I was out running errands that I had long neglected. I had been so busy the past month with school and work that we had gotten behind on bills, shopping and just about everything. Luckily today my wife and I were both off this Thursday afternoon and had split up to conquer the neglected responsibilities. I had just finished up going to the post office, knocked out the Target list and found myself ahead of schedule. My last stop was the book store. After eficiently passing my way through I found myself walking through the strip mall realizing if was only 4:40 and that my wife wouldn’t be home for another hour. As I went over what I could do with my time I passed in front of a barber shop that had just opened a few months back. I glanced in out of curiosity as I caught my reflection in the mirror. Wow, I had really neglected my hair in addition to everything else. I must have been 7 or 8 weeks since my last haircut and I was looking very unkempt and I could feel the bulk of my coiffure in the July heat. I had plenty of time for a haircut so I decided to pop in.
Entering the familiar smell of an old fashioned barber shop welcomed me. The shop was small and tidy with two chairs. It was late in the day and I didn’t see anyone. A bell on the door had chimed but the shop was otherwise silent. I waited a moment before inquiring, “Hello, anyone here?” I waited about 20 seconds with no response. As I was about to turn and leave assuming they were closing for the day, the bell chimed as the door opened behind me. “Hi, sorry to keep you waiting.” a female voice greeted me warmly. I turned to toward the door to respond. I was immediatly struck with her appearance. She was a petite brunette with a hip style of dress and very short pixie hairstyle. I stood awkwardly staring at her. “No problem” I stammered. Extending her hand she greeted me, “I am Ashley, I just stepped out for a break. Looks like you could use a haircut.” Her grip was firm but welcoming. “Ummm, yeah” I replied. She invited me to have a seat in the first chair. She spun me around to face her station and the mirrored wall. “I will be right back” she stated as she went to the back of the shop. I observed her station and the numerous clippers, blades and shears laid out on a stark white towel. Observing myself it was clear I could use a haircut. My usual request is a short back and sides with a trim on top. I concluded that perhaps I could go a bit shorter and my haircut might fit better into my busy schedule. Momentarily she returned looking in the mirror as she placed her hand on my right shoulder. “What are we doing today?” Ashley inquired. Making eye contact I felt a connection and she put me at ease. “Just short on the sides and back. You can just trim the top a bit but maybe overall a bit shorter than my usual cut. It’s hot out and I am so busy these days you can see I have neglected myself.” “I’ll say!” she grinned with a wink. “How long has it been since your last cut?” she inquired. “At least a couple months.” I admitted with a bashful grin. “I’ve got it. Let’s get you cleaned up.” she stated calmly as she spun my chair to face the other side of the shop that was bare other than two TVs on the wall. She efficiently wrapped a strip of paper around my neck and caped me with a black cape. A bit unexpectedly Ashley ran her fingers up my neck through my hair, “One summer cut coming right up.” She then proceeded to comb my hair down straight all around. She moved behind the chair and turned on her large black clippers that whirred to life. As she changed blades and sprayed them with something she commented, “It’s nice to see a guy who is not afraid to get a man’s haircut. I get so tired of these dudes with their floppy bangs and shaggy mops coming in here for trims.” As she moved the clippers to the right side of my head just below my sideburns she commented “I really miss cutting on the base, but the money was terrible.” Before finishing the sentence she had guided the cool blade from my cheek high up the side of my right temple. The biggest plug of hair that I had ever seen slid into my lap on the black cape. I could feel a breeze instantly on my scalp that was a first for me. At that moment I realized that we might have a different idea of a short back and sides. I quickly realized it was too late and perhaps I should have been more specific. She continued around my side and ears, “Chin on your chest.” she commanded as she firmly guided me with her left hand. “Your gonna love this in the heat.” she exclaimed. I finally spoke up “How short is it.” “It’s a summer short like you asked for. Relax, you will look great.” After making her way around my entire head with her clipper she finally turned it off and turned her attention to her station. She then began to work with another clipper and blades that made a humming noise. “Let’s get this faded in.” she said with a pat on my left shoulder. She must have worked 10 minutes as she moved around my head with careful attention on what seemed to me to be a rather high taper. She turned off the second clipper as I relaxed with relief assuming she was almost done. Again I heard a pop and the whirr of the large black clipper, she placed it on my temple and moved up as before but without stopping as she guided it completely across the top of my head. She continued as hair rained down on my lap. At this point I knew there was nothing to be done but to evaluate the end result. Shocked by the cut I was receiving I found myself enthralled in the sensation on my scalp. I had never had a haircut like this before and as I sat there powerless to my surprise I was aroused. It was almost as if I was willfully submitting at this point. The clippers were again silent and I adjusted in my seat. Another pop and humming filled my ears as she tilted my head forward to a new sound somewhat more delicate sound. She began with a trimmer on my nape moving upward with small strokes near my occipital bone. Again moving to my sides she guide the trimmer through where my sideburns used reside and halfway up the sides of my head. She deftly finished cleaning up my neck as she released the cape. She dusted my with a brush and cleaned the hair from my face gently. After laying down the brush she used a high pressure air nozzle to blow off the remaining trimmings as she used her left hand to assist firmly rubbing my scalp and brushing my crown. Her hands were cool to the touch and I could feel them on my shaved head. Overwhelmed by the experience she spun me slowly to the mirror. I was buzzed. My hair was about 1/2 inch or less on top and I was white walled high on the sides. With her mirror she showed me the back, “How does it feel?” she inquired. “I can certainly feel the breeze I blushed. It’s a bit shorter than I expected. I was hoping for short rather than bald back and sides.” I remarked. I reached up and felt my bare head, the stubble was fine and I couldn’t believe the amazing sensation. Ashley admitted, “I had the sense by your reaction when I started cutting it might be your first bald fade but you look amazing.” Don’t worry you’ll get used to it and will be back again.” she smiled mischievously. I admitted as I continued to rub my head, “I think you might be right.”
Returning home, my wife had just beat me home and was putting away groceries. I entered the kitchen as she glanced up. “Hey babe. Holy shit! Did you ever get a haircut!” she exclaimed. She stood up and moved toward me to inspect. Looking a bit concerned “Babe, they scalped you.” as she ran her hand up my nape. My head starting to hang I sheepishly admitted “Yeah, it’s not exactly what I asked for…” A smile broke on her face, “We maybe not but you look hot as hell. Whoever did that knew what they were doing!” That was the start of a wonderful night and the beginning of my wife’s newly realized desire that she likes a man with a tight buzzcut. Over the years my wife has taken over the decision making for my hairstyle and now calls Ashley ahead before I arrive to decide on my next cut. I never know what I am getting except that it will involve Ashley’s arsenal of clippers and my wife instructions will be very specific. I now prioritize my trips to the barber, which I enjoy very much, never lasting more than 2-3 weeks in between. My wife and I suspect Ashley would not accept anything less.