February 8th 2000
“You think you could close the store by yourself this Tuesday?”
Roy looked at his dad
“Yeah, that’s no problem” he replied and went back to running the clippers over the man in the chairs head. After his first time closing back in November Roy had begun doing so more regularly. His dad was giving him more responsibility in the store and he was enjoying it.
His dad stood to his left, also busy with a customers haircut. It had been a busy Saturday, but it finally seemed that the crowd had died down for the day. He finished the clients hair, and after he had paid, began sweeping up the hair from the floor. He then slumped down onto one of the waiting chairs, exhausted from the hours he had spent on his feet. The store was quiet except for the buzz of his dads clippers. His dad finished his fade, and he left, leaving the two of them alone.
“You can head on home, Roy” his dad called out as he was sweeping. “Don’t think there’s gonna be too many more coming in the last hour”
Roy didn’t need a second invitation “ Yeah, okay imma do that”. He walked to the back of the store, opened the door to the store room and grabbed his jacket.
“Should I stop by the store or anything on the way home?” he asked as he went to open the door.
“Nah, I think its fine. I’ll see you back at home?”
“Yup, see you later”
Roy walked out and was immediately hit by the bitter cold. ‘Luckily my house is only a couple blocks away’ he thought as he pulled his hood down and dug his hands deep into his pockets. He turned to the left and began walking. He had only walked 10 feet when he heard a someone exclaim his name.
He looked up and standing in front of him was a familiar face. It was Naomi. She was wearing jeans and a heavy winter coat with the hood up. Ever since the day that he shaved off all her curls, Roy had been thinking of her daily. He had almost given up on the idea of her coming back for a haircut. ‘She must’ve lied about liking it’ he thought, ‘I guess she’s growing it back out’. He was still amazed by the feeling that special haircut gave him and every time he worked he would hope for another woman to come in.
Roy was lost in his thoughts, “Naomi” he replied. “It’s great to see you”
Naomi smiled back “Likewise. I was actually just about to head to your store”
Roy’s stomach fluttered in excitement. “For another haircut?”
“Yeah I meant to come sooner but I’ve real busy.” She pulled her hood down to reveal her hair. It was about an inch and a half in length now, making a mini afro sorta style. She brushed her hand over it “It’s gotten so long so fast”
“Well I actually just left the store, but we can head back now if you want?” he replied, so eager to get another chance to shave her.
“Well actually I was hoping to book a time. I know you guys don’t normally do reservations, but… well it’s not just me that wants a haircut.”
Roy looked at her with a confused look on his face.
She continued “Well 2 of my friends from school want to shave their heads too now. I kinda promised I’ll go with them. And I think it’ll be a little less scary for them if we have our own time you know.
Roy couldn’t believe his ears. This was becoming a dream come true.
“Umm, yeah okay definitely I can organise that” He then remembered his dad asking him to close the store on Tuesday. “Do you think you guys could do Tuesday?”
“Yeah” she replied “That works”
“Ok well we close at 7, so if you guys come then I can close the store and we’ll have the store to ourselves.”
“That would be amazing” she replied gleaming.
Roy offered to walk her back to the subway and they continued with small talk as they walked. She too was a senior, had 2 little brothers and was on her highschool volleyball team. They also talked about her haircut.
“So how did people react at first?” Roy asked?
“Well my mom cried at first” she said with a little giggle
“But she got used to it pretty fast actually. It was just a big change for her I guess. She likes it now though.”
Roy nodded in reply.
“That first day when I walked into school was pretty crazy, I swear everyone was staring at me. But most of my friends like it. My friend Aria ,who I guess you’ll meet on Tuesday, always wanted to shave her hair too and then seeing me do it convinced her to finally do it.
“Nice, nice. And what about your other friend who’s coming?”
“Her name is Olivia. I guess we kinda roped her into this whole thing, hahahahah. So she might be a bit reluctant maybe. We’ll see I guess.”
They arrived to the station and said their goodbyes. As Roy walked home he was overcome with excitement. Tuesday could not come fast enough.
