Or Moon’s Salon, if you prefer.
Kayla had been planning to meet up with Brooke for some time, but life would not stop getting in the way. Every time one of their coffee dates came up, there was some fire burning, and Kayla needed to be there to extinguish it. Whenever Brooke tried to surprise her with a gift, she was nowhere to be found. Even when the two got to see each other, the phone always rang.
As Kayla’s face lights up, seeing Brooke leaning her head onto her hand in the middle of their old favorite coffee shop, today becomes no exception. Kayla’s phone rings loudly, drawing eyes to her. When Brooke sees her, there is a moment of light in her eyes before she realizes what the ringing phone probably means.
Kayla stops to grit her teeth, before checking the caller ID.
Kayla looks at it for a moment and sighs. As she is about to answer her phone, she pauses for a moment, unable to accept the call.
The phone stops ringing.
Almost immediately, it starts ringing again, and Kalya throws it on the floor, hard enough to crack the screen, but not to stop the ringing. Kayla steps on it angrily, the ringing sound sputtering and eventually dying. Gently, Kayla picks up the pieces and puts them in a trash can. Soon after, she takes a seat in front of Brooke and lays her head down on the table.
“I can’t take this anymore,” she says.
Brooke pats her back gently, nodding.
“That whole office is useless.” Kayla groans, “They think that they can’t do anything without me. Every time I think I might be free for a little bit, someone needs my help. Last week I had to teach someone how to use Firefox because they said it was too difficult for them.”
Brooke listens patiently, running her fingers over Kayla’s head, casually undoing the bun resting on her neck, letting the black locks fall down her back and running soothing fingers along them.
“I don’t know why I’ve been letting them expect this of me for so long,” Kayla continues, “I’m a secretary! Maybe this level of commitment would make sense if I owned the company, but I don’t! I don’t get enough money or respect to deal with this!”
Brooke continues to play with her hair as Kayla sighs, asking quickly, “Did I fuck up?”
“By quitting?” Brooke responds, “No. You fucked up by staying there as long as you did, though. Clearly, this was stressing you out more than it had any right to. Your job is important, but you can’t let it take over your life. That’s not healthy. Never has been.”
The two sit in silence for a moment, Brooke gently running her nails along Kayla’s scalp. Eventually, Kayla lifts up her head and smiles.
“How have you been?” she asks, trying to laugh off the awkwardness.
After a long session of catching up, the topic comes back to Kayla’s future plans- returning to the same grind for another company is a striking possibility, at least according to Brooke.
“You’ve got to do something to break yourself out of your habit of being so servile! You’ve got to learn to do things because you want to do them, not because you’ve been instructed to do them, or because you think it will please everyone else. You are your own person.”
Kayla nods, responding slowly, “Yeah, I know. It’s just hard… I want to please everyone so badly sometimes, even though I know it’s going to be impossible. Besides, my own desires are weird, and kinda stupid…”
Brooke slaps Kayla across the face, eliciting a yelp.
“Don’t call yourself stupid!” Brooke yells, loud enough to draw a few glances. She lowers her tone when she continues, “You’re not a stupid woman. Your desires aren’t stupid. Don’t tear yourself down like that, you need to trust in yourself.”
“You didn’t have to hit me to make that point!” Kayla hisses through her teeth, “That hurt!”
Brooke shrugs, taking a drink of her coffee. After a moment, she starts, “You know what? A great place to start expressing yourself is with your hair! If you end up hating what you initially pick, you can change it basically immediately. Even if you cut it really short or something, it will grow back quickly. It’s almost risk-free. I even know a really great stylist who you can try!”
“Do you?” Kayla asks, curiously. “I have wanted to get my hair done for a while… I haven’t had time, as you can imagine.”
“Yeah! She operates a really little salon uptown, her name is Moon. She might come off a little weird at first, but she does absolutely awesome work, trust me.”
Kayla jots down the address and bids her friend farewell soon after.
She spends a few hours enjoying a measure of freedom. The city bustles and hurries around her, but she can take moments to look in the shop windows, sit in the parks, and watch the people.
