Fried

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“Kaitlyn, there’s just not really anything I can do to salvage it.” Klaus explained again to one of his regulars that had come in with an emergency.  “It’s completely fried.  I consulted Tom, our colorist, he says he can’t try to bleach it anymore to even out the color.  He did say we can do temporary color on whatever isn’t compromised to hide the blotchiness, but nothing with more peroxide.”

“But my hair is falling out!” Kaitlyn moaned melodramatically.  “Nicklas, can’t you do a deep conditioning or something, to stop it?”

“I’m sorry, but the ends are gummy and frankly everything is pretty much fried.” Klaus continued, with way more patience than I would.  “Conditioning isn’t going to make the gummy parts solid again.  The damage just needs to be cut off,”

“Nicklas,” Mike interrupted.  “Your next APPOINTMENT is WAITING.”

“Mike, can you find a way to squeeze Kaitlyn in today for a haircut?”  Klaus asked our receptionist.

“But I don’t want a haircut!”  Kaitlyn moaned.

“Not with you.”  Mike rolled his eyes.

“Who has an availability?”  Klaus asked, ignoring Mike’s tone.

Mike looked at his book.  ”Nicky has a gap, it’s not a full appointment, her after lunch client needed to come earlier than Nicky’s usual scheduled slot, and then the next client couldn’t make it till later.  The slot is about 10 minutes less than I usually block out for her.”

“I don’t want to be dragged into this,” I complained as I looked up from the smoothie I was having for lunch because I figured it would be quick and I could have it here in the shop unlike pizza or a sub, since I had to take a short lunch to accommodate that early client Mike was talking about, who was going to be walking through the door any minute.

“I didn’t want a haircut anyway,” Kaitlyn reminded everyone, “so I don’t need an appointment for one.  I just want someone to do something to keep it from falling out.  When I rinsed there were just clumps of fallen out hair.”

“It’s not falling out,” I grumbled, my annoyance overriding my desire to stay out of the conversation.  “It’s just breaking off because you bleached the hell out of it.”

“It’s the same thing.” Kaitlyn whined.

I gave Klause a look, because if I had to explain how fucking different the two things were, Kaitlyn might not survive the experience.  It was something that had always bothered me, but as of late, it had become something that could send me over the edge.

“How about you go through some look books while you wait for your appointment.”  Klaus said, steering Kaitlyn towards the waiting area.

I sighed as I watched my after lunch client arrive, 5 minutes early, and looking at her watch impatiently.  “Hey, Nicky.” She said walking straight to my station just giving  Mike a quick friendly wave instead of checking in. “I need to be out of here by a quarter to one to catch my flight, and earlier would be better.  Can we skip the razor finish?”

“Yeah of course.” I assured her as I grabbed the cape from the back of the chair, even if I couldn’t finish my smoothie, I was leaving early, so I wouldn’t be totally starving by the time I left.

“I am so sorry about that interruption.”  I watched Klaus apologize profusely to the client he’d been with when Kaitlyn walked in as I fastened the cape on my client.

As much as I was annoyed about being roped into fixing Kaitlyn’s idiotic mistake, I couldn’t blame Klaus for feeling like he needed me.  Klaus was going to be running late and trying to play catch up for the rest of the afternoon.  I on the other hand was realistically going to have time to deal with the mess.  Though according to the  official schedule I was 10 minutes short of a normal appointment, between my current client showing up early and her encouraging me to rush, I probably was going to finish early enough that it would be a full appointment.

As I ran my clippers up the back of my clients head, I tried to let go of my annoyance at Kaitlyn whining that her hair was falling out.  That just made me think about why I found it so annoying.  There was the longstanding memory from when Aunt Sandra had cancer several years ago.  There’d been numerous clients over the years who’d had their hair falling out for a variety of reasons.  It was a much more recent and closer to home memory that was really the open wound it was poking at though.

 

********* a few months earlier *******************

Knock, knock.  “Emma? Can I come in?”  I asked through the closed bathroom door.  

Emma had been in the shower long enough that I was worried.  She hadn’t been herself for a few months.  So I was feeling a bit nervous when the water was still going when I suspected she would be running out of hot water soon.

At first when Emma began to seem run down, I just thought she was depressed about our failed attempts at getting her pregnant, but after a bit I started thinking that we’d somehow messed up Emma’s health or the attempts were failing because something was wrong with Emma’s health.  

We’d decided to DIY it even though her insurance would cover us using a doctor.  She’d said “we can always go the medical route if we fail, but I want to try conceiving while it’s just you and me alone together first.”

So one of my brothers had come over with a bit of porn, and locked himself in the guest bedroom.  Once he’d supplied me with the genetic material I needed, he quietly left so I could have a romantic evening with Emma to use it.

When she was about a week late, we thought we had succeeded.  The pregnancy test results had been unclear though, the second line so faint we weren’t sure if it was real.  Then a few days later, she had a heavy period.  Of course we just figured we’d try again, next time it seemed like Emma was ovulating, but her periods had become irregular making it hard to predict.

She was having other symptoms though.  She was tired, and cold, and her throat was bothering her.  She’d made the long drive back to her regular doctor,

“He says I’m physically healthy, though I gained a few pounds.” Emma shared when she got home.  “He says it’s depression and wants me to try an SSRI again.”

“Again?” I asked because Emma had never mentioned taking one.

“I was kind of like this before, about a year before I met you,”  Emma muttered.  “He prescribed an SSRI last time.  It just made me feel even crappier though so I stopped taking it.  He thinks I should have stayed on it.”

“Why would you stay on it if it didn’t help?”  I wrinkled my brow, I knew SSRIs could work on depression, Mike talked about how much his helped him once or twice, but Emma’s symptoms didn’t really fit plain old depression.

Emma just shrugged and we dropped it,  I didn’t want to make her feel worse.  Walking into the bathroom though to check on why she hadn’t come out of the shower, I was wondering if dropping it had been the right thing to do.

Emma was standing in the corner of the shower leaning against the tile, she’d been looking down at her hands, but looked up when I walked in.  Her face looked sad and worried.  I looked down at her hands, and my pulse quickened.

“Does this look normal?” She asked slightly raising her hands showing me the tangle of wet flame red strands 

“That’s a lot.”  I admitted cautiously as my stomach flip-flopped.  “What did you do?”

