Our First Bowl Hair Cut
By JimB (C)opyright March 2002
My sister and I moved in with my Aunt Jennie and Uncle Marvin and their two sons Michael and Jason. I was thirteen and my sister, Laura, was twelve. Michael and Jason were fifteen and nine.
Mother raised us as a single mom as our father lost his life when I was young in a accident where he worked.
With his life insurance and my mother’s determination as an ambitious career woman we lived a very lavish lifestyle in Dallas,Texas.
Mom was able to excel to a very senior position with an oil company.
The Year I turned ten she took an ex-patriot position in the Middle East with the company.
With much discussion it was decided my sister and I would go and stay with her sister Jennie and her family north of Huntsville, Alabama while my mother went to Saudi Arabia for her year-long contract. My mother thought it would do us a lot of good to live with them for a year and learn the simple life. I was kind of looking forward to it as well as a bit of an adventure.
We love our aunt.
She was the home maker with her husband Marvin, who worked in a local Auto-body shop as a painter to provide for the family.
Their house is a very modest home in the country in northern Alabama.
This was something very different compared to what my sister and I were used to.
We grew up in a luxury penthouse condominium in downtown Dallas. We were used to our lavish lifestyle always shopping in designer shops and eating in the fancy restaurants in Dallas. We went to a very exclusive private school and we knew we were in for a very different experience moving with our Aunt in Alabama.
My aunt is a very down to earth woman and is a very sweet country girl. A complete contrast to our own mother, who is a very career driven and materialistic person by comparison.
My mother negotiated to start her contract from June fifteenth for one year.
My sister and I were to finish our school year in the days which followed under the supervision of our Nanny until moving to our aunt at the end of the school year a week later.
When we finally finished our last day of school we were on the next flight to Birmingham, Alabama where our uncle Marvin picked us up
It was very cool.
Our uncle picked us up in a real old red pick-up truck and through our luggage in the back. We had never been in a truck like this before. We all squeezed in the front for the two hour drive to northern Alabama. It was very exciting for my sister and I.
We arrived to a very warm welcome by the entire family. My aunt was very sweet by cooking for us a welcoming dinner and was shared by the entire family and the family down the road who had daughters our age.
We settled into a room on the second floor were my sister and I were to share a room for the next year. The house was very old and rustic however big enough for everyone with four bedrooms on the second floor.
We hung out as a family as it was a Friday night. Marvin was off work for the weekend and the boys had finished their last day of school that day and we were planning our summer.
It was very exiting for my sister and I to be away from Dallas.
“Tomorrow I’ll take you kids into Huntsville for your summer hair cuts,” my aunt told us.
My sister and I looked at each other as this was something we knew nothing of. We always had our hair treated at an exclusive hair salon in down-town Dallas which consisted of appointments every six weeks.
Our hair was long to mid back length. We would get our hair trimmed and treated every six weeks at a high-end hair salon which cost about ninety dollars each for every visit.
Our hair was very expensive and we knew nothing about a ‘summer cut’.
The boys giggled as they were used to the routine. Their hair was getting pretty long and unkempt anyway.
The next day we all piled into the red pick-up truck and headed into Huntsville. My aunt and uncle rode in the cab while the rest of us rode in the back out in the open.
This was something very new for my sister and I.
I remember the ride as our hair was blowing everywhere in the wind and we laughed all the way from being bounced around in the back.
We arrived into the northern part of Huntsville and my uncle pulled into a small strip mall. We pulled up in front of a barber shop called “Joe and Mary’s Barber Shop and family Hair Styling”.
My Aunt got out and said, “Lets Go Kids.”
We jumped out the back and followed her in. My uncle left to go do some errands for himself.
We entered into the barber shop and we paused a moment to take the whole scene in.
I had never been in a barber shop before. It had wood paneling on the walls and two big barber chairs with red vinyl coverings. There was a row of waiting chairs with the same red vinyl colors. The floor was a small ceramic tile.
The shop felt very old like being in the 1950’s or something.
“Hello Mrs. Jones,” the barber, Joe, greeted my Aunt as we walked in.
“Hi Joe, How are you today,” My aunt answered back.
“What can we do for you today?” he asked.
“The kids need their summer cuts.” she told him. “I want the boys’ hair cut in a Crew Cut and a high Bowl Cut for the girls,” she said.
My sister and I looked at each other in surprise from hearing her say that.
“Very well,” he responded.
“One of you boys can jump up and take a seat right here,” he said as he spun the big barber chair around to face my cousins.
Jason, the youngest jumped up into the barber chair and he spun it back around again.
“Mary,” he called out and the other barberette, his wife came out from the back and greeted us as well.
“Hello Mary,” she said in a very sweet southern voice as she entered the barber shop.
“Hi Mary, I have my nieces here for hair cuts today too.
