And just like that, the NCAA football season was over. Or at least it was for my school. Our team had not won enough games to play in a bowl game so my job as cheerleader was over for the season. Sure we would have practices, maybe show up for the occasional basketball game or photo shoot, but for the most part my life was my own. In more ways than one.
Not only was the football season over, but so was my relationship. I was only a sophomore but my boyfriend, or I guess, ex-boyfriend, was a junior. After the season ended, he announced he was transferring to a better school. One where he would have a better chance of being drafted after his senior season. He wanted to cut all ties with his losing school. Including his cheerleader girlfriend.
This made my decision easy. My boyfriend Jack loved my long blonde hair. It wasn’t my natural color and I likely spent thousands of dollars keeping my naturally dark brown hair long, golden blonde, and beautiful. And Jack had loved it. I’ll admit it always looked great in my uniform, tied up in a high ponytail. I would always curl it to give it a little extra body. Or when I would wear it long and straight, letting it fall down to my waistline. But that was about to change.
With Jack gone and the season over, I’m ready for a change. I don’t know what kind of change but I know I don’t want to have this long blonde hair anymore. Maybe I’ll cut it off at my bra straps, dye it red. Or if I’m feeling crazy, maybe a faint rose good color. Jack always said he hated unnatural hair colors. That would show him.
I booked an appointment at a new salon knowing my normal girl, Kelsey, would never let me ruin all the work she has put into my locks. My girlfriends think I’m crazy and refuse to join me but I don’t care. I’m going to put myself in the hands of a new stylist and I know I’m going to love it. Today is the start of something new and I can’t wait.
As I pull up to the salon, I feel my heart thumping in my chest. I’ve never been to this part of my college town before but I’ve heard about it. Lots of underground coffee shops and smoky bars. Maybe the kinds of things an art major would go to. But not a peppy blonde cheerleader looking more for a husband than for a degree.
This salon fits the vibe perfectly. The artwork intended to look like graffiti is perfectly imperfect. It looks to be a part of an old warehouse with old red bricks and clean glass windows with black iron bars across them. The doors are of the same style as the windows, with big clean glass panes and black iron bars running from top to bottom and one black bar across each to pull the doors open.
I get out of my almost brand new 2022 model Lexus, Starbucks coffee in hand. My long hair whips around my face in the cool early winter wind. I pull my dark blue cheerleading fleece around myself more tightly, letting the sleeves cover my hands to the bases of my fingers. The wind is a little too cold for my black leggings as I hurry inside. Wearing my pink and brown leather sandals was an even bigger mistake as my toes instantly feel like they’re going to freeze off in the cool weather. It looks warm inside so I quickly open the door and enter.
Inside I see that there is a lobby area and with several chairs. There is another girl here, a bookish looking girl with thick framed glasses and an overgrown brown pixie cut. I do my best to disguise my disgust, there’s nothing worse than a girl with a boy haircut. Anything shorter than a bob is a mistake.
At the front desk I’m greeted by an even stranger sight. The receptionist is a pale woman in her late twenties with a chin length bob and bangs that don’t even reach her eyebrows. The worst part though is that her hair is dyed two colors, half black, half green, split right down the middle of her head. I can’t stop myself from slightly scrunching my nose at her strange appearance.
”Hi, I’m Katie, I have an appointment with Evan,” I say to the receptionist as pleasant as possible. I, as an experienced cheerleader, have been faking smiles for years so I’m sure that my attitude was appropriately peppy.
The woman smirks, seeming to fight down a laugh, “Of course you do, just have a seat. He’s finishing up his previous appointment.”
I smile a polite closed lip smile and nod before turning to find a chair in the mostly empty lobby. The receptionist’s behavior definitely seemed odd but this is an odd place. And she looks like an odd girl. Her hair is even more than odd. It’s just gross.
I sit down, doing my best to stay far from the short haired girl who probable goes to poetry readings and midnight releases for fantasy novels. I keep my eyes down, focused on my phone and my grande caramel macchiato. I scan through hair inspiration photos, excited what Evan might help me decide on. Maybe some long layers and curtain bangs would be perfect for me.