“This is what came out while I was conditioning.” Emma said sadly.

“What about when you shampooed?”

“I think it was about the same,” she said in a flat tone, then nodded at the other end of the tub.  “It’s in the drain strainer if you want to look.”

I lifted the clump of hair from the very full mesh cover.

“And you brushed your hair the way you normally do before you started showering?  This is on top of what you already brushed out?” I confirmed with her.  “When you get out of the shower, let me dry your hair and take a look.”

“So it’s not just my imagination?” Emma asked me nervously.

I wasn’t sure how to answer, on the one hand I didn’t want to worry her, since even though it was a lot it wasn’t like I was sure.  Normal hair shedding varies, and losing some in the shower was perfectly normal.  I also didn’t want to just be dismissive of her legitimate fear, because it really was more than I would expect.  I still wanted to see how much was in her hairbrush, and look more closely at her scalp.  The silence lingered as I looked at her not knowing what to say.

“My doctor told me it was nothing last time.” She held her hands out under the spray of water, rinsing the loose strands off.  “He said I was imagining it.  Think it might be a bit worse now.”

An hour later, I announced “I’m making you an appointment with my doctor.”  I just went and made the phone call, not giving Emma a chance to say no.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was five weeks later at our third appointment that we finally had answers.  At the first appointment my doctor had asked Emma and me a ton of questions, then ordered a bunch of tests.  Then there was a second appointment with a second round of tests, with my doctor asking Emma if she had a bunch of symptoms that Emma said her own doctor had said weren’t important or that she hadn’t even thought of as symptoms.

I sat next to Emma rubbing her back as Dr. Sato patiently explained to Emma that even though her condition was chronic, it was also pretty easy to manage, and that we should just put off trying to get Emma pregnant for a few month till she was stabilized with treatment.  They would have to monitor Emma carefully during the pregnancy, but as long as she managed things carefully it should be possible for Emma to have a baby.

When Dr Sato asked us if we had any questions, Emma nervously tugged at the hem of her shirt looking down slightly embarrassed.  I knew what she wanted to ask, I knew why she was embarrassed about it.  I reached my hand up and stroked it over the thin somewhat grown out undercut beneath the long hair that only barely covered it these days.  Emma had carefully styled the bright red hair trying to make it look fuller.

“Is Emma’s hair going to grow back?  Will the volume return to normal?” I asked for her.  “She’s been really upset about how much it has been falling out.”

“It’s not that big a deal,” Emma protested not very convincingly, “it’s just hair.  I’m not that vain, being healthy is more important.”

“It’s upsetting to not feel like you look like yourself.  It’s a reasonable concern.”  Dr Sato smiled kindly.  “It returns to normal volume for many.  Your hair should stop falling out then start growing back once we have you on the correct dose, but as I said before, there may be some trial and error finding the correct dose. The wrong dose can also cause hair loss, since it’s about getting you back to a normal levels, and being off in either direction causes problems, sometimes even the right dose can make it a little worse while your body adjusts.  Because of this, sometimes the hair thinning gets worse before it gets better.   You may experience the excess shedding for a few more months before it begins to grow back.

“Woman to woman, not medical advice.”  Dr Sato qualified her next statement.  “You might want to consider cutting it.  It’s easier to not think about it when the shed hairs aren’t as long.  Most women find it easier to hide the thinness with short hair.  And when it does grow back, the new hairs will be closer in length.  It will take less time for the new hairs to catch up to the rest of your hair.  You shouldn’t lose all your hair, so don’t go overboard and shave your head, unless you’ve always wanted an excuse to anyway.  But as I said, not medical advice, medically if you just want to keep the length it makes no difference.”

Emma turned to me just looking sad.  I gave her a tight smile I hoped she’d find reassuring.  I wished Dr Sato had used more definite terms, like “will not lose” instead of “should not lose,”  and “everyone” instead of “many,” but it didn’t surprise me she was reluctant to make promises.  

Dr Sato suggesting Emma cut her hair did take me a bit by surprise, though I was kind of happy she did.  I’d been wondering if encouraging Emma to cut her hair was a good idea, but considering our history on the subject, I thought it might come across like I was trying to take advantage of the situation.  It wasn’t the right time and place to really talk about that though.

“Thank you.”  I said to Dr Sato, so we could just move on to the next question.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was about a week into treatment on Monday morning, that we revisited the subject of doing something with Emma’s visibly thinning hair.

“You should take a shower babe, you’ll feel better.”  I encouraged my slightly stinky wife.

“I don’t want to wash my hair.”  She had said softly.  

“Because you find the handfuls of hair upsetting?”

“It looks like crap anyway.”  Emma pointed out.  “I hate styling it and brushing it.”

“Put on a shower cap,” I told her.  “Take a shower, then we can go to the shop, and I will wash and do your hair.  It’s closed, so just you and me, no audience.”

Emma nodded agreement sadly, as a tear rolled down her cheek.  Emma and I had talked a bit about cutting her hair after the last appointment with Dr Sato, but she hadn’t made up her mind yet last time we discussed it.  I wasn’t sure if she just assumed going to the shop meant cutting it.  I would let her decide though.

“I can get a decent amount of volume with a round brush and dryer.” I told her, to make sure she knew taking her to the shop didn’t mean I had to cut it. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When we got to the shop and I let us in, Emma just quietly went to the sinks and waited as I got a towel to spread over her delicate shoulders.  I usually was annoyed when I had to shampoo someone, but as I cradled Emma’s head and lowered her to the porcelain basin, I just felt love.  

“How’s that?” I asked Emma instead of teasing her with cold water and playing the Dom the way I usually did when I did her hair.  

“It’s comfortable.” She said as her long red hair became saturated with the warm water.  

I massaged the shampoo through her hair, gently scrubbing her scalp.  After I had rinsed, and conditioned, and rinsed again, I began squeezing the water out of the locks that hung down in the sink.

“How much fell out?”  Emma asked.

“I thought we were washing it here instead of the shower because you didn’t want to know.”  I reminded her.

“That bad?” Emma frowned.

I looked at the wad of shed copper hair that contrasted the chrome drain cover.  