After school Roy headed straight to the shop. His dad left at around 5, giving him 2 more hours until he should expect the girls to come. The time went painstakingly slow as he dealt with customers. He was excited but at the same time nervous. He didn’t want to seem too eager or excited with the girls in fear of scaring them off or revealing how cutting their hair would make him feel. But he also remembered how much fun he had with Naomi, almost toying with her before bringing the clippers to her head. He was almost daydreaming as he was serving customers.
Finally at 6:55 he ushered out the last customer and flipped the sign to close. He swept away any loose hairs, made sure they store was looking presentable and then took a seat in one of the big leather barber chairs. He looked down at the hard floor and remembered seeing all of Naomi’s thick curls laying limp across it. ‘Soon more hair would join’ he thought to himself. The sound of the door opening interrupted his thoughts. Naomi led the way into the store.
“Hey Roy” she said
“Hey, whats up” he replied, trying to keep his cool. Behind her walked 2 other girls, one black, the other white.
“So this is Aria” Naomi said pointing at the black girl. Her hair was not quite as long as Naomi’s had been but was more coily, more like a 4b texture. It almost touched her shoulders and was almost afro like in terms of volume. ‘A lot of hair’ Roy thought.
“And Olivia” pointing at the other girl. Her hair was a beautiful blonde and piled on top of her hair in a thick bun. Roy couldn’t tell the length but judging by the thickness of the bun, there was lots of it.
Roy extended his hand to both of them
“I’m Roy it’s nice to meet you guys”
They both shook his hand, murmuring greetings while smiling meekly. Roy was getting more excited by the nervousness.
“I told them that if they were gonna shave their heads too we’d have to come here since you did such a great job the first time”
“Well I’m honoured” Roy smiles back “You guys excited?”
“I’ve told myself for ages that I’d do this, so yeah I’m pretty excited to finally like go through with it you know” Aria replied
“Yeah excited and nervous I guess” Olivia said with less confidence than her friend
“Well you guys are all gonna look great I can promise you that”
He looked at Naomi who was smiling widely
“Please hang up your jackets, feel at home” as he pointed at the coat rack by the door. “Naomi, I was thinking we can start with you?”
“Sounds good to me”
The other two sat in the waiting area as Roy turned the big leather chair to face Naomi. She lowered herself into the chair and he turned it towards the mirror and pumped it up to height. He looked back at the girls and saw them watching closely.
“Still as comfy as you remember?”
“Mmm yeah so nice” she replied
He broke off a piece of paper from the roll and placed it snuggly around her neck. He then grabbed the blake and white striped cape from its hook, shook it out and then flung it over her before tightening it. The cape covered her whole frame, feet included. Just putting the cape around her had made Roy so excited.
“So we’re going down to a zero again today?”
“That’s what we did last time right?”
“Then definitely. I felt so amazing afterwards. You couldn’t stop touching it could you Aria?” she turned to her friend
“It did feel amazing” she added from one of the waiting chairs.
Roy went to the counter underneath the mirror and picked up the clippers. He quickly flicked them on and off, the buzzing sound ringing around the otherwise quiet shop. He noticed Olivia sat up a bit more and Aria seemed to be paying even more attention.
He moved behind her with the clippers in his right hand. He placed his other hand on top of her head and ruffled the short curls.
“Really did grow fast didn’t it?”
“Yup it really did”
He looked in the mirror at her and she nodded back. He flicked on the clippers again.
“Put your chin down” he said as he pushed her head down so her chin touched her chest. With his left hand holding her head he moved in with the clippers. He placed them at her nape, just below her hair line. Then in a slow motion he moved the roaring clippers up her head until he reached his head on top of her head. Pale skin was left behind and the short curls tumbled down the back of the cape onto the checkered floor.
Roy wasted no time pulling the clippers up her nape again with the dark curls peeling off to fall to the floor. After a few passes the back of her head was once again bald. Curls were scattered on the floor behind the chair. The store was silent except for the sound of the clippers as Roy started moving towards the left side of her head. More of her short dense curls slide away down the nylon cape. He folded over her ear and buzzed away the small hairs there. Roy then moved to her right side and after a few passes it too was bare of hair. She was now left with a flattop looking style.
