Hi all. This story was written by nikki m long time ago. I found it on the old 1hss archive. It was my favorite story. Hope you like it to.
I walk down the street holding my mother’s hand as she dags me along, my two brothers walk in front of us as we briskly stroll out of the parking lot at the local mall. Today was the day about once every 2 – 3 months that I dreaded, haircuts. It was a scorching day, the concrete sweltered, I could even feel the sun belting down on my feet through my sandals. My mum had picked us up from school and here we were, on the way to hell.
I’m a girl, seven years old, 1 twin of four children. Me and my twin brother Tim were the youngest. Then I had an older brother 11 and an older sister 16. Like I said earlier, when mum mentioned the words trim, or haircut, it sent shivers right up my spine. It wasn’t that I hated haircuts, well I do now, it wasn’t cause I was scared, well actually now I think of it I’m terrified, it was just the place I had it done, the barbershop. My mom believed that young girls like myself didn’t need any fancy styled haircuts, just neat trims. So therefore she didn’t see why she should spend the extra money on expensive hairdressing salons when I could get the same haircut at the barbershop for half the price. What she didn’t care about or notice was the humiliation and loss of dignity involved!
I hated everything about this place, everything! I hated the smell, I hated the barber, I hated the chair, I hated….. well I hated a lot of things but I will get to all of those later. I got teased at school by the boys. They saw me in the barbershop when they were getting their haircuts. The girls were a little bit mean as well, a few of them had seen me in the barber’s whilst they had to go along with their mother for their brother’s haircuts. They never included me in their haircut or style conversations at school. They told me I wouldn’t understand cause I got my haircut with the boys. It mad me sad.
My sister who is 16 had to endure the same torture when she was a young girl. I remember her screaming at mom, fighting over her haircuts. It was until she was 13, or maybe it was 14 when she was allowed to do what she wished with her hair and get it cut where ever she wanted. Now she has a beautiful layered haircut, suits her so well. She’s beautiful. As we surged closer to the shop I saw the spinning red and white pole in the distance, this made me realise that I had this to look forward to 4 times a year for the next seven years, felt like crying there and then.
Outside the shop I noticed a bike rack, it was filled with the boys bikes from school, I really didn’t want to go in today. Mum opened the door as the bell chimed, I dug my heels into the ground trying to avoid entrance. Mum slapped my arm and dragged me through the door.
Everyone looked up as we walked in. The hairdressers (or should I say barbers) looked from their stations and greeted us. I tried to avoid any eye contact with waiting customers but it was nearly impossible. A few boys in my class that were friends with my twin brother came over to speak to us. “Hi Nikki” (Nikki was me, or Nicola as my mum called me. My sister gave me the name Nikki) I blushed, “Hi” I responded. They smirked, I could tell I was gonna get it tomorrow. I looked over and also saw a couple of girls in my class who had obviously been dragged along with mum for their brother’s haircuts. They just laughed at me whilst whispering something to each other.
The shop got fairly busy and I was soon sitting on mom’s knee. Now I can begin to start to tell you about my hatred for this place. As soon as we walked in there was that smell, that awful smell that I couldn’t describe and didn’t know until I was in the shop, oh how I hated it, it was so manly. The shop had four chairs in a row. These chairs they put you in when you were having your haircut scare me sooo much. I could barely get in them myself, they were too high, usually mom lifted me up. They were giant, steel, leather chairs that just about ate you up when you sat in them. It was like they held you captive, they enjoyed me getting my haircut, the haircut which I hated, and this was just the chair. Can you believe it!?
Next item I’m about to mention main seem peculiar but I despised it and the way it was used. I’m talking about that giant red sheet cover thing that the barber used to strangle me with. She always referred to it as the cape, “Nicola sit still whilst I wrap the cape around you honey”. Oh how I absolutely dreaded this giant cape. I hated the way she stood next to her empty chair, knowing I was next, dangling the cape as if were bait to lure me into her chair. She knew she would shortly get to pull it tight around my neck. I think I hate this because I knew, and she knew that once that cape was secured there was no way out for me and I was gonna get a haircut whether I liked it or not. Which leads me to my most humiliating experience I undergo.