“About the usual,” I assured her, “do you want me to show you?” 

“The usual amount for people in general?  Or the usual amount I lose?”

“Your usual amount.”  I let her know, as I wrapped the hair up in a towel, and helped her sit up.  “It doesn’t look that bad.  You had so much hair to start with that even with what you’ve lost, you have enough left.”

“Enough for what?”  Emma asked, as she stood.

“Enough that it isn’t too obvious.  Enough that I can style it to cover your scalp.”  I assured her.  “Let’s go to the back, so people don’t think we’re open.”

“It doesn’t look full though?”  Emma pressed me as we walked.

“What do you want me to do with it?”  I asked her as I pulled the skeleton key out of my pocket, the silky tassel brushing against my hand.  “Do you want me to just blow dry it and style it to hide the thinness, or do you want me to cut it so it’s easier to style?”

“Just do it,”  Emma stated with resignation.  “Cut it, it’s dumb trying to keep the length when it’s this scraggly.”

“Ok,” I said carefully as I held open the door.  “How short do you…”

Mistress Nichole, should be in charge and decide.”  Emma interrupted me.

“Emma?” I let the door close so we could talk in the dim liminal space of the hallway, the space not just between two physical rooms, but also between where I am simply a professional barber and where I am so often an amateur Dom.  “I’m not trying to take advantage of the situation.  I know this is hard for you.”

“You aren’t taking advantage of the situation,” Emma assured me.  “I’m asking you to make the bad situation a little more fun for me.  It’s going to happen, might as well have some fun with it and not waste the moment.”

We’d operated with assumed consent for years now, but this felt different.  I looked at my sweet femme switch wife carefully as I asked,  “Are you sure about this?”

“Yeah,”  Emma actually smiled a bit.  “We haven’t done anything fun and kinky in months.  And I know that’s mostly because I’ve been too tired and not in the mood, but I miss it.  We could make this a little bit of a game, help me actually really get in the mood.  Afterwards we could have a little real fun.”

Emma gave me an eyebrow waggle, a little smile, and touched my chest.  It had been a while since Emma had initiated sex.  Diminished libido was amongst the numerous symptoms of her disease, so our intimacy had shifted to a lot of cuddling.  It was possible to get Emma turned on enough to enjoy sex, but it took extra time and effort lately.  This was a chance to put in that extra time.

“Ok,” I nodded, and smiled a little myself. “When we walk through the door, I’m your Mistress and will be in charge of you.”

“Thanks babe.” Emma wrapped her arms around me, and we embraced in a loving kiss.

I turned, opened the door.  I stood holding the entrance to the dark space I had decorated in a red and black theme with Victorian barber items, richly toned woods, and antique accessories chosen for creep factor open.  I held the door as Emma shyly entered, crossing the dark tile towards the red velvet waiting chairs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Get in the barber chair like a good girl.” I ordered my flame haired nymph sternly.

“No.” She pouted and crossed her arms.  “I don’t want a haircut.”

She was playing the brat as she so often did when I threatened to tie her up.  I’d heard her make a fuss about not wanting to be tied up so many times not believing a single word of it.  Of course this time she didn’t really want a haircut, and the difference came through in her voice.

“You were told to get a haircut, weren’t you young lady?” I reminded my reluctant vixen.  “Now are you going to be a good girl and get in the chair, or am I going to have to punish you for being a naughty girl?”

“I’m not getting a haircut, and you can’t make me.”  Emma challenged me. 

I smiled, accepting the challenge.  We hadn’t gone full on CNC in ages, but I felt up for it.  I went over to the wardrobe; one side with shelves of neatly folded capes and towels, the other side with hooks that ropes, restraints, floggers, and such hung from.  I looked at the options, trying to decide which way to go, restraints or rope?  I decided to go with restraints, though I usually used ropes with Emma, restraints just felt like they fit this moment better.  I had a feeling I was definitely going to need to be spanking Emma, so I grabbed a flogger.  

Then it was just a question of which cape to use.  I looked over at Emma who was still standing by the waiting area pouting, the wetness making her red locks look deep auburn.  Dry, the bright hair would stand out against every cape I owned but wet… wet called for a light colored cape, white or pink.  Cotton or nylon was the next question. Did I want her to watch the long locks slide away off of slick nylon fabric?  Or was old fashioned cotton the way to go? Cotton would be traditional and the wet locks would cling to it, but I wasn’t sure Emma would care and we had no audience.  I grabbed the pink nylon, I wanted to make sure Emma still felt at least a little bit girly even though I’d be cutting her beautiful hair to what she was going to think of as boy short.

Emma pouted at me defiantly as I took the cape, restraints and flogger over to my antique barber chair, and dropped the flogger into the seat.  I draped the pink cape over the back of the chair, then placed the restraints on the armrests, leaving them open to receive Emma’s delicate wrists.  The chair prepared for Emma, I picked up the flogger and started playing with it menacingly as I approached my lovely victim, running it through my hand.

“So, you don’t think I can make you?”  I threatened with a chuckle.

“I’m not going to sit in the chair.”  Emma continued her defiance.  “Do you think I’m scared of a little spanking?”

“The spanking is just to remind you to not talk back.”  I informed her.  “And having a sore rump when you sit in the chair will give you something to think about.”

I turned Emma around, lifted her plaid full circle skirt and slip.  With her soft rump exposed, I noticed she’d skipped the panties.  This had obviously been somewhat premeditated.  I stroked the flogger teasingly over her bare thighs.

“No! No! Please don’t.” Emma begged me.  “I’ll be a good girl.”

“We’ll see.”  I said as I delivered a blow from the flogger at what I knew was just the right amount of force for Emma, then I let her dress fall back over her pretty derriere and asked, “are you ready to get in the chair?”

“No!”  Emma still resisted.

I repeated the punishment, this time delivering two strokes, her round rump going from her usual pale creamy skin color to a rosey pink tone where the leather landed.

“How about now?”

“NO!”

“Oh well then.”   I simply smiled, and decided I had a better way to get Emma in the chair than more flogging.  I wrapped my arms around Emma’s shapely thighs, the fabric of her skirt compressing against her legs, then I hoisted, 

Emma let out an “oooooof” then leaned against my shoulder giggling.  I carried my wife, who was too amused to put up a real fight, over to the ornate victorian chair and plopped her down.  My petite lover was engulfed in the chair that had been made for full-sized men.

