Don’t Be Impulsive, Part 2

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Part 1 is here, but I don’t think it’s mandatory: https://www.hairstorynetwork.com/stories/dont-be-impulsive/

Don’t Be Impulsive Part 2

 

“Didn’t you used to have really long hair? It used to be so lovely.” 

Because the old woman was a frequent customer, Nancy bit back what she wanted to say and simply smiled as she handed the woman her bag of purchased books. “It was time for a change. Have a nice day.”

“Well, don’t you worry,” the old woman continued. “I’m sure it’ll grow back.”

Nancy managed to muffle an angry grumble into a quiet sigh as she watched the woman leave, the door chime ringing one final goodbye as Nancy was, once again, forced to recognize the fact that she simply wasn’t as beautiful as she used to be after having her long, silky, brunette waves chopped into a bob that barely hid her ears, with thick bangs that had her looking more like a girl barely into her teens than a woman barely into her twenties.

Okay, maybe that last part was an exaggeration, but the first part wasn’t.

She looked at her adorable, petite reflection she cast in the store’s front window. Not beautiful, not sexy. Just adorable. Maybe the plain white blouse and jeans weren’t helping.

But, as things sometimes went, the more she heard about what a mistake she had made in the two months since she’d had it cut, the more she wanted to defy the naysayers.

Sure, she hated the now-chin-length bob with a fiery passion, but letting her hair grow out felt like it’d make winners out of all of her friends who dropped their drinks when they saw her at the bar. Out of the Ex-boyfriend who dumped her the following week. Out of her mother who practically needed a fainting couch over Christmas break, and out of all the commenters on social media who insisted on reminding her that she used to be hotter when she could wear a ponytail. 

The reflection of Tracy, her purple-haired coworker, showed up next to her own. The colorful, wild curls that brushed against Tracy’s shoulders were the counterpoint to Nancy’s plain, sweet style, and only highlighted how little daring Nancy had ever shown with her own locks.

Almost on its own, her hand moved to her front pocket and pulled out her phone.

“What are you thinking?” Tracy asked.

“Just making an appointment.” And the fates lined up perfectly; the stylist she had seen when she lost her beautiful braids and updos was available. Though she wasn’t a fan of her current style on her, it was beautifully done and she had liked the guy’s attitude.

“To do what?”

“I don’t know. But we can meet up after your shift if you want to see.”

To satisfy her coworker, Nancy let her see the salon website she just visited. The girl’s eyes brightened, and she blurted out. “You should go blonde!”

After a moment’s thought, Nancy realized she didn’t hate the idea.

 

*****

 

Four hours later, early in the evening, Nancy was sitting in a stylist’s chair in an alternative-type salon, with Trent, the thin, middle-aged, almost-silver fox who insisted on wearing tight t-shirts that showed off his tattooed sleeves standing behind her. He was combing through the wet locks that framed her face, glancing now and then at her reflection in his mirror, his gaze occasionally meeting her half-obscured eyes.

“Okay,” he said after the small talk regarding their holidays had passed, “usually when someone waits two months to trim up a bob, they’ve decided they’re growing their hair out. Is that the case?”

Nancy took a deep breath, and then shook her head. “No. The opposite. I was slowly working up the nerve.”

“The nerve to…?”

She smiled. “Chop it. As short as you think will look good on me.”

Trent blinked. He slowly gathered the wet locks back, baring her ears as he held his hands against her head. “You realize with gorgeous eyes like yours, and this bone structure you have going on… that could really wind up being very short.”

She grinned. Fuck those people who kept telling her her beautiful locks would grow out. “All the better.” 

She thought back to what Tracy said. 

“And blonde. I want to go as blonde as you eat to go.”

Trent didn’t seem surprised. He just smiled and ran the comb through her dark locks again, neatening them back into their perfectly straight, blunt bobbed form.

“This style is cute and beautiful,” she said. “I want to be hot.”

 “As you wish.”

Underneath the dark cape that had been spread across her lap and shoulders, Nancy’s hands fidgeted, her nails poking and scratching at her sweaty palms as she fought to sit still. Her heart was racing with a mix of fright and excitement as she watched Trent ready himself behind her, sorting through his tools of the trade before he set the loose on her soft locks.

The bob was gorgeous, even as it slowly dried on either side of her sharp features. The bangs highlighted her eyes nicely, she admitted, and she loved how the abbreviated length showed off her slender shoulders and elegant neck, but it just wasn’t her. She never wanted to be a cute little thing men felt the need to shelter and protect. She wanted her energy to deafen people as they walked past.

She didn’t want to be a wallflower. She wanted to be… well, something powerful.

