I can’t really believe I am going to do this what am I thinking?
I’m now sitting in the waiting area of the ‘Gala hair salon’ in a small West Country town. My heart is pounding and my stomach is in a tight knot. I keep running my fingers through my long hair it feels like silk as I wear it down for one last time, I can see my self in the mirror opposite my hair looks beautiful against the prim white round neck blouse I’m wearing and my navy pleated knee length skirt doesn’t look at all out of place in this salon. I give my head a slight shake from side to side and watch how my hair moves around me, but not for that much longer.
Aunt is sat next to me here to instruct the hairdresser what will be done to me I’m just to nervous to speak. I look down at the grey lino on the floor there are worn areas around the chairs and the harsh strip lighting shows how the ageing wall paper is well past its best, the air is thick with the smell of lacquer perm and setting lotion and the thick net curtains covering the window on my right hand side look off white and a bit dusty as if they’ve been up for years. On my left is a row of four hood dryers the seats sag slightly from years of use. There’s a back wash sink squeezed into the corner with a shower head and black chair. Straight in front of me in this almost square room are two chairs with shelves in front of them fixed to the wall covered with brushes combs and scissors surprisingly there are electric hair clippers hanging from a hook, both chairs have trolleys by them with boxes on them with hair rollers and perm rod of various sizes spilling out, two round mirrors are fixed to the wall and in the seat on the left sits a elderly lady who’s precisely set white hair is being sprayed with old fashioned lacquer in a plastic bottle by the hairdresser.
My Aunt has already told me that mrs Hood is doing me a great favour as she doesn’t take on many new clients nowadays, she’s quite a tall almost stern looking women who looks to be in her late sixty’s with tight permed iron grey hair ,wearing a pink nylon overall. She puts down the bottle and the lady in the chair starts to get up ‘Oh my it’s almost my turn’. As I sit here I think back to what’s bought me to this point.
3 Months ago.
I thought I had it all, there I was a 23 year old attractive woman with mid back length auburn hair, a good job, high flying boyfriend and a very desirable London address.
The problem was it was all my boyfriends the job was with his firm the flat we shared belonged to the company and when I found him cheating with some else from the office and our relationship broke down, I found my self unable to face him at work so had to resign I also found my self with nowhere to live. I moved back in with my mum for a while but space was very tight and after a few weeks of sleeping on her sofa and trying to find a job my mum came up with a suggestion.
My late fathers sister ran a small shop and post office in a small village she was a little older than my mother and was now in her late sixties, she had recently been ill and had to close her shop for a while she now wanted to reopen but needed some help, mum said that she would love for me to come and stop for a while. The thought of getting away and staying in the country sounded really good and Aunt Eileen was a sweet lady always immaculately dressed and mannered. Working with her would be fun.
The arrangements were made and two days later I boarded a train and left the city behind. My problems started when I changed trains I put my quite large suitcase down as I looked up at the notice board to find were to go for my connecting train when I looked down my case had gone someone had taken my case! I reported my loss and filled in numerous forms in case it had been taken by mistake and latter turned up but some how I doubted that and was very upset luckily all my valuables were in my hand bag but all the clothes I had were what I was wearing. Having missed my first connecting train I managed to get a latter one, arriving in the nearest town with a station, I began to feel self-conscious about my clothes very low cut jeans cropped top and no bra was ok when I set off but now didn’t feel right I hadn’t even a jacket to slip on. Luckily there was a taxi waiting out side the station so I finally made it to my Aunts.
I was relived to reach aunt Eileen’s after my upsetting incident with my suitcase, the small village she lives and has her shop in was really quiet after the city with just one road running throe the middle some cottages a church and a pub her shop was closed so I paid the taxi and knocked on the door.
Aunt Eileen answered the door and was pleased to see me. She bought me inside and hugged me and looked confused as to were my luggage was, when I started to tell her what had happened I broke down and cried and went through every thing that had happened in the last few weeks. When I pulled my self together she put her arm round me and told me what you need my girl is a fresh start, first we’ll get you washed and changed out of those cloths you’ve travelled in all day you’ll have to lend some of my cloths as its not worth getting any new ones yet just in case your case turns up. Now we are nearly the same height I’ve gained a little weight over the last couple of years but I’ve clothes never been worn that I’m not able to fit into they should fit you fine.
