Somewhere, at some mall in the United States, there is a mall with a hair salon in a lonely corner of the building.
Two twin sisters and their mother walked into the mall on a spring afternoon. The mall had its fair share of customers as clothing outlets and sports stores offered great deals on their products. The girls had asked their mother all week if they could go to the mall, and their mother finally relented. The twins loved shopping, trying on clothes and getting new things. Most of all, they just loved being amidst it all, even if they didn’t buy much.
The twins were named Maya and Sophie, and they were identical in almost every way. They often wore complementing and similar clothes, although they hadn’t dressed the same since they were little. Today, they both wore the same jean short shorts, and Maya wore a green top and Sophie a pink one. Their features were identical as well, although Maya had a beauty spot on her left cheek, and Sophie had a tiny scar over her right eye. Their hair was incredibly long and thick, and they both wore it long today. Their brunette locks cascaded all the way down past their butts, a total of over 3 ½ feet. They usually wore similar styles, so today they had decided to wear it down and straight.
The twins and their mom went to the intersection of four aisles of shops, and they looked around, gazing at all the choices.
“So girls, where do you want to go first?” Their mother asked. Maya and Sophie thought for a moment, looking at each other quizzically.
“How about Anthropologie?” Sophie suggested. Maya nodded in agreement. Their mother smiled and checked her phone.
“Alright! Let’s get going!”
The three headed off in the direction of Anthropologie. As soon as they entered the store, Maya and Sophie started to comb the racks for cute tops. They took a whole stack to the dressing room and they tried on a wide range of clothes, taking selfies and sending Snaps to their friends. Their mom let them buy a top each, which they enjoyed immensely. The twins weren’t exactly spoiled, as they appreciated everything their mother did for them. After paying for the clothes, the twins and their mother left the store and they headed down the wide aisle to another store.
It was then that they passed the little salon. They had never seen the salon before, but Sophie and her mother didn’t give the salon a second glance as they passed it. The sign above the salon read “Snip and Cut” a fairly generic name. Maya briefly observed the salon before almost turning away, but something caught her eye. Inside the salon, which had a wide open entrance like other shops in the mall, a lone stylist was working with a client. What caught Maya’s attention was the haircut in progress. A teenage girl, around the same age as Maya, with beautiful long black hair, was getting a bob! By the looks of it, the stylist had started the cut a few minutes ago, as a pile of shorn black locks littered the floor under the chair.
Maya watched the pile with rapt attention. She had never been so fascinated with a haircut before, although she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen such a haircut. The stylist happily snipped away at the girl’s long hair while the girl herself looked very happy.
Maya saw another girl, a little younger, sitting in the waiting area of the salon. Her hair was even longer, dangling down the back of the chair out of sight. Maya almost forgot that she had stopped walking and was standing a ways off from the salon.
“Maya?” She heard Sophie’s voice as if from a great distance. Maya turned to see her mother and sister staring, concerned.
“Yes?” Maya said.
“What are you doing?” Her mother asked.
“Oh, I just…” Maya wasn’t sure how to articulate her feelings. Her eyes returned to the salon and the pile of black hair at the foot of the styling chair.
“I just was thinking that I want a trim.” Her voice almost choked at the end, and Sophie raised her eyebrows.
“A trim?” Sophie said skeptically. “But your hair is already the same length as mine.”
“I know, but…I guess I just wanted to keep it healthy.”
Their mother cocked her head slightly, then pulled a $20 bill out of her purse and handed it to Maya.
“Meet us at Gap in 30 minutes?” Maya’s mother said. Maya nodded, then looked back to the salon. Their mother turned to continue on to Gap while Sophie shrugged and followed her. Maya walked slowly toward the salon and each step seemed like a leap of faith. Her mind was racing as her eyes were fixed on the Asian girl getting her long hair chopped off. The girl smiled at her reflection in the mirror as the stylist continued in her unceasing path around her head.
