To Please Her Grandmother: Part 2

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Check out part one here.


The bell above the door chimed. Three stylists – two female, one male – all turned to see who was coming in. Recognition and surprise registered on two of their faces. Elizabeth, with her tight grey perm, and Susan, with her greying brown hair, both took notice as Paula and Lauren entered the old fashioned style salon.

They’re surprised to see us, thought Lauren. Heck I’m surprised to see me here too.

“Ladies, what a pleasure to see you again so soon,” said Susan who was finishing off a lip length bob for a red haired woman in her late forties.

“Ah let me guess, this must be your Grandmother,” exclaimed Elizabeth as she caught sight of Hazel.

“Yes,” said Hazel warmly. “The girls told me about your salon and I thought I’d come and thank you in person for Paula’s haircut. I think she and Lauren look very smart indeed with their new looks.”

“Oh it was a pleasure to help out,” Susan said. “Paula was determined to look her best for your visit.”

“Well that is good to hear. I’m pleased she’s grown out of her earlier youthful antics with her hair. It took a long time to convince her that short hair is better for women.”

Paula looked at her shoes, not making eye contact with anyone.

“Although while we’re here,” Hazel continued, “I was wondering, I know it might be rude to ask as you’ve both done such a splendid job with their hair already, but would it be alright for the girls to have another haircut? She doesn’t believe it but Paula looks divine with a pixie cut. I wish she’d keep it that length all the time. And Lauren could absolutely pull off an even shorter style. I was thinking that, with her face shape, a shaved style would complement her really well.”

“Oh!” Elizabeth cried. “Well I remember saying to Lauren as she left last time that a shorter haircut would look wonderful on her.”

“I’m almost finished with Dawn here. I’d be happy to take Paula when I’m done,” said Susan resuming her focus on the woman in her chair.

“And I’m more than happy to do Lauren’s hair again but if it’s a shaved style you want, Samuel is our resident expert with the clippers,” said Elizabeth smiling across at the third and final stylist in the room.

Samuel, a balding man in his late sixties, looked up at the mention of his name. At present he was sat in his own barber’s chair reading a newspaper. “Sure I can take her. How short are you wanting to go ma’am?” He directed his question not to Lauren but to Hazel.

Hazel did not seem the least bit surprised to find herself dictating both girls haircuts. “I’m afraid I’m not an expert on shaved hairstyles but something neat and tidy above her ears. Something that’ll keep the hair off her face for a while.”

I thought that’s what this pixie cut was, thought Lauren miserably. “I really don’t want to be any trouble,” she said aloud. “Just a trim would be fine for me.” Please, Lauren begged silently.

Samuel looked at her critically. “Oh no, you’re going to need much more than that cut off.” Talking to Hazel again, he said: “I know it’s not quite summer yet but how about a good short summer cut? One that’ll last her a fair few weeks.”

“That sounds perfect.”

Nodding, Samuel stood up and put away his newspaper. “Right lass, up you come,” he said, patting the back of the chair expectantly.

Lauren’s nervous expression was mirrored Paula’s face who was struggling to believe her friend’s impending fate. Lauren wondered how rude it would be to run out of the door and keep sprinting.

“Don’t you worry my dear,” said Hazel soothingly, who had struck up a conversation with Elizabeth and Susan. “I’ve got an eye for these things. A shaved style will make you look like a new woman.”

Lauren grimaced. With legs that felt like they had been turned to lead, she sat down in Samuel’s barber’s chair and shuddered. Samuel span the chair around the face the mirror and fastened a strip of paper around her neck. Next came the heavy black cape which engulfed her body. The snap of the buttons trapped Lauren in the chair.

“So you’ve not been doing what you’re told eh lass?” Samuel smirked at her.

“I’m sorry?”

“Well your grandmother told you to get a proper haircut but here you are again it seems.”

“Oh no, she’s Paula’s grandmother not mine,” Lauren clarified in a rush. “I met Paula and Hazel for a cup of tea. She said Paula needed another haircut even though she only got it done a few days ago. Hazel insisted I come too and said she’d pay for me to get a haircut. But really I don’t want to be a bother to anyone so just a quick trim would be-”

Samuel clapped a heavy hand to Lauren shoulder. “Well if Hazel is paying for you to get your head shaved we’d best do as the lady asks.”

