Cuts’N’Styles – Starfire

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Cuts’N’Styles was Jump City’s premier barbershop. Many of the city’s richest people – male and female – counted themselves amongst its clients, and its reputation was that of style, simplicity, and discretion.

So when Starfire, hero of the city and face of the Teen Titans, stormed in through the front door, everybody jumped out of their skin.

The Titan’s trademark crimson locks were smoking fiercely, and coated in what seemed to be a gently glowing purple goop. More shocking than that, though, was that her extremely long hair – which normally trailed several feet behind her on the floor – had been reduced to a haphazard, almost diagonal, line across her kneecaps!

Starfire marched up to the nearest free stylist – a tall, smartly dressed man with short brunette hair – and crossed her arms, looking equal parts frustrated and embarrassed.

“Excuse me, sir,” she began, fidgeting slightly as every eye in the room turned to her, “but I require your services… immediately.”

The barber nodded mutely, stepping back from the chair and allowing the superheroine to slip into it, crossing her legs slightly as she settled down.
“So…” the barber began, clearing his throat slightly, as he gently lifted Starfire’s smoking locks out of the way of the cape and let them drape over the back of the chair, “what, uh… what happened, Miss Fire?”

Several sniggers broke out at the awkwardness of the poor barber, and he flushed slightly.

“Just Starfire will suffice, thank you,” Starfire replied, nodding slightly at the barber in the mirror, “and as for what happened – I am afraid one of our foes was somewhat less proficient with his aim than he believed. Instead of hitting my friend Cyborg, he managed to coat most of my hair in acid… hence its present condition.”
As if to illustrate her point, a small chunk of Starfire’s hair sizzled loudly and dropped to the floor, the ends smoking from the acid damage.

The barber’s eyes widened.

“O-oh.” He said simply.

“Indeed,” agreed Starfire, “and so my visit here.”

The barber set to work immediately; attempting first to squirt some water into Starfire’s – still hissing – burning locks, only for the water to run out of her hair uselessly. His next attempt – running a brush through her tresses – was equally successful, the brush coming away with several of the bristles melted.

“Sir?” Starfire piped up, meeting the barber’s eyes with a look of sympathy, “It may be best if you simply shave my head. The acid has already ruined it, and I am concerned about my scalp…”

“Sh-shave it?” The barber gasped – as several other patrons turned to stare in shock at the crimsonette – “are you sure?!”
Starfire nodded firmly, her eyes never leaving his.
“Yes. Shave my head, please.”

The barber nodded wordlessly, and slowly placed his melted brush back onto the counter… picking up a pair of large, brutally sharp-looking shears instead.
Taking a steadying breath, he slid the shears into Starfire’s hair, the blades brushing the top of the chair – and squeezed them shut.

With a deafening Criiiiichk! the shears sliced through Starfire’s fiery locks, a virtual waterfall of burning crimson hair raining to the floor in silence. A handful of muted gasps rose up from the other patrons as a dozen pairs of eyes tracked the falling locks… but the caped superherione simply giggled and reached up to touch the newly-shorn section of hair.
“It feels so strange!” She gasped, playing with the cut ends of her hair. “Please – keep going!” She added, beaming.

Her barber obliged, sliding the shears deeper into Starfire’s crimson tresses and squeezing them closed again, sending more and more of her damaged locks parted company with her scalp.
Starfire’s smile grew as her hair was shorn ruthlessly short, and soon her trademark uber-long locks had been reduced to a choppy, vaguely uneven chop that would have brushed her shoulders, had she been standing up.

A huge pile of shorn locks were piled up around the base of the chair, almost two inches deep, turning the floor into a red carpet for the barber to step on as he walked around the seated superheroine.

He placed the shears down on the table, and – to a chorus of quiet mutterings – picked up the heavy, corded clippers, sliding the guard off and placing it down on the side. He clicked a switch, and the clippers burst into life; the teeth whirring together loudly.
“Ready?” He asked Starfire, who nodded eagerly, her eyes alight with excitement as the barber lifted her thick, curly fringe and gently rested the droning machine against her hairline.

The clippers slid into Starfire’s thick hair as he dragged them backwards, the dull drone becoming a deafening roar as the vibrating blades chewed through her curly locks.
Starfire smiled beatifically, closing her eyes as the whirring clippers slid through her long locks effortlessly, clumps of shorn crimson tresses silently tumbling down over her shoulders. She giggled, her mouth falling open as she felt the vibrations along her scalp, and sighed loudly as the clippers ran over the middle of her head – leaving a long, white stripe of stubble-coated scalp behind them.

The barber paused as the clippers reached Starfire’s crown, and lifted the small machine away – gently touching the stripe of near-hairless skin stretching from her fringe to the top of her head, causing the caped woman to giggle slightly.
“It feels so strange!” She gasped, eyes snapping open.

The barber smirked slightly as a handful of giggles came from the other customers – who were now firmly fixated on the spectacle in front of them.
“Your scalp is a little pink,” he informed Starfire, still carefully examining her head, “but there’s no rash or inflammation – I think you managed to escape any skin damage from the acid. It’s lucky your hair’s so thick, Miss.”

Was so thick,” Starfire responded quietly, idly playing with a goop-covered lock, twisting it between her fingers and humming as it crumbled.
“Soon, it won’t be anything at all.” She smiled – and met the barber’s eyes in the mirror.
“Keep going, please. I would like to be shaved quickly.”

The barber nodded, and slid the clippers back into the remains of Starfire’s choppy bob – slowly and steadily peeling away strips of acid-damaged hair to leave clean, stubbly scalp behind.

As more and more of her hair was stripped away, landing in small piles around the chair, Starfire scanned the reflection of the shop – and locked eyes with a young, redheaded woman with shoulder-length hair. The women was watching, mesmerised, as Starfire was shaved, touching her own hair with a thoughtful expression on her face.
Starfire winked, and smiled at her – and the woman flushed, looking away and twirling a lock of hair around her finger.

Several minutes later, the barber switched off the clippers, and placed them gently back on the side – several strands of long, crimson hair caught between the teeth.
“You’re all done, ma’am,” he said, and Starfire looked up, smiling widely.
“Thank you!” She chirped, as the barber quickly slipped the cape off of her and she stood up, dusting a few clumps of her – former – crowning glory off, onto the crimson-coated floor.
Walking quickly over to the booth, she whipped out a WayneTech credit card, paying for the haircut – and shave.

She ran a hand over her stubble-coated head, and smiled broadly, turning to face the barber again.
“How do I look?” She asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Y-you look fantastic!” He stammered, “Truly… It’s a wonderful look for you, ma’am!”

Starfire giggled, rubbing a hand over her buzzcut, and beamed.

“Thank you!” She replied warmly, and turned on the spot; her eyes flicking to the still-seated redheaded girl who was running her hands idly through her own long hair.
“It is, as always, a pleasure to serve and protect you all!” She announced, beaming at the patrons. “And please – tip your barber well!” She added, giggling, and turned again to stride out of the door into the sunlight.

As the door swung shut behind her, she heard the young woman’s voice.

“The Starfire Special, please!!”

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