This may also come as a strange but I cant stand it. When she had me perched up in the chair and the cape in her hand ready to be drawn across me, she would reach forward and pull a long white strip of thick tissue from the wall. Then she would stand behind me and fasten it tightly around my neck. Thing about this was, I knew other girls had to be caped at the hairdressing salon, it was normal, but this whole neck tissue thing was such a male thing. I sat high up in that chair, neck tissue fastened tightly around my neck just like all the other boys! All the other boys which I hate being like sooo much. I think she enjoyed treating me like a boy as she knew I hated it. That and the chair were one thing that made it purely obvious that I was in the wrong place. It was so humiliating. I just wanted to rip off the tissue and cape then jump from the chair and yell “I’m a girl, treat me like a girl!”. However I knew if I ever pulled a stunt like that I would be straight back up in the chair and in a lot of trouble when I got home. Whenever I was in trouble mum would always threaten me with a haircut.
Whilst I’m telling you all this my brothers have taken their respective positions in their barber’s chairs. Mom put me down next to her on the waiting bench and went to discuss haircuts with the barber’s. After coming to an agreement she joined me back at the waiting bench. I was placed back on her knee and she began stroking my hair, “You need a good haircut don’t you young lady?” My hair was a little in my eyes but I didn’t really need a haircut that much. Perhaps I did but I just didn’t want to be here, can you blame me? I watched my brothers receiving their haircuts, even if you didn’t know the time of year you could tell summer was just around the corner judging by the haircuts being administered.
The lady that always cut my hair was Mandy. She was a fairly attractive lady that loved her job. Her and my mother knew each other quite well, just from being customers for so long. I think Mandy was in her late 20s, she had cut my brothers and even my sisters hair from the time she finished barber school. Now I had taken my sisters position and she was my hairdresser. I know what your thinking, she’s not my hairdresser she is my barber. I know this, but her being female is the closest thing I have to getting my haircut at a hairdressing salon. The only thing worse than the position I’m in would be getting my haircut from one of the male barbers. I’m just waiting for the day when we come for haircuts and she is away, I think I will refuse to take my place in the chair no matter what the punishment.
Getting back to Mandy, I’m 100% sure she enjoyed my haircuts more than any. She always got this indescribable smile/grin on her face when she held out that cape and invited me to her chair. Every time I sat up in that chair in a clear view of everyone in the shop she would say “How short are we going today?” as if she wanted to cut off all my hair for everyone to see, I was scared of her. I always held my breath when she said this because mum would come over to the chair and they would both begin to tug and tease my hair. Usually mum would just ask for a trim but sometimes a little more would be taken off. I always endured the same questions from Mandy, “Hows school, hows your sister” and she would always say “you have beautiful hair like Jessica (my sister).
Just then I snapped out of that little day dream or day nightmare to notice Mandy who was reaching for this big fluffy brush she would use to dust away the hairs from my face and around my neck. This meant only one thing, she was finished the haircut…. I was next. The cape was unclipped from my brother’s clean clipped neck. She briskly dusted the loose clippings away from his collar and removed the cape and neck tissue. I watched her stilettos as they raised to the pedal at the bottom of the chair, she pushed down on the pedal as the chair started lowering. My heart began to beat faster as she held the cape in her hand and helped my twin brother from the chair running her long nails up the back of his neck which she had recently clipped, “Much better isn’t it? She said. Mum agreed with a smile. Mum knew what time it was as well because she lifted me off her knee and walked me over to the chair where Mandy was waiting, cape in hand. “Time for a haircut is it?” , “Up you get sweetie” said Mandy.