“Maybe something you could try out another time” Roy suggested
“Maybe next time” Naomi agreed
He raised the clippers to the top of her head and placed them on her forehead before pulling them back. More hair tumbled to the floor, while some remained stuck in the cape. Roy continued moving his clippers over her head until the final strip of hair was removed. He then ran the clippers over her scalp making sure everything was cut down to his liking.
“Think we’re all done” Roy announced as he steps back from the chair.
Naomi tilts her head to take it all in
“Like it just as much as before?”
“Yes I think I like it even more” she replied
He undid the cape and shook out the rest of the hair strewn across it. As soon as her hands were free she was touching her head.
“Ohh I missed this feeling” she exclaimed
She stood up and looked down at the small piles of her short brown curls laying around the chair.
“Way less here than last time right?” Roy noted
She nodded. “You don’t say”
She walked back to her friends who were eager to rub the fresh buzz too. Even though this cut had been way less dramatic than the previous he had still taken considerable pleasure in shaving her again. But now his focus was on the remaining girls and taking away both their respective manes. He decided he wanted to save Olivia for last. He still didn’t know just how long her hair was but it had to be at least bra length he thought.
The girls were now chatting between them as they rubbed Naomi’s bald head. Roy interrupted by asking “So who’s next? Aria?”
Aria looked a bit surprised and look at both her friends as if she was hoping they would say otherwise.
“Sure, let’s do this” she said. Roy wondered if this confidence was a mask or not. He would soon find out he realised. She stood up and made her way to the chair. Roy turned the chair towards her and she slowly sat herself down.
Roy could now get a proper look at her hair. It was slightly darker than Naomi’s but thicker with a more coiler texture. ‘This was gonna be a proper shearing’ he thought.
He turned her to face the mirror and then raised her chair. He placed the paper neck guard around her and then snapped the cape snugly around her neck. She looked up, making eye contact with Roy and gave a slight smile.
She simply nodded back
Both Olivia and Naomi were talking softly between them
“Big change” Roy noted as he ran his hand over the side of her hair. He held one of the thick curls between his fingers and thought about how in only a few minutes it would all be laying lifeless on the floor.
“Yeahhh” she murmured back, her confidence seeming to dwindle since she got in the chair.
Roy moved back to the counter. He grabbed his clippers and moved back towards her. He noticed her following the clippers as he came to stand by her side. He placed one of his hands on her head, feeling the thickness and volume of her abundance of curls.
“We’re going to a number zero? Same as Noami?” he asked.
“Yeah I guess” she replied softly.
Roy looked back at the waiting area. Naomi smiled back while Olivia seemed to be watching very intensely.
“You nervous” he couldn’t help asking
“Yeah” she said back with a nervous smile back to him.
“Well let’s get this done quickly then” he said.
With one hand he pulled up the hair from the side of her head exposing her ear right ear and with the other hand flicked on the clippers. He tilted her head to the side and moved in with the clippers. He placed them right next to her ear and slowly pulled them up the side of her head. With his left hand he dropped the clump of thick curls onto her lap. Roy could see her eyes drop to look at the hair now detached from her head now laying on the cape. He could see her start to nervously chew on her lip.
Roy put the clippers back next to her ear and pulled the heavy clippers up the side of her head. This time he let the coily curls slide down the side of the cape before they dropped to the tiled floor.
“How’s it feeling?” Naomi called from her chair
“It’s a bit weird” she admitted
She slightly turned her head so she could see the shaved section in the mirror
“Oh my god” she muttered under her breath. Her embarrassed glance up at Roy in the mirror made it appear she hadn’t meant that exclamation to be heard.
“It’s really happening” Roy replied
“Hard to believe” She said back with a slightly shocked look on her face.
Roy placed the clippers by her temple and swiftly sheared away the hair there. He then ran the roaring machine around her slight ears.
‘What an incredible feeling this is’ Roy thought to himself. ‘Who would’ve thought girls would want me to do this to them and who more so that I would enjoy it so much’
With most of the right side of her head now bare he moved towards her front. He placed his left hand on her crown.
