The Hair Fair

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The Hair Fair

 

By Dreadlocks

 

“Come one, come all, to the great Traveling Hair Fair! Tuckered out tangling with those terrible tresses? Haggard over that has-been hairstyle? Or are you simply ready for a change? No expensive entrance fees here, ladies. All you need bring, is your mane.”

 

Laura stared at the poster which had been stapled up at the entrance to the market. She had to admit, whoever was dreaming up their ridiculous sales pitch, needed a lesson in marketing. “Tuckered out tresses? Haggard hairstyles? Really?” She shrugged and went in, after a few things for a party she and her partner were having over the weekend.

Stephanie had been the sole wage earner in their household, ever since Laura had lost her spot waiting tables at a local club. Covid had hit everyone fairly hard, and they considered themselves fortunate to still have one of them employed.

Stephanie was a paralegal at a local law firm, and although the wage wasn’t stellar, it was far better than she was making working for the county government. She and Laura had been partners for well over five years, and she never remembered caring for anyone as much.

“Did you hear how much they are paying for hair at this thing?” One of the secretaries gossiped. The mailroom was always the place to catch up on all the office faff that was worth chatting about. Stephanie walked in at the tail end of a conversation. “A hundred dollars a foot.” Everyone marveled at the sum, which to Stephanie seemed paltry in comparison to her luscious blonde locks.

“I suppose I’ll be seeing you all with drastically shorter hairstyles come Monday?” Stephanie mused.

“Not me.” Sarah Michaels grimaced. She, out of all the staff had the loveliest hair. When she hadn’t worn it up, it hung well past her waist. “I’ll not be going, that’s for certain.”

“But Sarah. You could do with two hundred dollars, yeah?” Brad Simmons pressed. “Why, your hair would still be over your shoulders, even after the chop.”

“I love my hair. I’ll not be going.” She insisted, leaving the room in a huff.

“What about you, Steph?” He asked. “You’ve a foot or so to spare.”

“Sorry to disappoint, Brad, but I’ll not be selling my hair either.” She sneered.

“How much hair do have up in that bun of yours?” He asked. “I don’t think you’ve ever worn it down.”

“If anyone were to find out, it certainly wouldn’t be you, Mr. Simmons.” Stephanie frowned. “Now, back to work, everyone.” And with that, the crowd dispersed.

Once in her office, Stephanie fiddled with her bun, and unhappy with the way it held, allowed her hair to fall down her back. She was working with the clasp and was about to roll everything back up, when in walked Brad Simmons.

“Ms. Ponds, I was hoping…Woah!” Brad stopped in his tracks. “Wow, I mean your hair is longer than Sarah’s.” He mused.

“Your point being, Mr. Simmons?”

“Pity you won’t be selling it. I hear half the proceeds go to fund ‘Wigs for Kids.’ Anyway, it’s your hair.”

“What can I help you with?” Stephanie asked, tersely.

He went on to discuss a case that was pending with the local hospital, and business went on as usual. The thing was, the seed had been planted. Stephanie always had a thing about kids and cancer, and the idea that she might be helping in some way intrigued her.

Laura met her at the door, as she walked in. She was surprised to see Stephanie with her hair down. She never took it down at work. “How was your day?”

The Hair Fair thing had been dominating her thoughts since her conversation with Brad, so naturally, it was the first thing out of her mouth. “Have you heard about this Hair Fair, that’s in town?” She asked.

“Stephanie Ponds, don’t you even think about it.” Laura scolded, having always been in love with her lover’s hair.

“Did you know that half the hair goes to ‘Wigs for Kids’?” Stephanie asked.

“Look, sweetie, I saw the poster they put up down at the market. It didn’t say anything about half of anything going anywhere.” Laura argued.

“You know me and kids, Laura.” Stephanie sighed.

“Yeah, I know.” Laura was skeptical. “Tell you what. If you’re so gung ho about having your hair lopped off, why don’t we go down there tomorrow, and if it’s true about the donations, I’ll even join you.” Laura grabbed her ponytail which was nearly as long as Stephanie’s and waved it like a tassel. “Deal?”

“Okay. Deal!” Stephanie seemed delighted by the prospect, but was a bit suspicious of the donation thing, only because of the source. “Tomorrow morning, before the party?”

“Sounds like a plan.” Laura was so confident that the donation thing was a hoax, she didn’t give it another thought.

 

“You ready?” Stephanie asked, busy securing her hair into a high ponytail with a rubber band.

“A rubber band? You never use those. What’s up?” Laura asked, speculatively.

“I want to be ready.” She mused, turning this way and that, to see the long pony dance back and forth.

“I’m telling you. You’re going to be disappointed.” Laura insisted.

“No. You’ll be the one disappointed when you come home with a pixie.” Stephanie prodded.

“We’ll see.” So, they were off, climbing into the car for the trip down to the central mall, where the fair was supposed to be.

Just as advertised, there was a large tent set up at the center of the mall. There didn’t appear to be that many people yet, and that made Stephanie even more excited. The fewer people that saw her do this, the better. She still had her image to maintain.