As I continue to sip my coffee and scroll through my different social medias I hear the door front door open and close. I look up and see a girl who is close to my age just outside the glass. It’s hard to see but it looks like her hair is up in a high bun. Disgustingly it looks like she has an undercut that runs halfway up the back of her head, stopping almost at the top of her ears. And the hair she does have is electric blue. I shudder at the thought of having even a little part of my head shaved, and that color is just so horrible. I’d be ok with something subtle of course but that’s too much. The girl gives a satisfied rub to the shaved section on the back of her head and I nearly shudder again, sickened by the way that would feel on my head.
”Katie?” I hear a shockingly attractive male voice call out.
I turn and am surprised to see an attractive man to go with the attractive voice. He looks to be in his late twenties, possibly early thirties. He’s tall, maybe 6’4” with light brown hair that is buzzed close on the sides and is an inch or two long on the top which is casually combed back and to the side. He has green eyes and a sharp jawline. His face has a light stubble, looking to be just a few days worth of new growth from a clean shave. His arms are muscular but not bulky and the simple olive green t-shirt he wears only serves to highlight his perfect form. He rounds the outfit off with dark wash boot cut blue jeans and a pair of brown Doc Marten boots. He looks down at me with a smile and says, “Katie?”
I awake myself from the sexy man-induced stupor and smile back, “That’s me, are you Evan?”
He nods and opens the door into the back, “I am, come on back, you’re up!”
I stand up, dropping my phone into my brown handbag, and walk through the door into the hallway on the other side.
Evan brushes past me and I feel his hand graze my lower back, my heart rate increasing at his casual touch. “Follow me, we’ll go to my room,” he says politely.
I follow the man who stands over half a foot taller than me down a warmly lit hallway. He opens the door to a room that has a barber’s chair and a hair washing station. There is a ring light in the corner with a white sheet on the wall and a camera on a tripod. The mirror is lit with several warm yellow Edison style lightbulbs around the border. Along the counter in front of mirror are several sets of scissors, clippers, and even some straight razors.
I walk in and he follows, closing the door behind us. “Go ahead and set your bag down and you can hang your jacket up here. It can get a little warm in here so there’s a coat rack over here,” he says gesturing at an empty coat rack in the corner.
”Thank you, I’m really excited,” I say as I hang my purse and jacket on the coat rack. I pull my phone out and slide it in the waistband of my leggings. I now only have a gray tank top on but Evan was right, it is very warm in here.
”Oh is that so?” Evan asks, rotating the chair to face me.
I smile and sit down, “Of course! I need a big change. And I need it bad. My boyfriend just dumped me and my cheerleading season is over for the year. I want something new with my hair.”
Evan turns me to face the mirror and smiles at me, “Well lucky for you, I specialize in big changes.”
”I was hoping whoever I got would be! I felt a little crazy just booking an appointment with the first available stylist,” I look up at him and continue with a flirty look, “I’m pretty happy it turned out to be somebody that looks like you.”
Evan smirks at the obvious attempt at flirtation, “Well I can’t say I get beautiful blondes like you in here all the time! I’d say I’m pretty lucky to get my hands on this hair.” He plays with my long ponytail, running his fingers through it, feeling how healthy and strong it is.
”I’m not sure I want to be a blonde anymore actually. I want a cut and color, I was hoping you might have some suggestions,” I say to him, watching as he plays with my luxurious hair.
”Are you sure? I can tell this isn’t your natural color, it probably had to cost quite a bit to get it this way,” he says, looking at me doubtfully.
”I’m so sure. I’m all yours. And not just my hair,” I say, throwing all caution to the wind.
”Well you’re in luck. I don’t date blondes but since we’re about to fix that, maybe we’ll just consider this our first date,” he says, patting me on the shoulder before sweeping a long back caps across my body.
He snaps the cape around my neck and looks at me in the mirror, “Katie, I’m going to take you dark. Really dark. And I’m thinking you need short hair too.”
I suddenly start to grow nervous at his suggestions, “Like brown? And…um…how short?”
”I think maybe black. With another color mixed in. I’m not sure what but something unnatural,” he says confidently.