Before I had a chance to do anything I felt mums hands under my arm pits and she lifted me up. My legs dangled in a sort kicking motion. My sandals were the first thing to touch the chair as I was placed down on this padded plank which was still there from my brother’s haircut. It went over the armrests and hooked underneath to create a high chair. So it began…
Firstly I felt one hand, then two hands and lots of fingernails running through my hair and over my head. I have no idea who’s were who’s as both Mandy and mum tussled my locks. “So how short are we going with Nicola today?” She proposed, cape swaying in her hand. “hmmm I’m really not sure” replied mum. “Its hot out there today isn’t it?” commented Mandy, “Oh sure is, its terrible” said mum. They continued to converse about Summer and the heat. I didn’t like where this conversation was headed at all! “You going away at all this summer Patricia?” (Patricia was my mother’s name). “Yes we are hoping to go away to the beach for a few weeks” “Oh how lovely, lots of swimming, so we want to get this out of your eyes don’t we young lady, something short and will dry quickly?” said Mandy playing with my longish fringe. You have no idea how nervous this whole conversation was making me! They never took this long, I hope mum had nothing on her mind other than the usual? I forgot to tell you, my hair is mousy brown and sits just on my shoulders. I have a fringe, obviously which hangs just over my eyes but it can be brushed aside. Mum continued to make these murmuring noises which sounded like she was agreeing with Mandy. “I just don’t want to have spend a lot of time fixing her hair whilst we are away on vacation, I think something shorter would be appropriate” said mum.
I could NOT believe I was hearing this! “Certainly, so what did you have in mind” commented Mandy, “Well what would you recommend?, I want her to have something nice and neat that wont require any styling. Something that will dry quickly”. “Hmm how about a nice cute bob?” Mandy inquired. A bob!!! Cant say that I knew what one of these was but I was scared of something I’ve never heard of! “A bob…. That might be nice” replied mum. Mandy then walked forward and placed the unfurled cape on the counter. She resumed her position behind me and placed a different hand on each side of my head to ask mum how short she wanted it. I felt both of Mandy’s hands on opposite sides touching my chin. “We could go to here, but that’s still quite a bit of length…” “Yes perhaps a little shorter?” said mum. Mandy moved her hands up to the bottom of my ears! “what about a nice ear length bob?” “That might be nice…?” mum stated. “The problem here though, is Nicola’s hair is quite thick so it needs to be thinned out in the back here?” she ran her hand up my neck whilst mum looked on inquisitively. “If we just cut a bob here she will look a mushroom” continued Mandy. “Now to thin the back out I can clip it for you which will be nice neat, how does that sound?” “Sounds great” They both smiled and mum took her position back at the waiting bench. “Clip! Did I here her say clip! Surely not!” I thought to myself as I watched mum in the mirror as she ran her hand over my brother’s fresh haircuts.
I was brought back to task at hand when I heard the familiar rustle of cape. Mandy stood in front of me as she flung the cape over her shoulder whilst she reached forward and pulled a long strip of tissue from the dispenser. I was so restless/nervous and just wanted to get out of there. After the tissue was torn clear by Mandy she moved behind me and attempted to wrap it around my neck. As she moved it closer in front of me I dragged my head to the side to avoid the tissue but she was too fast and just followed my movement and quickly pulled it tight. She tucked the ends in so it sat taut whilst she shook out the cape. Because the tissue was so thick and my neck was so small, it covered my whole neck and just sat under my chin. I looked and felt so ridiculous. In the mirror I noticed the girls in my class laughing at me in the reflection. One of them stuck their tongue out at me just as mandy flung the cape over me and dragged it in close. It was snapped shut against the tissue, there was no way out. My hair was unclipped and fell to my shoulders.
“Now time for a haircut missy” said Mandy as she combed out my hair. With a few pumps on the pedal of chair I rose up even higher, everyone must have been staring at me. Just as she was about to begin she turned to my mother “Has she been clipped before?” “No I don’t think she has” mum said. Mandy nodded “So what number would you like her done?” “her done…? It sounded like I was her pet poodle being shorn for the summer!” I thought. “I did the boys a number 1 so perhaps a 2 would do?” Mandy asked? “Sounds great’ said mum. “Number 2!!!!” I wanted to cry so much, but new I would get teased even more at school tomorrow if I shed tears. How unfair is this?, a seven year old girl sitting in a barbershop receiving a number 2 haircut. Mandy began to take those clips off her top and use them to section my hair. Usually she sprayed that water/de-tangler over my hair before hand, but not today. I eyed off the clippers which I had often watch Mandy run over my brother’s hair. They hung lifeless on the hook in front of me, not for long though. Mandy reached forward and gathered those very clippers, they were large, black and white and seemed to be about the size of my head. After she clicked some black plastic thing on the front of them she said, “right, head down for me sweet heart”. She stood behind me and pushed my head down, all I could see was the giant red cape. I tried to raise my head back up to see what was happening but Mandy had a firm grasp on me. “Now this won’t hurt a bit if you keep still for me” she said. I continued to look down I felt my long thick hair hanging down over my cheeks.