I followed my Aunt up the stairs to the livening quarters above the shop she was dressed impeccably just as she always did and her hair was a perfect helmet of tight set curls, I couldn’t help noticing the back of her neck her hair finished in a curled under line that started at her fringe skimmed the top of the ears and finished high on her nape under this was clean shaven. I was shown to what was to be my bedroom.
I’m going to run you a bath you’ll feel better after that, then sort you some cloths out. We’ll have some dinner then later there’s a social evening at the church hall it’ll be a good opportunity for you to meet the local people.
After washing my hair and a refreshing bath my Aunt came into my bedroom with arms full of cloths now then dear lets try some of these on, there not at all fashionable and revealing like the ones you turned up in but you may find you fit in a lot better in the village in these
The first thing she handed me was a pair of knickers these were not like any owned they were white thick cotton and when I put them on they came up over my hips and there was a small pink bow on the front of the waist band, and had small legs they looked huge in the mirror before I had chance to say any thing I was handed a bra It was a C cup instead of my usual B but I put it on this was a very firm long line bra with 6 hooks to do up on the back my boobs looked strange to me they stuck out in front like 2 pointed cones the bra completely covered them and the shoulder strap was about an inch wide this was a real vintage piece. Then came the suspender belt my Aunt didn’t like tights and thought them unhealthy. I’d never wore one of these before and wasn’t sure what to do with the straps first I had to put on a pair of light tan stockings then my Aunt showed me how to attach them. I looked in the mirror did I look different to normal the stockings felt really strange at first and my boob stood out and were held firm. The secret to any lady looking well dressed is proper foundation announced my Aunt and handed me a silk slip. It did feel quite strange but at the same time quite pleasant may be I’d like becoming a country lady.
Sit down there and we’ll sort your hair out I was next told she brushed it for quite a wile I’d always liked having some one brush my hair, you’ve lovely soft hair she said used to love having mine brushed when it was long, I had beautiful waist length blonde hair when I was younger and she when into the next room and returned with a photo album and turned to a page were there was a full length photo of her with beautiful wavy hair to her waist. When did have it cut I asked, When I was 21 I started a new job in a bank, the older lady who supervised the girls employed there didn’t think my hair appropriate and sent me to a nearby hairdresser who she’d instructed in how I was to look, in those days a young lady who wanted to keep her job didn’t argue. She then turned a couple of pages and there was a head and shoulder shot of her looking totally different. All of her long hair had gone and left was a very short very tight head of curls. They called that a bubble perm and I cried for nearly a week when they first did that to me but I got used to it and never looked back after a wile. When she was talking she had pulled and pinned my hair back into a tight bun. There that looks better she said.
My new look was finished off with a knee length, long sleeve blue dress with a high round collar and some shoes with a 1 heel. Just a couple of finishing touches now dear she said and a string of pearls round my neck and small pearl sleepers finished of the look No need for tardy makeup with skin like yours Aunt announced.
When I looked at my self in the full length mirror I was a little shocked at the change but also with my new boobs and the feel of the suspenders when I walked felt special.
May be I could get used to this.
I had a very pleasant evening meeting new people and especially meeting the vicar’s assistant John who was about my age and recently qualified he looked more like a surfer than a vicar with collar length hair. I left with my Aunt then as we walked back it started to rain really heavily and we both came in with our hair dripping wet so both of us went up stairs to get ready for bed. I’d taken most of my cloths off when Aunt Eileen came in and handed me a long almost Victorian looking white night dress the same as the one she was wearing, I gave my hair a rub with a towel If only mine was that easy to deal with, come throe to my room and you can help me out Aunt said. I followed her in to the next bedroom on the bed was a box containing a lot of foam and plastic hair rollers my Aunt sat down at the dressing table,
If I leave my hair like this I don’t know what I’d look like in the morning you can help me put these in. I was then shown how to put rollers in. Using small plastic rollers with a foam tube in the middle to wind the hair round, following her instructions I quite quickly managed to roll all her hair. With this done she then put a brown hairnet over the rollers.