“What!” Lauren squawked, “that’s not what she-”

“Just sit back and relax lass. I’ve had many a reluctant girl and young woman in my chair over the years and you know what? They all agreed that having their hair short was far better for them and considerably easier to manage.”

Lauren doubted the accuracy of this statement but could see no way out of her current predicament. Maybe she could pretend to faint? In the corner of her eye she saw Paula being ushered into Susan’s chair before she was hidden behind the three older women who were all debating the best length for a pixie cut. Knowing she was on her own, Lauren flinched as Samuel’s heavy black clippers turn on with a pop and then roared into life.

“Now lass, I need you to hold nice and still for me. I’ve got to buzz your hair first before I can shape it. I’ve got just the style in mind for you. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to try it on a woman.”

Not remotely reassured, Lauren shuddered in the chair. She gasped loudly as Samuel raised the clippers to her forehead and pushed them back into her pixie short hair. Two inch locks of hair fell silently onto the cape.

It wasn’t quite as terrible as Lauren feared – but only just. There was at least a guard attached to the clippers she realised as Samuel carved a second strip of hair from the top of her head.

“What do you think?” asked Samuel as the clippers continued to plough through Lauren’s soft brunette locks. “Half an inch. Should be perfect for what we need however it still allows for the option of a shorter cut if necessary.”

Lauren’s stomach lurched uncomfortably as the shape of her head was revealed under her closely cropped hair. Had her ears always stuck out that much? And was her head supposed to be that round? Again and again the powerful black clippers chewed through the remains of her pixie cut. Maybe if she closed her eyes and opened them again this would all be a dream.

No sooner had Lauren tried this theory when the buzzing stopped. Still with her eyes closed, she smiled. Just a horrible dream. Something soft rubbed against her head and face.

“Well lass, I’m pleased to see you’ve started to enjoy the shave. I told you you’d warm up to short hair.”

Her eyes snapped open. Samuel put down a long-haired round brush that he had just used to dust off the loose hairs still clinging to Lauren’s head. Her smiled immediately evaporated.

“Right then, stage two,” said Samuel happily. “I need you to continue keeping still for me.”

What? Wasn’t a buzzcut bad enough? Oh god she really did have a buzzcut!

Ditching the large black clippers Samuel instead selected a set of slimmer grey coloured clippers. He gently placed their smaller unguarded blades against Lauren’s head, at an angle just below her crown. After a moment of brief pressure Samuel removed the clippers, revealing a thin pale line. The clippers were then lowered and placed next to this first line – again and again until a semi-circular line had been created around the top of Lauren’s head.

“Don’t you worry lass, that just my guide line,” said Samuel correctly interpreting Lauren’s wide-eyed.

“How short is this going to be?” Lauren whispered fearfully.

“Ah don’t fret. Hair grows back. Good thing too or I’d be out of a job. Now hold still for me.” The small silver clippers once again buzzed into action. Placing the tip of the clippers on the line he had just created, Samuel dragged the clippers straight down the side of Lauren’s head – effortlessly peeling away the short hairs still attached there. Again and again Samuel repeated the process. Each gliding movement removed a perfect horizontal section from, first the sides, then the back of Lauren’s head.

Lauren blinked away tears. This wasn’t happening. This really couldn’t be happening. Less than a week ago her head had been at her shoulders and now…god! That really was her bare skin. This man really was making her bald and all because a couple of strangers had decided her face would look better without hair.

Samuel turned off the clippers and suddenly all the hair Lauren had remaining was a few bristles on the crown of her head. But the clippers were still in Samuel’s hand – the ordeal was far from over.

“Keep holding still for me lass.” Samuel raised the clippers to the top of her crown.

Lauren couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. This is it, she thought, he really is going to make me bald.

But Samuel’s plans were more creative than that. Starting at the back, Samuel pushed the silver clippers forward over Lauren’s crown but stopped before he reached the front of her head. A couple more strokes widened the path he had formed on the top of Lauren’s head.

