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Vicky was sat down in the waiting area by the door, her 10.00am appointment was late. Julie, her next customer, was usually very punctual but today she was already 20 minutes late. Just then the door opened and in came Julie, accompanied by her boyfriend. Tony was looking rather pleased with himself. Formalities were exchanged and Vicky led the pair back to her station and sat Julie in the plush leather chair.

"Right, and what are we going for today then – the usual 1/2 inch off the ends?" Vicky had already undone Julie’s ponytail and started to comb through the near waist-length blond hair. As always, it didn’t need it as it was in perfect condition and had obviously been well cared for. "God knows how you keep it in such good condition, it must take you an age every morning!"

"Well actually, Julie has decided to let you cut it, haven’t you darling?" Julie just nodded her head in agreement and looked in the mirror at Tony. Before she could speak Tony told Vicky that she wanted it real short. "Yes, we’re going all the way today aren’t we darling?" Julie nodded once again.

Tony stood up and moved to Julie’s side. "I want you to take it real short. I reckon a no. 1 up the sides and back, real high up here." Tony lifted the hair and gently tugged it, "and then a no. 2 all over the top and just blend it in nice and neat round here."

Julie sat impassively staring at her wonderful hair. It was obvious that she didn’t want anything but a trim, but Vicky, not being slow, agreed that it was time for a change and it would be very good for the oncoming summer.

Vicky wasted no time and fetched the Osters from Leslie’s station, who had just finished cropping a young girl’s head. They were quickly switched on, and as they burst into life Julie half jumped out of the chair. Tony reassured her and repositioned her in the leather chair, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. Vicky pulled a length of hair outwards and away from her head and let the Osters loose on it. The hair was thrown onto the floor. As the hair was shorn it fell to about shoulder level. Julie touched the cut ends and realised there was now no escape. She sank back into the chair. The Osters were fitted with a no. 1 blade set which would leave her hair, when pressed tight to her head, approximately a millimetre long. Vicky slowly worked her way around Julie’s head until all of the hair was cut roughly to the shoulders.

"Right that’s the hard bit done, for you that is. Now I can get down to the nitty gritty," Vicky joked, to which Tony smiled a big grin.

Tony joined Vicky at Julie’s side once again and pretended to be a bit concerned, telling Julie that it was looking really great. Vicky reached for the cutting guide, she picked up one that would take the hair down to about half an inch. On seeing this Tony told her that she should use the next one down, telling her that he wanted it good and short. Vicky returned it to the shelf and quickly fitted the next size down that would all but leave the hair bald.

"Are you sure about this?" she directed the question to Julie, but Tony cut in and told her that would be good.

Julie sat helplessly as Vicky raised the humming clippers to her forehead. She smiled weakly, there could be no other conclusion now.

With a slow but determined pull the clippers made their way through the thick blonde hair, it spilled down everywhere, covering the already hair-strewn floor. Great hanks of blonde hair lay all around and were quickly joined by more of their friends. Four more passes were made, each one relieving the owner of the blonde mass which was once part of her. Julie closed her eyes in disbelief, tears fell down her cheek and onto the cape to join the blonde carpet that was forming.

"Woo, you look fantastic," Tony told her. "I told you that it would look great didn’t I." He ran his hand playfully over the top of her head.

Vicky now turned her attention to the sides. The guide comb was discarded and the Osters switched back on. Julie looked strange indeed, shoulder length hair but the top missing. Lift – cut, lift – cut, soon the sides joined the rest on the floor, a few more flicks with the clippers and the sides were blended perfectly into shape with the top.

"Head forward."

The command was obeyed and the back was soon relieved from duty. Hair spewed from the head quickly and efficiently. The clippers didn’t stop until they reached the crown and then the action was repeated several more times. Tony sat fixed to the spot; at last the haircut he had always wanted was nearly complete.

"Can you take it shorter up the back and sides? I think that would be good, don’t you, my love?"

Julie didn’t answer, she just sat and obeyed. Vicky returned with the 000 blades and fixed them in position. Without hesitation she ran them up and blended the short hair with the even shorter hair. Up the back over the ears, fine splinters of hair sprayed in all directions. Now the haircut was complete. 

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