“This is Janet and Laura.
“They are staying with us for a year from Dallas while their mother is working overseas.”
“Welcome to Alabama,” she told us.
We smiled and nodded back to her. We were both very nervous.
“So which one of you two ladies wants to go first,” she asked my sister and I.
I just stood there and froze. My sister dashed for a waiting chair and said she’d wait.
Mary spun the giant barber chair around to face me and patted the back of it.
“Take a seat right here young lady,” she told me.
I was numb all over and my head was completely racing. I didn’t want to move.
However I felt myself nervously walking towards the barber chair and I tried to get in.
“Just put one foot on the footstool and step up into the barber chair,” Mary told me.
I did exactly what she said and slid into it. I was spun around to face myself in the mirror.
“So, what are we doing today Mrs. Jones?” Mary asked my aunt.
“We need to clean her up for the summer.
“I want a nice high and short bowl cut.
“Clean above the nape and over the ears,” she told her.
I was starting to fidget sitting there listening to her talk.
“So, over the top of the ears and straight back with a short nape?” Mary asked my aunt motioning her hand through my hair from the top of my ears through the back.
“That will be fine,” my aunt responded.
I wanted to say something to stop this.
But, I couldn’t.
I just sat there fidgeting. My right leg was shaking, as I was so nervous.
I felt butterflies all over and it felt very intoxicating.
I couldn’t say anything. I just sat there and let it all sink in.
I was about to get my hair cut in a barber shop in Alabama and I didn’t know what to do.
Joe had my cousin caped next to me and sprayed his hair with water.
I could see him through the mirror chopping his hair very short with the scissors and comb all over to a uniform length. Mary put a cape over me as well and pulled my hair out from under it.
She placed towel over the back of my neck and spun me around, the barber chair tilted back into a sink and she washed my hair.
I started to relax right away. It felt really amazing to have my hair washed by someone else.
She had very strong hands as she worked the lather. She was better than the shampoo girls in the Hair Salon where I usually go. I looked up at the ceiling and closed my eyes and pretended I was back in Dallas at my regular hair salon.
When she was done she tilted the barber chair up again, I opened my eyes and I was back in the barber shop again.
She spun me around while towel drying my hair. She started to comb it out and I watched as section after section was combed out.
She parted it in the middle and combed out the sides perfectly. My hair laid straight down my shoulders almost into my lap. The back was combed straight down the back of the barber chair towards the floor.
Looking at myself I knew it would take years for this to grow back again.
I was petrified.
But, I still didn’t say anything. I just let it all sink in.
Mary sectioned off a v-shape for my bangs and combed the straight forward over my face. She pinned the sides back over my shoulder out of the way.
She reached for her barber scissors from the counter and brought them towards me.
I closed my eyes tight. I could feel her combing through my forehead followed by the blade of the scissors slide straight across my forehead.
And heard them close.
Schnip, Schnip, Schnip, they made their work straight across my forehead.
I opened my eyes to see a newly exposed face looking back at me.
My bangs were cut high and straight across my forehead above my eyebrows.
My eyes popped open wide looking at my reflection. I had never seen bangs on me before and I did like the look of it.
I started to relax a little, as I wanted to see how this was going to turn out.
Mary started to section off my right side above my ear and combed a section straight down over my ears and cheek into my lap. She pinned the rest of my hair above towards the back again.
I watched in as she started cutting from behind my ear towards the front cutting all the way high over the top of my ear. Locks of my hair almost two feet long were cascading down my shoulder and into my lap as she made each cut.
The right side of my face was now completely exposed.
She sectioned off the same section on the left side as well and cut high over my left ear.
Now the little sections above both my ears were cut over my ears and joined with the length of my bangs in the front.
I was starting to first see the shape if this new hair cut on me.
Although I was still petrified the image looked very fresh on me.
I smiled for the first time.
“Are you enjoying this?” Mary asked me.
“I’ve never seen myself like this before,” I told her.
“Do you like it so far?” she asked.
“I think so,” I told her.
“You’ll look very cute with this hair cut, I promise you.” she said.
I looked back at my sister and she was giggling at me. I gave her a scowl look. I knew she was going to be next anyway.
Mary spun my head forward again with her hand and started back at her work.
She started a section straight across the back of my head going from ear to ear. She pinned up all my hair on top of my head from above the section and combed it out down my back.
She reached for hair clippers from the hook and turned them on.
I jumped as they started up. She laughed at me.
“Don’t worry sweetie, these wont hurt you one bit,” she said as she tilted my head straight down to my chest.
I felt them touch my neck as she pushed straight up into my hair. I felt the weight of my hair release immediately with each pass as I glanced up in the mirror to try to see what I could.
I watched her hand working the shears through my hair in the back and she would flick them as she completed each pass sending huge locks of hair flying through the air and down to the floor behind me.