That’s a good job done, now why don’t we put some in your hair so you’ve nice soft waves for church in the morning, you never know John will probably be there. She said with a cunning grin on her lips. I was a little taken aback at the thought of rollers in my hair but after all my other new dress experiences today I got brave and thought why not. With me sat at the dressing table with the mirror in front of me Aunt Set to work. The rollers she picked were about one inch in diameter and she soon had a damp section of my hair combed out then wound tight, I could feel if pulling slightly and it was soon followed by a lot more. It didn’t take a roller veteran like Aunt long to have my head covered then came a hair net just like hers, I sat looking in the mirror what did I look like with this OAP hairnet covering the rollers and my ears, I though I looked so funny I even had a giggle for the first time in quite a wile.
Lying in bed that night felt strange what a difference a day makes. I never would have believed that morning I would ever wear cloths like I have today and even almost got used to wearing big knickers, bras and stockings and suspenders but what I hadn’t yet got used to was sleeping in tight rollers and a hairnet, every time I moved my head they tugged luckily they were foam not the small plastic ones with little spikes over them that Aunt had in the box maybe they were to come.
I awoke early the next day put on my dressing gown and went down to start breakfast.
On the way down I caught sight of my self in a full length mirror at the bottom of the stairs, my rollers and especially the hairnet looked really strange and I couldn’t help touching them, what would my friends say if they could see me now.
Aunt was already up and had breakfast nearly ready I’m glad you’re up early dear it will give us some time to try some clothes on before Church she said. We ate breakfast and I couldn’t help keep looking at her netted rollers knowing that I had some in just the same they still felt tight but I was getting to quite liking the feeling.
Aunt went upstairs as I cleared up and washed up; when I followed upstairs she had sorted out a pile of clothes for me to try on.
Now then dear take off those night things and slip these on. She handed me a pair of white silky knickers that looked even bigger than yesterdays when I put them on they were like French knickers but with legs with elasticised bottoms in the mirror they looked huge.
You’ve probably never worn one of these before but you’ll learn the benefits after a wile. And handed me a heavy, thick all in one girdle, I put it on and Aunt zipped it up the back for me, it felt like the air had been squeezed out of me and my posture was held as straight as a rod. And if yesterday’s bra gave me boobs like cones this thing made them stand out like bullets it certainly wasn’t low cut natural hold. The panel sections flattened my tummy out and it was open at the bottom finishing level with my knickers legs. There was no need for a belt today as hanging from the bottom were six thick suspender straps there were some stockings on the bed these were different from yesterdays they were barely black in colour with reinforced heels and toes and a black line up the back. I rolled them on then Aunt straightened the seams for me and helped adjust the suspenders, these felt really glamorous.
I had to see this in the mirror and there I was rigidly upright wearing my hairnet still with the dark tops of my stockings showing under the girdle.
My Aunt had already removed her rollers and I was impressed by the way her hair had gone back to the immaculate curls I had seen yesterday. Sit down and I’ll get you sorted out I was told. The net and rollers were soon removed and I had long ringlet like curls hanging down, these were wound up to produce a loose roll at the back of my neck that looked quite 60’s in style, I loved it. Then a thick spraying with lacquer left it set solid.
A slip and dark pleated navy skirt that came just below my knee was the next thing on followed by a navy knit wear twin set. Back to the mirror and I just stood there almost in shock at the image before me I never would have dreamed of wearing any of this a week ago, but here I am now and I couldn’t believe how special this new prim look made me feel.
The weeks past and I wasn’t at all upset that my case hadn’t turned up I wouldn’t want to wear any of my old clothes anyway now they would have felt like they were from another life.
Life living with my Aunt was pleasant; I was now dressing like a lady not a twenty three year old chick. I had taken to wearing my long hair up nearly all the time and the rollers and net were a regular part of my grooming. John and I had been seeing a lot of each other and had become very close, Aunt thought he was great and he loved my prim dresses and skirts and my ‘sexy underwear’ good job to as by now I was a committed stocking and girdle wearer and hadn’t wore trousers since I came here.
I had a shock one evening when I arrived at the small cottage the church provided John with in the village. He was dressed in a respectable three piece suit and his surfer curls were gone replaced by a old fashioned short back and sides and the top flat with hair cream.
What’s this for I asked not sure yet if I liked it or not, and ran my fingers up the small bristles that were all that was left on the sides and back of his head.
I heard today that the vicar in the next parish will be leaving unexpectedly and I may be in with a chance of taking over. I had to go today at short notice to see the Bishop and I’ve only just got back, and so I felt it was a good idea to present myself in a respectable manner so went and got a hair cut on the way he told me.
