The Barbershop Assistant: An Old Friend and a New Look

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The Barbershop Assistant: On the Run

Here is the next installment of my thriller/haircut fetish tale, The Barbershop Assistant. Cara and Rick are at it again, rescuing girls and making them look completely unrecognizable. And of course, Cara will be finding herself under the cape as well after her head and eyebrows were shaved in the previous installment! I also have made the executive decision to transition her story from the third person perspective to the first person perspective. Thanks for reading, if you enjoy this be sure to like, comment, and read my other works as well! I imagine I have something for everybody!

Alien Babe

Being bald was wild. I loved the feeling of my smooth head and it drove Rick crazy. After holding out from having sex for months, we finally cut loose in a big way. That first night had been incredible. There were so many sensations, some new thanks to my hairless head and there were some that were old but had long gone unexperienced. And even the ones that were old were better than ever before.

Our fun had been so wild and distracting, Rick had nearly forgotten to do what we had shaved my hair and eyebrows off for in the first place. We laid on the couch that had been my bed until we almost drifted off to sleep, Rick gently rubbing my smooth head. He suddenly snapped up.

”We forgot to do the follicle stain,” he said, slipping me off of his shoulder and hurrying to grab the bag that held the tool to almost perfect my disguise.

I laughed and stood to follow him, “Yes, I’d hate to have literally lost all of the hair from my head for nothing. Although what we just did would be worth it all over again.”

”Are you trying to get me back into bed, little mama?” he said, opening a cylindrical container and sniffing the contents before scrunching his nose and pulling his face away.

”Maybe I am, but by the way you reacted to that stuff, you probably won’t want to be anywhere near my head after you put it on me,” I said, looking at myself in a mirror in awe.

I looked like an alien in the mirror. No hair whatsoever. It was strange in comparison to what I had been just months ago. Long beautiful red hair and perfectly shaped brows, now a memory. And with the foul smelling chemical that Rick now held, the memory would be all but forgotten. I moved my face like I would have raised my eyebrows and nothing moved. So strange. But so sexy.

”Don’t worry, this will make a comeback. Once a year so we can re-stain your follicles. Are you ready to actually become a brunette?” he asked, guiding me to his favorite chair.

”Of course I am. Anything you want for me, I’ll do,” I said looking up at him and smiling sweetly with my strange new face.

I took my seat, my bare ass feeling the cool leather of the chair for the first time. How I had wanted to be in this chair this was for so long, and now I was doing it. It just took this strange hairless head to get here. If I had know that, I would have begged him for this on that first day. He draped a cape across me, not the normal new, clean one, instead an old stained one from a drawer. It felt amazing against my skin.

“Babe, won’t people be able to see us through the windows? I know it’s dark out, but we have the lights on in here,” I said, suddenly realizing how truly exposed we were.

”Don’t worry, little mama,” Rick said, picking up a remote and pressing a button.

I turned my naked head and looked to see the blinds slide down and cover the wall of windows that was the front of the shop. My jaw dropped as I looked from the windows to Rick and then back to the windows. My eyebrows would have been raised if they still existed.

”Rick! You’re telling me I could have been blocking out the sun that has been waking me up every morning since I first started sleeping on the couch?” I asked in shock.

”Oh, Can the princess not handle a little sunlight coming in under her door? Besides, sunrise is always when I’ve needed you up anyway,” he said, barely suppressing a grin.

”What about my days off?” I asked, moving my bald head for emphasis.

”Think of how productive you’ve been,” he said, pulling on a pair of rubber gloves. “Now hold still, I’m pretty tired after what we did and I need to get this stain on your head.”

”Whatever,” I said rolling my eyes fondly as I settled in to watch the change I was about to undergo.

He opened the lid of the container and set both on the counter. Taking a generous scoop with his fingertips, he began to paint the substance onto my bare scalp. It was dark brown, probably the color of what my hair would soon be, and, as I suspected from his reaction, smelled something like rotten eggs and gasoline.

”Oh my god, Rick! That smells terrible! Are you sure it’s staining my follicles and not burning them off?” I asked, pulling a hand out from under my cape and pinching my nose.

”You know I like cutting your hair too much to get rid of it for good! But this is terrible. And it’s worse now that I’m putting it on your head. I’ve been told that it gets better once you dry it so I’ll get the blow dryer out once I have it all applied. Then I’ll be able to close the lid too,” he said, quickening his pace as he painted my scalp.

