It was a cold Saturday night and the weather outside was raining cats and dogs with very few cars driving on the icy roads. I was a regular-ordinary college student who had a part-time job over the weekends at a barber shop near my university, where I used to work and cut hair when the main barber went home during the evening. I was majoring in photography, and since very few people would get their haircut during a weekend night, I kept myself company by bringing my laptop and camera so I could edit and upload pictures and videos to my photography Instagram and classwork link. I was mindlessly editing my pictures for the past 2 hours and I only had 30 minutes left of my shift so I did not expect to be cutting any more hair.
Then I suddenly heard the whistling wind outside as the barbershop door opened, revealing a tall man entering into the store. He was wearing a huge parka, was probably 6 feet tall, and was wearing layers of clothing all around his body, only revealing his face. His hair was covered in a huge beanie, with a sizable lump being visible from the back. I started to clean up my school work supplies and camera and beckoned the man to sit down in the waiting area as I got my clippers and scissors ready to cut his hair. As I was setting up, the man started to strip down his layers of jackets and hoodies, eventually reaching for the thick beanie on top of his head. As he began pulling off the beanie with a strong momentum, I could see the specks and strands of chestnut hair peeking through, appearing to be shin length. However to my surprise, the chestnut tresses began descending down his body as he stood- first to his shoulders, then to his back, then to his waist, then to his hips, then to his knees, then to his calves, past his ankles, eventually reaching the floor and spreading about a foot along the linoleum floor. The locks cascaded down the man and he appeared to be covered in his hair from head to toe, literally.
I stood there holding the barber box in awe as I saw the man present himself with past floor length hair that beckoned to be cut or even trimmed. He smiled at me as he saw me staring at the chestnut tresses graze the floor, and began to introduce himself while I regained my composure.
“Hey there young man. My name is David Maxwell and I came here for a haircut.”
The name David Maxwell reminded me of the character Duo Maxwell that had a knee-length braid in the anime series Gundam Wings, and the two individuals were almost identical.
“Yessir thanks for coming for the cut. Just gimme a minute to get the barber cape and barber box so we can proceed with the haircut.”
He nodded his head in agreement and I could see the momentum of his movement through his chestnut tresses as his hair flowed in a wave until it reached the floor. After I set up my materials, I told him to come to the barber chair, which he promptly did, telling me that he wanted to get this haircut over with and fast. Before sitting down, I touched and snipped the last centimeter of one of his hair strands to determine if it was healthy and needed to be washed. To my surprise and convenience, the chestnut locks were silky smooth, thus being a clear indicator that David took pride and care for his Samson tresses. I told him to sit down in the barber chair, begging carefully not to step on his long locks and grabbed a $15 brush. When he sat down, I could vividly see some chestnut ringlets form at the ends of his hair, which covered the entire back of the barber chair and reached the floor, extending even longer than before. I stepped on the chair lifter to try and have him sit at a height that was more easy and convenient to trim or cut, which was still not high enough as even two feet in the air, his hair still barely graced the ground. I began carefully stroking his hair and allowing the comb to comb out any knots for ties that may have been hidden or gained from when his hair was in the beanie. There were none.
After stroking out his hair and straightening it with a pair of straighteners I say his hair extends even longer than before, a good 3 feet into the barber shop floor.
I then asked him, “So David, what kind of haircut do you want today?”. I was expecting an answer that would be a trim such as 2 inches or 3 max. But to my horror he said, “All of it. I want to leave with a short haircut with my hair touching the middle of my forehead.”
I could not believe it. I could not imagine this glorious man without the endless locks of hair that he has grown. I asked him in disbelief, “But sir that would be so much hair. It looks like it took a long time to grow. Are you sure you want to cut all of your chestnut locks off?”.
He said, “Yes. I need a change and besides, I told my wife and kid that once I turned 40, I would abandon the locks I had grown since I was 15.”
25 Years?! I could not imagine the dedication and care this guy must have had for his hair, and almost felt guilty cutting all of it off from his head. I did have a haircutting fetish, which was why I wanted to be a part-time barber, but this requires a lot of mental persuasion. I did not think I would be ready to cut the glorious mane. Then I had a realization, a solution that would benefit the both of us.
I said, “Hey David. Would it be ok with you if I could use your hair for a couple photography shots in different hairstyles for my newest project. You have such nice hair and it would be a waste not to take physical pictures of memories of it before it was gone. In return I will give you this haircut in the house, meaning you do not even have to pay a single cent for today”.
I had told him this with much strength and persuasion, as he began thinking for a few seconds and nodded his head and smiled. I was glad. At Least I could see and experience his long chestnut tresses for a little while longer. I had gotten my professional working camera from the staff room in the back and set it aside as I began styling his hair.
I wanted to give him 4 different hairstyles today- braid, bun, half-bun, and cornrow-braids. I knew this would take a while for the hair to be styled and then unstyled between each of these shots, so I warned him of it.
He said, “No worries man. It is rare for another person to be affectionate and compliment my hair like you. My wife and kid hate my hair because it makes me look like a male grudge and have wanted me to cut it ever since my daughter was born. I am very mad about their decision, but they are my life and I cannot do something against their will.”
I felt guilty for him. I did not understand why the females in his life wanted him to cut his hair so bad. It was so long and luscious and if anything, they should have been proud of his amazing hair genetics when other people his age were practically bald. However, I had to keep up my end of the promise. The first hairstyle I tried was the braid.
