Boyfriend’s Barbershop

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Anna was used to the barbershop by now. For more than two years she’d had her hair cut in the little shop, which her boyfriend Mark owned.

When she’d met Mark, her hair was long enough to sit on. After a salon stylist’s liberal interpretation of a ‘trim’ he had offered to cut it for her next time. She’d agreed, not quite realising that his offer came with its own drawback: he always cut without asking what she wanted done. When she sat in his chair, she surrendered ownership of her mane to him until he finished.

Yet she never stopped him. Never chastised him afterwards, never even considered looking elsewhere. Bizarre though it was, there was something thrilling about letting him do whatever he wanted.

First, it had been half an inch. The next time, a full inch. Then two. Then four.

On her fifth visit, he’d given her a big chop for the first time in her life. She’d gone from waist length to a shoulder-grazing lob, leaving a jaw dropping volume of natural sandy blonde hair scattered across the floor. She was torn between loving and hating the experience. She truly treasured her mane, and having it unceremoniously lopped off made her wince with every snip of the scissors. Having every eye in the room trained on her left her squirming, unable to glance anywhere in the background for fear of making eye contact.

Yet something about the whole ordeal excited her. Something about not having any choice, not having any way out, not having anywhere to look but the mirror as Mark robbed her of her tresses. He was never rough or forceful, but he was firm and unwavering. She’d never been into the whole sub/dom routine, but she’d never been as nervously aroused as in the fifteen minutes she spent in that barber chair. Anna never told Mark, figuring he’d do it again at some point. She’d rather it remained a surprise anyway.

Since then, nothing drastic had happened, merely trims that kept her anywhere between a lob and armpit-length hair. The latter most recently. She had come to like the length; far easier to deal with than when it was waist length, while still long enough for her to play with and try an array of hairstyles.

As always, Mark was in high demand, with every single chair in the waiting area taken by the time it was Anna’s turn. They’d all keenly watch regardless of whether she had half an inch trimmed off or Mark decided to give her a buzzcut. They always did.

She didn’t say anything to him, nor him to her. He simply headed to the shelf to grab his first piece of equipment, usually the cape and then a comb. Today, though, neither of those items came first. Instead, he took a roll of white fabric and tore off a section.

A neck strip. She’d never had one of those used on her before. Her heart thumped as he carefully applied it.

The cape came next. Mark pushed Anna’s hair over her shoulder while he wrapped the blue apron around her and tied it around her neck. He flipped the neck strip over the top of the collar.

Oh God, she thought. What’s he got planned?

He collected a comb and a set of scissors from the shelf next. Slowly, he teased the comb through her thick hair. She’d painstakingly straightened it all this morning, so the teeth slipped through without a tug, but that didn’t prompt Mark to brush it any faster. Almost as though he was savouring it.

“Don’t be nervous,” he murmured in her ear. The way he spoke sent a pleasant shiver down her spine. However, it didn’t slow her heartrate.

He scooped up a section of her hair in the comb, then transferred it to his fingers. Despite the minutes of anticipation, she barely had time to process the first big snip. Fifteen inches of heavy blonde were cut free, thumping onto the blue cape. Anna didn’t gasp, but she did wince.

Too late now, she told herself. It’s happening.

And it was. Mark continued, taking the next locks in his fingers again and setting the scissors on them.

She didn’t want to see her reddening face in the mirror, and especially not the fascinated men and boys watching her be sheared. She had nowhere to look but the cape, which meant she had to see all her soft blonde hair gradually drop to the blue canvas and pile up in her lap. She didn’t dare to shuffle and let it drop to her feet.

The girl with the impeccable classic length hair would have cried at the mere thought of this happening, but Anna wasn’t her anymore. She sat still and let it happen. And even though she should have hated it, even though she felt embarrassed and anxious, part of her enjoyed it. Not a small part either.

Mark kept cutting. He worked his way around her head from right to left, chopping section after section of her thick blonde hair down to a mere couple of inches. Not a single person in the shop spoke, all transfixed on the magnificent scene unfolding in the chair. Only the crunch of scissors through Anna’s hair punctuated the silence.

Finally the cutting stopped. One last sandy blonde lock splashed into the pool in her lap. Anna risked a peek at her reflection, nothing more than a glance before averting her eyes again. What Mark left her with was short and messy and uneven. However, he was far from done with her. He took a spray bottle from the shelf and wetted her hair, taking a moment to comb through her much-reduced mane. Then it was back to cutting. He ran the comb up the back of her head, snipping the scissors over the top. Wet hair pitter-pattered onto the cape. Despite the mass of cut hair in her lap, it seemed she still had a lot left for him to cut.

By the time Mark finished chopping across the sides and back of Anna’s head, she felt bare. He tilted her head up, forcing her to look in the mirror. Given the choice of looking at herself or the spectators, Anna kept her eyes trained on the almost-unrecognisable woman in the chair. She’d always known her hair was both thick and dense, but she hadn’t realised quite how much hair she had until it covered her body.

He gave what was left on top the same treatment, albeit he left it marginally longer. Still, hair flew through the air, dropping in front of her eyes towards the mountain of cuttings. Some stuck to her face. Instead of irritating her, she willed more to fall the same way.

Only a couple of minutes later, Mark stepped back. The sandy hair left on top of Anna’s head was neat yet stylish. It was short, certainly, but not overly masculine. To her surprise, she actually quite liked it.

Just as she thought the experience was over, a set of clippers hummed to life. The cool plastic guard scraped up her neck, then bit into her short hair. They didn’t buzz too far, merely giving her a slight fade, but the sensation made her arms break out in goosebumps. In a way she wished he’d used them on her from the very start.

Mark swapped the guard for another and spent a moment blending the clipped and scissor-cut sections. Then the clippers clicked off. He dusted off her neck, undid the neck strip and cape, then released her, sending all her blonde cuttings to the floor. Anna took a moment to stand up, only now realising her legs were shaking.

As she collected her coat from the rack, she leaned in to whisper to Mark. “Thank you.”

“Thank you,” he whispered back. He grinned at her. “I’ll see you when I get home. Then you can show me how much you love it.”

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