Once my scalp was painted he also very carefully covered where my eyebrows had once been. He only used one finger to apply it, clearly concerned with what might happen if the substance got into my eyes.

”Just because it won’t burn your follicles away doesn’t mean I want it getting in your eyes. Fortunately once it dries, it won’t run. We’ll really crank up the air conditioning tonight to keep you from sweating. And it’s supposed to be good for the follicle staining process for you to be cold,” he said.

”Oh great, you know how much I love being cold,” I said, pursing my lips. We frequently had near arguments over my belief that he kept the shop too cold. Of course he was the boss so he won every time.

“Don’t worry, I’ll bundle up your little body. But your head will have to stay out. I’ll put an old sheet down under your head too, just so we don’t accidentally stain my couch,” he said, patting me on the shoulder after he removed his gloves.

”Right, we just want my follicles stained,” I said with a grin.

“That’s right,” he said with a wink.

He used a blow dryer on the cool setting and spent at least ten minutes drying my head. My skin under the stain felt stiff as it dried and I could almost feel it settling down into my hair follicles. Once he seemed satisfied with the dryness of the stain, he helped me up and took me to the back room.

”Alright, put your PJs on, we have an early morning tomorrow. I’ll need to rinse this off before we open and I think it might take a little while. You’re supposed to leave it on for 3 hours, but I’ll be back in 6 to rinse it off,” he said, giving me a kiss.

I was disappointed by that. I had hoped Rick would have at least stayed the night after the first time we made love. But he was so careful with me. Almost like he was afraid of falling for me. I was falling so hard for him. Maybe it had something to do with the wife his friend James had told me he lost.

”Alright, goodnight, handsome. I’ll see you in the morning,” I said, kissing him back.

”I only wish I had more time to feel this smooth head of yours. But I’m afraid to touch it now,” he said with a wink, pointing at the brown coated skin on my head.

“Thank you for tonight. And everything,” I said, closing my eyes and kissing him one last time.

”It’s nothing. But you’re welcome,” he said before he turned to leave.

The last thing Rick did before walking out was crank the temperature on the air conditioner down into the sixties. It was going to be a cold night for sure. Especially for my naked, little head. He closed the door and I locked it behind him.

An Old Friend

The night had been cold and the following morning, just like we had planned, he rinsed all of the staining concoction off my head. I wasn’t convinced it would work and that I’d see red stubble sprouting up all over my head but, by the end of the work day, the shadow over my head was noticeably darker than my natural hair color.

People made comments all day about my bald head and Rick delighted in embarrassing me, making up stories about how I got bored and tried cutting my own hair, ultimately failing and having to shave it all off. He also got a good laugh at how red my naked scalp would turn when I blushed in embarrassment. Nobody noticed my lack of eyebrows as Rick had told me that I would need to draw them on until they grew back in. A shaved head could be explained but bald and browless would be more difficult.

Over the coming weeks, Rick kept my growing in hair neatly cut. He shaved the sides of my hair down to nothing with an electric tool he called a foil shaver. As my dark hair grew in, it quickly took the shape of a high and tight style haircut. Rick loved it and I loved that. He couldn’t keep his hands off of me, whenever customers were not around we would kiss, his hands running over my short, velvety hair.

Life went on as the days grew shorter. It never got colder in early autumn in the south and I was grateful to have the short hair in my new working life. I spent more time on my makeup considering I spent no time styling my hair at all. I also began wearing earrings more often, as if the removal of the last of my hair made me feel the need to express my femininity in other ways. And Rick seemed to like it when I wore dangly earrings.

Lyla, who I had once known as Jaqueline, and I grew closer, each being the only friend who knew of the other’s past life. We used our burner phones to video chat almost weekly. She seemed obsessed with my shaved head and I had even shown her what I looked like without my eyebrows drawn in. Then one night on our video chat, she held the camera away from her face.

”Cara, are you ready to see what I’ve done?” she asked.

I ran a hand over the half inch long hair on my crown. It had been a month since I had begun growing my hair in and I even had patchy eyebrows begin to fill in. With Lyla, I felt safe going without makeup. I even laid on my back on my couch that had long become my bed, relaxing under a blanket after a long day of work.

”Lyla, I’m almost sure you can’t surprise me anymore. Not with all of the new tattoos and piercings you seem to have each time we talk,” I said rolling my eyes dramatically.

”Oh, I’m not so sure about that,” she said, turning the camera onto herself.