Eventually, she finds herself in the same district as the salon, so she decides to wander toward it- since her phone is destroyed, she thinks, she might as well make an appointment in person.
When she finds the right shop, she quickly goes in, not entirely sure what to expect. The only person present is a girl wearing expensive-looking sunglasses and a similarly fancy purse sitting on a couch, playing with her phone. After an inquisitive look, she tells Kayla, “Moon is back preparing right now. She’ll probably be out in a few minutes.”
Kayla sits down on the couch, uncomfortably close to the other girl, even though they’re a foot apart. Not having her mind constantly occupied by work has reminded her exactly how cute girls are, and she can feel her face getting red. The other girl’s dark blonde hair hanging around her shoulders looks soft and strokable, and her shirt is low-cut enough to make her chest look tantalizing. Kayla tries to keep her face straightforward and not think about it, but thoughts keep creeping back into her head until a woman steps out from behind the curtain.
She has dark skin, and pale blonde hair cut just above her shoulders. She’s wearing jet black lipstick and eyeshadow, white nail polish, a black sleeveless shirt, and black pants. Two black crescent moons are tattooed on her biceps.
She is stunning, and Kayla is unable to take her eyes away. As the woman approaches her, Kayla is unable to move. When the woman asks, “Hey, are you looking for an appointment?” it takes Kayla several seconds to respond. After that, she manages to shake the wonder off for long enough to reply, “Yes… I was hoping to have my hair done.”
The woman nods, telling her, “Well, if you want to wait just a little while, I happen to have an empty slot coming up.”
“Yes!” Kayla exclaims, before trying to calm herself down, continuing, “That would be perfect! Thank you! Are you Moon?”
The woman chuckles, replying, “Yes, that’s my name. It shouldn’t be too long.”
Moon takes the other girl’s hand and helps her up gracefully. The two walk off behind the curtain, and Kayla lets out a held breath.
After a few moments, she asks herself, “How am I going to get through an entire appointment with her touching my hair? Or my head? Oh god, maybe I should just leave-”
In the next moment, a faint buzzing comes from behind the styling room curtain. Transfixed, Kayla tries hard to listen- the sound is soft and hard to hear, but soothing. There is also some faint piano music playing from somewhere, which seems to cover part of the sound, but Kayla allows it to blend with the buzzing- the two make a nice pair. As she closes her eyes, her thoughts drift toward lewd things quickly, and she daydreams.
After some time, the buzzing stops, and Kayla’s eyes slowly open. The daydreaming has calmed her some, and she lazily looks toward the curtain. After a couple of minutes, it’s pulled back, and Moon steps out. The girl from before steps out from behind her and Kayla’s jaw drops- her messy shoulder-length blonde hair has been clipped to an Ivy-League buzzcut. Kayla can’t take her eyes off it as the girl walks to the counter, pulling a wallet out of her purse. “This feels so much better!” she says, running her fingers through the close-cropped back. Moon nods, smiling, taking her payment. After a moment, she sees Kayla staring, and narrows her eyes, still smiling. Kayla immediately puts her head down and doesn’t lift it up until she feels the air from the door opening. When she looks up, face tinted red, she sees Moon in front of her, one hand on her hip, smiling. “Are you ready?” she asks, as if Kayla could actually say no.
Kayla nods, slowly, and Moon extends a hand. Kayla takes it, and Moon pulls her up and leads her behind the big curtain. For some reason, there’s a door behind it- when Moon opens it, it opens into a small but cozy room with a black faux-leather chair sitting in the middle. Moon pulls Kayla in and closes the door behind them, before spinning the chair around and beckoning to it. Carefully, Kayla puts a foot on the footrest and spins so that she can sit down. As she settles, Moon bundles her hair in a hand, preparing a clip, and asking, “So, what sort of cut were you looking at today?”
As Moon clips her hair up, Kayla tries to stutter an answer- “I, uh… Well, I was thinking, uh, just a trim…”
Without warning, Moon spins the chair around so that she’s facing Kayla. Leaning in, she asks firmly, “Don’t lie to me, please.”