This felt really amazing and I felt like bursting out in laughter.
After she put the clippers back she unpinned the hair on top of my head and let it all down. She combed it all out and parted in the middle again.
It covered my newly exposed ears on the sides and the newly buzzed hair in the back.
Only my new fringe was visible now. I took one last look at my long hair as I knew this was the last time I was going to see myself with it.
Mary tilted my head forward again and started sectioning off the long hair left in the back. She combed my hair straight forward from the back and over my shoulders towards my lap.
I sat there, looking into my lap feeling her section off and cut my hair with the scissors straight across the back of my head and listened to the scissors do their work.
It took a while to cut what was left through the back and I still couldn’t see it yet.
Eventually she tilted my head over the left. I watched as she started to section off the hair on my right side above my ear pinning the hair back again.
She cut each section high over the top of my ear joining the line in my bangs in the front, and straight into the line in the back.
I watched as section after section was released and fell all the way down into my lap as it was cut, my hair was building up into a huge pile on my lap.
Mary tilted my head the other way and cut my left side the same way as the other side.
She finally got to the last section and I watched as it was finally cut and slid into my lap.
There was no more long hair left anywhere on my head.
I stared at myself for a moment.
My face and ears were totally exposed. I turned my head a little and my neck was exposed too.
It felt weird.
I shook my head a few times and it felt so light.
“We’ll be done in a minute,” Mary told me and I stopped.
She took the clippers again and tilted my head forward. I could feel them working at the bottom of my neck up and down and straight across.
I completely relaxed again while she did this.
I totally loved the way they felt on my nape.
She took the scissors again and cleaned up the ends all the way around my head making perfect straight cuts all the way around.
She picked up a hair brush and hair dryer and dried it turning the ends under slightly and turning my bangs under slightly.
I sat there looking down in my lap as she dried it.
I started flicking my fingers under the cap sending my locks of hair flying into the air to the floor in front of me. I kept myself busy doing this until she dried it completely.
She went through it one last time with the scissors and comb until she was happy it was perfect.
I heard a winding sound and looked in the mirror over the waiting chairs.
She turned with something white in her left hand.
Standing on the right side of her barber chair she slowly spread the white stuff over where she had clippered my head.
With her hands wiped she reached for something.
She grabbed the leather strap and moved the open blade of a straight razor over it.
Letting it go, she raised the straight razor to the cover hair and shaved my head to the skin.
My eyes opened wide at what she was doing.
When she was finished she wipe the excess shaving lather off my head.
She placed straight razor on the shelf and grabbed a black dusting brush, she poured baby powder over the brush and came behind me.
She undid the cape and brushed my neck with the brush across the back of my nape, over my ears and across my face, the sensation sent shivers down my spinal column.
I looked up as she removed the cape and I saw myself with the hair cut for the first time.
I was completely frozen looking back at myself.
My skin looked pale from being covered by long hair before.
It didn’t look like me one bit.
I liked it though for some reason.
It was cut perfectly straight across my forehead following a weight line over my ears to the back. It was the most amazing feeling looking at myself.
I reached up and ran my fingers through the top and it was short. It felt amazing running my fingers through the top and having the ends stop so quickly from my roots.
I felt the back of my nape for the first time and belted out in a huge laugh. It felt like there was nothing there. It felt like skin or something.
Mary took a hand mirror to show me the back.
“Oh My God,” I said. “Its so short.”
“This is the style of the hair cut,” she told me.
“You’ll get used to it.”
I couldn’t stop running my fingers through the back. It felt so amazing.
I like the smoothness on the back and sides of my head.
“Do you like it,” she asked me.
“Yes, I do,” I told her. “I think I love it actually.”
I don’t know why I liked it.
It felt so amazing.
It felt almost liberating to be without my long hair and short hair felt better for some reason.
“I see you took her hair cut higher and shaved,” Aunt Jennie said.
I got up and walked towards my sister. Her face was beaming at me.
“Your Next,” I told her and she jumped up into the barber chair.
Over the next few month Mrs. Mary shaved my back and sides a little higher every few months.
To Aunt Jennie surprised I was shaved my hair cut higher until I only had hair on the top of my head.
We kept the high and shaved Bowl Cut until mom came home.
Mom could not believe we had gotten our hair cut so short.
She was very surprised at how high my hair had been shaved.
When we got home in Dallas, my girls friends could not believe I had gotten my hair cut.
The boys just looked and smiled.
Mom found a barber shop with a lady barber and asked her if she could keep our Bowl Hair Cut.
I am thinking about going all the way and shaving my head for fun.
My sister Laura had her hair shaved high for a few months.
Mom still can not believe we got our hair cut so short.
One day, after finding a barber shop with a lady barber, mom came home with a Crew Cut.
“Maybe next time I might have her go shorter on the back and sides,” mom told us.