhelmed a bit and simply tried to appear as confident as possible.
“Mm I can do that, but a lot of boys come in here asking for something shorter then act all surprised when they see the end result, they usually complain to mommy and I have to sit and explain it’s what they asked, How old are you again sweetie?”
“18 ma’am, you won’t be hearing anything from her”
She looked relieved “Ahh well fantastic! I’ll get you all tidied and sorted” She started by grabbing a pair of bulky black WAHL clippers which were rested in front of the mirror, then by doing up a cape around my neck. “These are really good at taking off the length so I’m going to get started on the back, head down please” I tilted my head downwards as my chin pointed to my chest she almost clamped my head there with her hand as she steadied the clippers driving them right up my nape area, I felt a cold sweep of air as my head was starting to be exposed. This is pretty much exactly what I had hoped for deep down, It felt daring to finally break yearly patterns of not getting haircuts. She’d run the clippers through my mane, then flicked them upwards, tufts of hair dropping and piling up in the cape. The whirling metal sound of the clippers echoed the whole room, I sat silently waiting to see how it would look as my front was still intact.
I’d listen into the background and hear the other stylists talking about brands of clippers and hairdresser ordeals. Caroline didn’t seem to be one for small talk, she simply seemed razor focused on eliminating my hair, firmly holding my head and aggressively combing over different parts, I felt like it was almost leaving red marks. Soon she’d take the clippers up my sideburns a long lock of hair cascading down into the cape.
“I think this is a much better style for you, when you neglect regular trims and hair appointments it just starts to become all block-like and overgrown at different areas. You’d do well to have this tidied up atleast every few weeks. Atleast with the haircut I’m giving you, it’ll stay nice and neat for a good while”.
I started to get chills just at the sound of having to come back routinely, I was still rattled even by my own confidence. “Great.. I see” I fake chuckled “I’ll be sure to be back here” I said not really sure if I would be back.
“Well that’s just perfect then doll, I’ll go ahead and contact your mother about weekly shape-ups”
She’d start to buzz with ideas I felt a little frightened at that reality afterall I still loved my long hair. “Well.. That sounds like a lot of appointments, Afterall I think I’m gu-” She’d cut me off once again
“You’re gunna what? Grow it longer?” She started tossing in laughter, with a baffled expression as she tilted my head to the left again buzzing the rest of my sides evening it all out at about a #3 length. “That must be sarcasm sweetie, no young man should let their hair grow out too such a length, you’re gonna need it off the forehead and off the ears” I listened with fear at the sound of having my bangs removed, It’d been a good decade or so and I’ve always been a little insecure about my forehead I nodded again quietly
“Ehm.. Right.. So how short are you taking the front again?” I asked reassuringly as I strictly remember asking for her to leave the top long.
She’d pause letting my question go unanswered as she’d switch the guards on the clipper, putting on a #6 “You mustn’t worry, your hair will be looking much more proper after this is over, I remember you saying you still wanted some length at the top mm?” I nodded again softly almost begging her to leave it although not saying anything.
“I thought so, maybe next time we can buzz it down all the way hmm? I suppose you can ease into a full buzz though right darling” I was completely in dissaray, did she just hint next time she’s going even shorter? I’d start to have some regrets about this all as everything seemed to be turning awry. I just nodded again awkwardly having nothing to really comment, I was too scared to oppose her. She’d tilt my head up wards and told me to look up, I obliged as she’d position the clippers at the very front of my long bangs, she’d mow right through them driving the clippers backwards, so the hair wouldnt land in my face, and with I’ve been left with practically what looked like a buzzcut with some extra fuzz on top.
She’d drive the clippers up and down about 10 times repetitively to make sure all the hair was cut at an even length. With that she switched off the clippers and undid the cape letting all the locks of hair slide down to the floor where it was almost difficult to walk with the amount of hair around. I got up and gave a weak “thank you” to which she smiled “You’re welcome dear, I hope this is short enough for you mm?” I looked to her one last time before leaving “Oh it’s short enough alright”