Kayla gulps, and her face turns a shade redder. She thinks about lying again to get that harsh tone of voice back, but instead, she replies, “I did like what that other girl had, but I don’t think I could ever do something that short… It’s so unlike me…”
Moon sighs, and with a gentler tone of voice asks, “Maybe, if you like the style, you should become the type of person who would wear it. After all, you are in control of yourself.”
Kayla thinks for a moment. She starts to shiver thinking about having her hair cut off, and after a moment, she looks at Moon again, and says with a quiver, “Okay, let’s uh- let’s try something new. Something really short.”
Moon spins the chair to face the mirror again and begins unfurling a black cape. “How short are you thinking?” she asks, throwing the cape over the chair, covering most of Kayla’s body. Not waiting for an answer, she quickly wraps a strip of paper around Kayla’s neck, securing it tightly without asphyxiating her.
As Moon begins to secure the cape, pulling it behind Kayla’s neck, Kayla replies, “Uh… well… you know, I’ve always wanted to go really short, but I’ve never been allowed to…” When she catches a glimpse of the straight razor on the counter, Kayla finishes, “I think I want my head shaved.”
Moon pins the cape tight around Kayla’s neck and leans down beside her. Her hot breath on Kayla’s neck and cheek, she asks quietly, “Are you sure? Your whole head?”
Kayla nods, and Moon smiles.
“That’s better. You actually want this.”
The cape is heavy on Kayla as Moon removes the clip from her hair, letting it fall in a black mess down her back. Picking up a brush, Moon smoothes and straightens it thoroughly, starting by running from the middle to the tips, and then running it down the length, from the roots. The brush feels nice against Kayla’s scalp, and she leans into it gently, letting her eyes close. When Moon puts the brush down, she takes a hairband and begins gathering a ponytail. To get stubborn pieces along the sides and top to comply, she runs her nails along Kayla’s head, gently scratching it, pulling the hair toward the back. After a few rounds, she ties the ponytail that she’s collected tightly, close to the scalp. Kayla feels the heavy mass drop behind her as Moon lets it go, stepping to her station for a moment to grab scissors. When Moon picks the tail up again, she pulls it up toward herself, and Kayla finds herself wanting to gasp- her toes curl and her fingers grab the armrests. It feels so rough- and then the scissors start clipping. Kayla listens carefully as they crunch together, and the force on the back of her head gets less and less. Kayla feels strands falling around her chin and neck, and sees some as they fall in front of her face. She smiles as the pressure from the hair continues to decrease, until a few hairs tickle her other cheek, and she finds she can lean forward. Moon dangles the ponytail in Kayla’s face for a second, before putting it down on her counter. Kayla’s first response is the wish to feel the back of her head, but the cape feels too heavy to move for the moment, so she only enjoys the light feeling. Moon stands beside her with her scissors, slowly clipping off chunks of hair, and throwing them down the cape, making a small pile of severed locks in Kayla’s lap. Kayla enjoys the feeling as Moon runs the cold metal up the side of her head, quickly snipping and throwing clumps of hair off. As she moves to the back, Moon runs her fingers down the scissor-sheared side, eliciting a shiver from Kayla. Quickly, Kayla feels the cold metal snipping against her nape, and feels hair dropping down her neck. For a few minutes, Kayla feels more and more sheared from the back of her head and begins to feel the cold metal more and more distinctly. When the scissors are removed, Moon runs her fingers up the nape a few times, until she’s apparently satisfied. Kayla melts under the gentle pressure, leaning her head into it. “If it feels this good now,” Kayla thinks to herself, “Then what will it be like when there’s less in the way?”
Kayla happily thinks about the prospect as Moon moves to her other side, quickly shearing off the hairs there, dumping more locks onto the pile in Kayla’s lap. When it’s done, Kayla turns her head for a moment to look- the sides are both expertly shorn, much shorter than Kayla had ever really expected to wear her hair. Without saying anything, Moon tilts Kayla’s head downward, and holds it there with a hand for a moment before pulling up a tuft of hair, and cutting it. Quickly, she throws the tuft down, letting it land in the pile. Kayla stares at the pile as more tufts land on it, Moon shearing them off quickly and steadily.