Wow that’s great how did you get on? I asked.
Well I met one of the parish’s church committee today, he asked a lot about me, and I mentioned you and the fact that we are in a very happy relationship that’s really progressing well, and they would like me and my girlfriend to go over for tea Wednesday, I know it’s a bit forward of me bringing you into this and making assumptions about us, but I hope you don’t mind, and be able to come with me. Listening to all this was so exciting and I was really pleased to find out he felt as much for me as I did for him, and looking at him now I could see he was totally different from my ex I had came to this village to put behind me and this was the real thing.
Ill come Wednesday happily, in fact I will do any thing I can to help you. I know this must mean lot if you’ve had this severe a haircut for it. I replied.
Actually there is one thing you could do, I feel really awkward asking this and its not that I don’t like it, I do, but the way you dress looks so elegant and very appropriate for this meeting and I don’t want people to.
John what are you talking about I said laughing at him getting tongue tied.
What I was trying to say was, would you consider having your hair cut short for this meeting
I was taken aback a little but managed to calmly say what did you have in mind
Possibly a classic ladies cut maybe a set, so that we look just right for them, I love your long hair and I know I’ve no right to ask you to sacrifice it just to help my career but I really want us to come across as a responsible, dependable young couple.
I took a few moments to reflect on all this. My head was spinning so I concentrated on the main points in all this, which were,
1 He was asking me to cut my hair short, at the moment it came half way down my back, I’d never had it shorter than past my shoulders before so even thinking about this was new territory to me, how much hair did he want me to loose here, and as for a set what sort of set, tight curls like Aunts or looser waves.
2 He wanted me to do this to help him move forward his career, which if our relationship moved forward would benefit me, also.
3 He must think of our relationship as a serious long term commitment or he wouldn’t ask me to come with him on Wednesday.
4 Long term what would he think of me if I wouldn’t do this one thing to help him, at the end of the day if I really didn’t like it I could always grow it back.
After thinking it out even though I didn’t want to cut my hair how could I refuse him?
I took a deep breath I’ll gladly do this for you, how short do I need to go, and when you said set do you mean you would like me to have curly hair or loose waves.
John’s face lit up at my answer.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this, it means a lot to me, and I know this won’t be easy for you and what a big sacrifice this will be. Making the right impression is going to mean having most of your hair cut off, are you really sure you want to go through with this? But I think you would look lovely with a head of short tight curls cut back off your face, around your ears and a nice clean neck line, I know this may sound drastic but you could pull the look off divinely.
I was a little taken aback at how radical a makeover he had in mind and his description made me think of my Aunts hair and that of her friends in the village, did he really want me looking the same, it appeared so. Then I though about were I could get all this change carried out. I didn’t know any hairdressers in this area, the last time mine was trimmed was at a very trendy salon in the West End, and I don’t think there are many of those in the nearby towns. Then it came to me my Aunt went off once a week to a salon in the next village and came back with an immaculately set head of curls and that’s just the look John wants for me, I would ask Aunt for help.
If loosing my long hair is what’s needed then that is what I will do. Would it be better if I tried to get my hair permed so that the curls are very tight or would just a set so that my hair was straight most of the time be better? After all I need you to be sure that this is the look you want your girlfriend to have I replied nervously.
I thought about the perm before I ask you to do this but felt that was asking too much, however if your willing to be permed, a short one length tight perm, followed by a conservative tight set would be fantastic and I can’t thank you enough. he said smiling.
What had I let my self in for?
When I returned Aunt Eileen was still up and I told her everything that had happened during the evening and my decision to be cropped of my long locks then I started to cry, she was very understanding and assured me I was making the right decision, as for the cut and perm she would phone her hairdresser first thing in the morning and make all the arrangements, there was nothing for me to do except face the scissors. As I went to go up stairs to bed I noticed Aunts photo album on the book shelf, I picked it up and looked at the two photos Id seen before there, was Aunt at twenty one with long flowing hair, just like I had now, then turning the page a different looking girl with a very tight permed bubble cut, I started to think this had all Johns criteria, off the face, well clear of the ears and a clean neck and very tight curls, this was it then . I made up my mind right then if I was going to have this cut I may as well go all the way and have a severe bubble cut and very tight perm, with this decision made a weight was lifted from me and I resigned my self to the fact my appearance was going to get its most radical change ever.
To be continued.