My eyes widen, “I was up for something unnatural but are you sure I’ll look good with black hair too?”
”I promise you will,” he says decisively.
”And…you never said how short,” I say meekly.
”We’ll Katie, I only do shaved styles. I think I’d like to give you a side shave.”
”A what?” I say at a near shout. I begin to try standing up but his strong hand pushes me down.
”Maybe both sides. You said you trust me. If you keep resisting, you’re going to lose more hair.”
”Lose more hair? Are you kidding me?” I demand, starting to stand up but I feel a strap wrap around each of my wrists.
”Fine, now you’re getting a mohawk.”
”A MOHAWK?” I shriek, trying to force my way out of the restraints. Tears immediately begin to pour from my eyes.
”Now the sides are getting straight razor shaved! Calm down now or it’s only going to get worse.” Evan shows only calm forcefulness behind his firm words.
I sink into the chair, resigning to my fate in disbelief, “Fine. I trust you.”
He smiles at me, the forceful demeanor now suddenly gone, “Great, let’s get this started!”
I look at him, my face still wet with tears, “Does this still count as a date? I can’t imagine I’ll be getting any rebound hookups with a mohawk.”
”I love mohawks on women. I think you need some new piercings too. I’m licensed to do that too.”
I settle in for whatever is coming, “If you say so. I might as well be what you like since no one else will like me.”
”I like the attitude change. You’re going to look perfect when I’m done with you. And very different too.”
He grabs a tissue and wipes the tears from my face, not removing my hands from the restraints. He then sets to sectioning out an inch and a half wide mohawk down the center of my head and down the back. He holds the blonde hair up and out of the way by clipping it up with white plastic clips.
”Well, I did say I wanted a new look,” I say as I see how little hair I will have when the cut is done.
Evan smiles and grabs two hair ties, tying each side into a single pigtail. Without any warning, he pulls scissors from his back pocket and snips each of them off, rendering each side of my hair into short, choppy, uneven hair. He gently sets both ponytails down and goes to grab his clippers.
My eyes begin to water at seeing my hair so brutally cut but I refuse to complain. I don’t know what would be worse than a black mohawk but I know I don’t want to find out.
He flicks the clippers on and I hear a pop followed by a hum. I’ve seen clippers used on other people but never would have thought that they would be used on me. To shave away almost all of my hair. I close my eyes as he brings the clippers close to my head, tears steaming down my cheeks.
”No closing your eyes. I expect you to watch while we turn you into the new you. You need to see the old you falling away.”
I open my eyes and watch as he drives the clippers up my nape along the right side of my sectioned out mohawk. I see the short remnants of my once long, beautiful blonde hair fall to the ground as he works the clippers up to the back of my crown. As he nears the top he stops and starts a new strip up. Almost as if he is teasing me and not allowing me to see what my bald scalp will look like, he finishes the back, moving to the left side of my nape after he finishes the right. After he removes the bulk he moves the clippers up and down, shaving the hair as close as possible.
Before he moves to shave the sides he stops and wipes my face with a new tissue, “You’re really messing up your makeup you know. Good thing I do makeup too. We’ll do something that matches your new look better anyway.”
I do my best to stop the tears from pouring from my eyes as he picks the clippers back up and asks, “Are you ready to keep going? It’s time to see your bald scalp.”
I nod with a quivering breath. He wastes no time and shaves up through my right sideburn, instantly showing my pale scalp which stands in stark contrast to my tanned skin. He moves around my ear, folding it down to shave close around my ear. He only moves the clippers slowly as he approaches the edge of the mohawk, careful to not shave anything he doesn’t want to shave. I sit perfectly still, terrified of the possibility of ending up completely bald due to a slip of his hand.
The right side of my head is soon almost completely bare. All that remains in barely visible dark stubble, my natural color now showing through with the bleached blonde hair gone. He shaves my left side as quickly as he shaved my right and now I have a mohawk. I can hardly believe how little hair I have but here it is.
Much to my surprise, I actually kind of like it. “Evan, I trust you, do you trust me?” I ask as I am suddenly filled with the overwhelming urge to feel my stubbly scalp.