After a few minutes, Moon pulls Kayla’s head up again, and she can look in the mirror- she looks striking. Her hair is shorter than a pixie, the shortest she would normally consider.
As Kayla admires herself, Moon plugs in a pair of clippers, removing the guard.
As she turns them on, Kayla jumps. Moon puts a hand on her shoulder and pins her down, even though the cape wouldn’t allow much movement anyway. The firm pressure on her shoulder is quickly joined by the feeling of cold blades up against her nape, and then cold air against her scalp. Moon briskly runs the clippers up the back of Kayla’s head, stopping at the crown to throw a clump of black hair to the floor under her. Without hesitation, she places the clippers just to the right and continues shearing. Kayla feels herself getting hot under the cape, and she lets her mouth hang open for a moment to pant. She sees Moon smiling in the mirror, throwing another clump of hair off the back of her head. While Moon begins another pass, Kayla slowly moves her arms under the cape, pulling her shirt up a bit so as to let heat dissipate for a moment. After another pass, Moon suddenly takes her hand off Kayla’s shoulder and instead uses it to push her head gently to the side. She places the clippers behind Kayla’s ear, and holds it down, pushing the clippers up behind it and letting black locks drop onto Kayla’s shoulder. She begins another pass in front of Kayla’s ear, and drops another large clump of hair onto Kayla’s shoulder, and then down into her lap, joining the pile. She cleans up the side thoroughly, before letting Kayla’s head stand up straight again. Kayla turns her head to the side to see the shearing- it’s even shorter than she had expected. It’s amazing. Abruptly, Moon pushes Kayla’s head down, and Kayla can feel the cold blades again on her nape, pushing up and exposing it to cool air around her. As Moon begins another pass, Kayla focuses on the hand on her head- it’s pressing down with authority, and it feels reassuring. Combined with the heating metal running up her nape, it makes her feel glad that she ended up being honest.
After a few passes, Moon again pushes Kayla’s head down to the side, and pushes the ear down, running the clippers up behind it, and dumping black hair, then quickly switching to the front of the ear, and cleaning it up. Kayla watches in the mirror, and chuckles at her appearance- she has something of a mohawk with everything sheared but the top of her head. It’s not particularly flattering. Not missing a beat, Moon pushes Kayla’s chin into her chest, putting a hand on the back of her head, and runs the clippers into the middle of the hair that’s left. Kayla watches, starting to blush again, as clumps of hair fall into the pile in her lap that she’s watching. After a few passes, the clumps get smaller, and then only a few stray hairs continue to fall. Kayla can feel her toes curl again, enjoying the sensation of the last long hairs being sheared. Then, Kayla can feel the clippers running all over her head, cleaning it up so that nothing remains.
After a minute, the clippers stop. Moon takes her hand off Kayla’s head, and Kayla looks up. She’s fully sheared, and it looks amazing. Her brown eyes pop without being guarded by black bastions. The rest of her face is burning red, and she puts her head down on seeing that. Moon plugs in a hairdryer and uses it to blow away any hairs that remain around Kayla’s neck or shoulders, and Kayla can’t hold back a small moan upon feeling the heat on her bare scalp. She hopes that the loud dryer covered her, but it was impossible to tell.
When Moon turns the dryer off, she smiles and asks gently, “Are you ready for the shaving portion? I promise that I’ll be gentle, but I need you to stay as still as possible, okay?”
Kayla stutters, “Uh… yeah, I’ll do my best…”
Moon leans down and rummages in a cupboard for a little while, before popping back out with a towel. “This is very hot, but it will help a lot,” she warns. Kayla nods, and Moon places the towel over her head, gently. It really is incredibly hot, but it feels good as Moon drapes it over her scalp and down her forehead. Kayla closes her eyes and enjoys the practically burning feeling against her fresh, sensitive scalp. She’s grateful for the excuse to have a red face. Moon places another, smaller cloth across Kayla’s neck, and over her chin. “These hot towels are quite good for shaving. They’ll open your pores, and soften the hairs, so the razor is less irritating. I highly recommend you use something similar if you want to keep yourself shaved.”
