A first part in a series I wrote years ago but is no longer available online as the old web for hairstories shut down. Enjoy!
Ann and Jane were twins. They turned 18 few weeks ago. As it is common, they had very close relationship but they were very competitive, too. They would often make little competitions between themselves no matter if it was a grammar test or running in PE. Either the winner got something, like breakfast to her bed, or the looser was somehow punished, from smelling running socks to being spilled by warm pudding or something but never anything serious. But this time they agreed on something special. There was a school ski course next week for their classroom and it was just a perfect place for their competitions. They weren´t novices in skiing as they would go skiing several times a year with their parents so they could easily make races among themselves.
They both had similar long brown absolutely straight hair. Jane´s was to middle of her back while Ann managed to grow it about 10-15 cm longer and got some wispy long side-swept bangs. They had this hair since ever and Jane felt ready for a change. She didn´t know what she wanted but she wanted a change. When they were discussing their ski competitions she came with her idea. “I feel like a change so I propose this: we will race and the winner will cut part of the loser´s hair every day.” “This is quite beyond our common competition. But though I like my hair as it is and I am not that much into cutting it I think it would be a lot of fun to cut yours so I will participate in this. But we have to set out exact rules, for example how much will we cut.” “I have been thinking about this already. We have different length so we should cut by % and as there are five days of skiing I think 20% of the length is perfect.” “I agree with the cutting of some % of what we have now if I understand right that we would cut the same length every day. Even the 20% sounds reasonable. Only this means we would definitely cut someone´s hair every day so I think it would be better if we would set some time and who won´t make it in that time would lose hair. That means that even any or both of us might get a haircut at one day. And one more thing – this way we might invite other girls, not that I expect that many would accept, one or two if we are lucky, but more girls means cutting more hair and cutting more hair means more fun.” “Yes, you understand right. Inviting more girls sounds good but it would be success for me even if one would join us.”
All the girls of the twin´s classroom were gathered in the largest room of the hotel where they would stay during the ski course. They were told by the twins that they want to invite them into their competition and none of them let herself escape the opportunity to listen what is it about. “You all know about our little competitions right?” asked Jane. Approving humming stood for an answer. “This time we want to do something special and we decided to invite you to our competition though we don´t expect many to join. You still don´t know what are we talking about so let me explain. Nature of the competition is obvious – ski racing. What is not that obvious is price on one hand and punishment on the other. This is what we have agreed in advance but we are open to a discussion among the contenders. There is going to be a time limit every day given by average time of those who don´t compete on a slalom track one of the competitors would build. Those who won´t make it in time will get a haircut by the fastest contestant. How much will be cut depends on how long hair you have tonight. It will be 20% of your tonight’s length no matter how much will have been cut by that time. There might be some material reward for the overall winner – the one who lose the least % of hair but we have to discuss this. These are the basic rules so you know what to expect. If you are too aware of losing some of your hair, please, leave so we get some more space.” “I like the idea but it´s quite discriminating. I can´t ski really well and there are some who have never skied before.” said Kate “Oh, that´s a really good point. We have never thought about this as we are about equally good. We are supposed to be divided into three groups from skilled skiers to absolute novices so I think each group may have its own time limit. This way we remove the differences in our skills to possible minimum.” “Ok, this should do it – at least for me.” “Well, any other issues? If not, please leave those who are not interested anymore.”
To Ann´s and Jane´s surprise there were 9 girls in the room, including themselves. They expected that most of them just wanted to hear more details but still… There was Michaela with dark curly hair to her shoulders, brunette Natalie with straight hair to bottom of her shoulder blades with blunt bangs, Clair with the same hair but without bangs, blonde Hannah with long blunt bob just touching her shoulders, Veronica with kind of asymmetric bob to her shoulders at her right side and back of natural blonde colour with disconnected short left side of about 2 cm long reddish brown hair, Kate with light brown with blonde highlights pixie haircut less than 10 cm long and finally Maria whose thick plate of chestnut healthy hair reached her bum.