Settled in the seat and over the giggles, Emma went back to protesting, “No! Please no!” as I fastened her delicate wrists into the restraints.  Emma of course pouted at me as I fastened the buckles, but didn’t actually try to wriggle free.  Once I had her well secured, I bent down holding her face and firmly kissed the pouty pink lips.  I finished the kiss by biting the plump bottom lip.  I stood up, and gave her my most evil grin, before returning to barber mode.

I stood behind my pretty captive, and began fondling the long wet locks that rested on her towel covered shoulders.  I usually had the purpose of assessing things when I played with a clients hair before a cut, but of course I knew Emma’s hair very well, I knew the shape of her hairline, how her part naturally fell.  The diffuse hair loss that had brought us to this point had an effect on those things, but of course, I had been observing that happen.  The only reason I had to play with Emma’s hair now, was to tease and titillate her.

“Why you little punk!  You have an undercut back here!” I accused her, pretending I had only just discovered the feature I had been responsible for creating and maintaining.  “Did you think you could hide your rebellious ways, by covering it with long hair?  Well think again missy, because that’s all going isn’t it.”

I ran my fingers through the short brush of hair.  It was going to be setting the length for the whole back and much of the sides of Emma’s head.  It had grown out for the past few months, since Emma had lost interest in maintaining it when she hadn’t felt well, and especially once she was sure her hair was really falling out and it wasn’t just her imagination.  

“Yes Mistress Nichole,” Emma answered contritely, hanging her head.  “I know I was told to have it cut off.”

Emma’s voice broke slightly.  Though she often played contrite sub, the reality that this wasn’t exactly a wanted haircut was coloring her act slightly, giving it an extra level of realism.  There was a tone of sadness that wasn’t usually present.  I ignored it though, so it wouldn’t distract me from my two missions: giving Emma a haircut that would make it easier to hide the thinness, and getting her thoroughly turned on while I did it.

I stepped over to my drawers beneath the black counter, and opened the top one.  I started with a strip of tissue paper for her vulnerable throat.  I stroked over the tissue smoothing it in place in a manner I would never dream of doing with a client.  Then I pulled the pink cape out from under Emma, and began to shake out the wrinkles.  It was a rather lightweight one, the thin pale fabric billowing slowly over Emma, like the parachutes from preschool and kindergarten, as it settled over her strapped down arms and dangling legs.  The hem of the cape resting on her bare legs, just above her white socks, emphasized the way her Vans hovered very slightly above the foot rest.

I pulled the pink fabric up to Emma’s shoulders, covering the pretty lace yoke sweater and simple strand of pearls she wore.  Once the cape covered her narrow shoulders and the towel that still covered them.  I swung her long damp hair over the covered shoulder, letting it rest on her round breast out of my way as I began to fasten it over the tissue, which had annoyingly become a bit damp.  I snapped the cape closed on the second set of snaps, and began to gently tug the towel out from under the secured cape.  With the towel pulled free, and tossed aside, the snaps were a bit loose over the torn tissue.  I refastened it, tight enough that the pink collar made a very slight indent into Emma’s creamy skin.

I felt her pulse as I folded the damp tissue paper down over the tight collar.  It was fast.  Faster than when I was maintaining the undercut and just trimming the rest, but not as extreme as it was when I’d had carte blanche to cut the pretty red locks any way I wanted.  I suspected it would be going up soon.

I reached into the back of the very bottom drawer where I kept the razor I had bought specially for Emma after she informed me I was going to get to maintain the velvety undercut with its skin fade and design work.  Unlike the one I used everyday, this one was a spectacular tool, with a damascus steel blade and horn handle.  My everyday razors were made of materials that could be dropped into disinfectant and used disposable blades due to it needing to be sanitized easily between clients, but for Emma, I could gently clean it between uses in ways that wouldn’t damage the natural material.  So I had splurged on the special tool.

I opened the menacing tool, letting the sharp blade’s patterned metal catch the light as I approached my vulnerable captive.  I went and stood behind the large chair, but held the blade out over Emma’s shoulder, so it was in front of her, ever so close.  With the thumb of my free hand, I began to tease along the hairline of her forehead.

“Now what shall we be doing with this?” I said speculatively, as I put a little pressure on the skin, making it taut in a way that should remind Emma of how I had held the skin in the back when I shaved the bottom during a fade, making it seem like I might be taking the hair to the skin.

“Yellow.”  Emma said with genuine fear, a slight quiver in her voice.

“As long as you are a good girl, you won’t be walking out of here bald.”  I promised her gently, and stopped teasing her hairline with my thumb.  “Ok?”

“Yes mistress.”  Emma affirmed, but nervously.

I stroked my hand over the long damp red locks, remembering that Emma was already tense enough about the actual planned haircut.  I didn’t need to tease her further.  

“If you are a good girl,” I told her, “I will only cut off what I have to, not extra.  If you are a good girl, I’ll just use the razor to give this texture.”

“Yes mistress,” Emma sounded a little calmer, simply resigned.  “I’ll be good.”

“Of course you will.” I grinned at her with just a touch of the menace I knew she enjoyed.

I lifted one of the long locks, and started twisting it.  I’d be doing the twist and crop technique.  I placed the sharp blade against the twisted lock a couple of inches from her scalp at a steep angle.  The strands began to separate even though I had touched the sharp blade to them just very lightly.  As I applied more pressure, cutting through the strands, the lock untwisted.  With a very simple sawing motion, I was to the center of the barely twisted lock, the long lock dangling from my hand as the short tuft left behind fell against Emma’s scalp.

I dropped the long snake of copper hair into Emm’s pink cape covered lap.  She looked down at it frowning.  Her pretty hair that had been so a part of her now just lay there between her knees waiting to be discarded.

I lifted the next long lock and repeated the twisting process.  I again put the steel blade to the lock, being careful to place it the same distance from Emma’s scalp since the technique I was using didn’t lend itself to the way I usually would use hair from the previous section as a guide.  Once again, the soft wet lock was no match for the hardened steel and the lock was severed with barely any effort.  The long ribbon of hair was still untwisting itself as I dropped it next to the previous one in her lap.