Kayla doesn’t respond, enjoying the heat on her face. She opens her mouth to pant once again, and Moon stops the cloth from slipping off quickly. After a few minutes, Moon rubs the cloth around Kayla’s head a few times and throws it on a nearby counter. Quickly, she pulls a bowl of cream she had been preparing off a different counter and uses a brush to begin applying it to Kayla’s head. She applies an even coating to the entirety of Kayla’s scalp, and then extends it to her forehead, down her cheeks, and over her chin and neck. The cream is warm, and the sensation of it rubbing against her makes Kayla shiver. After there is a thick coating all over, Moon puts the bowl and the brush down and instead picks up a straight razor which has been sitting under a lamp. She puts the water in the sink on at a gentle stream and spins Kayla’s chair around so that she faces the wall opposite the mirror. Kayla can feel the anticipation building before the hot metal blade makes contact with her nape, gently scraping away the few remaining hairs. After a few seconds, Moon withdraws the blade and runs it under the water. When it returns to Kayla’s head, it drips a bit but touches her with soothing heat. Kayla steadfastly resists the urge to try and lean into it, digging her fingers into the armrests and hugging the seat with her legs. Moon continues to shave slowly and steadily for what feels like hours, cleaning up the nape, running the hot razor up the back of Kayla’s head, but in reality, it only lasts a couple of minutes. When she switches to the side, Kayla can’t help but jump- her ear is sensitive, and when it’s folded down, she almost gasps. Moon uses her elbow to hold Kayla’s shoulder down as she runs the hot razor up the scalp, shearing everything away with scratching the skin. When it’s over, she lets the ear go, and Kayla releases a held breath. The other side features the same difficulty- Kayla can hardly stand it when her ear is grabbed. She shivers and struggles a little bit, but finds herself unable to move under the weight of the shoulder and the cape. She settles as the rest of her side is shaved, letting her body recover from its impulsive wriggling. When Moon finishes the sides and begins shaving the top, Kayla settles back down into enjoying the feeling of the hot blade expertly running over her skin. For a long time, Kayla had wanted to be able to do something like this- though she never imagined exactly how good it might feel. Kayla closes her eyes and continues to enjoy the rhythm, listening to the scratching, followed by the wetting, and more scratching. It’s soothing.
Kayla doesn’t open her eyes when she feels the razor running down her face. “Do not move,” she hears Moon instruct- Kayla wouldn’t dream of moving at a time like this.
Kayla feels Moon’s hand on her shaved scalp and enjoys that feeling as much as the razor moving over her forehead, running over her brows. The air is cool against her freshly shaved skin, especially as compared to the razor running over her face. When the brows are done, Kayla feels the razor running down her cheek, and over her chin- she doesn’t know precisely why that needs to be shaved, but she has ceased to care. It feels good enough that she doesn’t need a reason.
As the razor runs up her neck, Kayla gets a chill- there is a sense of danger, even in Moon’s capable hands, until Moon puts a hand on her cheek. Kayla finds that she can’t move- it’s somehow much more reassuring.
Quickly, her neck is shaved, and the razor moves on to her chin, shaving it quickly, and then up to the other cheek, and under her nose. Soon, Moon withdraws the razor and does not put it back. Instead, a dry towel rubs gently over her scalp, and then face.
“You can open your eyes and move now,” Moon tells her.
When she opens her eyes, Kayla sees Moon toweling off her razor. Moon quickly puts it down and spins the chair so that Kayla can see herself in the mirror. Kayla is unprepared for how good she looks- her skin and eyes glow, her face has more definition, and she looks happy. Moon smiles, telling her, “I’ve had clients who look good after a cut, but you’ve got to be among the top few. You really needed this.”
Kayla nods, slowly, still stunned. “I did…” she replies.