“This parts gonna be a bit dramatic” he warned Aria. He glanced towards the waiting area to see Naomi grinning back, clearly excited by watching her friend joining her in baldness. Olivia sat almost motionless. ‘Probably imagining her turn in this chair’ Roy thought.
He raised the clippers to Arias forehead and without wasting time pulled them back across her head. Clumps of her heavy curls fell lifelessly down the striped cape to the floor. He continued moving his way across her head from right to left shaving from her forehead to crown, more and more of her former mane sent across the cape or to the ground.
He watched Aria stare into the mirror obviously taking time to adjust to her reflection. The top of her head was now completely bare, with skin showing. ‘Well and truly no going back now’ Roy thought.
“Tuck your chin in Aria” Roy said as he moved to behind her.
She obediently lowered her head and Roy quickly ran his clippers across her nape. Her hair had been thick and voluminous but Roy’s Wahls had been up to the challenge throughout. The rest of her hair on the back of her head fell silently down the cape to the tiles as Roy moved to her left side to complete her shaving.
He again started by her ear and pushed the clippers up the side of her head. After only half a dozen passes of the large clippers her head was now completely bare. He ran them over some patches that weren’t quite to his liking before finally flicking them off.
He surveyed his handiwork. She had been pretty with hair and she had become arguably prettier without it. She had great eyes and lovely lips which stood out even more now.
“Think we’re all done now” Roy announced almost proudly.
Aria turned her head side to side surveying her extreme makeover
“Fuck” she said rather loudly. She paused for a second “This is sick” She had a massive grin on her face.
“Glad your liking it” Roy said as he moved to undo her neck paper “Lemme take this off you”
He pulled off the paper before unclipping the cape and shaking it free. More of her former curls fell to floor. The floor was now a spread of dark brown curls in varying lengths laying limp. ‘What a sight’ Roy said to himself
Aria’s hands went to her head almost immediately.
“Ooohhhh” she exclaimed “This is amazing!”
She stood up and eyed the pile that now covered the floor. Roy would normally sweep between customers but decided not to this time.
“Thank you” she said sincerely to Roy with a smile.
“Come here girl” Naomi called and Aria hurried over sitting between her and Olivia as they both rubbed her bald head.
Aria and Naomi chatted enthusiastically while Olivia remained quiet. She was clearly nervous.
Roy stood and watched. The thick bun on top of her head almost teasing him.
After a minute or so of chatting the other girls turned towards Olivia.
“You ready to join us?” Aria said excitedly “Can’t wait to see this go” She grabbed the golden blonde mass of hair and playfully moved it around.
Olivia brushed her hand away, seeming slightly annoyed at her friend. She didn’t answer the question.
“C’mon go take a seat up there” Naomi added cheekily
Olivia was staring straight ahead, seemingly oblivious to her friends.
Roy was starting to get worried that maybe she’d back out.
“Don’t leave Roy waiting” Naomi said while sneaking a smile back at Roy.
Silently Olivia rose. “Alright fuck it”
She slowly began making her way towards the chair. Roy could see her take a deep shaky breath. Her steps seemed deliberate as she made the short trip towards Roy. As she neared the leather chair, her eyes glanced downwards, taking in the sight of her friend’s hair knowing she was agreeing for hers to join them.
Roy could barely contain his excitement. He gave her a slight smile as she turned and lowered herself in the chair. He turned the chair towards the mirror. He could now properly take her in. She had striking blue eyes and was a natural beauty. Despite her looks she couldn’t hide the look of fear on her face. Roy watched her bite her lips in nervousness.
Roy was itching to begin. He tore off a new piece of neck paper and fitted it around her neck.
“Do you think we can move these closer?” Naomi said motioning to the chairs her and Aria were seated in. “For a better view. And moral support” she added.
“Yeah of course of course” Roy replied with surprise. ‘Did these girls also enjoy the prospect of this beautiful blonde hair being sheared away?’ he thought. ‘No, no. Just moral support of course’ he told himself. ‘But maybe there was a little something else going on’. Roy didn’t dwell on the fact. He reached for the cape which he had draped across the other barber chair. The two other girls had pulled their chairs so they sat only 6 or so feet away from the action. ‘This is gonna make it seem even more brutal with her friends watching from so close’ Roy thought.
