Haircuts were an out loud argument in my house. My younger brother hated to get them and made any barber who was cutting his hair miserable with disrespect. He would squirm and wiggle and even refuse to get in the chair sometimes.
I myself didn’t get it, but I was a girl and was fond of the beauty shop experience. I liked everything about it honestly and often thought maybe he would too if he had a haircut somewhere other than than old smelly barbershops. I arrived at this conclusion after having to take him to the barbershop one day because my mom had too much to do.
I couldn’t understand his hatred until I saw for myself what his haircut experience was like. It happened on a Saturday morning, upon instruction I ushered him into my car and we headed for the town barbershop. He was silent the whole way, it was summer and he had managed to avoid the last demanded haircut so his blonde curly hair had grown out considerably.
When we entered the shop, I realized I had never been in a barbershop before and I felt very out of place. Old barbers in white cutting tunics snipped furiously at the hair under there hands with no grace or style and the caped clients looked tiny under the pinstriped capes.
My mother had made an appointment for him so there was no wait. I sat down in the waiting area and watched him climb into the big chair as the barber held it still for him and get caped immediately. The barber wasted no time caping him and in an instant the chair was being hoisted up into the air with the barbers foot pushing down on the pedal harshly. My little brother was trapped and I felt sorry for him.
The haircut began if you would even call it that, clippers mowed across his small head and I marveled at the insensitivity of it.
The chair was dropped to the floor and it was over in a matter of minutes , no wonder he hated the barbershop. As he was un caped and pushed from the barbers chair, it was that moment I realized I was going to do him a favor and take him to my beauty shop with me for my his next trim.
3 weeks passed and it was time. I over heard my mother telling him he was looking shaggy and to expect a haircut so I chimed in and offered to escort him.
The next morning as we shut the doors to my car and left the house he said ” you really enjoy this don’t you?,
I looked over at him and responded,” not today, I have a surprise for you”
A look of confusion on his face set the mood as we passed the barbershop and parked in front of the beauty salon which he had probably thought he never would have stepped foot in.
“What are you doing” he asked anxiously.
” You’ll like this much more, I promise” I reassured him.
We exited the car and headed inside. I could tell right away it was overwhelming to him.
The beauty salon looked nothing like a barbershop.
It was a big room with checkered black and white floors and tall ceilings. The pink vinyl styling chairs each had their own station private from the one next to it, much more personal than the traditional barbershop he was used too. On the back wall, a row of pretty women sat under hair dryers casually reading magazines and smoking.
The sound of chit chat and scissors snipping filled the air and I could tell he felt out of place.
” Its ok, my stylist is expecting you” I told him as I pushed him through the door into the salon.
We walked further in towards the styling station where my girl Theresa’s chair was and he caught his first glimpse.
She was sitting in her own chair with her back to us when we walked up, she spun around to face us exhaling a cloud of cigeratte smoke and greeted us with enthusiasm.
Her black leather leggings hugged her tight crossed legs and her curly blonde hair barely touched her shoulders. I knew my brother, like any red blooded male, would have no problem with her hands in his hair.
” Hello cutie, your sister tells me you need a trim” she said looking right at him.
” He sure does, and go easy on him. ” I responded sarcastically.
My little brother looked up at me unnervingly and asked” what about the barbershop?”
” this is much better, I promise” I told him as I nudged him closer to his new hairstylist.
Theresa bounced out of her pink styling chair and pulled the thick black shiny cape from the back rest. She spread it open and said” come on sweetie, let’s get you fixed up”
My brother eased toward the salon chair and sat down nervously, this was new to him and Theresa and I both knew it so she was being gentle with him.
My brother sat back into the pink chair and was trying to put on a brave face. I told him” just relax, there are no buzz cuts here, she’s just going to give you a trim.
” Thats right sugar” the hairdresser said as she spun him in the chair to face the mirror.
He seemed to be relaxing a little but I could understand how this was a lot to process.
I walked over and sat in the salon chair adjacent and watched as she threw the black vinyl cape around him and gently snapped it shut. Theresa played with his blonde locks and made small talk until she forced a giggle from him and I felt better immediately.
She placed her high heel on the styling chairs hydraulic pedal and pumped it slowly into the air. ” Just gonna put you where I can reach you sweetie” she reassured him.
My brother was starting to look more calm now, even happy with how it was working out.
Theresa pulled a comb from her black stylist apron and started combing though his hair . She asked” so what are we doing today cutie?”
My brother peered his eyeballs over to me as if I was giving the instructions.
I replied ” just a trim, nothing crazy”
A look of relief washed over his small face.
She grabbed a water bottle and sprayed his hair down and combed it out until the tangles were gone. A few more pumps up higher and the hair cut was underway.
She ran her long acrylic finger nails into the top of his curly hair and started sectioning it out, with her shiny scissors she snipped modest amounts of blonde hair.
She chatted with him about school and if he was driving the girls crazy yet. My brother opened up and engaged with her about his friends and the mischief they got into when they could. Theresa was a bubbly girl, she laughed and kept him occupied while she snipped busily and he seemed to forget he was in a beauty salon chair all together.
I was now convinced he was content with the my decision which was very pleasing. My brother and had they typical relationship you would expect. We bickered about stupid nonsense and sometimes said mean things to each other we didn’t mean. Who would of ever thought we could find common ground in my beauty salon.
Feeling proud of my accomplishment, I sat back into the chair and crossed my legs taking a sigh of relief. My brother had never seen me smoke because I was afraid he would tell my parents so I did it secretly for a year now. I figure if there was a time to expose him to my vice now was as safe as any. I pulled a cigarette from the pack in my purse and lit it with one eye peeking over at him.
