Bill could not have been more happy that the holidays were coming soon. He had been getting overworked for months, and could not wait to enjoy his holiday break this December. Leaving the office late Friday afternoon, he was met with a punch in the face from the bitter cold wind. He had just worked out in his office building, so this was refreshing, however he still quickly scurried to his car and started the engine.
The drive home normally did not last long, but today the roads were unbearable. A huge snow dump had left over a foot of new powder during the time that Bill was at the office. Figuring that there was no point in trying to battle the roads, he decided to use his time more effectively until the roads were dealt with. Just down the street from his office was a Great Clips, and seeing that his hair was getting shaggy and starting to fall past his eyes, he decided to pull off the road and get a haircut.
He hadn’t been to a Great Clips since he was a kid, and looking in the front window from behind his windshield he noticed that really nothing had changed. The same grey, drab tile covered the ground. In between each chair was the familiar nylon fabric in the design of a sailboat.
Upon entering, he was greeted by a woman in her early thirties with medium length brown hair. Her name-tag said Katie and she was the only other one in the salon. Katie was wearing black leather boots, leggings and a glossy black down jacket, zipped all the way up.
“Hey, you might not want to take off your coat! The heater stopped working this morning and it is freezing.”
Bill replied, “I think I’ll take my chances. I just left the gym in our office building so I am a little overheated as it is.”
He peeled off his jacket, revealing a track jacket beneath with matching track pants, both made of cheap, ‘swishy’ material. It was not a glamorous look by any means, but then again, he was at a Great Clips. Discount salons like these were never known for their high-style clientele.
“Come take a seat”, Katie instructed as she unfurled a black nylon cape with the company name across the center. “With hair that long we can’t wait another second!”
Bill took a seat and Katie swung the cape open and tightly fastened it around his neck. It was rather large and as he looked at himself in the mirror, he felt small beneath it. She began pumping up the seat so that the top of his head was around shoulder level for her.
Katie then walked forward from the behind the chair and grabbed the clippers. She began oiling them, and Bill was starting to wonder what was going on. He hadn’t told her yet how he prefers to have his hair cut, which is typically with scissors all over. After she had oiled the clippers to her satisfaction she stood to the side of him and looked at him in the mirror. She was smirking as if she knew something that he didn’t.
“Hey so I typ-“, Bill started but was soon interrupted.
Katie had flicked with clippers on. “Tilt your head down”. She looked so demanding in her outfit; the black jacket, pants and boots gave a powerful look. Bill reluctantly reluctantly accepted his fate and tilted. His helplessness gave him a strange sensation. He had butterflies in his stomach and clearly was getting a kick out of his lack of control over the situation.
She began shaving the back of his head. With every stroke, hair was sent tumbling down the cape, accumulated in his lap.
“You do not treat your hair well enough for the length you had. This is what you need. I am surprised nobody sheared you sooner.”
After the back was shaved, she tilted Bill’s head back up. They made eye contact in the mirror as she began to run the clippers from the front of his head to the back. With each stroke, she would finish by flicking the hair off her clippers, almost to show her lack of concern for his absence of input in the haircut. It was getting everywhere: her sleeves, the floor surrounding her feet, and of course all over the cape.
With a few final strokes, Bill had been shaved to the bone. Or so he thought.
She placed the clippers down and reached into her barber belt only to pull out edge trimmers. She went back at it, carefully making sure not a hair was left on his head. Finally satisfied, Katie switched off the clippers and placed them back. She unbuttoned the cape and shook off his massive pile of shorn hair.
“Every six weeks I want you to come back. Your hair should never be longer than 6 weeks growth.”
Bill did not need to hear this. As he zipped up his coat, he was already thinking about his next visit.