Roy swung the cape across her body before fitting it snuggly around her neck. She looked vulnerable with the massive cape draping across her and her bun of hair sitting atop her head.
Just how long her hair was Roy still didn’t know. Roy reached for the bun. He pulled away the elastic and slowly the hair tumbled down past her shoulders.
Roy almost let out an audible gasp as he took in the full length of Olivia’s hair. It was thick with a slight wave and hung down the back of the chair. It was mid back length, falling comfortably past her bra strap. “If she was standing up this would have to come close to her waist” Roy thought in awe.
Roy interest in hair was new and exciting and he suddenly had an idea.
“One moment” he said before quickly moving towards the back of the store. He remembered something his Dad has received in a hair cutting kit he purchased. He opened the door to the store room and after a few seconds of looking found what he was looking for. A fine toothed comb. ‘Not something that had ever been used here” Roy noted. He wanted to brush that mane before he removed it, take in its luxurious length and volume. He left the store room and returned to Olivia looking at him clearly confused.
“It’ll make the haircut easier for me” he lied. Roy was praying no one would question it. ‘What do they know about barbering anyways’ he thought.
Olivia turned back to face the mirror seemingly happy with his reasoning. Her glossy mane swished across the cape as she turned.
“It’s really beautiful hair” Roy noted as he lifted up a section before letting it fall back against the cape.
“Thanks” Olivia said back softly. Her eyes seemed to be getting slightly misty.
Roy pulled the comb down the full length of her tresses. It was silky and smooth and began to shine the longer the combed it. He then parted the hair in the middle and combed the hair so part fell in front of her shoulders and rest around the chair. Her hair looked magnificent.
Olivia was quiet the whole time. ‘Probably savouring these last moments with her hair’ Roy decided. After another 30 seconds of combing Roy knew he couldn’t wait any longer. He placed the comb on the counter in front of the mirror. Olivia looked disappointed, clearly wanting to delay her imminent shearing.
“You ready Olivia?” Aria asked “Trust me you’re gonna love it”
Olivia swallowed nervously “As ready as I’ll ever be” she replied meekly.
“Get rid of that mane then Roy!” Aria enthusiastically said
Roy did not need a second invitation. He reached for his trusty clippers which sat on the counter. He turned to face Olivia. There she sat caped with her hair streaming down the cape on all sides. She looked up at him and he could see tears beginning to form. Clearly she did not want this haircut but she could not get herself out of this situation. ‘Peer pressure maybe’ he wondered. Whatever the reason Roy didn’t care.
He turned on his clippers. The buzzing noise sounded even louder than before. Olivia had her damp eyes locked on the machine that would shortly shear away her hair. Aria and Naomi were looking intently.
He moved closer. He used his left hand to lean her head slightly forwards. Her hair felt unbelievably soft. ‘I’ll shave her right down the middle’ Roy decided.
He brought the powerful Wahl’s up to her forehead.
“Ready?” Roy said softly, almost feeling bad to be stripping away her crowning glory.
She gave the slightest nod in reply.
Without saying another word Roy pressed the clippers into her middle part. He pulled them across her head as slowly as dared. Streams of her long golden hair slide down both sides of her face, making their way slowly down the cape into her lap. Her pale bare scalp was left as the clippers made their way across her head. He reached her crown the pulled the clippers up. She now had a strip of skin right down the middle of her head. The nearly 2 feet long blonde tresses sitting in her lap were quite the sight for Roy.
“Past the point of no return” Naomi added slightly cruelly.
Olivia’s face was stony and as she stared at the mass of blonde now laying across the cape.
Roy brought the clippers up again. He placed them just to the left of the first pass. He again pulled the clippers across to her crown. More hair cascaded down her left side, this time half falling into her lap and the rest to the floor. Her straight blonde hair was a stark contrast to the dark curls. Roy kept running the clippers across her head as he made his way to her left ear. Olivia continues to sit in silence and Roy could see her eyes were watery. ‘She clearly was not enjoying her shearing’ Roy noted. The same couldn’t be said about him.