“I am really surprised by how many of you remained interested after what we have said till now. I just want to make sure you understand we are dead serious with this. We have bought brand new hairdressing scissors, borrowed hair clippers, and brought pack of new razor heads in case someone gets to sum of 100% hair cut during the five days. And as such after you sign yourself in tonight the only way out is to have another 20% of your hair cut off as a give up fee.” At this point Claire and Michaela stood and left the room. “Is seems there is still lot of you who are thinking about this seriously. We have been talking about the deadline. Its calculation may change after first day if we realize it´s too easy or too difficult for us to beat it. I can see some of you have bangs. You will have them measured and cut separately because it´s nonsense to shave them off with first 20% of hair as well as not cutting them at all.” “What about me?” Veronica interrupted her. “Good point I forget about you. I think you should have two lengths measured as well – one for the long side as the others and the other from the longest hair at the short side, agreed?” “Yes, that sounds reasonable.” “Good, any other issues, ideas or special appeals?” “What if someone falls? Can she try again?” “I didn´t think we would differ fall from slow ride but we can give you another try. But it won´t be that easy of course. If you succeed in your second attempt you are safe but if you fail it will be counted as another failed ride and thus you get 40% of your hair cut so it´s kind of bet.” “I think there will some serious haircutting this week.” laughed Natalie. “Yes we can expect that. You reminded me of perhaps last serious thing. It´s quite easy to cut exactly 20% if you have long hair but as there some with medium or short hair it will be more difficult with you unless you want to look like a mushroom or have part of your head shaved so the one who is cutting you may choose hairstyle for you cutting about those 20% on average – somewhere a bit less somewhere a bit more. You have much less hair cut anyway so it´s kind of payment for this advantage. So everyone is ready to sign up for this or are there any other questions?” “You have been talking about some reward for the overall winner. Can you explain it?” “Oh yes, I forgot about that. If we want to do that, there will have to be some buy-in and the winner will get it. It´s a matter of discussion how much would it be. I think something like 10$ should do it.” After some discussion the joining price was set to 15$ so the winner gets 100$ and the remaining 5 bucks fall on the twins for organisation costs. “I have one more concept.” Hannah interrupted writing down the agreed conditions. “Yes?” “We are talking about 20% all the time but I think it´s quite a lot when you cross the deadline just for tenths of second. I think that if someone is less than one second overtime he should get only 10% cut. And maybe winner of the day might be spared 10% in the future to make more tactic variety. If you try to be even faster to get the win you are risking a fall so you have to choose if you would ride on the edge to win or just good enough to beat time.” “I am not too enthusiastic about it but not against it too so we can vote. Hand´s up those who are for implementation of this rule.” Five hands raised in agreement so they added this into conditions. Finally all the conditions were written on a sheet of paper. “OK, we have prepared this agreement where you allow the rest of us to cut your hair according to the given conditions. Once you read it you can sign it if you want to join us. We have to protect ourselves in case someone would get angry on us. It´s your choice and you know the conditions.” Jane and Ann signed first followed sooner or later by the others. Only Maria was considering if she wanted to risk her butt length hair. She didn´t fear cutting it bit shorter, to her shoulder blades maybe shoulders but she couldn´t imagine if she was to lose more. Eventually, she decided to participate expecting it to be fun, and perhaps it was time to change her hair anyway, and added her signature.
“All right girls. It´s time to measure our precious manes.” announced Ann when all the girls signed themselves. She and Jane have done this already at home but they had to do it again in front of the girls. It took them quite a while to create this table because of debates over which lock to measure, especially Ann´s bangs were nut:
Ann: 72cm, bangs 18cm
Natalie: 48cm, bangs 9cm
Veronica: 31cm right side, 5cm left side
Finally, the D-day came. Class was divided into three groups with five of the girls being in number one and Kate with Hannah in number two. Number three was only for few novices so none of the girls were sent there. In the morning groups were skiing together and teacher was instructing them and afternoon they were allowed to ski on their own in groups. That was time for Ann, who was balloted to make the track for the first day, to prepare a slalom which was her favourite discipline. They didn´t have real ski poles so she used boots. She rode through to make sure it was possible to ride through reasonably and then let girls who didn´t join their competition to ride down. Always at least two other girls were stop-watching to get the most accurate time possible. Finally the times were averaged to get deadlines for contestants. Times were set to 34:36 for group one and 39:81 for group two.
