Grandpa’s Clippers – Rebecca’s New Venture

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My name is Rebecca and I have spent my Saturdays and time during school holidays at Clippers barbershop ever since I can remember. It is a small, traditional shop run by my grandpa for over thirty years. Grandpa is a short, bald man who is known for being a little pompous in his ways. He is the only barber still working at the shop, as he could not afford to keep on the others. With his business struggling, the shop and his customers are his life. Despite the tough times, Grandpa refuses to retire.

To help him out and keep the shop tidy, I come whenever I can. I do not get paid, other than a few tips from grateful customers, but Grandpa helped me during some tough times when I was younger, so I am happy to help. I am nineteen and currently studying business and accountancy in college. However, I can barely cover my college fees, so a little extra income would not hurt.

I have always enjoyed having long hair, well below my waist, and I take great care of it. Grandpa is the only one I trust to give me a trim every four or five months. He always approaches the task diligently, trimming no more than needed to keep the ends healthy, and he does a wonderful job.

Grandpa believes that all women should have long hair and he discourages women from coming into his shop for haircuts, to maintain tradition and not alienate his dwindling client base of older men who prefer the traditional barbershop experience. They never mind me around the place despite my long hair being rather incongruous in a barbershop setting. Occasionally, some of the grouchier customers have said – whether in jest or not, I am never sure – I should let my grandpa give me a short back and sides. As neither Grandpa nor I would want it to happen, I simply laugh it off, but the words always result in an unexpected tremor deep down inside of me.

I have no interest in the hairdressing side of things. Seeing Grandpa’s customers getting their dull styles trimmed has always bored me. But one Tuesday during the holidays, everything changed. It all started when the shop had no customers, and Grandpa had popped out for ten minutes. I was idly flicking through a magazine in the shop, when I came upon an article about hair extensions. It said that there was a huge demand for exceptionally long hair and merchants were willing to pay high prices for it.

The article presented heartbreaking pictures of women and girls having their lovely long hair chopped off for money, and others showing much happier women with glossy long locks who were the recipients of the sellers’ hair. I shivered at the thought of putting myself being in that position.

When Grandpa returned, I showed him the article and asked for his thoughts. In his typically pompous manner, he sternly ticked me off. He told me I would regret cutting my hair as he claimed, leaving no room for doubt, that women look so much prettier with long hair. I assured him that I did not mean myself and proposed an idea.

I suggested that we invite women with long hair to come into the shop, have Grandpa cut their hair, we would pay them, and then I could sell the hair to a merchant and split the profits.

Grandpa was hesitant at first. He reminded me that this was a barbershop for gentlemen, and he doubted any self-respecting woman would want to frequent one, especially one called Clippers. I could see his point, but I was not so easily dissuaded.

He added that he was not sure he wanted to encourage women to come in. Indeed, for the previous thirty years, he had actively discouraged them. But I argued and showed him how profitable it could be. Eventually, realising any additional income would help to keep his beloved shop open, he agreed to a trial run.

However, he self-importantly stipulated a rule that he would not cut a woman’s hair above her shoulders, as he still wanted them to look feminine when they left his shop. I explained the shorter he cuts the hair, then the more money we would make, but that was not enough to change his mind.

I produced a bland A4 sheet in my best handwriting, stating “We Buy Long Hair”, and I placed it in the window. I knew Grandpa believed he was just humouring me and even went as far as betting me that we would not see a woman before the end of the week. was convinced that no women would respond within the first week. Little did we know, our lives were about to change.

= * = * =

In just thirty minutes, a woman named Lillian walked into the shop. She was a smartly dressed women in her thirties wearing in a dark business suit with a short skirt, and a scarlet shirt under the tailored jacket. She had dark hair tied in a huge bun on top of her head and possessed an intimidating presence.

Grandpa looked more nervous than I had ever seen him as Lillian explained her reasons for entering. Despite being so much younger, I felt it necessary to lead the discussion. She explained she had just been walking past and seen my sign and thought it such a novel concept that she wanted to know more. She admitted that she had never had a reason to cut her hair before but selling it for cash might be a suitable inducement.

I sat her down in the barber’s chair that Grandpa used by the window. Grandpa looked on horrified, more so when I helped Lillian unpin her hair and it the ends gathered on the floor. I found it hard to understand why Lillian, with such magnificent hair, would be swayed by my sign to sell it in a barbershop. I felt sad, until I kicked myself and reminded myself of my role.

I explained to her that the more of her hair that we cut off, the more we would pay her. After a short negotiation, Lillian agreed that we should cut it mid-back length. It amounted to eighty centimetres of her lovely locks which sent shivers down my spine. Part of me wanted to yell at her not to be so silly, but my more dominant side began brushing her in preparation for the cut. I loved brushing Lillian’s hair as much as I enjoyed brushing my own, and I could not help but feel sad that Grandpa was going to cut it off.