“Just so you know, five percent of my time is going to be spent getting rid of ninety-five percent of your hair, while ninety-five of the time will be spent on making the rest look perfect.”

Trent’s comb played at her right temple, its teeth sliding back into her hair and gathering it up so two of his fingers could trap a thick lock between them as his palm sat flat against her head. As she watched in suddenly petrified silence, his scissors moved in and the blades snapped shut, slicing away all but a couple of inches of the silky lengths. With a plop, the discarded lock landed in her lap, sliding down the cape to settle between her thighs as the second lock was gathered and shorn, and then the third and fourth after. 

Eight- and ten-inch locks began to rain down in front of her right shoulder and then her left, with Trent’s trapping hand moving smoothly and swiftly over her head to capture the soft, chocolate-colored tresses before they were offered up as sacrifices to style at the mercy of his shears. Gradually, the color of the cape covering her began to disappear under a cloud of heartbreakingly familiar brown. 

At the same rate, the life-long silken blanket that had hidden her ears fell away, baring them completely and permanently to the cool, fan-whipped breezes circling through the salon. When Trent tilted her head forward, none of her hair fell with it — nothing caressed her cheeks, nothing brushed against her ears. She watched more of her thick locks fall as Trent’s shears continued to clack behind her, his fingers still sweeping along her head to herd her hair in between the sharp blades, but the lengths had become almost alarmingly short.

It had all happened do fast. Maybe five to ten minutes ago, Nancy could have earned her luscious crowning glory back with a few years’ patience. Now, she figured it might take two or more just to get back to that point. And her guess was all but confirmed when Trent gently raised her head again, letting her see the reflection of the petite little pixie in the stylist’s chair that had taken the place of the unwilling flapper girl.

Any semblance of order among Nancy’s dark locks had been shorn away with their length. One inch — maybe two at most — remained, the varying lengths  darting this way and that. All but her bangs, the full length of which remained to threaten to hide her eyebrows. Two months ago, she may have screamed in terror. Right now, she just looked on in shock. Shock from the sight of her with all of her beloved hair gone, and shock from the fact that… she didn’t hate it.

“I have short hair,” she murmured. “It’s all gone.”

Trent’s reflection smiled at her as he played among the tools of his trade. 

“Not yet.” Then he turned to her and, with a hand on the crown of her head, gently tilted her forward again. 

She was looking at the pile of gorgeous brown locks, wondering whether she’d really asked for the lovely, rich color to be abused and tortured until it was blonde, when a snap and pop sounded behind her. A low, mechanical hum filled the room, and then the touch of cold plastic against her nape. Her eyes widened as her breath froze, and then the plastic teeth began to rise. Once they reached her hairline the tone of the humming changed, becoming more muted but also more urgent as it rumbled and purred against her scalp.

Clippers. She, Nancy, the girl known for her gorgeous, long hair was being clippered by a hairstylist.

Once the clippers reached the same height as the top of Nancy’s ears, they were pulled away. A quick glance upward let Nancy se the dark tuft of her hair float toward the floor as it was discarded. Then the humming blades were back, nipping and nibbling their way up her head, starting at her nape every time until they no longer did and they began starting higher so their reach went further. Soon they were traversing the curve of her head, sending unexpected jolts of delight down her spine. Then they were at her right temple, sweeping back to make sure no single hair could even dream of touching her ear.

Her hair had always been so dark and lush she couldn’t imagine being able to see her scalp at all, but now it was showing — rather easily — through the clippered remains of her treasured mane. Again and agains the clippers swept back and up, crisscrossing paths as nothing more than a half an inch was left behind on either side. Higher and higher the blades slipped, front to back and front to back, and then with just the briefest of teases beforehand as Trent’s free hand gathered her bangs up and back, from forehead to crown. 

Nancy squeaked, her mouth dropping open as swatched of her thick, heavy bangs began to disappear. When the clippers quieted, when no length of note, none long enough to reveal the natural shine or waves that had earned so much praise through her life, Nancy was left to look at herself and wonder whether her eyes had always been so large, or whether it was a product of the incredible panic she was feeling.

Trent said nothing, but then the clippers came back to life again. Nancy’s brow furrowed nervously when she felt them at her nape, that familiar purr and rumble that had been almost enjoyable — no, had been very enjoyable — just a few minutes before now terrified her. An awful mix of excitement and horror brewed within her as the clippers crept up her nape, churning their way through what little of her precious locks remained. Again and again the crept upward, flicked tufts of brown hair that grew increasingly smaller, and then restarted at her nape. They never reached her crown, thank god, but they did march ceaselessly toward her ears, almost skinning her to the bone before mercifully leaving the top comparatively long. 