Now it was time for the girls to beat the times. Ann was to be the first and the rest used dice to set order. Some other girls would stop by to look how she was doing. And she did well with time 31:85. She was followed by Kate who finished in 40:11 after some serious problems in one of the corners. Both Natalie and Veronica fell and decided to try again at the end. Then was time for Hannah who had to beat 39:81 and she did so with 37:44. Maria did well and finished just behind Ann who seemed that she would be spared of 10% of her hair when her time will come but her twin did great job beating her by almost full second. Finally came second round for Veronica and Natalie. Natalie rode carefully not to fall but arrived in time with safe reserve. Unfortunately, Veronica wasn´t so lucky and crashed only few curves before finish line and she knew immediately she will get a major haircut.
After they finished common activities with their classmates the girls met in two joined rooms with common bathroom so they won´t be disturbed much and have where to cut Kate and Veronica. Jane, who was respected as the main organiser began. “We have finished our first day which had cleared some unknown details especially our domination in comparison to others so it´s necessary to recalculate the deadline in next days while there is only Kate who finished just few tenths of second behind limit though she had some problems and Veronica who lost because of falls and not because of time. And the issue is much more significant in our group one where each of us beat the time by almost two seconds and me even by 3.5 seconds which is more than 10% so I suppose the average time should be shortened by 5% if there should be some adrenalin and cutting and that’s what this is all about.” The other girls except Ann seemed to prefer the safety of thair hair over the adrenaline of haircutting but they eventually accepted this challenge. Now when this issue was solved it was time for Kate and Veronica to get their haircuts. Jane prepared a chair and put it in the middle of the small bathroom. Kate was seated and Jane tossed a large towel over her shoulders to protect her cloths from the falling hair. “You have lost by less than second so you are sentenced to have 10% of your hair, which equals less than one cm, cut by myself.” she announced and took scissors from a shelf. Other girls filled the room leaving Jane just enough space for cutting. She divided her hair into plenty of little sections to know what is remaining and what is done already. She would unpin one section in time pick a lock from it and cut one cm. She would do that three or four times per section. Finally she would pin the section again and repeat the process with another one. It took her quite a while to cut her hair this way but she wasn’t sure she would cut it even without this. The towel and floor were covered with little blond hairs. Jane carefully took of the towel and set Kate free. It was almost impossible to see any difference except it was all a bit uneven.
Veronica nervously walked to the chair and slowly she sat on it. Jane told her how much she was going to cut off from her head. It was to be 12 and 2 cm. Veronica just nodded and remained silent. Jane pinned all of her long hair and kept the short side free. She nodded towards her sister Ann and she handed her comb and clippers without guard. Veronica couldn´t see that so she jumped when she heard pop followed by humming sound. What she had by then was her first side-cut. She had it done just a week ago and she didn´t dare to let her stylist use clippers on it that time but she realized it was going to change soon. Jane combed small section from her temple leaving one to three cm´s of hair above the comb and carefully passed the clippers over it. She did it like this because cutting 2cm from everywhere would mean shave around ears but the higher layers would be up to 3 centimetres. When she lifted the comb it was visible that now the hair was 2cm all over that side. Jane continued buzzing over comb and soon she reached the end of the section. “We are done on this side but now the time has come for some serious cutting.” Jane said. The hair on the right side and back was supposed to be shortened by 12cm. After rough measurement Jane worked out what would she do. Veronica´s hair should reach just below earlobe on the side so she decided to give her a short bob. She picked scissors and placed them to corresponding height. “Here we go!” she exclaimed and closed the blades together. About 12 cm of hair fell to the floor. Snip, snip, Jane continued slicing through the hair. When she was done with the side she continued with the back. She checkes for any missed hairs on jumps in length and lay the scissors. Veronica stood and walked to a mirror “Wow, I can´t recognize myself but I think I will get used to it. You did good job, Jane.” “Thanks. I tried to do my best.” Girls cleaned the hair and returned to common entertainment. Noone paid much attention to Kate´s haircut but Veronica caused some dull faces and received even a compliment.