Next is a sound I wont forget f
or the rest of my life. Its like a loud pop then a low hum, the clippers. After the plastic of the guard on the clippers touched my neck it was all over. I felt my whole body vibrate as this machine slowly made its way up my neck. This first pass seemed to take for eternity. I kept expecting her eventually pull them away but she would just continue to climb higher. Finally I feel the pressure release from the clippers as the first pass was made, shortly before she makes another pass right up the same area. My hair is falling fast, I can’t see much of it, but I can feel it. The weight in the back is being reduced at a rapid rate. The odd clump of hair would hit my shoulders then tumble down in front of me and deposit itself in a nice pill in my lap, but the rest was falling off the back and around Mandy’s feet.
This was such an unpleasant experience, I wouldn’t wish it on any female ever. Well maybe those girls in my class who teased me, but that’s. I thought I would be able to contain tears during this haircut, but this clipping was painful. However, I knew if tears were shed I would get in trouble when I got home. “Nicola! Its only a haircut, grow up and stop acting like a little girl!” After this lecture I would probably see the back of mums hairbrush to my backside, oh the pain. Even after trying my best to hold them in, more and more hair felt as she forcefully clipped me. A young girl being stripped of her hair with clippers, in a barbershop, I couldn’t help it, I began to sob. I don’t think anyone noticed I was crying because my head was looking straight down and my face was covered by hair which hung around it. At least with the scissors it was far more gentle. Just a light tug from the comb then a few quick snips of the scissors, then your hair was cut. With these clippers it was like I was fighting against them. It wasn’t smooth at all, it was loud and aggressive.
How much hair could possibly be on my neck anyway? She’d be clipping it for what seemed like five minutes! After the damage I saw from one pass there couldn’t be much left. Just then I think mum walked to the chair because I heard to females chatting. Mandy held the clippers next to my ear, this made it hard to understand what was going on. Mandy then briefly shut off the clippers, “just keep your head down for me sweetie” she said. Then I felt mum’s hand on my neck, she brushed it right to the top. It was then I realised how high and short this was. “Oh nice a short, fantastic” said mum approvingly. “I have to quickly go to the bank to get some money out, wont be long, and you behave young lady” she said referring to me. “No problem, I will be another 15 or 20 minutes so take your time” she Mandy. Then I heard the door bell chime as she left the shop. The clippers were flicked back on just as I was getting used to the tranquillity around me. Every time they made that pop sound I jumped, didn’t go very far though due to the downward pressure from Mandy’s hand. The thought just occurred to me that this was the first time I had been in here without mum. It was just my brothers and me, Mandy could do whatever she wanted. Mum would love whatever Mandy did to our hair, she always has. There was only my brothers to save me and I think a snowball in hell has a better chance of surviving than my brothers saving me. I remember I think it was last summer, my brothers told mum to get Mandy to give me a crewcut. Didn’t know what that was then, but I’ve since learned, how mean of them! Of course it didn’t happen.