”I don’t know can I?” he asks as he cleans my hair from his clippers.
”I promise you can. I really want to feel this before you do the razor shave. I want to feel it after of course but I’ve always loved rubbing boys’ buzzcuts. I want to feel it on my own head now.”
Evan looks at me with a smile, “I’m glad to hear you’re on board now.”
He sets the clippers down and unstraps my restrained wrists. I cautiously reach my hands up, careful not to disturb the long clipped up blonde hair. I first touch it lightly, letting my fingers graze across the bristly stubble. I almost flinch as I gasp at the feeling. Then I begin to rub my head, first with my fingertips, then letting my fingers sink in to feel my almost completely bald head.
The feeling is instantly intoxicating. My eyes briefly roll back as I relish the feeling on my head.
“I guess you’re a fan?” Evan asks with a smirk.
“Oh my god, yes!” I say excitedly. “Can you finish shaving the sides now? I want to feel it smooth. So bad. You don’t have to strap my arms back down, I’m not going anywhere. I’m all yours baby.”
Evan smiles as he works warm shaving cream into a foam. “I knew you were the moment you walked in. I’m glad you finally realize it.”
I eagerly wait as he rubs in the warm shaving cream, savoring the touches of his hands. “Once I’m done shaving you I’ll cut the mohawk. And dye it. How would you feel about black and purple?” he asks.
”I would love that. Only if you want it though,” I say, desperately desiring his approval as he is now my only option for the foreseeable future.
”Of course I do. I was going to do it either way of course but I’m glad to hear you’ll like it too.”
I watch him grab a straight razor and, after running it across a leather strip, he comes behind me and tilts my head forward. I feel him begin to drag the razor up my nape, again starting on the right side of my mohawk.
With the speed of a skilled professional, both sides of my nape are smooth. I can tell that my mohawk has been shaved into a point at the very bottom. He then lifts my chin and plants a kiss on my lips, “Having a good time my dear?”
”I wasn’t at first but I am now,” I say seductively. “When am I going to another one of those?”
”Soon enough, you still have too much hair for more. Let’s finish your shave,” he says as he tilts my head to the left. He scrapes away the stubble from the right side of my head and I see my slick, shiny scalp for the first time. I actually like the gray paleness of my head and the way it contrasts my significantly darker foundation.
He rubs a hand on the right side of my head, feeling it’s smoothness and checking for any missed spots. He then gently kisses my bald scalp on the right side before tilting my head to the right to shave the left.
Soon my sides are both fully shaved and I eagerly await my chance to feel them. “Can I touch it now?” I ask almost impatiently. I can’t believe how much I love this but I really love it.
”Of course you can,” he says with that same sexy smirk.
I reach my hands up and feel my smooth scalp. Somehow it’s even better than before and I allow my fingers to search over my scalp. I for the first time feel the shape of my skull and it feels perfect.
”You have a great head, Katie. I’m glad I got to uncover that for you.”
”Is it time to cut my mohawk now? I’m so excited to see the final look.” I actually am, no longer just trying to please him as I’m not enjoying this process and my new look.
”Let’s do it. I’m thinking two and a half inches is the perfect length for your mohawk.”
”Whatever you say babe, you have perfect taste,” I say, smiling contently.
He begins to unclip the long hair from the top of my head and it cascades down to my right side. For the first time in my life, I hate the look of my long blonde hair.
”I’m glad you’re getting rid of this. Jack loved my long blonde hair so much and seeing it go away is the best way to send him off too.”
”I guess Jack is your ex?” Evan asks as he ties my long hair into three separate tails, each about three inches from my scalp.
”Yes he is. He’s a football player and transferred from the college here in town to go somewhere where he has a better chance of going pro. I would have gone with him if he asked. But he didn’t. He just dumped me.”
”Well, let’s get rid of this then,” Evan says as he snips each of the three tails off.
He places they three tails, the last of my long hair, next to the other two he cut off. “I’ll be keeping these as a souvenir. I like to turn the hair I cut from big transformations into wigs so I can remember them. Maybe I’ll let you wear yours one day. And the other girls’ too.”