I was actually, genuinely, surprised by what I saw. Lyla had copied me. Sort of. She had shaved every hair from her head, completely to the skin. Her black mohawk was completely gone, as were her eyebrows. She wore makeup, her usual goth style look, but had not filled in her brows like I did. It looked like she was actually trying to highlight her lack of eyebrows.

”Oh my god, okay. Fine, you surprised me. Why?” I asked, clapping my hand to the soft hair on my crown.

”I loved the way you looked and wanted to put my own personal spin on it! My boyfriend loves it!” Lyla ran her hand over her smooth head.

”Well, you look great! I never was a fan of how I looked without eyebrows but with your look, it works so much better!” I said, honestly liking the way she looked.

”Oh, you’re too hard on yourself. It looked so good on you too. You’re literally so beautiful. Even with your new military man haircut,” Lyla said with a wink.

”Just wait, in a month you’re going to copy this too,” I said proudly rubbing my head.

”Why a month?” Lyla asked, tilting her hairless head to the side.

”That’s how long it takes to grow this much hair,” I said with a laugh.

She laughed too and we continued to chat deep into the night. Perhaps even too late. Until I heard her phone chime. She squinted at the screen of her phone and then her picture froze as she opened it.

”Oh my god, Cara,” she said, sounding shaken.

”What? What is it?” I asked, sensing her concern.

”You won’t believe who just DMed me on Instagram,” she said.


”Jaylen. She knows I got out and wants help getting out too,” Lyla said.

The Newest Customer

A week later, everything had been set up. The girl that would have been the closest thing to my best friend from my old life, Jaylen, had been the girlfriend of my horrible ex’s equally horrible best friend. She and I had suffered alongside one another many times and she was the only person I felt guilty leaving behind. And somehow, by random luck, she had found Lyla on Instagram.

With some careful planning, some encrypted chat rooms, and an expensive Uber ride, she would be picked up by Rick at a truck stop off the highway. Then she would come to Rick’s shop where she would get her transformative disguise and then she would be headed off to her new life on a greyhound bus.

Waiting in the shop, alone and shuffling my feet, I checked my phone again and again. I knew I should have been excited to see Jaylen. She was one of the only people who really knew how much I suffered, mostly because she had been through much of the same. But I looked so different. I was so different. What would she think? Then my phone buzzed.

”I’ve got her. Be there in 5,” the text from Rick said.

I sent a thumbs up emoji and let out a nervous breath of air. She was doing something good and I was so proud of her. Even if I was unlikely to ever be able to see her again, aside from video calls like I shared with Lyla. I paced around the shop, rubbing my head which was my newfound nervous tick.

Jaylen’s path was already laid out. Her long, brown hair would be cut short like Shailene Woodley’s pixie cut from a few years ago and it would be dyed an ashy blonde color. Her contacts would be abandoned she would wear glasses from this point on. She would leave behind her fashionable clothing, replacing them with clothes, completing her transformation into someone that didn’t attract any attention from people she passed. Then she would go and take a job with one of Rick’s Army friends, keeping records for his training business. It was perfect. Something low key and hidden from the public. And Jaylen had even studied accounting in college.

I nervously paced the floor until I finally saw headlights. I gulped and fidgeted with my shirt, checking my hair in the mirror. Then I remembered I didn’t have any which was part of why I was so nervous.

I heard the door open and turned around.

”Okay, Rick. Where’s my friend Caroline?” Jaylen asked.

I looked her up and down. She was dressed not unlike I had been the day I left. She wore a hoodie and jeans, her long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. My guess is, like me on that day that I lost all of my long red hair, she didn’t know what was coming for her hair.

”I don’t know anybody named Caroline, I’m Cara,” I said with a wink.

Jaylen’s jaw dropped and she raised a hand up to her mouth. She was speechless for several moments as I smiled in embarrassment, rubbing a hand over my head.

“Oh my god, it’s you,” she muttered when she finally was able to speak.

I stepped forward and pulled her in for a hug, squeezing her. “It’s me,” I said, my eyes misting over with tears.

”Caroline, oh my god,” she said, squeezing me back.

I put my hands on her shoulders and pushed her away, looking into her eyes that also filled with tears, “No, it’s Cara.”

She finally nodded in understanding, reaching a hand up to wipe a tear that fell from her eye. She gulped, “Right, Cara. It’s so great to meet you. You remind me of a friend I used to have. Except she had long red hair.”

I took her hand in mine and lifted it to my head, “Right, but I’m a barbershop assistant with short brown hair.”