The other day the history repeated. In the morning skiing together and free skiing in the afternoon. The girls built a track again, this time under Kate´s supervision, and estimated the deadline for the seven. Hannah made the track more like a giant slalom so it was longer. First group´s time was set to 40:65 and to 47:12 for Kate and Hannah. Starting order was set reverse to the results of the previous day. Veronica didn´t seem to think about her former failures driving through the curves as fast as possible. She finished in great time 39:20. She was followed by Kate who was trying to retrieve her error but it resulted only in a failure in one of the curves where she missed the “gate” of boots and thus was disqualified. Hannah didn´t push herself over the edge and finished in 46:68. Natalie had to retry the day before and she wasn´t riding on the edge so she didn´t have to do that again. It resulted in too slow time 41:92 which implied haircut. Toughening the limit began to fructify. Maria rode down with her long plait literally flying behind her but eventually found herself lying in the snow after her skis had crossed. Only the twins remained on the start. Ann´s attempt ended soon after it began. Her binding gave away in the first corner after she cut the tip of her ski into the snow after skating from the starting gate and she copied Maria. Jane managed her ride well finishing second behind Veronica. Both Kate and Maria decided to try luck but none of them had succeeded and thus they had to await their double-haircuts. It wasn´t that much by Kate but Maria was about to lose about four times what Kate had originally. Ann was going to try it too but changed her mind after she saw that luck turned its back on them and decided to get the basic haircut. Natalie didn´t fall so there weren´t any options for her.
There was going to be much more haircutting that night. Natalie and Ann were getting 20% of their hair cut and Kate and Maria even 40%. Veronica as the winner of the day changed her position from getting a haircut to giving one. Or better – four. “Natalie, would you come and sit in my chair, please?” She called for her first victim. Natalie approached the chair and sat. Veronica didn´t bothered with towel as it wouldn´t have any real use and fingered ruler and scissors. She sized 10cm and placed the ruler horizontally as a guide at the line. She put the scissors below it and closed them. 10 cm of hair fell to floor. She moved them, closed them and hair fell down again. After several snips all Natalie´s hair was cut in straight line across her shoulder blades. “All right you can be sure you don´t have any split ends now. We have to trim your bags, yet. Can you lean forward so the hair don´t fall on your cloth?” Natalie obeyed and leaned forward. Veronica just looked at the ruler to catch the length. She began cutting about 3 cm on left but with scissors angled down. She cut the left side sideways and the rest blunt less than 2cm above former hairline so the bangs could be worn down or as short side-swept. “Now you are all done, Natalie. I don´t want to sound too stiff but I think you look great.” The other girls nodded. Natalie raised and looked in the mirror. “Cool, I love the bangs. It looks much better than the blunt I have had and the back isn´t that much shorter too. Thank you Veronica.” “You are welcome… so, who´s next? Ann, come on, please.”
“I hope you will do my hair as well as Natalie´s.” Ann said as she sat. “You want me to cut it as short as hers?” Veronica asked teasingly. “No.” Ann laughed “I want you to cut it as nice.” “I will see what I can do.” Again, she didn´t put any towel on Ann and picked the ruler immediately. She put it where the hair was longest and sized 15cm. “You want to keep it slightly V-shaped or shall I cut it straight as Natalie´s?” “Make it blunt for a change.” “Say bye to your hair.” She said as she switched ruler for scissors and placed them at right side of Ann´s back 15 cm above ends. Long lock slid down over Ann´s back. Second, third. When she cut through all the hair in the back she returned to Ann´s bangs. They reached almost to her jaw because she was afraid to cut them shorter so they won´t look out of place in the long hair. She lost 15cm of hair but still if it was up to her she would keep them as they were. But it wasn´t up to her and Veronica was already measuring 3cm from the ends. Suddenly, she stopped and laid the ruler. “I think you should have fuller bangs, Ann. Especially when I cut them shorter. Can I cut them thicker for you?” “I am not really sure, I have always had them thin so they don’t stand out too much.” “Well, It´s possible if you have them really long but when we cut them shorter I think it looks much better if they are fuller. It looks funny when you see someone with wispy blunt bangs. It just doesn’t work together.” “It seems you have sense for it according to how you have cut Natalie’s so I trust you. But don´t cut half of my hair off.” “Good, let´s begin. Can anyone get me a comb?” “Here you are,” one of the girls handed Veronica hers. Veronica separated the current bangs and pinned the rest. The bangs section was only above eyes and rather thin. Veronica unpinned part of the long hair, took some, and pinned the rest back. This way she created triangle section about 3 cm thick in the middle. Taking scissors she asked Ann to lean forward. Then she swept the bangs to left side where Ann usually wore them seized 4cm and began slicing diagonally through the hair. The falling hair was either 4 or 40cm long. “Perfect, that’s much better I think.” Ann walked to a mirror and nodded. “Yes, it looks so cute. I really like it, thank you.” “You´re welcome. I´m glad you like it… well, Kate, it´s your time.”