Before she knew it, Maya was inside the waiting area of the salon. She saw the girl sitting in the waiting chair, who smiled happily. Maya returned the smile.
“Hi there!” Maya almost jumped as she turned and saw the stylist smiling at her. Maya cleared her throat nervously.
“Uh, hi. I’d like a haircut please.”
“Of course! There’s another young lady ahead of you, if you don’t mind waiting. It should be quick.”
“That’s fine.” Maya sat on one of the empty waiting chairs. The girl about two chairs over leaned forward and caught Maya’s eye.
“Hi!” the girl said brightly. “I’m Christine. What’s your name?”
“Nice to meet you Maya!”
The girl seemed no nice that it really was a breath of fresh air. Maya admired the girl’s cute outfit. Christine wore black short shorts and a simple white top. Her gorgeous silky black hair split into two sections, one over the back of the chair and the other falling over one shoulder and coiling in her lap on her bare thighs. It framed her almond eyes and smooth Asian skin perfectly.
“Are you here for a haircut?” Maya asked. It was a lame question, but Maya couldn’t think of anything else but the girl in the styling chair getting her hair cut off.
“Yep!” Christine tugged on the section of hair over her shoulder and exclaimed happily: “It’s all coming off!”
Maya’s heart leapt at the sight of the long hair and the thought of it all getting cut. What were these new feelings, Maya thought. She had never thought about hair so much in her life. Why was now any different? Maya had told her mom that she only wanted a trim, but now she wasn’t sure what she wanted.
“Really?” Maya asked, intrigued. “Why do you want to get it cut? It’s so long and beautiful?”
“Thanks. Well, my sister Kelly and I,” Christine indicated the girl in the styling chair, who only had one section of long hair left that the stylist was now combing.
“We have been growing out our hair for the last several years. We’ve loved long hair, but we’re both ready for a change. It’s getting hot, and I can’t wait for my new haircut!”
Christine pulled out her phone and excitedly showed Maya an image from Pinterest. Maya was shocked to see a picture of a short pixie, the kind Maya had only ever seen on Instagram. The sides and back were shaved down to stubble, but the top remained long and layered and heavy bangs gave a sharp contrast. Maya felt something stir inside of her at the sight of it.
“I know, right? It’s going to look so cute!”
Maya sized up this cute Asian girl, no more than 15 years old, and concluded that the haircut would make her older and sexier, not cuter. But if that’s what she wanted, then more power to her. By this time, Kelly was finished with her bob and the stylist was busy cleaning up the ends before blow drying the hair. Maya just stared at the soft mountain of black locks on the floor enthralled by the texture of the shorn hair.
After a couple minutes, Kelly was finished. The stylist whipped the grey cutting cape off her shoulders and dusted off any stray hairs. The result was a very “in” bob with contrasting length in the back. Feet of black hair lay on the floor as Kelly stood up and fingered her new bob. She turned and walked over to the waiting area.
“Your turn, Christine!” Kelly declared. The style suited her well, Maya thought. Christine jumped up and skipped over to the styling chair, like a little girl out to buy a lollipop. Her hair fell all the way to her lower thighs, over 4 feet in length in total. The stylist patted the chair and Christine jumped right in. Within seconds, her hair was sectioned roughly and the grey cape was thrown around her. After she snapped it closed, the stylist brushed aside the huge pile of Kelly’s hair with her foot so that it lay just off to the side. The stylist began sectioning Christine’s hair into one large section at the crown and the rest falling free around her shoulders and down the back of the chair. The stylist opened a drawer and pulled out something that Maya couldn’t see. When the stylist turned, Maya’s eyes widened as she saw a pair of haircutting clippers, the kind she had seen her dad use.
The stylist clipped some sort of plastic piece to the clippers and turned them on. The clippers gave off a buzzing sound as the stylist placed them at the bottom of Christine’s neckline. To Maya’s horror and amazement, the clippers went up her head, sending a cascade of black hair crashing to the floor. Christine grinned as another pass took off feet of silky hair. Maya was mesmerized by the sight of it, the way the hair was so carelessly shorn then allowed to fall away like black snow.