I twisted another lock and sliced it off.  I stopped bothering to specifically drop them into Emma’s lap, and just let the hair fall to the floor.  

I kept working, focussing more on making the fiery locks look as full as possible than torturing my lovely wife.  I sliced the twisted locks giving it texture and movement.  Taking it to that perfect in between length, short enough that it was easy to convince to stand up, short enough to get rid of the scraggly ends, but not so short that it wouldn’t effectively cover Emma’s pale scalp.

Once I’d sliced the last long twisted lock off short, I began to blend the shortened top to the even shorter sides and back where the undercut had been.  The back and  sides themselves had grown out to a soft texture that I had plans to just barely refine after I had dried everything and switched to scissors.

I ran my hand through the short locks ruffling them to see how things fell.  Emma’s  natural wave had become almost a curl with the weight so drastically reduced.  I only took a little off here and there.  The damp trimmings sticking to her shoulders where they fell.  

Emma watched intently in the mirror as I worked.  It was obvious she did not love what she saw.  She frowned slightly, but wasn’t crying or even on the verge of it.   There was maybe a touch of curiosity.  

Of course, she had somewhat eased into this, it wasn’t like she had been happy with how her hair looked before I began this cropping anyway.  It wasn’t like the post bridesmaid makeover I had demanded as compensation for dressing conservatively a year earlier.  Before that one Emma had been completely happy with her hair, and of course she had no idea what I was going to do to what had been thick and healthy hair.

I decided that before I dried her new short style, I would shape her neckline with the razor.  I tilted her head down, so she was looking at the piles of hair in her lap.  The very short hair of the undercut had dried while I had been working on the top, so I grabbed the spray bottle that fortunately I had forgotten to empty the day before, and  rewet the thin hair at the nape of her shapely neck.

I used the blade to make the soft indistinct line.  While I was at it, shaving away all the wispy neck hairs that bothered me so.  I took the smooth neck line up under the soft edge slightly removing the thinnest areas.  I didn’t take it nearly as high as I had when I had faded the undercut, just high enough to make it look a little thicker, and leaving it in a flattering round shape.

I stepped around Emma and the piles of her long locks, and placed the razor blade down on the counter.  I took out the dryer, as I looked at Emma’s reflection.  She was tilting her head to the side, contemplating the soft crop I had left her with.  I had to decide how to style it, I could put on a diffuser and scrunch the soft waves into almost curls giving her a casual romantic tousled look, or I could get out the round brush and do a slightly more polished look.  I kind of wanted to ask her, but of course that would ruin the D/s scene that was making the difficult situation a bit more tolerable for her.  I grabbed the round brush, casual was going to happen most mornings, today we’d do something a bit more formal.

I used just a little bit of a very light weight styling product, adding it with the tips of my fingers mostly at the roots.  At the crown, I just aimed for volume as I lifted the short red strands up and blasted the roots with the warm air.  At the front, I sculpted  a soft wave that obscured the hairline so one couldn’t look into it and see how much space there was between the strands.  Most importantly, I eliminated Emma’s too wide part, convincing hairs to cross over from one side of the line her hair wanted to part at to the other.  

When Emma’s hair was dry, I refined the cut just very slightly with my scissors, the sprinkle of copper glitter falling on the pink cape and joining the one or two long wet locks that hadn’t fallen off during the blow drying process.  I snipped lightly with the tips of the scissors, shaping her wispy side burns, and cleaning up the arching hairline around her shell like ears.  

I stood for a moment stroking down the back of Emma’s head, enjoying the plush feel of the short hair, and looking at her reflection.  I was trying to decide if I had missed anything, if there was anything I could do that would make the cut better.  It unfortunately wasn’t perfect, Emma just no longer had enough of the lovely hair to achieve that, but it was as good as I could do.  The soft pixie felt femme to me, but I suspected Emma probably worried she looked like a boy.

“You were very good,” I praised my obedient sub as she stared at her changed image.  “You sat very still, didn’t complain as you were shorn.  Now look how pretty you are.  I know you are going to miss your long hair, but this is much more practical isn’t it?”

“Yes mistress.”  Emma said contritely.  “It is simple and should be easy to care for.”

“If you keep being a good girl, you can keep this and I won’t cut off more.” I promised her, as I began to dust her off with the big fluffy brush sending the little snippets of hair from Emma’s face. neck, and behind her ears up into the air before floating slowly to the cape and floor.

I unfastened the pink cape, slowly letting it down from her shoulders trying not to get any of the loose hair soil Emma’s clothing.  I lifted the pink nylon away revealing Emma’s strapped down wrists and carefully spilling the scraps of hair to the floor.

I placed the cape on the counter, and walked towards the bathroom to get the broom and dust pan.

“Mistress Nichole?”  Emma called to me nervously.  “You haven’t undone the restraints.”

“Yes,” I smiled at her slight distress as I returned to the room, “I know.  You have to be a good girl while I clean up, or I’m going to have to cut your hair shorter.”

I made Emma sit there watching me, sweep up the bright tangle of locks.  I teased her as I threw them into the trash.  I’d threatened her that I could cut more every time she’d pouted.

By the time I had started to pleasure her, my hand under the voluminous plaid fabric of her skirt, rubbing between her folds, finding her hardened clit, her wrists still strapped down, she was the wettest she’d been in ages.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The afternoon had been awesome, but that night without the kinky sex play to distract her, Emma was just sad.

“I really do think you’re very pretty with this pixie,” I assured her as she ran a comb through the short hair that didn’t really fit her personality in front of the mirror and I pulled on pajama pants.

“What if it keeps falling out?” Emma asked in a scared voice, as she dusted the shed hairs from her shoulders, which was easier than it had been when the strands were long.  “So that even short like this I can’t hide the thinness?”

“I will still think you are the prettiest woman I have ever seen, and Dr Sato said it should grow back.” I reminded her trying to sound reassuring as she lifted the wave of hair off her forehead to reveal the sparse expanse it hid. 

“‘Should’ isn’t the same as ‘will.’”  Emma almost whispered.

“Worrying won’t help.” I told her as I got up and gathered her into my arms.  