“There, what do you think lass? A horseshoe flattop. It’s not very often I get the chance to do one of these. Now I just need to make sure the top is completely flat, haha obviously and then, once the edges are blended, we can move onto the shaving foam.”


Surrounded by three older and loudly debating women, Paula’s view of Lauren was obscured as Hazel, Susan and Elizabeth happily decided on the best length for Paula’s hair.

At least if Granny is insisting on a pixie cut this time it means I’ll be leaving here with some hair left, thought Paula sadly. She could hear the buzz of clippers and hoped Samuel was being kind. She wasn’t certain Lauren had ever felt clippers on her head before.

“I assume you’ll be wanting her hair above her ears?” Susan asked ask she brushed a comb through Paula’s blonde chin length locks.

“Oh of course,” responded Hazel without hesitation.

“Personally I don’t believe a pixie cut can be a true pixie cut if the ears are covered,” said Elizabeth looking thoughtfully down at Paula.

“Well how about I start with talking off all this length at the back and then we can decided exactly how short we should go,” said Susan enthusiastically. “That is assuming Paula doesn’t mind us going that short?”

Paula opened her mouth to voice her objections.

“Oh Paula’s not afraid of short hair, don’t you worry ladies,” Hazel interceded without hesitation. “I remember one summer in Spain, about four years ago now, when I convinced Paula to shave her head all summer. Quite sophisticated she looked too!”

“Oooh gosh!”

“Wow I could never be that brave!”

Paula’s smile was forced. She and her Grandmother had very different memories of that holiday. After Paula had been tricked into the unexpected headshave, Hazel’s domineering personality had resulted in Paula being forced into a headshave every three days for a month until she and her parents had returned home. True the feeling of the house’s aircon against her bare scalp had been surprisingly nice but she’d had to wear an itchy sun hat every time she’s gone outside to avoid getting sunburn on the top of her head. Paula had refused to visit her Grandmother in Spain every year since for fear of what might happen.

Returning from unpleasant memories Paula blink as a large handful of her own hair was tossed into her lap. She was so distracted she hadn’t realised that Susan had started hacking away at her hair.

Susan wasn’t wasting any time, removing clump of hair after clump of hair from around Paula’s head in quick succession. Already her head was starting to feel cold now the remains of her golden pelt were being removed.

“Now how does that length look? Roughly three-quarters of an inch.” Susan tossed a final handful of Paula’s hair onto the floor. “I’m leaving the hair on top of her head for now until I know what length to match it too.”

Hazel and Elizabeth peered in for a closer look.

“Well if Paula is used to headshaves, this length might still be a bit long for her,” mused Elizabeth. Paula had to try very hard not to roll her eyes at the impression the older woman had formed about her due to her Grandmother’s words.

“Yes, yes,” Hazel agree. “Please don’t be afraid to go much shorter than this.”

“Not a problem ladies. And don’t you worry Paula, I’ll soon have you sorted out.” Susan picked up her scissors again and this time produced a fine-toothed comb which she laid flat against the back of Paula’s head.

Paula heard the rapid snip, snip, snip of the blades as they effortlessly sliced through her hair – creating a cloud of tiny hair strands in their wake. The thickness of a comb, though Paula sadly. That’s all the hair she would be allowed to keep on the back and sides of her head, maybe the top too if her Grandmother started getting carried away with her vision again.

The next few minutes passed in a blur as the hair on the back and sides of her head were reduced to almost nothing.

“Oh you’re looking beautiful Paula,” gasped Elizabeth, clasping her hands together in delight.

“Yes it’s coming along nicely I must say,” said Hazel with an approving look down at her granddaughter.

It was all Paula could do to keep the fake smile on her face. She didn’t trust herself to speak in case she accidentally said something she’d regret. Or maybe something that her mum would tell her off for at the very least.

“Now then ladies, what are we thinking length-wise for the top of her head?” Susan gently combed through the approximately four inch long locks that still remained on Paula’s head.

Paula spoke quickly before anyone else could offer an opinion. “I’d quite like it left the length that it is actually. It’ll give me some options for styling.” Very limited options but hey, any hair she could keep was a win for her.

