Something I wrote in one sitting so its a bit of a shorter story than normal. Got some other more lengthy projects in the works so hope you guys enjoy this one for now.
“Alrighty have a good one” Ross said as he gave the customer his receipt.
“Cheers, you too” he replied before pushing the door and exiting onto the sun filled street.
Ross swept away the short black hairs from his previous customer before relaxing into the chair behind the front desk. His salon , Aura Cuts, was small, occupying the bottom floor of a converted townhouse, but tastefully decorated. The entrance led to the small desk that Ross was currently sitting at, which had the salons landline and a laptop on it. To the left were the store’s two salon chairs. They both faced each other with a massive two sided mirror that reached the floor between them. Behind that and around the corner was a washing basin and a door that led to a small store room.
Despite the small dimensions Aura Cuts has been a very successful business for Ross since he opened just over 5 years ago. The location was ideal, nestled in Surry Hills, a trendy and wealthy suburb in inner city Sydney. Ross was now 44 but had over 20 years of experience working at various salons around Sydney, finally realising his dream of owning a salon with Aura Cuts.
Bridget, the colourist, left 30 minutes ago leaving Ross to work alone for the last hour of business. With no more appointments booked he doubted he would have any more clients.
Just as he opened up a magazine he was surprised to hear the door swing open. A girl who looked around 20 smiled as she stepped inside.
“G’day welcome” Ross said as he put down his magazine and stood up. He looked her up and down. She was wearing jeans with Air Force 1s and a white top. Her hair was pulled back but he could see it was golden blonde in colour.
“Hi” she replied. “Do you guys do walk-ins?”
“Yeah of course. Just a cut and wash?”
“Yeah cut and wash” she responded.
“Amazing, why don’t you come take a seat. I’m Ross by the way” he reached out and shook her hand and motioned towards one of the chairs.
“Erika” she said with a friendly smile.
She followed and Ross could now see her ponytail fell to past her bra strap. It had slight waves to it and looked bountiful. ‘Some really beautiful hair’ he noted to himself.
Ross reached the chair facing away from the window and turned it slightly to face her. She lowered herself in and he turned it to face the mirror. Her ponytail hung over the backrest.
“Maybe some coffee or water? Tea?”
“I’m all good, ta”
He looked at her through the mirror. She looked like many of the young girls that came through his salon, trendy, attractive and tanned by the Australian sun.
“So do you live nearby?” he began the customary small talk.
“Just near Newtown actually. I was just over here for some shopping and one of my friends had actually recommended you guys and I’ve been planning on going shorter for a while so I thought this was quite the sign you know”. Ross couldn’t help but notice the word shorter.
“Funny how those things happen right? I’m just gonna take out your hair okay?” he said as he began pulling away the hair elastic. Her hair rolled down the back of the chair as it spread out across her back. He could tell just how thick her hair was and guessed it was just about waist length.
“So are you still in school or?” he said as he handed her back the hair elastic.
“Just had my graduation like 2 weeks ago.”
“From High School?”
“Oh good stuff, free for the summer now then” he moved towards the trolley that held all his accessories.
Ross produced a comb from the trolley and began subconsciously combing through her hair.
“So you said you’re looking for something shorter you said?” Deciding to start his consultation.
“Yeah a lot shorter, I have a pic actually”
This piqued Ross’s interest. The opportunity to cut off a significant amount of hair didn’t come around too often, especially hair of Erika’s thickness and abundance. ‘Just how short was a lot shorter’ he thought to himself, well aware of the fact that long haired girls had different ideas of what constituted short.
She reached into her purse producing her iPhone and unlocking it. She turned towards him showing the screen to him. Ross pursed his lips together. It was short. Much shorter than he had anticipated. It was a pixie cut, a sorta shaggy looking pixie with wispy bangs. The sides were just long enough to partially cover the ears.
“Wow” his surprise was clearly evident. “So this is a proper big haircut” he looked at her through the mirror, trying to picture her without the mane of hair streaming down her back.
Erika slowly nodded as she shifted in her seat.
“Yeah it’s gonna be a big haircut” she replied.
“You been planning this for a while?” Ross continued combing through her hair, getting a feeling for it.
“Over a year now I think. My dad is a hairdresser actually but he refused to cut it this short.” She looked up at Ross with a cheeky smile. “You’re not gonna object right?”
Ross laughed “Of course not. I think it’s gonna look amazing. Just hope your dad doesn’t come looking for me or something”
Erika chuckled in return.
“Nah but seriously I think this is gonna look really good, with your face I think you can pull off almost anything. You ever had something short before?”
She shook her head. “It’s always been this around this length”
“Okay well I’ll explain what steps I’m gonna take then okay?”
“First we’re gonna shampoo and condition your hair. Then I’ll bring you back to the chair and with my scissors I’ll take off the bulk and cut the general shape.” He pulled her hair back behind her head to demonstrate. “Then I’ll really make the style with my razor. Especially if you want that shaggy sorta look and for the bangs too.”