She rubbed my head, looking up to my hair. I could tell she could barely believe her eyes. And then she had a moment of realization and her hand shot to her own hair.

”Wait, are you guys going shave all of my hair off too?” Jaylen asked, looking from me to Rick and back again.

I laughed and ran my hand down her ponytail, “No you won’t be losing ALL of your hair. Most of it, sure. But not all of it.”

”Most of it?” she asked nervously.

”We have to change how you look completely, remember? That means a big haircut and a new color too. But it’s worth it right?” I asked, nodding reassuringly.

”Right. You’re right. Do whatever you need to do. I’m not ever going back,” she said, setting her jaw in determination.

”That’s what we like to hear. We have your new glasses too. And some more clothes for you to wear. Nothing as nice as you’re used to,” Rick said, pointing to his barber’s chair with an open hand.

Jaylen gulped and pulled the hoodie over her head, revealing the white tank top she wore underneath. “I don’t want hair falling down in my hoodie right? My high school boyfriend always took his shirt off when I cut his hair in the backyard,” she said as she hung the cozy gray sweatshirt on the coat rack.

She sat in the chair and looked at herself in the mirror. “I know this is a good thing, but is it okay if I cry? I think I’m going to cry.”

Rick tied a tissue paper strip around her neck and draped a black cape over her body. I patted her on the shoulder, “I’d be surprised if you didn’t. But you know what they say, hair holds trauma. And I shaved all of mine off. It might have hurt a little but it’s worth it.”

Jaylen looked up at me in the mirror and smiled. “So what will my name be?”

Rick let Jaylen’s hair down from the ponytail and began sectioning it out. He tied one on the top of her head, the tie several inches from her scalp. Then one on either side of her head and one on the back of her head as well.

“Well, that’s up to you. Something you’ll remember and respond to. But it has to be different enough from your old name that people won’t figure out who you are by your name. Once you decide, the name Jaylen will be left behind,” Rick explained.

Jaylen pursed her mouth for a moment and looked at herself in the mirror. “I don’t know. I think I’ll have to see what I look like as the new me before I know my new name.”

Rick smiled at her, “That sounds like a great idea. Are you ready to get started?”

He picked up the scissors and and Jaylen nervously swallowed as she looked at the scissors and nothing else. Then she nodded.

”Okay. Do it. I’m ready.”

Rick didn’t hesitate. The man was always one to tear off the bandaid. In no time at all, he snipped the two side pigtails and the tail in the back as well, letting the hair, maybe two inches in length at its shortest. Jaylen’s breathing immediately became shaky at the sight of her choppy short hair.

“We’re going to save the hair. Sell it for wigs. Then we’ll send you the cash to help you get started,” Rick said, placing the tails on the counter.

Tears filled my oldest friend’s eyes as she nodded, biting her lip, “Mhm. Thanks, I guess.”

Rick snipped the last ponytail from the top of her head, sending the now drastically shorter hair tumbling down over her eyes. Jaylen always had extremely thick hair and even now after it had been chopped so short, it still looked like she had a lot of hair. Rick used a comb to part her hair in the middle and keep it away from her eyes.

”You’re going to look great,” I said, seeing tears begin to fall as my friend sniffled.

”I don’t know why I’m crying so much. I want to do this. It’s just, this was me for so long. It’s so scary,” she said in her shaky voice.

”Trust me, I get it. Look at me,” I ran a hand over my head for emphasis. “I’m a new person now. And I’m better for it. And you will be too.”

As Rick began using a spray bottle to wet her hair, Jaylen nodded, still sniffling. “You’re right. Thanks for this, Carol-I mean, Cara.”

Rick pulled up a section of the now wet hair on the top of Jaylen’s head and snipped it off. “You’ll probably get to spend a lot less time on hair and makeup too. More trims though. You hadn’t gotten a cut in a while had you?”

Jaylen laughed, just a little, and nodded, “I have, or well had, an appointment every six months for a little trim and a style with my girl. I can’t do that anymore can I?”

Rick laughed, “Yeah, probably not. You could go for maybe two months. Especially since you’ll need to get your roots redone too.”

”My roots? Is a new color part of all the changes?” she asked nervously.

”Yes ma’am, you’re going blonde today,” Rick said, combing up another section of hair and snipping it off short.

”Me? A blonde? I don’t know,” she started to say, cheeks flushing red.

“I wasn’t so sure about being a brunette but I like it now. Same with the brown eyes and the tan,” I said, pointing at my eyes, my brown color contacts hiding the natural blue behind them.

