“seriously, Izzy that’s the 2nd time this week” my manager said, obviously disappointed.
A customer had found a hair in their food, and had demanded a refund. It was my fault. The length of the hair ruled out all of the cooks and I was the only waitress with blond hair.
“I’m so sorry, I promise it wont happen again” I begged.
I needed this job, It was one of very few jobs in the small university town. if I lost it I would be force to drop out.
“That’s what you said last time”
She was right, since I started hairs had been found in a dozen customers food. I would put it up in and had tried buns and braids neither to much success. My manager liked me but I knew her husband, the chef, wanted me gone.
“my sisters a hairdresser I can book you an appointment, on me, to get something more manageable”
Nervous fingers stroked the ends of my hair. It was a buttery blonde that fell to the middle of my back in thick waves.
“can I have some time to think it over?”
“yeah message me back by tomorrow with your decision” her tone let me know that this was my last chance to save my job.
When I got home I couldn’t get the thought of a haircut out my head. I impulsively brushed my hair. It was the envy of every girl I new and the source of many a mans lust.
Most of the other waitresses had shoulder length hair leading me to fear I would lose about a foot of my mane.
But in truth I had no choice, I needed the job. My hair would grow back and it would be easier to manage. I texted back that I would do it and we arranged an appointment for tomorrow.
I arrived at the salon early and loitered around as if to put of my fate. Slowly, I built up my confidence and entered the salon.
“Izzy” I said nervously to a receptionist, who directed me to the back of the salon.
A stylist, with a striking resemblance to my manager, greeted me in a private room that notably lacked a mirror. She sat me down and secured a cape around my neck.
I sat in silence as she brushed out my hair. Once satisfied, my hair was secured into a ponytail.
She wasn’t going to ask about what I wanted. Her scissors sliced through my ponytail sending years of growth falling to the floor.
My hair was spritzed with cold water. She started combing my hair, violently pulling it up and pinning it in place. I realised she was sectioning it and not simply trying to torture me.
She shoved my head to the side. I heard a loud click and a roaring sound started. Clippers were ran over my sideburn. Then pulled back over my ear.
Next my nape was shorn before the clippers made it to the over side of my head.
The roaring stopped and the hair sectioned on my crown was freed. She spritzed me again. I flinched as the cold water collided with newly bare skin.
Once again my hair was roughly combed. My head was pushed into my chest. The hair at the back of my head be combed tight.
I felt the cold metal of her scissors tickle my nape. With a snip, loose wet hairs clung to my nape. Her scissors continued around my head. Touching my ear lobes and against my cheeks in line with my lips.
Just when I thought she was finished, She was in front of me. Our eyes met, hers gleeful, mine wet with tears.
The front of my hair was combed down to my mouth. Unable to speak, I silently mouthed “no” as a fringe was cut.
“my sister asked that I give you a manageable haircut” She said as she placed her hand on my bare nape, pushing my hair away. “so I am going to give you a special treatment”
I felt a strange mechanical rubbing. It hurt, like hot needles poking at my skin, a strong chemical smell filled my nose. “this is going to kill the cells that trigger hair growth so you don’t need to worry about having to reshave your undercut”
I went numb unable to accept what she said. The mechanical rubbing continued covering every inch of my new forever undercut.
“as for the rest. I am going to use a different treatment, unfortunately this one isn’t permeant but it should stop your hair growth for the next few years”
She started rubbing a substance into my crown covering every inch of my scalp. The substance felt toxic. An acrid chemical smell filled my nose and I could feel the hands on my head were gloved.
A few minutes later I was finally finished.
The cape was removed leaving me free to leave.
“I would normally book you another appointment but with your treatment you aren’t going to need one for a couple years”
I hadn’t spoken a single word since I arrived.
Tears filled my eyes as I left the salon. I rushed home, not wanting anyone to see me.
I had to build up my confidence to see my reflection. My buttery blonde hair was cut to a lip length bob. Straight Bangs lied in line with my eyebrows.
But the worst was the undercut. It was high, unable to be hidden at the back and the sides. I tried to pull my hair into a ponytail only to find it was too short, and the point at the back of my head were my ponytail would once hang was bare. Not even the slightest stubble covered the pale skin. It looked hideous, I looked hideous.
Over the next weeks and months, I didn’t get use to the haircut. The first time I returned work I was met by howls of cooks laughter.
I did research on the treatments I had been given. To my horror the undercut was irreversible never again would hair grow on most my head. The other treatment was no better my hair wouldn’t grow at all for at least 2.5 years. But after that, the rate of its growth would be permanently far slower. Also people claimed it caused permanent damage and thinning.
Despite having a fraction of the hair, the maintenance wasn’t much better. Yes washing it was easier, but styling was far worst. My old hair was heavy enough to hold itself down and I could throw it into a ponytail if I didn’t want to do anything with it.
The new cut however needed to be styled everyday. The short hair wouldn’t stay in place and the straight bangs took 20 minutes to style everyday.
3 years later I had graduated and started my career. My hair hadn’t grow in that time but thinned out slightly and even though it was undyed appeared fried.
My hair had started to grow again, slowly. It was 3 or 4 times slower then it had once been.
Over the next years I tried everything to get my hair to grow. It was slow but it I managed to get some progress. My hope was even if I couldn’t return to my former glorious locks I could at least get something I didn’t hate.
My bangs where the first choice I made. I wanted to grow them out but soon realised that with slowed growth it would take 4 or 5 years to rid me of them. Unable to deal with an uneven fringe for that long I gave up and cut it into easier to manage curtain bangs.
I continued to grow my hair out but as it approached my shoulders the growth slowed more. At this point I gave up. My hair appeared thinner and more damaged then ever I was unable to do any styles with it. My hope to be able to braid my hair turned into disappointment as my braids looked thin and sad.
When I realised the hair was barely able to cover my undercut and still thinning I snapped and cut it, Longer then my old haircut, into a chin length bob. I hid the still bare undercut at the back but was unable to hide it at the side.
I hoped as time passed my hair would get better. That it would grow faster and healthier. I dreamed one night of hair growing on my undercut only to wake up to find it bare.
I seemed doomed to have this haircut until the day I died.