I was nervous standing in line. I had the long black Wella cape on with the logo in the center like all the other girls. We stood in a line backstage at the hair show anxiously waiting my turn to go on stage and have my hair cut.
I was between jobs and its easy enough in New York City to find free haircuts from upscale new york stylists. People have always complimented me on my hair. I guess I have a good texture. Its blond and thick with a slight wave to it when I want it. Its just below my shoulders now. Its been a bit longer and its been a bit shorter, though the shortest was an a-line bob for one fun summer. I signed up as a free hair model, they usually do it for advanced training classes for other hairdressers so it was a safe bet. When I went in on that thursday morning to examine my hair they took a particular interest in me. One of the directors of the salon came over and asked if I was willing to be in their large hair exposition later that month. I agreed but he noted it could mean a bit more of a change than the 3 inches they had models agree to for their normal model cuts. I could use with a shorter cut, either back to my cute bob or some slightly longer layered look. Live dangerously, when else was I going to be in-between jobs and be able to live on the edge like this?
So I arrived, we all signed forms. I hung around the convention center and chatted with some cute boys who were salesmen for some hair product company. They seemed cute and said we would find each other after the show and that they would look for me on stage. After that I headed back stage and some girls came through and did out make up and then back through and put us all in the capes. We were hanging out backstage in the hair prep area before it started talking to each other. Somebody came through and put some product in my hair and used a curling iron to give the ends a bit of a curl. I sat there looking at myself, all prepped and ready to go and damn did I look good. If I looked this good now I couldnâ€™t wait for what I would look like after.
â€œCall time girls! Line up by your numbers!â€ A lady with a clipboard and high heels yelled.
We all lined up, about 12 of us, 6 to each side of the stage. I could hear the music come on and the first set of models go onto stage. I paced around playing on my phone and talking to Cindy, the girl ahead of me. She had hair similar to mine and we talked about how we ended up here and what we were looking forward to. â€œOh I buzzed my hair a few years ago so nothing should surprise me.â€ I laughed and tried to imagine her bald. She did have the facial features for it. â€œDo you actually think theyâ€™ll go that short?â€ Cindy laughed. No, no, I sure hope not. My boyfriend would be pissed.
Two more girls went up on stage from our side which left just Cindy and then me. I tried to poke my head around the curtain but couldnâ€™t see anything more than the crowd. There were probably about 300 to 400 people all in seats. I knew there were 4 hairdressers on the stage alternating between who was talking. This was so exciting!
Finally It was cindyâ€™s turn. She squeezed my hair and then was whisked by the other hand on stage her long cape floating behind her.
I checked my phone again but was anxious. The lady with the clipboard was ahead of me and watching the stage, waiting for the cue for another model. it must have been only a 5 minutes that passed but standing there in my fancy heels and wondering what I was going to look like in 30 minutes was enough to make the seconds slow.
The lady wit the clipboard raised her hand and nodded to someone on stage. I realized it was my turn. â€œOkay, here we go,â€ she said without ever looking at me, she grabbed my hand and pulled me up the two steps and onto stage. I saw the open chair and the hairdresser waving to me as the other girl, leaving with a cute shaggy bob exited through another door, shaking her fallen hair onto the floor and she stood up and walked. There were four stools out on stage with all three occupied. It took me a second to realize Cindy was sitting in the chair closest to me. I walked across the hair covered floor passing behind her. Her previously long hair has been buzzed on both sides down to nearly nothing. The lady stylist was still using the clippers to even out the sides. her Hair at least still remained long on top. Seeing the back of her head and the hair on the floor I started to wonder if this was such a good idea after all…
Careful not to slip on the mounds of blonde and brunette hair I sat down on the stool and faced the crowd. I could barely see with all the bright lights coming down. I was in adrenaline overdrive now. He was brushing my hair and started talking to the audience but I couldnâ€™t hear what he was saying or wasnâ€™t paying attention. He grabbed me by my shoulders and turned me sideways so I was facing cindy. She was turned sidewards too. her face was one of pure sadness, like someone who couldnâ€™t escape what fate was happening to her. The stylist was now cutting more off the top of her 2 foot long mohawk so that is was only about 8 or 9 inches in length. her eyes had tears in them and they made contact with me. Her silky cape was covered all over with sprinkles of short clipped hair so much so that it looked like the cape has been dipped in glitter. The Stylist started cutting the top her her forehead. We kept eye contact. Snip! and foot long piece crossed before her eyes and landed on the cape. She winced as it passed before her eyes but didnâ€™t look down on it laying across her breasts stuck to the cape. She kept her eyes on me as if pleading to stop it. Snip! Another lock of hair fell and she winced again this one landing in her lap. Her arms remained under the cape as we were instructed. By this time the male stylist had stopped brushing my hair but I had hardly noticed, paying attention to Cindy until I was his hand in my peripheral vision. It was right about my chin/ear level with I heard the scissors close. The crunch was all I could hear out of that ear, as though I could hear every single hair cut. Wow, this was not going to be a trim. I tried to focus. I could be getting a cute pixie and tried to keep myself excited. He kept snipping, keeping up his rhythm. Cindy seemed pay less attention to her own shearing and was following my stylists hands as he snipped on that side. Then he turned me so I was facing the other side and started to cut the other side to the same length. I could now see the other models and how they were fairing. The one closest to me was standing, with the cape almost to the floor on her short frame. Her hair was almost to her waist and the stylist was keeping it that length, showing off how to cut and style long hair. I wished I had her luxury. The other girl at the far end was getting a long choppy pixie, not quite as short as a pixie but longer than a bob.