”Am I going to have to change my eye color too? Those are color contacts right? I knew your eyes looked different,” she said, temporarily distracted from the massive loss of locks she was undergoing.

”Yes they are and no you won’t. Rick thinks wearing glasses and the new hair will be enough. Besides, you aren’t wanted for felony assault like I am,” I said, putting my hand on the back of my head bashfully.

”I wish I was. I’d loved to have shot that bastard. Yours or mine. Both of them deserved it,” Jaylen said, gritting her teeth as Rick combed a big clump of wet hair over her eyes.

“It’s better this way. This guy is buddies with every cop in the county it seems like so I feel like I’m nervous all the time. It’s a good thing I look so different,” I said, nudging Rick who winked at me.

“You show them a few tricks and suddenly they all want to be your friend,” Rick said with a shrug.

Rick combed the hair up from over Jaylen’s eyes to snip away more hair from her head just in time for her to give me a shocked but knowing glance. I blushed and barely concealed a smile. Nobody had said Rick and I were together but she obviously understood now. I knew that Rick’s friend was in a relationship but I hoped that Jaylen would have a chance at new love like I had. Or at least I thought I had.

As Rick continued to work and the shaggy pixie cut began to take shape, I worried for myself. Just for a moment. Rick and I had slept together several times but he had never stayed the night. And I hadn’t ever even seen his house. Our sex was always hungry and spontaneous, usually on the couch that was my bed. Did he love me? Or was I just a chance to satisfy his desires?

The cape covering Jaylen’s lap slowly was filled with tiny clumps of hair, the ground littered with the same. Rick was always so fast with the scissors. Not quite as fast as he was with clippers, I noticed, but fast. And so good.

Although the point of Jaylen’s transformation was to make her look more plain, she still looked gorgeous. The short hair fit her features, made her cheekbones stand out, revealed perfect ears with two small studs in each lobe. It showed off her hazel, currently tear-filled, eyes as well, her delicate slender nose, and her plump lips. She would definitely need to dress down, wear minimal makeup if any, if she wanted to attract less attention.

Rick swept the damp hair back with a comb, slicking it back. He then parted it in the middle, letting the bangs fall forwards. The hair was already drying and I could see that Rick looked pleased with his work. Not in the way he was when he cut my hair, but like a professional who cared about doing a good job.

”Alright, I think I’m done. Now we just need to get some bleach on here to finish the job. What do you think so far?” Rick asked, using his fingers to ruffle her hair and push it back.

The bangs looked to be just long enough to fall over her eyebrows if it fell forward. The hair was perhaps three inches long at its longest and was shorter on the sides. It was shaggy and covered the tops of her ears, quite unlike any of the cuts I was used to receiving.

”It’s short. Really short. Shorter than anything I’ve ever had. The closest was a bob my step mom made me get back in middle school when I came home with highlights. Now I’m about to go blonde. Heh, she’d lose her shit if she saw this. But that stupid bitch won’t be seeing me any time soon. Last I heard, she was in jail for drugs,” Jaylen said, chuckling at the oddity that was fate.

”Yeah, that’s short compared to what you’re used to. To me it looks long. Longer than what this guy normally cuts,” I said.

”I mean, this is a barbershop. But I think this suits her better than my normal cuts would. Unless you want it shorter?” Rick teased, picking up his clippers.

Jaylen acted like she was about to jump out of the chair, then realized Rick was joking and chuckled nervously, “No, thanks. I’m good. Just make me a blonde now please.”

Rick smiled a crooked grin, “Yes ma’am, I can do that.”

He wasted no time and soon the concoction was spread throughout her now much shorter hair. While we sat and waited, Jaylen asked questions. About what I do around the shop, about what she might expect with Rick’s friend, how she would keep up her disguise makeover. Fortunately, Rick’s friend happened to be in a long term relationship with a hair stylist who was more than willing to keep up the cut and color for cheap.

I had never seen someone’s hair being bleached. I watched her hair lighten over time as we talked, the dark pigmentation slowly lifting for the short, swept back hair. It kind of made me jealous, I had always been extremely curious about being a blonde. Maybe Rick would let me try it one day, possibly before we shaved all of my hair off to redo the root stain next time around. Hopefully that would be okay because after being shaved completely bald and seeing the transformations I had begun to enjoy watching, whether in person or videos online, I had caught the bug of trying out new things with my hair.