Roy folded over her ear and clippered away the hairs there. He then took a step back to survey what had happened so far. From the middle of her head to her ear was bare with the rest of her luxurious hair still at its original length of roughly 2 feet. The floor now had a pile of blonde hair which had folded on top of itself sitting on top of the mix of Aria and Naomi’s hair. The cape had loose hairs scattered across it, with another large pile sitting lifelessly on her lap. Roy wondered if she could feel the weight of her detached hair on her legs through the cape.
Roy turned to Aria and Naomi. They hadn’t said a word since he began and they both simply smiled back. ‘They seemed to be enjoying this too’ he noted to himself.
He turned the chair and moved to her right side. She was now facing Aria and Naomi but not did make eye contact with them.
It was an almost comical sight, one side of her head bald, the other with her precious locks still in tact. ‘Not for much longer’ Roy said to himself. He raised the clippers to her forehead and pushed them across her head. More layers of hair slowly snaked down the cape, most of it gently plodding onto the floor. He repeated this movement as he moved towards her other ear as the pile on the floor continued to grow with her silky blond hair.
Olivia was now almost completely bald, save the almost mullet like amount of hair pouring down the back of the chair. He turned her back towards the mirror. She looked up solemnly and he saw her eyes bulge when taking in her new look. Roy couldn’t believe she had kept herself from crying.
He gently pushed Olivia’s head down. He then lifted up a chunk of her hair and placed the clippers at the bottom of her nape and drove the clippers up until they met the baldness on her crown. He was now holding the mass of blonde hair which he tossed to the ground. He continued lifting up sections before clippering them off until her nape was clear of hair too. He shearing was finally over.
Roy quickly ran his clippers across her bald scalp a few more times before switching them off. The store suddenly became completely silent.
Olivia was staring at the foreign girl in the mirror. Roy had to remark that she was still strikingly beautiful even without her mane of hair.
“Sooooo? Whada think?” Aria broke the silence
Olivia turned her head around surveying the dramatic cropping she had just received.
“It’s gonna take some time to get used to” she said with a hint of resignation in her voice, “But it’s what I wanted”
“Seriously Liv, you look the best out of the 3 of us” Naomi joined it
“No joke” Aria hacked her up
Roy was glad the others were complimenting here, unlike the slightly cruel taunting like comments before the haircut.
“It really does look great on you” Roy added with sincerity
She smiled back through the mirror, still blinking back tears.
He tore away her neck tissue and unclipped the cape. With a big flick he sent the rest of her former mane tumbling to the floor.
“Cmon, give it a rub” Aria told her
Her hands went up to her head and her mouth was agape as she touched her own bald head for the first time.
“Can’t believe this is actually mine!” she exclaimed as she ran her hands over her head.
She slowly stood up, looked down at the massive pile of hair laying across the floor before going to her friends. They all embraced.
“Thank you Roy” Olivia turned back to him.
“No problem” he replied with a smile.
The girls chatted between themselves, rubbing their heads, all giddy with excitement.
Roy grabbed a broom and began the task of sweeping away the masses of hair. Olivia’s blonde hair was now mixed with the others curls and it took a few good sweeps to collect all the hair and move it towards the bin. It took him 3 handfuls to collect it all and toss it in the trash.
He went back to the girls
“How much do we owe you?” Naomi asked
‘She really looked stunning with her bald head’ Roy noted
“No don’t worry about it.” he waved his hand as he said it
“No cmon I insist”
“Seriously it’s fine”
“Well next time then?”
“Well thanks so much” Aria butted in
“Yeah thanks a lot” Olivia added
“Of course, glad I could help” he smiled back at them both.
“Well i’ll definitely be back for trims, think you guys will too?” Naomi looked back at her friends who nodded in agreement
“Definitely” Aria agreed
“Looking forward to it”
The girls went to grab their coats, said their goodbyes and opened the door to leave. Naomi shot him a final smile as she closed the door behind him. Roy watched the three bald heads cross the road and disappear down the street.
He fell back into one of the barber chairs, out of breath from the proceedings. ‘What an unbelievable day’ he thought to himself