My sobs eased I was getting used to this synchronised clipping motion. Then I felt Mandy’s hand come under my chin and lift my head back up. I starred in the mirror, nothing appeared to have changed from this view. Mandy noticed my tears and dabbed at them with a tissue, “now mummy wouldn’t want to see you cry now would she? You going act like a big girl for me?” she said as she continued to dab at my watery eyes with a tissue. Then I tried to look down at the floor to see the damage, however Mandy re-positioned my head so I couldn’t look, “head up darling, behave like mummy said”. She took the clip from the back section, causing my long hair from the top to fall down and cover the recently clipped area. Next both sides of my head were section up, “please not the sides as well….” I thought. As if she heard me thinking this she started the clippers up again. This was probably gonna be the worst part of the haircut. I could see her clipping me and my hair falling. Mandy motioned the clippers towards my right cheek, I attempted to avoid them but quickly met her left hand on my left cheek to hold me still. This clipping on the side was much worse, especially with her holding me like that, her nails dug right in. I was right, this was much worse. Piles of hair would spill down onto my shoulders then choose their own path to the floor. Some would snake down into my lap, others would drop off the side and fall to the floor and some would just stay put on my little shoulders before more freshly cut hair would take its place.
I noticed now that mum was gone she was being a little more rough with me. The clippers were pushed up against my head firmer, the hair fell quicker and they sounded louder. Perhaps this was just because it was the side of my head near my ear, but I wouldn’t mind betting that she upped the anti just cause mum was gone. So the clipping proceeded and I lost more and more of my hair to the cape and floor. I watched her in the mirror, she stood side on as she made pass after pass up the side of my head. She would start them low and slowly run them to the top before a little flick of her wrists to send the hair on its way. The right side of my head I assumed was finished because she removed that clip again causing my long hair on top to fall over the recently clipped area. Next the same procedure was administered on my left side. It was such a relief when she took her hand off my cheek to change sides, her nails had been digging in so much, it was so painful. She reassumed her grip on my jaw as she proceeded to section my hair and begin clipping this side. This was probably the longest haircut I have ever had, usually I’d be finished by now but she hasn’t even picked up the scissors yet. I was getting used to this clipping by now, it was still terrible and I wouldn’t or couldn’t possibly see how anybody could refer to this as a pleasurable experience. I had bad feeling as well that this wasn’t going to be the last time I was up in this chair with these things buzzing in my ear. Mandy folded my ear down and ran clippers up behind it. It made me feel so naked when the hair fell away. I watched it bounce and tumble down the cape and slide to the floor knowing it would take a long time to grow that hair back. The worst thing was this hair that took so much time to grow could be removed with one quick flick of Mandy’s wrists.
Just as Mandy was finishing up the clipping, mum walked back in the shop. She came over to the chair and began chatting to Mandy. “Wow!, Nicola this looks nice” she said. I didn’t reply. “I’ve just taken it shorter up the back and sides for you” said Mandy as she pulled my hair back in a pony tail and lifted it up so you could see the clipped areas. I just wanted to cry then and there. My ears stuck out and I looked like a boy! I retained myself from tears as I knew this would result in mums open hand on my back side when we got home. I could just about feel the sting and picture the red mark just thinking about it. Sometimes if I was in a lot of trouble I would get the back of mums hairbrush, that hurt the most. “I hope she’s been behaving for you has she?” asked mum. “Yes once she sat still she was fine weren’t you?” asked Mandy. I didn’t way a word. “So I’m just going to cut the bob now to the bottom of her ears?” said Mandy as she hung up the clippers and picked up her spray bottle and comb. She started wetting and combing my hair, “That sounds great” said mum as she smiled and sat back in the waiting area with my two brothers who were just about in tears with laughter.
After my hair was combed through, it was sectioned up ready for cutting. The bottle was placed back down and replaced with the scissors. The scissors didn’t scare me as much as the clippers, however they were still fairly frightening. Sharp steel blades that could slice any hair off with one little snip. My head was then pushed down as it was earlier, I felt Mandy comb my hair down at the back of my head and place the scissors on my neck. The hair that hung over the clipped area was then reduced by the sound of, “snip snip snip” . I tried to turn my head to look down and see how much hair had been cut, but she immediately repositioned my head to face forward and down. I felt her comb the hair out between her fingers, then “snip snip snip” as the hair fell away. More would be combed to repeat the same process. The cutting continued in the back until my head was then straightened back up to look at the mirror. She tussled the back whilst she asked mum if she had cut it short enough? “It will be a little shorter when it dries” said Mandy, “no that looks great,” said mum enthusiastically.