“I never asked, what was it that was the last straw for you?” I asked during a lull in the conversation.

Jaylen’s eyes refilled with tears and she sniffled, pursing her lips to keep herself from crying. I put a hand on her shoulder and rubbed it.

”You know he used to hit me. All the time. But he never hit me in the face, he always wanted me to look good for him. But this time he hit me, hard. With a closed fist. The bruising is mostly gone and I have it covered with makeup but I had a pretty bad black eye. That night in the bathroom I messaged Lyla. I found her Instagram a while back, completely by accident, and I didn’t recognize her at first. You guys did a great job disguising her. But yeah, that’s why,” she explained.

”Jay, I’m so sorry. Trust me, I really get it. I left because I really thought he was going to kill me. I’m so proud of you,” sitting in the chair next to hers, I faced her and held her hands in mine. I wanted to hug her but wasn’t sure how to with the chemicals that rapidly sapped the color from her hair.

I paused and looked up at Rick, who leaned against the counter, “Could she stay the night?”

Rick put a hand to his stubble covered chin, crossing his other arm across his chest, in the way he always did when he considered something. He squinted at me as he thought.

”We haven’t bought your bus ticket yet. And it’s not like one extra day would hurt,” Rick finally said.

I smiled at Jaylen and squeezed her hands, “Sleepover, pizza, and White Claws?”

Her eyes opened wide and a real smile spread across her face, “Of course!”

”Don’t forget you have your haircut before I go, though. Remember you were wanting to try that new cut out,” Rick said, giving me a look to remind me to play along.

I smiled, “Yes, right I almost forgot. I can’t wait.”

Internally I was freaking out, even if I seemed excited on the outside. Last time Rick sprung a surprise haircut on me, I ended up bald with stained follicles. My eyebrows still hadn’t grown back in completely. Hopefully it wouldn’t be something too embarrassing in front of my friend. But, the more embarrassing, the more I knew it would turn me on. Sometimes I hated how much humiliation was so sexy to me.

Rick checked his watch as the dread overtook me.

“Alright, I think it’s time to rinse and put on the toner. Not much longer and you’ll be the new you. Any ideas on your new name yet?”

Jaylen stood and walked to the sink and laid back, looking up at Rick, “I have an idea but I’m not sure yet. I still need to see the compete look. Glasses too.”

He began to rinse the chemicals from her hair. It was pale and the bleach had done its job well. It looked extremely yellow and I knew that the toner would fix that but I hoped that seeing it this way wouldn’t scare Jaylen. She was still in an especially fragile place.

Rick rinsed the last of the bleach from her hair and sat her up, gently towel drying the hair. “You’ll be pleased at how fast your hair will dry now. I doubt you’ll need a blow dryer anymore. Maybe you will though, your hair is thick. I’m surprised the color lifted so well. Let’s go put the toner on.”

Jaylen was not too shocked by the pre-toner color of her hair. I guessed she hadn’t been as ignorant to what went on in a salon as I had been before I walked into Rick’s shop. I also knew she was a resilient girl, even if she was feeling fragile at the moment.

The toner was applied and set as we discussed that cheese was the obvious choice for pizza, especially with a hefty helping of ranch dressing. Black cherry was the White Claw flavor of choice but we both agreed that after a couple, the flavor didn’t matter to each of us. With the loss of her long hair and the man whose memories were associated with it, Jaylen was becoming someone she hadn’t been able to be for so long, someone I hadn’t met.

”Alright, now it’s time to rinse for the last time. Then a quick blow dry and you’ll be done. You can ditch your contacts and try on your new glasses while I do Cara’s haircut. It should be quick and then I’ll be out of your hair,” Rick said, winking with his cheesy pun.

“Oh god, please hurry so this man can get out and we don’t have to hear any more of his puns,” I said, rolling my eyes and offering Jaylen my hand.

”You know you like them,” Rick said, patting my buzzed head. He held it for a minute and rubbed, looking at it like he was already planning out my haircut.

I smiled a closed lipped smile at him and squinted affectionately, “Just finish my friend’s hair so you can do mine.”

”Sounds like a deal, little mama,” he said, moving his hand from the top of my head to my cheek and patting it lovingly.

Jaylen sat and soon her hair was rinsed. She asked to not be able to see herself until she had her contacts out and her glasses on, so that maybe seeing the completed transformation. Rick let her remove her contacts and then she held the glasses in her hand under the cape as Rick used his blow dryer and a comb.