“What style are you going to get?” Kelly’s voice came as if from a great distance. Maya shook her head a little as if to clear out her thoughts.
“I asked what style you were going to get. I mean, are you doing a trim,” Kelly made scissoring motions with her fingers and smiled slyly, “or are you chopping it all off?”
Maya stared at Christine’s bare nape as the clippers continued to send waves of black silk to the floor.
“Like hers…” Maya trailed off.
“Maybe not that extreme. Or perhaps?” Kelly offered.
“But…why?” It wasn’t a skeptical or incredulous question, but one of genuine interest.
“Why did Christine and I decide to chop all our hair off?” Kelly laughed, swinging her new bob with one hand.
“If you talked to Christine she probably told you. We loved our long hair, we enjoyed it so much! We braided it, put it in updos, I curled it for her on her first school dance. I mean, we did practically everything with our long hair. But then we grew bored of it. I mean, we could only do so many things with it. Besides, it grows fast. Christine’s hair grows 6 inches a month!”
Maya looked mournfully at the piles of shorn hair on the floor as the stylist shaved the last section on Christine’s sides. Christine beamed, like this was the happiest day of her life.
“It was Christine’s idea first,” Kelly continued. “She wanted a lob with waves, but the more she looked into it the more she wanted a short pixie. I stuck with a bob. You know, it was really refreshing to have over 2 feet of hair cut off all at once. It was so liberating, so freeing to watch all that hair fall to the floor. It’ll be your turn soon.”
The words sank in as Maya watched the stylist pull out Christine’s top section. It was so long, especially compared to the buzzed sides and back. The stylist pulled the hair back and sectioned it off with a hair tie. Without any fanfare, the stylist seized a pair of scissors and sliced off the ponytail with a few whacks. The surprisingly thick ponytail lay limp in her hand, and Christine laughed loudly. The stylist handed the ponytail to Christine and Kelly said genially: “That’s my sister.”
The stylist proceeded to trim the hair to a few inches, layering and making the hair lay well. Maya stared at the ponytail that rested in Christine’s lap. Maya felt a hand running through her hair, but she didn’t tense up; instead, she let the hand rake her silky hair, and she closed her eyes in pleasure.
“You have such beautiful hair,” Maya heard Kelly’s voice. “You would look so cute with a lob. I think it would suit you. Maybe an undercut?”
Overwhelmed by everything, Maya thought about it. It was a great idea. She would look so cute in a lob, and an undercut would help with her thick hair.
“Yeah,” Maya responded, in a tone that conveyed distraction. But Maya was more sure about this than anything else in her life. She pictured herself in the styling chair with a grey cape around her, her hair cut in a chic lob with a sexy undercut.
Within minutes, the stylist had trimmed up the ends of Christine’s sexy new pixie cut and released her from the chair. A massive pile of hair on the floor was swept aside, next to Kelly’s but not touching. There were now two twin mountains of shorn black tresses laying on the floor. Maya became nervous as Christine paid the stylist and turned to Kelly.
“I’m ready to go, sis.” Christine asked happily. Kelly stood up and looked right at Maya.
“I hope you have a good time.”
“I will.” Maya responded sincerely. With that, Kelly and Christine left the salon, touching each others’ new short haircuts and giggling. Maya sat on her chair, frozen. Then, the stylist came over to the waiting area and smiled.
“Hi there! I’m Sandrine. How can I help you today?”
“I’m Maya,” Maya replied slowly. “I’d like a haircut.”
“You’re in the right place!” Sandrine said brightly. “Come, let’s get you seated and caped.”
Maya made the slow walk to the styling chair. Her eyes drifted over the two piles of hair off to the and she unconsciously stroked her own silky brunette locks. Sandrine guided Maya into the chair and threw the grey cape around her. Sandrine pulled the hair aside and snapped the cape in place. Maya’s super long brown hair flowed in front of her, into her lap, and behind her down the chair.