I smirk at him, “Anything for you babe.”
He sprays my short hair wet and begins to snip away, shaping it and texturing it into the perfect two and a half inch long mohawk. The wet hair clippings fall and stick to my cheeks and bald scalp but Evan gently brushes them away with a soft brush.
With the wet hair Evan fans out my mohawk, showing my new hairstyle to me for the first time. I turn my head side to side, examining and carefully considering it.
”Oh my god, I love it so much! Do you like it?” I ask, hoping he is happy with his creation.
”Of course I do! I didn’t it didn’t I? Now since you’re still a blonde, I don’t have to bleach anything, let’s get the dye on here.”
Evan mixes black dye in one bowl and purple dye in another and begins to apply the dyes to my thin strip of hair. He dyes it in inch wide segments, alternating between the black and purple dyes. Soon he is finished as by this point I have almost no hair.
”Ok we need to let this set, let’s do your piercings,” he says removing his gloves and washing his hands with soap and water.
”Will it hurt?” I ask nervously. At this point I trust his judgement for the look but the pain of piercings scares me.
”I won’t lie to you, your lip, nose, and cartilage will. But I’m good so it won’t hurt as bad as it would if someone else did it.”
I nod and do my best to prepare myself mentally as he prepares his needs and the jewelry that he’ll soon be sticking in my face.
As the dye sets he gets to work on my piercings. He starts with the easy one, putting a simple stud in both of my earlobes. I already had one in each so now I have two. He then moves and leans my head back, piercing the outside of my right nostril and placing a thin silver colored ring. Then he pierces my left cartilage and gives me an industrial piercing on my right ear, both with simple silver rods. By the time he finishes my lip piercing, a silver ring in the left side of my bottom lip, I am sore but extremely pleased with the way I look.
”You were right, it did hurt. But it’s worth it.”
”You look incredible Katie. Way better than you did before. Now let’s get you up so I can rinse this dye out and get it styled so you can get out of here.”
He offers me a hand and I take it, holding it as he walks me over to the chair in front of his washing station. He warms the water and gently rinses the dye away from my scalp as well as whatever residue remains from my shave. He then pats my head dry and rubs a towel over my mohawk.
”With all that hair you used to have, you’ll be shocked at how quick your hair dries now. You have so little it’ll be dry before you know it,” he says as he walks me back over to his barber chair.
”So less time getting ready in the morning then? That’s always a good thing.”
He smiles, “More time to master your new goth makeup style that matches your new cut and color.”
I roll my eyes, “You turned me into your goth girlfriend didn’t you?”
”We’re on our first date and you call yourself my girlfriend? You’re a bold one.”
I smile, “Well this new look makes me feel like a badass. But only if you want me to be.” I wink at him, reminding him that I understand he is still in charge.
He quickly fans out my mohawk using some kind of powerful hair glue which he swears won’t even move in wind or rain. He then begins to apply makeup to my face, redoing any of my foundation and contouring in places that were disturbed by my tears. He then gives me dark smoky eyeshadow on my eyes and a dark purple lipstick that matches my purple streaks. Finally he pulls the cape off of me and blows the scraps of hair off of me, removing the last parts of the old me.
”And here is the new you, do you love it? I know I do,” Evan says, filled with pride.
I run my fingers over my shaved sides, gently feel the mohawk, turn my head side to side and examine the sides and all of my new piercings, “Of course I do! I’d kiss you if my mouth wasn’t so sore!”
Evan smiles, handing me a business card with his cell phone number written on the back, “Good, get out of here, I have another appointment soon. Text me your address and I’ll come pick you up tonight after I get off. I’ll make sure you forget all about Jack?”
”Who?” I ask with a wink as I turn to walk out the door.
The receptionist smirks at me and my new style as I pay for the experience. “I guess things went well then?” she asks with a knowing look.
I turn and see another girl, dressed similar to me with long highlighted brown hair and a Starbucks coffee. She looks up at me with disgust, wrinkling her nose as I did at the receptionist.
I smirk and nod at her and say, “They went very well,” before I turn and walk out the door, ready to face the world as a new woman.