He swept the hair back from a middle part, doing the extremely minimal amount of work to style the hair as it dried. It looked really good on her. The color matched her skin tone well and most importantly, it wasn’t too bold. It was subdued and subtle. But so was her beauty. She must have caught me staring, even when unable to see clearly, because she blushed.

”Do I look horrible?” She asked nervously.

“Not even a little! You look beautiful! Really different, but still so beautiful. Better than before,” I said, encouragingly.

“I do good work. You look great,” Rick said, stepping back and admiring his work.

”You’re done?” Jaylen asked.

”Yep, it’s the new you,” Rick said. “Now it’s time to see yourself. And find your new name.”

Jaylen put her glasses on, and Rick turned chair to face the mirror. Wonder washed over her face as her jaw dropped. She lifted her hands and touched her hair, turning her face side to side, taking the new style and color in. She examined her glasses, basic looking black framed glasses.

“Hazel,” she said.

”Is that your new name?” I asked, smiling.

”Yeah. I’m Hazel. I look just like her, except the color. And that has always been my favorite book,” she said.

”It’s nice to meet you, Hazel,” I said.

”Lovely to meet you, Hazel,” Rick said.

”Alright, I, Hazel, need a minute. This is a lot. You guys go ahead,” the woman now known as Hazel said.

Rick removed her cape and the strip of tissue paper from around her neck and she stood. She walked over to the mirror and stared at herself some more. I sat in the chair and took a deep breath. Rick tied my own strip of tissue paper around my neck and put the cape he always used on me.

First he started off doing what he always did on my weekly trims since he shaved my head. He shaved the sides up nearly to where the longer hair on my crown started with the foil shaver. The dark stubble was quickly reduced to nothing and soon, Hazel returned to watch the cut, taking a seat in the chair next to mine.

”So what are you doing?” she asked me.

”You’ll have to see, it’s a surprise,” I said, not knowing what would be happening to me in the coming moments.

“You’re crazy, this new girl is something else,” she said.

”I could say the same about you,” I said, sitting still and looking as far to the side as I could with my eyes as Rick tilted my head down and shaved my nape.

”Fine. We’re both crazy,” Hazel said with a laugh.

Rick picked up his clippers, no guard attached, and a comb, “This girl is more crazy. She saw me do this cut on a cop that comes in and she just had to have it for herself.”

My eyes widened when I realized what he was doing but I smiled sweetly, cheeks flushing with embarrassment, “I just couldn’t get it out of my head.”

Rick held the comb flat on my crown, and began to carefully cut the hair that stuck straight up out the top. He started at the front and then, as he moved further back, I could see my scalp becoming exposed. The hair on the very top of my head was soon shaved close to the skin as my flat top took shape. He shaved down the back of my head, abandoning the comb for that part. Soon, a horseshoe shaped ring of hair was on my head like some kind of a military halo.

”A flat top? Really, Cara? You are definitely more crazy than I am,” Hazel said, laughing at me.

”Right? She’s been asking me about it for weeks,” Rick said, rubbing my head.

My cheeks flushed red as I looked at myself. This was by far the most masculine cut I had. There was one local cop that came in weekly to get his hair cut like this. He would definitely have something to say the next time he came in. Assuming Rick didn’t shave all of this off on a whim. But for some reason I doubted he would. He seemed to be very pleased with himself as he did the final touches of fading the sides of the horseshoe down to nothing.

”Since I don’t have any hair, I thought it would be fun to try something crazy,” I said, trying to play it off.

Rick dusted off my head and smiled, “Well you look real good for a girl with a flat top, little mama. I’m all done, I’ll clean up and then I’m out of here. Don’t get too crazy, tomorrow morning we open late but we’ll have to get Hazel to the bus station before work starts.”

“Alright, I’ll see you in the morning then, I’ll have your usual from the cafe waiting for you,” I said, standing up as Rick removed the cape and kissing him on the cheek.

”I’ll see you tomorrow. We’re going to enjoy this new haircut,” Rick said, whispering in my ear after he kissed my cheek.

He left and I closed the door behind him. Rubbing my head I smiled at Hazel, “Well, Hazel, let’s get drunk and have some pizza.”

Hazel smiled at me and hugged me, putting a hand on the back of my head, “Thanks Cara. Now let me rub your head, I have been dying to touch it ever since I saw it.”

She stepped back and ran her hands over my head, exploring it, before I had even had much of a chance to feel it. I still couldn’t believe my new look but it was mine. My hair would grow fast and so if Rick let it grow it would be gone before too long.