Laura, still skeptical over the whole trip, followed a few steps behind her partner. She was a bit put off by the man at the entrance who seemed to glare at them as they walked by. At the one end of the tent, there were a bunch of tables set up, and behind those, she could see where the hair was cut.

Already, there were a few women in the chairs, the scissors hard at work separating them from their ‘tuckered out tresses’. She chuckled as the phrase kept coming back into her mind.

Where the line started for registration, a large sign described the process, the payout, and at the very bottom, the fact that half the hair went to Wigs for Kids! “Stephanie! Did you see this? It’s legit!” Laura said, nervously.

“I know.” Stephanie grabbed the form that described how much they intended to sell.

“What do you mean, you know?” Laura fumed.

“I looked it up online last night. Totally legitimate.” She handed her lover a form, much to her dismay.

“You mean you knew all along?” Laura seemed pissed.

“No, but you were already sleeping, so I didn’t think it was important enough to wake you over.” Stephanie giggled at her partner’s angst. “It’s only hair, Laura.”

“Yeah, but it’s my hair.” She grabbed the form from her and looked down at the thing.

 

 

Hair Fair Pricing

 

Minimum sale 12”

Circle desired sale

Hair length 12”                       $100

Hair length 18”                       $150

Hair length 24”                       $200

Hair length 30”                       $250

Hair length 36”                       $300 plus $50 bonus

         Laura was beside herself that she was about to have at least a foot of her hair chopped off, regardless of the money and even if some of it did go to charity. “Can’t we think this over, babe?”

“Too late, I’ve already handed mine in.” Stephanie smiled, waving the pink plastic tag with the number 36 printed on it.

“Tell me that’s not how much you sold!” Laura fretted.

“36” baby.” Stephanie bubbled.

Laura couldn’t, for the life of her, figure out why her lover was so keen on losing all her hair. “Steph, that’s all your hair.”

“I know. Think of the kids.” Stephanie was glowing, and far be it from Laura to steal that joy from her.

Laura looked down at the form and winced as she circled 30”, as much as she thought she was able to give. As she handed the form to the woman at the table, she looked up at Laura and smiled.

“Lean down, honey.” Laura did as she asked, as the woman whipped out a cloth tape and measured her hair. “Can you afford six more inches, sweetie?”

Laura sighed, audibly, and crossed out 30” and circled 36”, the same as her lover. “There you go.”

Smiling again, the woman handed her the pink tag, identical to Stephanie’s. “And there you go, young lady.”

Laura tried to catch up with her partner, but she was already in line for the chairs. “Steph!” Laura called out.

With a wave, Stephanie made sure that Laura was in line next to her. “Let’s do this together, yeah?”

Laura grimaced, but at least they’d be together for this somewhat traumatic event. As they moved forward, and next in line for the chop, a few of the hairstylists switched positions. Stephanie’s jaw nearly hit the floor when she saw Brad Simmons leering smile greet her. Unfortunately for her, his chair was empty.

“Stephanie Ponds, what a surprise seeing you here.” Brad gloated, taking the tag from her. He saw the question in her eyes as she sat. “Old job. My father was a barber.” His eyebrows flipped when he saw the number. “Well, well, looks like I’ll be needing the clippers for this one.”

“What do you mean, clippers?” Stephanie asked, as he wrapped the cape around her neck.

“Uh oh, somebody didn’t read the fine print, did they.” Brad chortled.

“What fine print?” Laura chimed in from the line.

“That $50 bonus is for the free buzzcut that comes with it.” Brad wrapped the cord around his arm and the clippers whirred to life.

Laura looked on in shock as the man ran the clippers right down the middle of Stephanie’s head. Whatever was left behind wasn’t long enough to hide her lover’s scalp, which shone jet white as another pass doubled the damage.

Stephanie, who was almost in tears at first, seemed to change her tune as her lovely mane fell away into the waiting hands of the assistant. Laura swore she was smiling by the end of it.

Still a bit in shock, but not at all upset, Stephanie rose from the chair, running a hand over her stubbled scalp. She smiled at Brad, and they exchanged a few words before he pointed to Laura. “You’re next.” He smiled “Another 36, ladies!” A small cheer rang out from the assistants as Laura slinked up to the chair.

Everything was a blur as the cape was slung around her neck. Laura couldn’t believe this was happening. Standing right in front of her, Stephanie’s face was all she could see. Her scalp gleamed in the sunlight that passed through the openings in the tent, and there was a magical smile on her face.

Laura felt the clippers as they ran from front to back, knowing that she would soon be cut in her lover’s image. Everything faded, except for that face, unframed and unadorned by the luscious hair that once graced her head. Laura felt the cool breeze on her bare head as her thick brown hair was taken.

Then it came. A sensation that she knew, but which was still a surprise. She was wet, and her arousal was undeniable. Was this why Stephanie was smiling?

Immediately, she recaptured her lover’s eyes. She was saying something, but the buzz in Laura’s sex seemed to overpower her senses. Finally, Stephanie said the one thing that could not be mistaken for anything else.

“I love you.”

 

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