I gathered all his floor-length hair into one singular clump, and proceeded to divide the locks into three distinctive sub-braids. Then I slowly braided the three strands around each other, and as I did it, I could feel the hair oils of his mane rub onto my hands, which made me feel even more pitiful for the future of his hair. On ce the three trends were interwoven enough would one strand being left, I grabbed the heavy duty elastic that I mainly used on female customers and made a 4 loop elastic on the end of the braid, which extended onto the floor, but a little shorter than the length of his hair when it was not braided. I positioned the braid in an appealing way so as to show off the thickness of his braid, especially at the nape, and grabbed my camera to take a backshot and side shot, making sure to crop out his face. He smiled as we held the braid for a few minutes, examining each strand of hair and how much he loved it.
Once he was ready, I ripped off the tight elastic and watched the interwoven hair suddenly cascade along the barber chair once again, hitting the floor, before it began unwinding itself again. I had run my hands to guide the hair throughout its journey to the floor, and grabbed my comb in order to straighten his hair again or the next hairstyle, which was a half up and half down hairstyle.
I sectioned his hair into two places, the top ending at the crown of his head and the bottom being the rest of the hair, including using the undercut section. I took the top section and wrapped it through my thumb, and secured it at the top of his crown with 2 industrial hair clips, which were each the size of half my hand. The bottom half of his hair reminded me to be slightly curly and defined which I began to smooth out barely so the barber hair was somewhat visible and covered his back like a pair of angel wings. I snapped a picture.
I took out the two industrial hair clips. 2 more hairstyles left. It was time for the cornrow braids. I got out my straighteners again because I knew his hair would become very curly after this hairstyle, which is not appropriate for the bun I had in mind. I sectioned his hair into 10 different sections from his hairline, which was still very close to his eyebrows, maybe even better than mine, someone who was more than 15 years younger. I then braided each section with the strands, being careful not to knot his hair while doing so because then I would have to cut them out. Each section of hair took 5 minutes to braid, and I could see him starting to smile as he saw the progression of his hair being braided and falling behind him into a neat pile. For the first time, his palm strands located in the back of his hair could not touch the floor, which still surprised me because a typical individual with a 12 inch ponytail had cornrows that barely made it past his or her shoulders. Once I was done braiding the cornrows, I could see the eyes of satisfaction in his eyes.
“I never had such a hairstyle before and I like how neat and tidy it looks. It would be so much better to have rather than waking up with a mouthful of ponytail stuck in my mouth which has to be yanked out by my wife.”
I told him that he could keep his hair like that and still have it long, because I still did not want to cut his hair. He told me, “Still, continue with the program”.
I followed his order and began to get my camera and take several pictures of the long-ass cornrows. Just like the braid, he began examining each min-braid before releasing them to the back of the barber chair, and telling me to get to the final hairstyle. I then removed the elastic I had used on each one of the rows and was shocked to see how defined the curls were after they were tightly compacted in the braid. Massive ringlets formed along the length of his hair which covered his back completely like a lion’s mane. The chestnut locks again reached passed the height of the floor, but he too was surprised to see his normally straight hair so curly.
I ran my finger through his hair very slowly to try and find any knots, and was captivated by how warm the locks felt and wanted to keep them forever. I could not imagine seeing him with a cold bald head. He clapped his hands to make me move onto the next hairstyle which was the bun.
Before starting the bun, I took my straighter and mouse wot coat and protected the curls and structure of the hair while I damaged it with straighteners. It was so satisfying to have the defined curly ringlets enter the metal tool and then leave as straightened strains that were still surprisingly healthy and soft despite how much I had touched them.
After the time it took for his hair to be straightened I moved onto the latest hairstyle- the bun. This was my favorite. My cousin has an impressive and thick bun at shoulder-length hair so I could only imagine how luxurious the bun would look on locks of David’s length.
I gathered all the chestnut tresses with one hand and had to use my other hand as a guide to wrap the entire pony around each other. With the first circle itself, the bun was as big as a baseball, keep in mind the tightness of the bun. With each wrap the bun added more and more pounds, eventually being the size of two footballs, thus being too large to be securely placed on David’s head with just elastics and hair clips. I had put in close to 20 of each but the bun would still not stay secured, so I had to reach into my backpack to pull out two fresh pencils, which I used to secure the bun in place, on top of his crown.
It was impeccable. The bun was almost as big as a large wasp nest, and I could caress my fingers through the woven locks to feel and touch the warmth of the bun. I told him to stand up to feel the bun benign secure and held above his shoulders, which David loved as his hair always dragged on the floor and was an ordeal to walk with.
David said, :”This is my favorite hairstyle. If I ever plan on growing out my hair again, I will always keep it in this bun!”.
I smiled and took the final picture of David with hair. It was a bitter-sweet moment but I understood that he was right. He must cut his hair, it was too long.
Refusing to admire his bun anymore, I freed his hair of the two pencils, elastics, and clips, and looked away as his glorious mane had fallen down just like how it had when he removed his beanie. I asked him whether he wanted to keep the hair after it was cut, to which he replied with a sharp yes, so I thought it would be best for the hair if it was cut in a braid.
I put his long locks-now it was straightened in a bard- and for the last time I had seen his glorious ringlet chestnut tresses touch his floor and reach my fat, and tears started to drip down my eyes.
I did not want to cut his mane. I wanted him to be a real life Rapunzel. I wanted to have his braid forever, secured to his head. Or did I? I have a hair fetish for long hair, especially buns, but I also liked to see them cut and experience the full capacity of long hair. I looked at his face in the mirror, and saw his eyes start to water as he began to yawn.
He said, “Hey man. I am getting kind of sleepy all of a sudden cuz you touched my hair so much. Even if I fall asleep just cut off the braid and wake my up when I have short hair. Thanks!”
Was I ready for this, as I held his glorious braid. Should I follow his directions and cut at the nape….
I decided I wanted to cut his hair…. But not now…. I wanted him. I wanted to experience all his hair.
What would I do…
PART 2 coming soon. There will be a major twist so keep reading!