Still smiling, Moon grabs something on the chair, and tells Kayla, “I’m going to lower you into the sink. There is a neck rest, so try to get comfortable, okay?”
Moon lowers the back of the chair slowly, and gradually, Kayla’s neck finds the padded rest. Moon starts warms water flowing, and runs it over Kayla’s head. She uses her hands to rub it in gently, and in that moment, Kayla realizes how good it feels to have hands on her bare head. Gently, Moon’s nails rub up against her, rubbing the water in, but also gently tickling and scratching. It gets even better when Moon runs her hands down the sides of Kayla’s head, and then over her ears. Moon smiles coquettishly as she rubs her thumbs into Kayla’s ears, and gently runs her nails along the back side. Kayla has to strictly resist the urge to moan, and her toes curl as she pants just a bit. Moon rubs her fingers along the back of Kayla’s head from the nape to the crown, her nails gently scratching it.
After a bit, Moon stops the water and pats Kayla’s scalp and face dry gently with a towel. Quickly, Moon takes a bottle from the shelf and dollops a bit onto her hand. She rubs it into Kayla’s neck quickly, telling her, “Moisturizing is always important after shaving. You want your skin to stay nice and smooth.”
The feeling of Moon’s fingers against her neck makes Kayla feel vulnerable but nice. She closes her eyes with trust, as Moon runs her fingers over her forehead, and onto her scalp. Moon’s nails running over her freshly shaved skin again make her face turn red again, though, and she tries to wrap her arms around the rests to stop herself from putting them in her pants.
Moon’s gentle stroking and scratching seems to last forever, and Kayla enjoys it thoroughly, especially as she runs her hands up her sensitive nape. But after a few minutes, Moon washes her hands, and Kayla opens her eyes. When she comes back, Moon looks at Kayla’s face with concern. “Your face is really red,” she says, “We should probably use some Aloe Vera. That can help keep inflammation down in sensitive skin.”
Kayla nods, and Moon pushes some gel from another bottle into her hand. She quickly rubs it into Kayla’s face, cooling it. It feels amazing, and Kayla’s eyes close again, staying closed as Moon rubs the gel all over her face and into her scalp, cooling everything. Kayla is glad for the opportunity to have her nape massaged again, but it stops all too soon as Moon washes her hands.
Kayla returns and unpins the cape, pulling it off and letting the pile of black hair fall onto the floor. She cuts the paper strip off with scissors and puts it in a nearby trash can. After that, she leans down onto Kayla’s shoulders and asks, “What do you think?”
“This is.. Amazing…” Kayla breathes.
Moon narrows her eyes for a moment, before asking, “Do you want my honest opinion?”
“This is a bold new look, but it’s not complete without a few other changes.”
Kayla looks at herself in the mirror. She thinks she looks pretty good, but she still asks, “What did you have in mind?”
“I think you need makeup. And maybe some piercings… Here, and here.”
Moon points out Kayla’s ear and bottom lip.
Kayla thinks for a moment, before telling her, “Yeah, I think that’d work great!”
Moon smiles and begins pulling materials out of a cupboard.
“This won’t take long,” she says, “And it’ll look great.”
After swabbing the ear and unpackaging a sterile needle, and loading it with a stud earring, Moon gently pierces the ear against a piece of cork. It doesn’t hurt as much as Kayla would have expected, but it’s still painful.
“Alright,” Moon exclaims after the first one, “Just eleven to go.”
“Wait,” Kayla interjects, “Eleven?”
“Mhm,” Moon replies, “Six per ear.”
After that process, Kayla declines to have her lip done too. At least her ears have gone numb to the pain, though. And they look flashy- with six silver-colored studs in each, they make a great addition to her cute face. Moon pulls out a makeup kit, and does quick work- when she pulls away, Kayla has expertly created eyeliner and deep blue eyeshadow, with lavender lipstick. She looks even more stunning than before. Moon smiles at her and helps her out of the chair.
After she pays, Kayla steps out of the shop, back into the world. Resolute. From now on, she thinks to herself, she is going to do things because she wants to. She is going to be her own person.