As I prepared Lillian’s hair in four ponytails, as illustrated in the magazine article I had read, my heart raced with excitement. I moved away from the chair and Grandpa stepped forward with his scissors in hand. He lifted one of the ponytails and asked Lillian twice if she was sure she wished to proceed, to which she curtly responded that she was.

Grandpa sighed, then chopped through the first of Lillian’s ponytails with a loud crunching noise that was completely different to gentle slicing sound when he trimmed a few millimetres of a man’s hair.

I felt a frisson of excitement as Grandpa passed me the long ponytail to hold while he completed his work. Once he had started, Grandpa gave the impression he wanted it over with as quickly as possible and he quickly dispatched Lillian’s three further ponytails, handing each one to me as soon as he had severed it.

By contrast, I marvelled at the bundle of thick long ponytails gathered in my hand and I felt oddly reluctant to put it down. I checked the length and weight of Lillian’s cut hair, and confirmed the price we were happy to pay.

While Grandpa fastidiously cut the ends of Lillian’s hair in the same careful way that he trimmed mine, I counted out the cash that we had agreed to pay. He stood back when he had finished to admire the perfectly trimmed line that he had created, and a look of pride briefly swept across his features. However, he quickly, almost guiltily, popped his scissors back in his pocket then brushed his hands together as if washing away all blame for the heinous act that he had conducted on Lillian’s hair.

There was no denying that Grandpa chopping off so much of Lillian’s hair had turned me on. Her locks were so heavy in my hand, and I was reluctant to put her hair down but, under Grandpa’s admonishing gaze, I laid it reverently along a shelf at the back of the shop.

I picked up a hand mirror with shaking hands to show Lillian her dramatically shortened hair, and she was delighted. She was even happier when I placed the cash in her hand and, as I did so, I encouraged her to tell all her friends that she had had it cut at Clippers and we had paid her for the privilege. I made a mental note to design a flyer to advertise our services and have them printed at college.

= * = * =

By the end of the week, seven more women had come in to sell their hair, at least two being recommendations from Lillian. All had hair around waist length, and most were unwilling to part with more than the minimum length we allowed to get a free trim and receive a payment.

The exception was the final donor of the week. Anna had hair long enough to sit on and said she wanted to earn as much as possible from having it cut. She joked that she would not mind if she departed the shop as bald as Grandpa. At least, I think she was joking.

On hearing her request, Grandpa pompously interrupted our negotiations to state his rule of not cutting above the shoulders. For better or worse, Anna was extremely attractive and quite persuasive, so she persuaded a flustered Grandpa to cut her hair a little shorter. It ended up as a precisely cut longish bob, half-way between her chin and shoulders.

I was so aroused watching Grandpa harvest the first one metre length of hair. He needed to wave it in front of my face to bring me out of my trance and take it from him. Although it was not a dramatic style that Grandpa had given Anna, it was a drastic change in her appearance. She loved it and said she would be returning to Grandpa for a trim whenever she needed it. Returning women customers was something that Grandpa had hoped to avoid so I deliberately did not catch his eye, and he felt obliged to politely say he would welcome her return. Once she had left, he never said a word, but his expression made it clear that he was worried about what he had done.

= * = * =

The following week, the hair merchant I had previously contacted was delighted with our first harvest. We promptly received payment and a request to provide her with as much hair of that length and quality as possible.

Grandpa’s sullen approach to the whole exercise softened a little once the money was in his hand. While I was also delighted to top up my bank balance, my mind rarely strayed far from recollecting the haircuts we had completed and willing every long-haired woman that walked past Clippers to step inside.

I stood outside on one occasion and hand out flyers to potential candidates. I thought it was a great marketing initiative, but Grandpa frowned up on it when he saw me. Subsequently, I went further afield to hand out the flyers with reasonable success.

My mind always drifted back to Anna’s swinging bob, and I wondered how I could encourage Grandpa to cut our donor’s hair shorter if they requested it. I had reminded him that the more we cut, the more profit we make, but his stance never changed.

A steady stream of women entered the shop and bolstered our profits. Although I had assumed my fascination with the sight of Grandpa chopping off long hair would have faded, my feelings of arousal had intensified with each snip of Grandpa’s scissors.

= * = * =

Looking back, I could not have imagined that one magazine article would change our lives in such a drastic way. While Grandpa was not fully on board with the enterprise, he was as polite and pompous with the female customers as he was with the men, so that was a step in the right direction. I was pleased with the modest profits we were making, enabling Grandpa to keep his shop open and giving me a fighting chance to finish my college course.

However, I still had to come to terms with the highly enjoyable feelings I experienced as I watched women lose their long hair. Although I found it exciting, I knew that being affected in such a way was simply weird, and I was not comfortable sharing those feelings with anyone. It was a melting pot of emotions.

I doubted I would have resistance from Grandpa if I said we should stop buying hair … but, deep down, I knew that I did not want to.

What I was happy with was to make money.

What I wanted was to see Grandpa cut hair even shorter.

What I would love is the chance to do the cutting myself.

I wondered if, by continuing, my dreams might come true.

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