He looked a little confused as I took the first slow drag but Theresa regained his attention when she asked, ” how long do you like your bangs sugar?”
” No one has ever asked me that, I don’t know? ” he commented sheepishly.
” Well you have beautiful hair so we will keep a little length in them” Theresa said as she ran her fingers through them and only trimmed the very ends.
Just then the stylist who’s chair was sitting in appeared behind me and called out ” well look at this handsome young man, where is your girlfriend. Does she know you are here with all these pretty ladies?!”
My little brother blushingly smiled and Theresa chimed in with” he is my little boyfriend, you keep your hands off him!!”
We all laughed and he looked proud to have such a gorgeous woman claim him.
Tiffany was a tall brunette with dark eyes and that sometimes I even found myself staring into. Sometimes she would trim my hair if Theresa was away or too busy. Today she was wearing red leather pants with a black tank top that showed off her tone tanned arms. It had crossed my mind that I would trade my body for hers anyday.
She came up behind me and started playing with my hair as I sat and smoked casually.
“Look at these split ends, you could use a dusting.” She exclaimed.
” Fix her her up Tiffany, I don’t mind.” Theresa told her as she continued to section and snip away at my brothers curly hair.
I took one more puff of my cigarette and stood up to put it out in the ashtray on the counter. I sat back down in the pink styling chair and recrossed my legs, I love having my hair worked on so this was a unexpected treat.
Tiffany pulled a black shiny cape of the chair from the styling station next to us and threw it over her shoulder. She pinned my shoulder length straight hair up with a silver clip and shook the vinyl cape out.
The sound of the cape flying over my body drew my brothers attention towards me.
” What can’t I treat myself too?” I asked him with a smile on my face.
Tiffany snapped the cape shut and stepped down on the styling chairs hydraulic lever a couple times notching me a little higher up.
She undid the clip holding my hair up and it collapsed to my shoulders and spread over the shiny material of the cape. I peaked back over to check on my brother and was happy to see he was loving every minute of Theresa’s specialized styling experience. He little blonde curls collected in his caped lap and layed on the floor under the pink chair.
I turned my gaze back to the mirror in front of my chair and winked at myself approvingly.
Tiffany sprayed my hair lightly and pulled it away from my head with her fingers, she snipped away at the split ends that she held firmly in her grasp and little hairs were now collecting under my chair.
My brothers haircut was looking complete and Theresa spoke out,” let’s get you washed up.” I knew he had never had his hair washed after a haircut and he was really going to like this part.
Theresa pushed down on the styling chairs pedal and it pulled him with it to the floor. Still caped up, she guided him to the washing station holding his hand and instructed him to sit back and relax.
He put himself in her washing chair which was also pink and puffy.
She placed a black towel around his neck on top of the cutting cape and reclined his head back into the sink basin.
A lady sitting under a hairdryer next to them commented” well aren’t you a lucky little fella ”
This is my new boyfriend, and I’m not sharing him with anyone! ” Theresa quipped back with a grin.
She turned the water and on and allowed it a minute to run and get warm. Once at a proper temp she worked the water into his new haircut and used her fingernails to take through it and the stray clippings washed down the sink hole.
Theresa squirted a dollop of fragrant shampoo into her soft hand and massaged his head thoroughly. My little brother was getting the ultimate Theresa washing, she spared no effort and enjoyed completing her haircuts with a good scalp massage.
The shampoo was rinsed out vigorously and the water turned off, she raised the shampoo chair back up level and grabbed a fresh towel which she ruffled through he wet hair.
Theresa grabbed his little hand and with him following behind led him back to the styling station where his new experience started.
” Looking better already stud” Tiffany declared out loud as Theresa spun the empty pink chair away from the mirror and towards him.
He sat back into the soft leather cushion and she pulled the black cape over the back of the chair.
With a few quick pumps up he was ready for the blow dry.
Meanwhile, SHNICK…SHNICK….SHNICK could be heard in Tiffany’s styling station as she cut with precision at my worn hair ends.
” You want me to wash it for you today? ” she asked as she combed it back out seeming very happy with her work.
” Thanks anyway but not today, it feels better already.” I said to her.
I heard the blow dryer flick on and looked over to where Theresa was ruffling through my brothers hair with her fingers while she blew it dry.
Tiffany patted my caped shoulders and said into my ear, ” I bet he’s enjoying that ” we laughed .
She grabbed her hairdryer and briskly blew my face free of any loose strands of blonde hair.
She unsnapped my cape released the pink chairs lever, I sunk to the floor and hopped up approvingly of my new trim.
I walked behind my brother who was now having product put in his hair and said ” much better than the barbershop isn’t it ”
” It certainly is ! ” Theresa offered up not allowing him to answer.
She messied the trimmed curls on top his head with her skinny fingers and smoothed the sides above his ears with her palms.
” There we are, now you look so much better.” She said as she wiped a few stray hairs from his little nose with her finger.
She brushed his neck and face off and positioned herself behind the styling chair.
With one downward pump she released the chair from it’s working height and lowered slowly to the floor. My brother looking very happy with his new hairstyle.
She wiped her hand across the back of his cleanly trimmed neck one final time and un snapped the vinyl cape and peeled it from his little chest.
My brother looked at her through the mirror, smiled , and said. ” thank you Theresa!”
” Cute and polite! ” Theresa responded enthusiastically.
She leaned down and with her pouty red lips placed a big wet kiss on his neck. He blushed bright red and raised himself from the styling chair proudly.
I thanked the girls and payed them before we headed towards the door.
As we walked out of the salon, he looked up at me and said,
” Thanks sis,”