“Sounds good.” she said, putting on a brave looking smile. Ross let go of the makeshift ponytail and flicked her hair forward so it fell over her shoulders. Ross watched her eyes take in the length of it through the mirror.
“Yeah, Yeah” she took a deep breath.
“Definitely nervous too.” Ross was looking forward to beginning with the haircut. He couldn’t remember the last time he had had the opportunity to cut off so much hair.
“It’s gonna look great I can tell. Let’s get you washed?”
She nodded and stood up and Ross led the way around the corner to the basin. He motioned for her to have a seat. He moved behind the basin and grabbed a small towel which he draped over her shoulders.
“Just lean your head back will ya” He said as he lifted up her hair. She placed her head back into the basin.
“There’s so much hair the basin is almost full.” Ross said with a chuckle. He turned on the water, her blonde hair turning darker as the water hit it. He began working shampoo into the locks.
“So why did your Dad refuse to cut your hair?”
“Honestly he never really gave a reason, I think he just always liked my hair long. You know how Dads kinda have that like vision of their little girls with like long pretty hair and stuff.”
“Yeah yeah” Ross was listening but mostly distracted by just how lucious her hair was as he continued shampooing.
“So why did you decide to cut it all off then?” he asked.
“I’m just tired of it honestly. I’ve pretty much always had it like this you know and also with summer it becomes pretty unbearable”
“Yeah Yeah I can imagine”
“So yeah I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Today was a little spur of the moment though”
“Well sometimes those spur of the moment decisions turn out to be the best ones right?” he began washing out the shampoo. They remained in silence as he massaged in the conditioner, Erika’s eyes closed as she enjoyed being pampered. After another few minutes he began rising out the conditioner before turning the water off. He wrapped the towel around her head and she rose before beginning to walk back to the chair.
As she sat down Ross went next to the mirror and grabbed the black cape they lay there. He swung the cape over her, completely covering the chair too and clipped it into place. He then removed the towel letting her hair fall against the cape. After giving it a quick towel dry, he then produced a fine comb from his trolley and began pulling it down the length of the hair, pulling the hair behind down her back. Just from her shoulders her hair streamed down another 30 centimetres at least.
“I’m gonna section your hair first okay?” he said as he grabbed hair clips.
“Ok” she replied. Ross noticed she had become quieter in the last few minutes, maybe realising just how big of a chop this was gonna be.
He then began using his comb and clips to part her hair into 5 sections. Two on either side of her head around the temple area, one at the back and 2 at the top, one at her crown and the other her bangs. Her hair was all in small buns now across her head. He then produced a pair of scissors from his trolley. He snapped them together a few times and made eye contact with Erika in the mirror. She gave a nervous smile in return.
“You ready for this?”
“Yep” she replied before swallowing.
“Ok well like I said I’m going to start by cutting most of the length off. This part is gonna be a bit dramatic alright?”
She nodded back. Ross pulled out his stool, moved to her right side and removed the clip from the right section. Her hair tumbled down the side of the cape. Then using his comb pulled out a section, before holding the section between his fingers only a few inches away from her scalp. He brought his scissors up to the section.
Snip, Snip, Snip
With 3 quick snips the hair slide down the side of the cape and to the floor. The 40 centimetres of hair coiled up onto the hard ground.
“First cut is the deepest,” Ross said with a smile making eye contact with Erika through the mirror. She remained quiet, her eyes fixed intently on the scissors.
He quickly took another section between his fingers. The scissors sliced through the hair with ease as he squeezed them together. Another section cascaded down the black nylon and to the floor. Ross grabbed the rest of the section between his fingers and unceremoniously snipped it away.
Ross glanced down at the floor and couldn’t help widen his eyes at the sight. Already there was an abundance of the soft wet hair coiled into a small bundle on the hard ground. He looked at her through the mirror as he ruffled the section of hair he cut. It was now only 3 or 4 inches in length, partially covering her ears. He turned her head slightly to the left, showing the section he had cut.
“So after I’m just gonna come back with the razor and soften it up a bit okay?” Ross explained as Erika looked through the mirror.
“Okay okay” she replied, taking in her new short hair. She had a slight shell shock look to her as she nervously swallowed.
He straightened her head again. “Gonna start on another section now. Just tuck your head down a bit will ya love”
This time he moved directly behind her and began undoing the section at the back of her head. It tumbled down the back of the chair, swishing against the cape. He didn’t bother sectioning it any further this time and brought the scissors up to her nape. He snipped right across the section from the right side. With each snip more and more hair fell silently down the back of the chair. The back section of her head was now cut bluntly across, as short as the hairline at her nape.
“How you holding up Erika?” Ross broke the silence. He wasn’t a particularly talkative hairdresser as normally his clients were the ones doing the talking.