“Oh no Paula dear, it’s far too long at the length it is now,” Hazel chided her gently. “One gust of wind and your lovely hair will be a tangled mess.”

“Your Grandmother is quite right,” Susan agreed. “And at the moment it looks like you have two different haircuts on your head. Ladies how about I take the hair on top of Paula’s head to around an inch long? I think it would match much better to the length on the rest of her head.”

“Yes,” Elizabeth piped up, “and an inch of hair will still give Paula plenty of opportunities to style it however she wishes.”

By sheer luck Paula managed to time the enormous eye roll she had been struggling to supress with the moment the three older women nodded at each other in agreement. After her Spanish holiday headshave it had taken Paula the better part of four years to grow her hair to her mid-back. Although she had escaped starting from absolute zero it would still take another four years to reach the same length again. That is assuming she could avoid being in the same country as her Grandmother during all that time.


As the final few remnants of her previously glorious mane were severed between the silver blades of Susan’s scissors, Hazel and Elizabeth were finally content enough with the outcome of Paula’s haircut to step away from the barber’s chair. This at last gave Paula a view of the chair Lauren was sat in.

Or rather the chair she had been sat in.

Now the barber, Samuel, had a young man in his chair. The man’s head was half covered in fluffy white foam which was swiftly being removed under the straight razor in Samuel’s hand.

That was strange, though Paula. I wonder why Lauren didn’t say goodbye when she left. Come to think of it, I never even heard her leave.

The young man in Lauren’s chair looked a sorry state. His cheeks were wet and his eyes red from recently shed tears. He must had just had a major transformation. Well, she could relate to that. She guess the man must be entering the military judging by the extreme lack of hair being left on his head. Samuel was working without mercy as he left nothing but skin on the back and sides of his client’s head.

“And how are we getting on over here?” Paula heard Hazel as Samuel as more of her own hair joined the annoying large pile in her lap. That was odd. Why would her Grandmother care about what haircut a total stranger was getting…unless…unless…

“Almost done ma’am,” Samuel responded. “Just got the landing strip to clean up and then she’s all done.”

Hazel walked over to inspect the barber’s handiwork. “I must admit it is shorter than I expected but she certainly looks very professional.”

Paula caught Lauren’s eye in the mirror. I’m sorry, she mouthed.

Lauren bit her lip but couldn’t stop another set of tears from trickling down her cheeks as Samuel made a couple of passes over the top of her head with the razor.

“Oh I know it’s a shock dear. Paula was most upset when I took her for her first proper haircut when she was a little girl. But come one now, dry your eyes. You’re a smart, sensible, young woman Lauren and this haircut will be the making of you. I promise.” Hazel gave Lauren’s hand what she thought was a comforting pat as Samuel wiped the last traces of shaving foam from Lauren’s head.

“I think your friend looks wonderful dear and so do you!” Susan beamed at Paula as she performed the final few flurries of rapid snips with her scissors.

The barely-there golden hair on the back and sides of Paula head was nothing more than a fine, soft pelt. The inch of hair left on the top of her head was mercifully heavy enough to lie flat but, even with her experience of short hair, Paula was having trouble thinking of exciting styling options. Still, she thought guiltily, it could be worse.

Paula and Lauren were both freed from their chairs within moments of each other. Without the cape hiding her clothes, some of Lauren’s feminine looks were restored to her but still…her unexpected transformation was…

“You look striking!” said Paula truthfully. She reached out to touch her friend’s head but Lauren flinched away. Trying again Paula caught hold of her hand and held on tightly. “You’ll get used to it,” she said softly so no one else could hear. “Believe me, I know how you’re feeling, but I promise that it’ll get easier in the next few days.”

Lauren sniffed loudly. She reached out a hand to touch her head and whimpered when her hand felt bare skin. “Next time your Grandmother decides to visit you I’m going to book a holiday to some far away country.”

Paula pulled her friend into a hug; immensely glad that they were still friends after the unexpected skinning Lauren had just received. She stared at the discarded pile of her own hair on the floor. Somehow it looked less golden than when it had been attached to her head. “You know, I think I might come with you.”

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