I knew that no matter what I said, she was still going to have that nagging fear that she was going to just keep losing the pretty hair, scared it would never grow back, scared she’d end up with nothing but sporadic strands to cover her pale scalp.

I held her and kissed her and said reassuring things.  Then I took her to bed and wrapped my body around hers, stroking the soft hair I realized I was also scared was going to keep falling out.

Then Emma softly broached her bigger fear, “Are you sure you don’t want to try to get pregnant first?  Even if everything with the medication goes perfectly, it’s going to be months before it’s safe for me to try again, and it might never happen if it doesn’t go well.”

“I’d want to wait till you were healthy anyway, even if the plan was for me to go first.”  I reassured Emma as I kept stroking her shorn head.  “I just want to focus on you right now anyway.  We aren’t that old, there isn’t that much of a rush.”

 

***********************Present*****************

The client in my chair looked antsy to get going as I ran the foil up her nape, taking the fade almost as clean as I could with a razor.  She’d told me I could just leave the top, saying she really just wanted her fade cleaned up for her trip.  The whole thing had been nice and quick, and when I pulled the cape off, I was well ahead of schedule.  I was not just going to have a full appointment time for Kaitlyn, I was actually going to have an extra 15 minutes.  

I took a quick sip of my smoothie, and went and retrieved Kaitlyn from the waiting area.

“I know Nicklas recommends trimming off the damaged ends,” Kaitlyn said as she sat in my chair, “but I really want to keep the length, I don’t want to lose those last couple of inches.  What do you recommend to make the hair stop breaking?”

I sighed as I started putting on the tight nitrile gloves, because I knew that what was on Kaitlyn’s head was not going to feel like hair and the idea of touching the slimy gummy locks weirded me out.

“I’m pretty sure Nicklas was recommending cutting it short.” I stated, then asked semi-rhetorically.  “What lookbook did he give you?”

Kaitlyn pursed her lips instead of answering, so I simply continued.  “My recommendation is that we just shave it off, so you can start over.   It’s up to you though, so if you want I’ll just cut off what’s completely unsalvageable, then do some bondbuilding conditioner on what’s left so I feel like I can run a comb through it, cut it into more of a style, and then color it with something semipermanent to hide the splotches.”

Kaitlyn scowled at me.

“I can probably only salvage a couple of inches, and it is still going to be pretty dry and brittle.”  I warned her as I continued to explain her options while shaking out the cape.  “I’m assuming you bleached it yourself to save money.  The conditioning treatments and color are going to cost a fair amount for what you’ll be getting.  Shaving it will be a lot cheaper than trying to save what you could grow back in a few months anyway, just the usual price of a haircut.”

“You would charge me for a haircut if I let you shave my head?!”  Kaitlyn asked in disbelief.

“That’s kinda how we pay our mortgage.” I pointed out rolling my eyes as I put the cape over Kaitlyn.  “So, we’re shaving it?  Do you want just a clipper shave, or do you want it razor smooth since the stubble won’t all be the same color?”

I actually thought only charging for a regular haircut was a bit of a deal considering I was worried that the half dissolved hair might gum up my clippers.  I figured I would use my least favorite one.  I very gingerly lifted the mass of the long hair up, fearing it would all just break off in my hand, so I could fasten the cape under it, skipping the tissue since I’d be getting a fresh cape for my next client anyway.  The mass was still damp even though it must have been hours since Kaitlyn had washed the bleach from it.

“No!!! I was just asking, not agreeing to it!”  Kaitlyn complained.  “I accept that it will still be dry even with conditioning.  I want to skip the haircut and just do the bondbuilding and color.  I bleached it so I could dye it a pale pastel lilac color.”

Having never been particularly good at stifling myself, I snorted a laugh. “Yeah, if I try to cover this mess with lilac it’s going to come out gray and splotchy.  There’s way too much yellow and orange in the bleached areas, and you have patches up in the roots that you missed while bleaching that are still light brown.  Actually, I’m a bit confused why there is so much yellow and orange left considering how damaged it is if you were coming from light brown?”

“Only the roots were light brown,”  Kaitlyn explained while sulking.  “I had dyed it red a while back, but it wasn’t really me, so I only kept it a couple of months, and then I dyed it black over that.”

“And you thought you could get light enough for lilac from that without turning it into mush?”  I asked with incredulity not really expecting an answer.  “I had just assumed the roots were lighter because you put the bleach on them at the same time and you had hot roots.”

“I knew what I was doing.  I put the bleach on the double dyed ends first. Then I put it on the just black dyed middle and I waited 5 minutes before putting it on the last bit next to my scalp.”  

“If you’d known what you were doing, we wouldn’t be here now.  What made you think that 5 minutes was even close to long enough?”  I didn’t bother waiting for an answer though, since it really didn’t matter,  “You’re going to have to pick a darker color, and if you don’t want it muddy, it should be a warm color.  Orange or red would work best, but we could get away with a green or magenta.  Bright colors won’t cover the splotches completely, but it should camouflage it decently.  Or of course something just dark, like if you want to go back to black, will cover it.”

“Fine, magenta.”

“Ok then.” I said glad that part of the consultation was over, and opened a drawer and took out my least favorite shears, so I could get rid of the completely unsalvageable bulk.

“Wait what are you doing with those!”  Kaitlyn asked with panic.  “I said skip the haircut.”

I sighed, I had forgotten that part of the discussion.  “That’s not really an option.”

“Just don’t cut it.” Kaitlyn said, with a duh tone.  “Just do the bond building thing.  I know it’s not going to fix it completely, but as long as it will keep it from falling out more I’m ok with the damage.”

“How about I just run a comb through it a few times?” I fell into sarcasm.  “It’ll have the same result, getting rid of the completely compromised bits that will break off in the sink when I try to condition this. and you’ll have short hair, but by avoiding using scissors you can enjoy extra damage.  How does that sound?”

“Why are you being so mean, I just don’t want my hair to fall out.”

“Kaitlyn,” I said with as much patience as I could muster, which admittedly wasn’t much.  “Your hair isn’t falling out, it is breaking.  You have no idea what it is like when your hair actually falls out.  When your hair falls out, you are scared about what is happening to your body that is causing it.  It isn’t just about how you look, it is a constant outward reminder that your body isn’t functioning the way it should.  It’s a reminder that you have some illness that has changed your life, an illness that may even cost you your life.  There is a distinct possibility that your hair is never going to grow back.  It’s scary and depressing on many many levels.”