My Focus came back to myself as my stool was turned again to face the audience. The stylist came in front of me and used his comb to brush my hair forward. He then took the scissors, and staring just above my eyes started to cut. OH MY GOD I thought, heâ€™s giving me bangs! I hated bangs. Iâ€™d never looked good in them and the one time I got them 3 years ago to try to feel adventurous while keeping my hair long i kept them pinned up every morning.
The stylist then turned and started speaking to the audience. â€œNow that we have the hair to the proper length we can really get into the intricacies of the cut. The bowl cut is one of my favorite cuts to do.â€ OH MY GOD a bowl cut? before I even had time to think I heard a buzzing in my ear. The stylist had gotten clippers out. â€œFirst weâ€™ll start with the back which will help us define the rest of the cut. The stylist pushed my head down.Â I looked down at my cape covered lap and there were the 12 inches sitting there that had one been my bangs. Then I felt the most curious sensation. The clippers touched my neck with the gentlest buzzing feeling. It wasnâ€™t ticklish or painful like Iâ€™d always expected. It was more like one of those massage chairs but on the most sensitive parts of my nape. I have to say I nearly enjoyed it. Next her turned me and started to do the same on the other sides. All hope of having a cut bob I could salvage were lost when I could feel that he was using the clippers above my ear. I saw the long hair I thought I could litter my cape,He then turned me to the other side to buzz there. I was nearly in tears at this point. But they told us two things: Never lift your hands above the cape and always stay smiling. Then he turned me so I was facing Cindy and Cindy was facing me. It was her turn to look shocked. He cape had been cleaned of all the hairs that were on it and the top of her hair was snow spiked but cut was curly, not straight like a punk. It looked good and she could pull it off. I could tell from her eyes and how her mouth almost dropped before she caught it that my hair was bad. More hair kept falling. Some was small clipping like a boyfriend would get and others were longer hairs. he turned me back to the front of the stage. â€œNow weâ€™re going to give it a bit more shape. The key to this isâ€¦â€ his voice faded out in my mind.
The lights were lower now and I could see the audience. I saw the group of cute guys I had met earlier and could see them all staring at me. I was humiliated. I was trapped under this most unattractive cape with some logo across my breasts. Hair long and small were all over my cape like I was some sheep being sheared against my will. I had probably the most embarrassing haircut you could imagine and was clearly close to tears while trying to force a smile. Who would ever find that attractive. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Cindy standing up and being led off my stage. After she was walked behind me the stylist turned me to face her empty stool. I was lucky enough to see the last girl come on stage in her clean cape and long hair. I saw her mouth drop when she saw me and looked as all of mine and Cindyâ€™s hair covering the ground, sitting down in the stool to await her own fate.
Before long the hairdresser used the blow drier to blow all the hairs off my cape. My shearing was finally over. â€œStand upâ€ he said and I obediently stood up. He had me do a 360 to show off my new dew. He then ushered my offstage through the back door. Backstage in the waiting area all the girls were lined up side by side still in their capes as the junior stylists clean up and styled the work done on stage. I sat net to cindy and she was beaming. â€œI love it. It was a total shock on stage but I love it. How is yours?! Its super cute!â€ I burst into tears at the moment. â€œI hate it, I hate it.â€ I mumered. Some of the other girls looked over. Many were standing around in there capes next to one girl who had her long hair cut into the long pixie. However her hair was too curly so the junior stylist now had to take more off. She was staring at herself in the mirror and hairs were still being cut and falling onto her gown as she watched herself in sadness.
Soon after styling and being cleaned up we were lead back onto stage in our all black outfits and did a 360 for the audience who gave us a standing ovation as she showed off our new hair styles while standing in the almost inch deep hair clippings.