Again and again Trent paid heed to her nape, running the clippers up again and again, though abbreviating the passes earlier and earlier each time. Somehow every pass still found enough of Nancy’s soft hair to flick aside, until it was only the warm steel of the clipper blades themselves gently scraping along her hairline. 

When finally — finally! — the infernal machine was turned off and set aside, Nancy fought to free her hands from their death-grip on the arms of the salon chair. She managed to swallow slowly, but could not take her eyes off of her reflection — Could this be considered a crewcut? It felt like she might have a buzzcut.

How the hell did she wind up with a buzzcut?

It was a question she kept asking herself again and again, even as Trent was applying the bleach to her hair, even as he was letting it sit to do its work, and even as he was rinsing what remained of her hair again and applying toner and washing it all again…

Then Trent sat her back down in his chair, facing away form the mirror, and pulled out the toothiest set of shears Nancy had ever seen. He worked on her meticulously, snipping and clipping here and there, brushing his fingers back over — over! — her hair and then snipping and clipping again. 

She was terrified of how she’d look, but even with that fright’s ice cold grip around her heart she couldn’t pretend that the feel of Trent’s hand slipping back over her shorn head felt kind of… nice. She could even imagine it in some instances feeling really, really good. And he just kept doing it again and again, and in time Nancy felt herself easing back into the seat, breathing easier and, somehow, not minding how much more was clipped or cut.

Finally, after what seemed like half-terrible and half-blissful eternity, Trent undid the cape around her and spun the chair so she faced the mirror again.

Nancy screamed. But it was a good scream! A surprised, delighted, and shocked scream

Eyes wide and with her hands clapped to her mouth, Nancy stared at the platinum-blonde, buzzcut beauty looking back at her in the mirror. She couldn’t bring herself to move for several seconds, but eventually she did slide out of the chair and step toward the mirror. Every possible aspect of the Nancy who had walked into the salon a somewhat short while ago was gone — The beautiful bob that just wasn’t her? Gone. The silky, soft lengths of hair people ached to run their fingers through? Gone, every bit of it. The rich, warm brown color with red undertones? Completely, utterly, and irrevocably gone.

Now she was just siren eyes and high cheekbones and sly, smiling lips. Cute, pert ears begging to be nibbled, and a long, long elegant neck fighting for attention and kisses. Soft, bristly blonde locks that sprang up after a caressing palm like fields of wheat after an autumn breeze, and an almost nonexistent hairline at her nape and around her ears to show off the artistry of the style. Dark eyebrows that fought against everything else, demanding you read her expression and read it well, and thick lashes that practically gave bedroom eyes even when she was standing in the middle of a salon shell-shocked by her new appearance.

She ran her hands up the sides of her neck and rubbed her ears, those naked-as-fuck little ears that desperately needed some piercings to jazz things up. She wanted someone — almost anyone — to start nibbling them right now. And then her nape, oh to feel someone’s breath against it as they hugged her from behind, without any hint of a bothersome Godiva’s mane to hide her. 

“Christ, I look good,” she purred to herself.

“Hot enough?” Trent asked.

“Yes!” She yelled in reply. She laughed as she covered her mouth, and then did a little dance before jumping in the air to hug him. “I almost died of fright, I’ll admit, but I love it!”

“Perfect. That’s what I was hoping to hear.” He hesitated. “The second part, mostly.”

Nancy couldn’t stop playing her hand across her nape as she went to the receptionist to pay, made an appointment for two weeks later, and then went out into the winter night. The chilly bite against her ears immediately reminded her that she would need to find a hat, but, for now, the mix of fear and excitement seemed to be doing an okay job of keeping her warm enough.

Gods, what would people say now? If they all freaked when she chopped off her ponytail, just wait until they saw her with almost nothing left. Fortunately, Tracy would be the first to see it and would probably be just as excited at the result, if not even more-so.

Again, her hand trailed over the top of her head, her eyes closing as she felt the velvety sensation move across her palm and the rippling wave across her scalp. When she opened her eyes, she saw her reflection in another storefront window. The bob could have been a temporary thing. A year or two until she was a long-haired girl again. But this… this was an entirely different level. This was a long-term commitment. And as she kept rubbing and caressing her head, as she kept noticing the admiring looks her delighted smile got from passersby, she realized the long hair everyone else loved might be gone for good.

But that decision, obviously, could be made on another night. She had no need to be impulsive about it, after all.

 

 

—end—

Thank you for reading, and I hope you liked it. Any comments/critiques or tips are appreciated, as always. My apologies for the lack of detail for the bleaching/coloring. That area of realism is not my forte.

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