I hated working Saturday mornings but since my aunt opened her new shop it was important for us to drum up business by being open as much as possible.
Her barber salon had been open for 2 months now and we were doing exceptionally well. We did mens and women’s cuts and my aunt did color and perms too so there was a diverse range of clients.
It looked more like a barber shop than salon though, there were two black leather barber chairs sitting atop a white and black checkered floor.
Most women seemed a little timid a first about having their hair done in a barber chair but quickly grew accustomed to the comfort of them. They also had ashtrays built into the armrest and we allowed smoking so the girls found it relaxing to be able to enjoy a cigarette while getting perms or high lights. It had become a very busy shop and it seemed I had to be there this particular Saturday morning even though hours had passed and not one patron had come through the door.
I sat back with my legs crossed in the barber chair at my station and lit a cigarette as I secretly hoped no one would come in today. I had been out partying all night and was hungover and possibly even still a little drunk. I was actually still wearing the same leather leggings I went out in, I fell asleep in them and just woke up and went out the door to work. I flicked an ash of the shiny surface of my crossed over knee and exhaled smoke straight up into the air.
My blonde curly hair dangled above the backrest of the chair as I looked up at the ceiling where my smoke had gathered.
I heard the bell ring at the door and saw some one entering, It was a mother and her young son who was being towed by the arm, obviously not interested in coming in for a haircut.
I spun in the chair to face them and took a drag from my cigarette.
The mother looked at me and said , ” this one needs a trim, are you free?”
” Sure am” I said as I uncrossed my legs and stood from the black chair.
The leather of my pants made a peeling sound as I rose from the puffy chair and addressed them.
The young boy had a look on his face typical of a first timer, he was unsure but a little turned on at the sight of a leather clad barberette soon to have her nails running up his neck into his hair.
The mother pushed him towards my chair, I ripped the black vinyl cape off the back and patted the cushion motioning for him to climb up.
His legs looked like jello as he slowly moved towards me and tried not to make eye contact I shook the cape out with the flapping sound startled him.
” let’s go sugar” I said as I held the cape open ready to trap him with it.
He turned and sat back and I pulled him firmly into the soft leather barbers chair.
His mother climbed into the barber chair next to us and sat back comfortably. ” I’m so glad y’all were open, I’ve been wanting to stop in here and have a look.”
She pulled a cigarette from her purse and lit it, ” go ahead and give him a good cut, it’s gotten too long” she said as she crossed her long tan legs poking out from a short red leather skirt.
” Yes mam” I said as I spun the chair with the boy in it to face the mirror.
Fear grew in his expression when he saw himself in the mirror, the large chair holding him like a prisoner.
I threw the shiny cape out in front of him and pulled it fastly back towards his small body. The styling cape completely covered him as I snapped it shut around his neck. The sensation of my nails on his skin startled him a little.
Once I had him chaired and caped it seemed the squirming had stopped a little until I kicked down on the hydraulic lever and pumped the chair up. Every jolt upwards brought him back to the reality that his hair was soon to be on the floor. I pumped and pumped until he was as high as the barber chair could go.
This was my favorite part of prep. I loved the sound the chair made as it pumped up higher and the sight of my clients being shaken by the movement.
It was the last part of the process that locked them into the chair. The mother seemd un phased by it all, she continued to smoke and fiddle with her phone as I put him through the motions.
With him right where I wanted him it was time to start the haircut, normally I would buzz down a mop like this one but I was having too much fun so I decided to shear him a little .
I pulled my scissors from the pocket of my shiny silver styling apron and snapped them open and shut several times beside his ear. With the water bottle I sprayed his shaggy hair down thoroughly until it was near soaked.
I combed it straight down so it hung ready for snipping.
He was wide eyed as I pulled his hair up from his scalp and snipped at the base.
I worked from the back to front until his bangs were now in between my slim fingers. Without hesitation I lopped them off and they joined the pile of hair in his lap.
He sniffled and pulled his arm out from under the cape to wipe his eyes.
I pulled the cape back over his arm as he set it back on the armrest.
Most of his hair had been cut down to an inch by the scissors and it was time for the clippers.
I stomped down on the barberchairs lever dropping him to the floor before I walked to the counter to get the clippers. I secretly wanted him to think it was over before the real part started. I turned around with my pink hairdryer and blew his caped body off. Hair hit the floor as it jumped from his lap bad shoulders.
I turned back around and snapped the guard on my clippers.
When I turned towards him with the large set of clippers, he looked to his mother who was busy typing on her phone and said,” mom isn’t it short enough?”
She looked over at me and I said” could be a little shorter, let’s just clean it up some”
An approving nod from her and I was back underway.
He frowned as I pushed down on the lever with my high heel. His caped frame was carried up by the moving chair, the jolts once again reassuring my dominance. I kept one hand on his shoulder the entire time as if holding him in place.
I pushed his head forward so his chin was touching the vinyl cape and clicked on the clippers.
Starting at his neck I mowed up and to the front, then working from the sides up.
Tiny hairs fell to his lap and covered his face.
Now the tears were back, more sniffling as the clippers hummed over his head.
I spun the chair around and back several times inspecting my work and looking for patches I missed.
His mother still sitting preoccupied by her phone, had finished her cigarette and was now snubbing it out in the chairs ashtray.
She looked over at us as she exhaled the last drag and said ” looks much better”
” thank you mam” I replied as I raked my fingers through his new cut.
The boy looking defeated, had stopped crying and had dealt with the event.
I again blew his face and body off with the hair dryer and removed the stray hairs.
The chair hissed as it lowered to the checkered floor and stopped suddenly with a thud.
I swiped the shiny cape from his body and shook it out.
I ran my nails up his shorn neck and said,” hop up”
He did as he was told and climbed out of the soft chair.
His mother uncrossed her legs and popped out of the barber chair too.
” let’s make an appointment for 2 weeks from today” she said as she payed me.
” No problem” I said as I made eye contact with the young boy. He was not happy about that development and I could already imagine him back in my chair .
The mother grabbed him by the arm and guided him out the door.
I took the cape and dusted the barber chair with it to remove any hair and through it back over the back rest.
I sat in the chair and pulled a cigarette from my apron pocket. As I lit it the bell rang again and I looked over to see another welcome surprise.
In walked a pretty mother with a young girl being dragged in.
Her long brown hair looked tangled and messy and time for a trip under the cape.
I stood from the chair and extinguished my cigarette. I ripped the cape off the chair and said” hop up young lady”