By now she was combing and cutting the side layers. Section after section was reduced until it hung just below my ear lobes, I looked so…. Stupid, but mum seemed to be loving it. Mandy was so fast and precise with the scissors, she seemed to take far more time with the clippers. That’s probably just because she enjoyed clipping me more, wanted to make it last longer. Hair would be combed and cut just as the previous locks were hitting the floor, it was raining hair. My head was beginning to feel so light, never realised how much hair I had. Now with both sides cut, Mandy stood behind me and started combing my hair back. It was drying up a little, so she reached for the spray bottle once more and wet my hair. Next long strands were vertically combed from the top of my head and snipped off. A few times the freshly cut hair would fall down in front of my face. I kept getting cut hairs that would land on my nose and face that would itch but I couldn’t scratch them cause I got in trouble when I took my arms out and moved around. So I found myself trying to twitch my nose and blow the hairs away. “Nicola, keep still please darling” she would say. Followed by her hands on both sides of my head placing it back in position. Why was it me that had to go through his ordeal, why couldn’t I just be like normal girls and go to a hairdressing salon with my mum. It was no good complaining though, my mum would just get angry and dad would just say “Do what you mother tells you, she knows best”. I cant wait for that day when I turn 14 and I can go to the salon with my sister to get my hair washed, cut and styled in peace.
The only thing I could hear at the moment was Mandy’s scissors snipping away. I watched her comb the long strands upwards then the scissors would meet my locks and effortlessly slice them away. Snip, snip, snip, snip, more and more continued to fall. I wanted to see how much hair I had lost to the scissors but I couldn’t look down. Looking at the mirror I could see quite a lot of wet clippings pilled in my lap. Finally the cutting stopped and Mandy just combed my hair back. I looked so weird. My hair was really short and really……different. Mandy examined her work as she combed my locks. She seemed content because she put down her comb and scissors and picked up a round brush and a hair drier. She turned on the hair drier and began to brush and blow wave my hair. For the moment I think it was safe to say that I was just about done. This styling process wasn’t as unpleasant as the cutting. Firstly cause I knew it was almost over and secondly because my hair started to look a little less boyish. However, I still hated my haircut and hated mum for bringing me here. The process of styling continued and my ‘bob’, as she called it, started taking shape.
My hair was nearly all dry, which made it even shorter than it already was! Next the hair drier was turned off and the round brush placed down, I knew I was just about free. Mum walked to the chair as Mandy continued tease and style my looks in attempt to get them to sit the way she wanted. If you ask me, she was wasting her time. Finally the big fluffy brush, it was my only friend. The one true indicator that my haircut was coming to an end. I screwed up my face as it was gently dusted. Finally what I had been waiting for, the cape unclipped. “Oooh what a relief! I could breath again.” The cape sat open on my shoulders, the tissue unfurled, whilst the loose clippings were dusted clear. The cape and tissue were then taken off at the same time as Mandy expertly whisked it off me, spilling the clippings and tissue to the floor. The chair began to descend, then mum lifted me off the seat. “Wow, what do you say to Mandy young lady?” said mum. I sighed to myself but not out loud. I knew if I didn’t say thankyou that there would be trouble. “Thank you”, I forced out. I stood amongst all my long hair and watched as Mandy folded the cape and placed it over the armrest. I wouldn’t be seeing that for another two months I thought. First thing my brother’s said was “You look like a boy!”. Mum yelled at them, but it didn’t matter, they still wouldn’t get in trouble.
The car ride home seemed really fast, but that’s probably just cause I wasn’t looking forward to my sister or dad seeing my haircut. Luckily dad wasn’t home yet but Jessica was. I walked past her room and hoped she didn’t see me or notice me. “Hey Nik” she called out. I sighed and walked in her room. “Oh what did they do to your hair??” she said as I began to cry and she hugged me. She sat me down in front of her dresser and attempted to style my hair in more of a feminine way. It was too short to pull back in a pony tail and just looked stupid out. “She cut it short didn’t she?” asked Jess, I nodded. “well I promise you its gonna grow a little and look really nice! I will also promise you that I’ll do your hair from now on, ok?”. That comment made me love my older sister so much. I couldn’t wait for my hair to grow back out