“It seems I´m going pretty short today. But I am not afraid as long as it is in your hands.” Kate sat and this time Veronica tossed a towel on her shoulders. Then she picked a ruler and sized the sides and back and then the top. “Ok get ready. There won´t be much left on the sides when I´m done. Jane, can you hand me clippers?” “Here you are…” Veronica opened the box and took out the clippers and attached the guard. There was a mover with 5 positions – 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 – representing length in millimeters. She moved it to position signed 15, turned them on and without any ceremony put them at Kate´s nape. The sound changed and first chunks of blonde hair have fallen victim to the hungry blades. Veronica moved them all the way to Kate´s crown leaving short velvet path behind it. You could have noticed skin behind it if the hair had been darker. When she finished the stroke she put them at Kate´s nape again and made another pass. It took her 7 passes to clean all the hair in the back then she walked to right side and began buzzing paths from temple to the back. Finally she repeated the process on the other side and turned the clippers of. Kate lifted her hand to feel the buzzed hair “WOW!” she exclaimed “It feels so soft! I love to touch it.” “Good to hear that.” Veronica said while she was removing the guard. “Don´t move now. I will clean your hairline.” Carefully she shaved her hairline around her ear, nape and finished by the other ear. After she cleaned the clippers from the cut hairs she put them back in the box and finally picked a comb and scissors. She brushed little section at the top of Kate´s head and caught it between fingers. She moved them what she thought would be about 5 cm above the skin and cut the exceeding hair off. She cut all the hair behind the first section this way and now only the front part was in former length. Veronica combed oblong section at left side and began cutting it from back to front simultaneously rising her fingers more and more. This way she connected slightly longer bangs to the rest of the hair on top. She continued over the forehead and finished on the other side. Kate again complimented on her job after she saw herself in the mirror though she was shocked about how little hair was now on her head. And there were another three races coming in following days…
Finally the time has come for the highlight of that night. Maria was about to get 36 cm cut from her long mane many girls would envy her. It was clearly visible she was really excited about what was about to happen. She had never have cut more than few cm during her trims. Despite that, she didn´t look worried more than any other girl who had to cut her hair today. It almost seemed she is looking forward to the dramatic change. Veronica enjoyed brushing her magnificent mane but as there were three girls cut before it was getting late and she had to proceed to the main event. She was about to seize the right length when Maria asked her to cut her hair in a ponytail because it was long enough to sell or donate. She borrowed a rubber band from Jane who let her long hair loose. She was going to have the longest hair of the girls soon with her sis Ann keeping in touch and Maria just behind them. Then there was significant gap with Natalie´s hair almost another 20cm shorter. Veronica gathered all Maria´s hair in a ponytail and put on the rubber band. She slid it about 30 cm from the ends and seized 35cm because she expected some evening after the rough cut. “Get ready, Maria.” She said and picked scissors. She placed them to the estimated height and closed them. Snip. Only small part of the mane was severed. Snip, snip, snip, she continued getting through the thick hair. It took her almost a minute to get through. “AAAAAAAA!” Exclaimed Maria and began laughing when she felt the severed pony loosen from her head. She jumped and run to the mirror to see herself. “WOW! It´s never been so short since I can remember.” She continued laughing. “A feet of your hair gone in a minute.” Veronica hold the cut ponytail in front of her. “I still can´t believe you signed up for this.” “I had had a lot of doubts but I felt I was ready to change my hair when it comes to it. I thought I could be able to win and last but not least I found this competition extremely exciting.” “When it comes to excitement this certainly is on the first ranks.” agreed Veronica. “Can you sit again? I have to even the ends.” “Sure.” Maria sat back on the chair. The ends were quite even so barely half cm was cut off from most of the hairs. Finally all cutting was done, at least for that day. The girls cleaned the floor from hair and disbanded into their rooms. If any had commented on Veronica´s hair the day before, this day there had been many debates and questions about what was going on, among the guys. It´s not common for four girls to cut almost half or quarter of their hair off on one evening at a ski course, is it? Some of them complimented on the girls hair, especially Ann´s bangs were hit, some of them didn´t seem too happy about it. Maria, cutting off so much hair, and Kate, having her hair shorter than most of the boys, were the most often regrets. But none of them had a slightest clue it was just a beginning.