I paused looking Kaitlyn in the eye through the mirror, making sure she was paying attention, then continued.  “Yes, you have a right to be upset that you ruined your hair, and most of it needs to be cut off, BUT it’s going to start growing out right away.  Even if you change your mind and decide to have me shave you to the skin, in a couple of days, you will have a perfectly healthy covering of stubble all over your scalp.”

I paused once again, for emphasis.  “Now, do you understand that your hair isn’t falling out and how very different an experience that is?”

I waited for an answer.

“Ok, I get that it’s not falling out.”  Kaitlyn answered uncomfortably.  “How short will you have to cut it?”

“Well obviously the gooey bits at the bottom have to go,” I pointed out.  “So, I’ll start at the shoulders.  For the rest of it, I will test it as I go.  Here and there, I will test it to figure out where the hair stops just stretching with gentle pressure.  I’m guessing that’s going to be about 2 or 3 inches from your scalp.  I promise I will save what I can.”

“Fine,” she grumbled  .

I placed the blades at her right shoulder, and began slicing across towards her left.  It felt oddly more like slicing through overcooked noodles than hair.  The glob of gooey hair fell to the floor as a single mass, sounding a bit like mashed potatoes when it landed.  Though it was hard to tell because of the state that Kaitlyn’s hair was in, I suspected it had been a foot of hair before she’d ruined it.  The hair above her shoulders was still extremely damaged, but at least it was possible to see individual locks.  

I took a deep breath, palmed my scissors, and lifted one of the locks on the back of her head up.  Very gently I held it a couple of inches from the end in one hand, and pinched the end with the other hand.  I ever so lightly tugged and watched the hair simply stretch apart.  I moved my hands up the length and repeated the process, getting a similar result.   I had to repeat the process two more times, before I got to hair that was able to withstand the gentle test.  As I suspected it was about two and a half inches from her scalp.  

I kept the lower hand in place, and flipped the scissors down.  I snipped the lock off.  I dropped the stretchy hair to the floor where it plopped.  At least it hadn’t felt like cutting through overcooked noodles this time.

I repeated the test several times around her head, getting pretty much the same result in each spot, snipping the test locks to around two to three inches.  I suspected that the spot where it went from totally stretchy to vaguely solid was the border between the previously dyed red area that had required lightening and where it just had black dye and the virgin roots.  Tom would know, but of course Tom was fully booked up today or he would have been the one stuck dealing with this mess.

I figured I had checked enough spots, and it was time to just start playing connect the dots.  Normally I’d have used the comb, but instead I just kept lifting carefully with my hands.  I sliced lock after lock dropping them to the floor.  The cut I was doing had practically no shape or style yet, just a very simple two and a half inches all over.  

Every now and then I glanced at Kaitlyn’s expression in the mirror.  She wasn’t crying or anything.  She really looked more annoyed than sad as I cut away the completely compromised bulk.  

I finally snipped off the last shoulder length lock, and dropped it to the floor.  Normally at this point, I would ruffle the hair, trying to see what it wanted to do, look for anything longer than the rest, but I figured ruffling it at the moment was just going to result in more breakage.

“Let’s go to the sink,” I told Kaitlyn as I put down my shears.

As we walked, Sarah, Klaus’s part time assistant, approached, knowing that on the rare occasions I needed a client shampooed, I did not want to have to do it myself.  Of course on this occasion, it wasn’t just a basic shampoo.  Realistically, Sarah was probably just as capable as I was at following the instructions from Tom, but I knew that a rather terrifying amount of Kaitlyn’s hair was likely to end up in the sink and I wasn’t in the mood to traumatize Sarah, besides there was something else I wanted to do even less than this.

“Do you want me to shampoo?” Sarah asked.

“I got this,” I told her.  “What I need you to do is clean up around my chair.  It’s not going to sweep up like normal though.”——————————————————————-

When I finally led Kaitlyn back to my chair, the mostly one length I had cut her hair to was a lot less even with what had broken off in the sink, and on the towel.  I’d been very careful, not rubbing vigorously like I usually would, but with how damaged her hair was, even gently patting it with the towel was too much for some of it.  The important thing was that I could finally run a comb through it carefully.

“Ok,  I’ll give this some shape now.” I began as I redraped the cape on Kaitlyn.  “Length wise, we don’t have a ton of options, especially since you already decided you don’t want it shaved off, but of course style wise there’s lots of things I can do.  What would you like?”

“I figured a pixie was my only option.” Kaitlyn said sadly.

“Pixie is an option,” I agreed before reminding her of other options, even though I knew they weren’t what she’d want, as I teased her by running my hand over my own severely short quiff,  “but it’s hardly the only one, something like my haircut is possible with what I have to work with on you, but nobody would call it a pixie.  I could also give you a crewcut, fade, mohawk, crop, cesar, flattop, undercut, or anything else that doesn’t require more than a couple of inches of length.”

Kaitlyn looked at me like I was crazy.  “A pixie is bad enough.”

“Ok,” I chuckled at her discomfort, “a cute feminine pixie it is.”

I slowly combed through the already fairly short locks as little as possible, at first just smoothing it out, but then thinking about sectioning.  I parted the hair on the back of her head down the middle, but left the hair at her nape hanging against her neck.  I combed the rest of the hair on the back of her head to the sides, counting on the wetness to just hold it in place because I didn’t want to cause more breakage with clips.  

I picked up my regular shears, and began by snipping a softly rounded perimeter just below her natural hairline leaving a slight point in the middle.  I then combed the snipped off scraps, that stuck to Kaitlyn’s neck, down to her caped shoulders.  

The shape of the perimeter established, I began to work on the taper.  I’d make it a gradual taper and take it pretty high, so that I could remove as much of the really damaged hair as possible while preserving the length Kaitlyn wanted to keep on top.

I combed hair into my blue gloved fingers almost touching Kaitlyn’s head and sliced the last ragged inch off.  I didn’t hold it nearly as taut as I normally would, this was going to be a slow haircut.  I combed up the hair next to the slice I had just cut, including a little of the cut hair to match the length to.  I cut the hair between my fingers,  I worked across Kaitlyn’s nape, taking the lengths down to just about an inch.  