“Now then, how do you want your hair cut?” Sandrine ran her long fingers through Maya’s lovely locks, relaxing her in the face of the inevitable haircut.
“I’d like a long bob,” Maya said determinedly, “with an undercut.” Sandrine grinned at the thought of cutting off so much beautiful hair.
“Consider it chopped!”
Wasting no time, Sandrine pinned up Maya’s hair and section off a four inch section in the back. Maya stared directly into the mirror, fascinated by the reflection of her long hair coiled in her lap. Sandrine dusted off the clippers that she had previously used on Christine. Several strands of black hair floated to the ground as Sandrine approached the back of the chair. The buzzing sound started up, and Maya’s heart fluttered.
“Alright Maya, say goodbye to your back section!”
With that, Sandrine ran her clippers up through the hair. Maya closed her eyes in pleasure from the new sensation. Nervousness gave way to excitement as she felt a cold breeze on the back of her neck. She heard the soft thud of hair hitting the floor. After a while of buzzing, Sandrine switched off the clippers and picked up a pair of shears and a comb. She let down the top section of hair and combed it out quickly. Without any further separation, Sandrine bundled Maya’s long, thick hair into a ponytail at the back of her neck and began to cut.
Maya’s ears pricked at the sound of scrunching as Sandrine methodically chopped into the ponytail.
“Sandrine is a lovely name,” Maya offered nervously.
“It’s French,” Sandrine replied, unfazed by the question.
Before Maya could understand what was happening, Sandrine held up the sawed off ponytail for Maya to see. The length was incredible, well over two feet long. The straight, thick, sleek locks swayed ever so slightly. Maya’s mouth dropped open as Sandrine grinned.
“That was on my head,” Maya managed lamely.
As if to maximize the effect, Sandrine dropped the loose ponytail into Maya’s lap. It spread as it landed on the grey fabric, turning into a huge mass of brunette hair. Maya had never noticed the weight of the hair until it was off her neck and on her lap. From that point, Sandrine only needed to trim the remnants of the long bob. She pinned up sections to precisely create the shape of the lob. The time went by extremely quickly, and before Maya knew it, Sandrine undid the neck of the cape and brushed stray hairs from Maya’s nape.
“There, all done!” Sandrine declared. She swept the cape off Maya, sending the mass of silky brown hair falling to the floor. Maya looked at herself in the mirror and instantly fell in the love with the style. Her hair, which swung sassily just above her shoulders, seemed sleeker and more full than ever. Her hand crept under the thick curtain of freshly shorn hair and touched her shaved neck. The feeling was sensational!
“Do you like it?” Sandrine asked. Maya’s face broke into a big smile.
“I love it!”
“I’m so happy for you, darling!” Sandrine took a broom and swept up the remnants of hair from behind the chair and the former ponytail from the front. She collected the hair into a huge pile next to those of Kelly and Christine. Without asking, Maya pulled out her phone and snapped a quick pic of the piles.
“How much do I owe you?”
“There you go.” Maya handed the money to Sandrine, who in turn gave back the change. After putting the money in her pocket, Maya turned to look at the piles of hair one last time. Maya walked out of the salon and out into the mall.
Maya spun around to see Sophie and her mother standing in disbelief looking at her. Sophie stared at her twin with a look of shock.
“What…what did…” Sophie spluttered. Maya stroked her fresh new cut.
“Do you like it?”
“It’s so…short.” Maya’s mother said, perplexed.
“Yeah, I thought I wanted a trim but I changed my mind.”
Sophie stepped toward her twin and gazed at her in wonder. Maya was unsure what to do, but after a few moments Sophie smiled slightly.
“You look gorgeous.” Sophie finally said. Maya felt relief that her twin liked it.
“She’s right, Maya. It really suits you,” their mother put in. Together, they set off to another store. As they walked, Maya looked at Sophie’s long hair and her mind wondered.
I wonder what Sophie would look like in a pixie like Christine’s, Maya thought…