She rubbed it until she felt satisfied, parting with the statement that she expected more of a chance throughout the night. We called the local pizza place and immediately cracked open our first drinks, pulled from my mini fridge.

”To a new life,” I said, lifting my can aloft.

”And to new friends,” Hazel said with a wink.

One drink turned into two, then into six, all before the pizza had arrived. The sweet drink on our empty stomachs took effect rapidly and soon, Hazel was in the chair again, this time with me behind her holding a bottle full of hair gel. We played with it, spiking it up into a mohawk, and then into several tall liberty spikes. Then we saw the delivery car pull up in front of the shop.

“Oh, you are so answering the door like this,” I said giggling.

”Do you dare me to?” Hazel asked groggily.

”I dare you,” I said.

Hazel acted like she was primping her hair and then turned and did a runway walk to the door, holding a $20 bill in her hand. She swung the door open and behaved as though everything was normal. I snorted out a laugh as I saw the confusion on the delivery boy’s face, a high schooler doing his Friday night job.

She whirled around and let the door close behind her after she paid him. I laughed out loud as she held the pizza flat on her hand and did a wobbly runway walk back. We sat her down and slicked her hair straight back with a comb and then sat on the floor in the office and ate, drank and laughed.

”So you think Rick is pretty sexy? He thinks you’re sexy, I can see that. I think he even likes your little flat top,” Hazel said with a mouth full of pizza.

“We’ve been sleeping together for about a month and before that, so much flirting,” I said, dragging out the “o” sound in “so.”

”Get it, girl! He’s sexy, even if he is a little older,” Hazel said. “And he seems like he really cares about you. You aren’t just some hookup to him. I can see it in the way he looks at you.”

”You think so?” I asked, chewing on my pizza.

”Of course! He wants in your pants but even more, he might actually be in love with you,” she said.

That made me happy. My doubts were still there but my drunken friend helped me feel better. We continued eating and drinking until we finally got too tired and passed out on the couch, unintentionally spooning, me the little spoon, Hazel the big.

My alarm went off far too early that next morning and I walked to the cafe down the street to pick up breakfast while Hazel washed the remaining gel out of her wild, bed tousled hair. I wore a baseball cap, a red and white trucker hat I had gotten from one of the regulars that had his farm logo marked across the front. I wasn’t ready to show the world my flat top.

Plenty of coffee and good breakfast revived the both of us and Rick’s food was still hot when he pulled up. He kissed me, pulling the cap off of my head and rubbing it. Hazel stood and waited to hug me.

Rick stepped away, “Hey, let’s get Hazel your other cap. She should wear it and one of your hoodies so she can hide her appearance more. Your exes are powerful men and might be watching, especially at places where people travel.”

I nodded and handed her the hat I was wearing, “Here, I have another. You can keep this one.”

Hazel took it and pulled it on her head, sweeping the hair backward. The short ends stuck out from the bottom, flaring out as the hat pushed her hair downward. Rick walked into the back to grab a hoodie, swapping the one Hazel had worn when she arrived.

My newly transformed friend looked down at my feet and then looked up to meet my eyes. Hers filled with tears behind her glasses. She stepped in to hug me, wrapping her arms around me.

”Thank you so much. Please, stay in touch,” Hazel whispered into my ear.

”Here’s my phone number, send me a text when you get a new phone,” I said, sticking a piece of paper into her pocket.

Rick walked in, holding a gray sweatshirt, “Is this one okay?”

”Its all hers. It’s perfect for Hazel,” I said.

Hazel squeezed me with one last hug before walking out of the door, taking the hoodie from Rick.

”I’ll be back soon, you look great,” Rick said, kissing me and rubbing my head again.

”I look like a Marine,” I said, rolling my eyes and rubbing my own head ruefully.

”Now you know an army guy like me would never get into bed with a Marine,” he said, following my friend out, his breakfast and coffee taken to-go.

I waved as the drove off and turned to plop down in my favorite barber chair, staring at my strange reflection.

”I’m glad he likes this, I don’t think this is my favorite look,” I said, feeling the bald section at the top of my head.

One response to “The Barbershop Assistant: An Old Friend and a New Look

  1. Here’s a new installment of Cara and Rick’s story! Someone suggested a horseshoe flat top once and so I finally found the perfect way to work it in! I hope you all enjoy, let me know what you think in the comments and check out my other work both on this account and my old one as well. I always link the first story in a series when I post new updates!

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