The nape all a nice uniform length, I combed down more of her hair and began working my way up and over her occipital.  I angled my fingers to leave the hair longer towards the top.  I worked both up the back of her head, and around the sides, trimming gently.  By the time I had worked up to the parietal ridge, I was just barely snipping off the tips.

I continued the just barely snipping off the tips across the top of Kaitlyn’s head.  If her hair wasn’t so damaged, I would have used my thinning shears to give it more movement, but as it was, I knew the less I worked on it, the less I’d break off.  So instead I went straight to shaping a nice arch around her ear.  Remembering to make the sideburns soft and wispy like Klaus would have.

I paused there.  My next step would usually be to ruffle the hair around to see how it was falling and moving.   I’d normally be taking little snips to refine details as I did, combing things this way and that.  After that, I’d be blow drying the hair, using a brush to sculpt it into the style I wanted.  I didn’t feel like I could do any of that, I was trying to avoid breaking more of the fragile hair.

I glanced down at my watch, there was a good chance my scheduled client was waiting.  This had taken way longer than I had expected, looked like Klaus and Tom weren’t the only ones who were going to be playing catch up. I sighed, and started taking the cape off Kaitlyn, this was going to be one difficult afternoon.

“Ok, I need you to go wait at the sinks,” I told Kaitlyn.  “The dye will take better on dry hair, but I don’t want to use heat on this, so you need to just relax while this air dries.  I’m going to take my next client, and I’ll come check on you in about a half hour.

I peeled off my sweaty gloves, as I led Kaitlyn back to the sinks.  I glanced at the waiting area where my scheduled client sat, the baby bangs of her micro bob had grown out to nearly touching her eyebrow piercing.

————————————————————-

As I parked my bike in the garage and turned off its motor, I was just feeling tired.  Even though I had left the shop early, it had felt like a long day.  My legs felt heavy as I headed into the house.  

I’d had to keep squeezing taking care of Kaitlyn in between my scheduled haircuts, applying the dye after trimming the micro bob, then rinsing it after freshening up a shaved undercut.  I left her to air dry again, while I cleaned up an undercut pixie.  Then I had very carefully styled the fragile magenta hair, while giving her firm instructions about things like using a satin cap or pillowcase when she slept and very carefully blotting the hair and not to rub it with a towel.  By the time I sent off my last client of the day, I had been running a good 15 minutes behind schedule, and I hadn’t taken a single bathroom break all afternoon.  Of course, I’d never had time to finish my smoothie, which was gross and separated by the end of the day.  I wasn’t out the back door of  the salon till a half hour later than I had planned, at least it was before closing time for a change.

The reason I had been scheduled to leave early was because Emma and I were invited to a party, but as I put my helmet on the shelf next to the back door, I was seriously thinking of just asking Emma if she’d rather just order in pizza and binge watch something on netflix while I put my feet up.  

I figured she would be happy to stay home if I asked her.  She had actually been a bit reluctant about going when we had first been invited.  I had to talk her into it.  I headed through the house towards Emma’s office, to let her know she was going to be getting her way, and I wouldn’t be dragging her out.

I heard the quick clicking of the keyboard as I approached the open door.  Emma looked intently at her screen as she typed away.  Her short locks were wound up around, velcro rollers, and she was wearing a lightweight robe over a silky slip and stockings.  I leaned in the door frame for a moment, just watching how focused she was.

“Hey babe,” I said when she reached for her mouse.

“Hi.”  Emma turned and beamed a smile up at me.  “How was your day?”

“Tiring.”  I said simply, finding myself smiling back at Emma’s beaming face.  “I had to skip lunch.”

“There’s always too much food at Cath’s parties anyway.” Emma pointed out, then went on enthusiastically.  “I’m going to need another 15 or 20 minutes to finish up what I’m doing, so you could get a bite to eat before you get dressed.  I picked out a nice button down for you that coordinates with the dress I plan to wear, they are laid out on the bed.”

“I thought you didn’t want to go.” I teasingly reminded my surprisingly cheerful and energetic wife.

“I’m sorry I was grumpy about it when we were invited.” She said sweetly.  “I guess I had a good day.  Dr Sato called with my bloodwork results, and said everything looks good.  She said she’d like to see another normal result just to make sure I’m stable before we try to get pregnant again, just to be careful.” 

“So you’re looking forward to going now, because you got a bit of good news?”  I chuckled mildly.

“The blood work really just confirmed what I was already feeling.”  She explained.  “I haven’t needed a nap in a few weeks.  I feel better.  And I’m pretty sure my hair is growing back, so I’m feeling less self conscious.  Had you noticed?”

“I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination.” I admitted, “I thought I was seeing little hairs, but I was nervous to point them out in case I was wrong.  Besides, I figured you’d enjoy discovering them yourself.”

“They became really noticable when my hair started to dry in the curlers.” Emma pointed to the space between two of the pink cylinders.  “They are too short to stay wrapped with the rest of the hair.”

I bent forward into the room, gently brushing a finger over the half inch long little wisps that stood up in the negative space.  The ends of the new baby hairs were softly tapered, making it hard to see the copper color I knew they were.  The curlers definitely made what I had thought I had seen more obvious.  I wondered if Emma was going to want me to trim the rest of her hair a few times to give the new hairs a chance to catch up, or if she was going to want to go straight to growing out.  Though I supposed she might just have gotten used to having short hair, and wouldn’t want to grow it out.

“I see.” I said happily as the tiny hairs tickled my finger tip.  “I’m glad you changed your mind about going to the party.  I’m just going to grab a granola bar and take a quick shower before I get dressed, while you finish up.”

I bent forward and planted a little kiss on Emma’s forehead, the hair wrapped velcro curler scratching the tip of my nose, before I left her to complete whatever she was in the middle of.  I walked towards the kitchen, passing the open door of our bedroom, one of my dress shirts next to Emma’s satin dress, a fluffy cat curled up into a ball between them.

I opened the wrapper on the granola bar, and bit into the glorified candy bar.  I had stopped caring that I was tired, and was just happy Emma finally felt good enough to want to go places and do things.

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