“Good, good” she gave a small smile through the mirror. ‘She doesn’t look too good’ Ross thought to himself.
Ross then moved to the left hand side of her and undid the section there. 2 thirds of the section he combed behind her ear and the rest he took between his fingers. Again his scissors quickly snipped through the blond tresses. Another section was swiftly snipped away and Ross grabbed the final portion. As he sliced through the remaining hair, the back and sides of her head were now cropped short.
Ross took a step back to survey his work so far. He then placed his hand on her head and moved it slightly to either side so Erika could see the sides.
“So this is just gonna be like 2 centimetres shorter, that’s good with you?”
“Yep, yep” she said drawing a shaky breath as she looked at her new partially completed hairdo. She turned to look down at the floor, seeing one of the 3 small piles of her soft wet hair laying lifelessly.
“You told any of your friends you’re getting it cut today?” Ross asked
“Well like I was telling them how I wanted to get it cut some time really soon. But I just saw your place and came in so didn’t really have any time to tell them I’m getting it done right now. So it’ll be a surprise for them.”
“They were supportive?”
“For the most part yes. A couple guys I know were like ‘why would you wanna cut off all your hair’ but I don’t really care too much what others say you know”
Ross nodded as he began taking out the elastic holding up the back most section on top of her head.
“A good mentality to have I reckon” Ross added with a smirk. He pulled away the elastic and the section of hair flopped down across the cropped layer underneath.
Ross pulled a section upwards, held it between his fingers before snipping across his fingers. The wet hair slid down the front of the cape, settling in Erika’s lap. Ross watched as Erika’s eyes dropped to take in the coiled tresses laying on the black cape.
The rest of the section was quickly pulled up and sliced away, sending more hair towards her lap.
Her hair was now spread out between piles on the hard floor and another bundle on her lap.
Ross ruffled the freshly cut section, the last part to cut was now the bangs. He released the final section and combed it down past her eyes. The hair almost reached to her legs from her seated position. He then split the section down the middle, one side going to the left and the other to the right.
“Just this last section to cut now” he announced to Erika who only slightly nodded in return.
He combed down the right section one more time before taking it between his fingers at just around eyebrow length. He brought his scissors up and with a few snips removed the hair, freeing one of her eyes. It slid down the front of the cape settling in her lap. Ross took the other section between his fingers and snipped away the last bit of her long hair. Her bangs now sat just around her eyebrows. Ross steppes back to observe. Long lengths of her tresses were sitting limply in her lap while small piles were scattered on the hard floor.
“So that’s the bulk gone for ya Erika.”
“I’m a bit lost for words right now” Erika said as she turned her head side to side, viewing the new style.
“Must feel real different having all that hair off your neck right? Gonna be nice for summer”
“Yeah, yeah definitely” she looked down at the cape and wet blonde hair that lay there. She pushed upwards on the cape causing the hair to slide down the front of the cape to the ground, creating a new pile at the front of the chair.
“Fucking badass look though I gotta say” Ross said causing Erika to let out a smile.
He then retrieved his razor from the styling trolley.
“Like I said just gonna make that shaggy look with my razor”
He started at the top of her head pulling the hair up before razoring away a centimetre or two. He took his time perfecting the look slowly making his way around her head, razoring and then ruffling the hair to make sure it sat as he envisioned. Once he was satisfied with the final length he fetched a hair dryer, drying the now damp hair and sending the fine clippings of hair to the floor.
It was an unreal transformation as Ross recalled the mane of hair falling way past her bra strap that she walked in with, compared with what he saw in the mirror now. Erika’s hair partially covered her ears and now had bangs that sat just above her eyebrows.
“So what do you think Erika?” Ross said proudly.
“I love it I gotta say” Erika said sincerely, with a big smile across her face.
“I think this is really so hip, because your hair before was beautiful and long sure bit this is like high fashion you know?” Ross continued ruffling sections perfecting the look.
“Yeah, I think it’s a bit more grown up too”
Ross pulled away the cape and Erika began touching her brand new hairdo.
“When you wake up tomorrow morning your gonna forget you cut it all off I can assure you” Ross said with a chuckle. “Happens to everyone when they get a big chop like that.”
“Oh for real? The first shower with this is gonna be crazy too I bet”
After looking at herself in the mirror for another few moments Erika made her way from the chair to the counter where she paid. She thanked Ross, said goodbye and then was off into the late afternoon sun.
Ross looked back at the chair and all the hair laying around it, it reminded Ross of a murder scene almost. He swept the mass into one big pile before discarding it in the bin.
He then reclined into his chair by the desk again and let out a satisfied sigh. “Definitely not how I expected to end my day” he said to himself as he smiled.
Thanks for reading!!! Please feel free to leave any feedback/comments.
Also I have decided to start adding some links to pictures to help you guys envision the story a bit better
(just imagine blonde and a tiny bit shorter)