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Sara and James sat in the Dodge Durango in front of Joyce?s Choice Hair Design, a nice hair salon on the end of a strip mall. Sara couldn?t believe that James had talked her into this. This would be the last place she would ever consider being, especially doing this.

?It is only hair,? She found herself saying for the one hundredth time today.

?It is only hair.? James agreed, changing the emphasis of the statement.

?Yea, but it is my hair. Hair that I have been growing out since that horrible butcher of a hairstylist ruined my hair back in the eighth grade. You should have seen what she did to me. You weren?t there to deal with all of the vicious and vile teasing I had to put up with.?

?That was a long time ago, at a time when kids are cruel to one another. It is time to move on and grow.? James counseled.

?I get comments all the time about how lovely my hair is.? Sara pointed out.

?Yes, from other men, who aren?t engaged to you, and old ladies, who are over the hill and couldn?t pull the look off anymore.

Sara bit her lip.

?Besides, this is the new millennium and you look like you enjoyed the early seventies too much.? James added.

?I don?t look that old.? Sara defended.

?I?m not saying that you do. All I am saying is that as lovely as your hair is, it doesn?t fit your face. How often does someone look you in the eye when talking to you??

?Sometimes they do.? Sara stated.

?But most of the time, they are looking at your hair. People don?t even remember your name. They just know the woman with the really long hair.?

?It?s easy to take care of.? She blurted out, then looked down, knowingly.

?How long does it take you to wash your hair? How much do you spend on shampoo each month? How long do you spend combing your hair out each morning?? James asked. ?I could go on.?

?No, don?t. You win.? She pouted.

She opened the car door and got out, swinging her head to make sure all of her long hair cleared the door before she closed it. Her long brown hair swayed back and forth and settled into place touching the back of her calves. James came around the vehicle and putting his arms around her drew her close for a kiss.

?Do I have to gothat short?? Sara asked, almost whining.

?If you?re going in for a change it is always best to get a big change.? He soothed. ?Besides, you don?t know how short I am asking.?

?I have seen your web site and your porn tapes to know.?

?They aren?t porn.? He defended.

?It gets you off, the way porn movies do ?normal? guys.? She said.

?But it isn?t porn. No one is having sex and no one even gets naked.?

?Ah, but it gets you as hot as others would if they were watching porn. Different strokes for different folks, and for you, watching women shave their heads is porn.? She jabbed.

James knew he wasn?t going to win this one. He was just thrilled that he could talk this beautiful, wonderful woman, he was engaged to, to cut off her hair.

?Just think of the little girl, who is going to get the gift of your hair, so that she can go to school and not get teased.? James said changing the subject.

Sara took his hand as they walked into the air conditioned salon.

?May I help you?? the receptionist asked.

?Sara has an appointment with Joyce.? James said waving to Joyce coming out of the back room.

?She is expecting you.? The receptionist said crossing Sara?s name off in the book ?My, that is a lot of hair.? She smiled.

?Thank you.? Sara smiled back.

?I?ll bet it gets hot.? She commented.

Sara glared at James. Who just smiled.

?You must be Sara.? Joyce greeted.

?Yes, and you must be Joyce.? Sara gave a nervous smile.

?James, she is the most beautiful woman you have ever brought to me.? Joyce said.

?Does he bring you women often?? Sara asked, steel in her voice.

?James is one of my best advertisers. He is always sending women my way.? Joyce explained. ?How are you doing on my cards?? She asked James.

?I should pick up a few more while I?m here.? James commented.

?Sara, just go on into that room and slip out of your blouse and into a smock and we can get started.? Joyce directed.

?Are you going to keep this one?? Joyce asked James as soon as Sara was out of ear shot.

?I proposed to her last week.? James smiled.

?What do you have planned for this?.. specimen?? Joyce asked.

?Well first off, she isn?t a specimen, she is my fianc?

?Sorry, old habits die hard.? She smiled apologetically

James quickly explained to his old friend about what he wished to have done to Sara.

Joyce was all smiles when Sara rejoined them.

?Are you comfortable, Sara?? Joyce asked.

?Yes, thank you.?

?I understand that you are donating your hair to ?Locks of Love?.?

?Yes, I thought if I?m going to loose it, at least someone else can benefit from it.? Sara said.

?First things first then. Could you follow me over here for a ?before? picture??

?Huh??

?When ever I do a makeover or someone donates hair to ?Locks of Love?, I take ?before and after? pics. One set for my files, the other for you to show your kids and grandkids.?

?Okay.?

Joyce was a very beautiful woman about ten years older then James, but what made Sara nervous was that Joyce had extremely short hair. The sides had seen clippers recently. Joyce kept every copper colored hair exactly in place. She looked like she could have stepped out of a woman?s magazine.

After the picture, Joyce led Sara back to the salon station, but asked her to remain standing.

?It is easier to get the first cut when hair is this long.? Joyce explained.

Joyce gathered up Sara?s hair and bound it in a rubber band, at shoulder level She then braided everything below that elastic and secured the end with another elastic.

?Okay, Sara, here comes the big moment. Do you want to watch or do you want to close your eyes?? Joyce asked.

?Eyes closed, I don?t think I can watch, it?s kind of like getting a shot.? She said.

Joyce picked up a large pair of scissors and readied it just above the top elastic.

?Here it goes.? Joyce said.

Joyce waited until Sara closed her eyes, then worked the large shears through the hair. Finally the scissors snipped shut on the other side.

James didn?t realize he was holding his breath until Joyce was done, and he let it out.

Joyce quickly grabbed a few Kleenex and handed them to Sara.

?Okay, Sara, it is all done.? She coaxed.

Sara opened her eyes and stared in the mirror, stunned. She shook her head back and forth and watched in amazement as her hair bounced and swayed.

?Wow, it is all gone.? She said tears welling up in her eyes.

Joyce held up the thick brown braid. ?You are going to make some little girl, very happy.? She said. ?James, could you pack this?? She asked with a smile.

James grinned from ear to ear. This was one of his favorite parts. Her got to hold the sheared lock in his hands. The soft strands bound together to make a rope so strong. He brushed the ends against his cheek, yet so soft.

?We are going to color your hair first, before we start the cut.? Joyce explained as she started to apply ?goo? to Sara?s hair.

?James, we didn?t talk about coloring my hair.? Sara accused.

?I thought we did.? James said, placing the braid into a plastic bag.

?Well it?s too late now, go ahead, Joyce.?

Joyce continued to spread the coloring agent in Sara?s hair.

?So how do you know James?? Sara asked.

?James and I were in a business course together in collage.? Joyce started. ?We were study partners. It was summer and extremely hot. I had long hair at the time, not quite as long as yours. Anyway, he convinced me to cut it all off.?

Sara?s wide eyes looked at her fianc? in the mirror in surprise.

?You could say he was my first.? Joyce smiled. ?It felt so good getting rid of all that hair. A week later he convinced me, that I should shave my head. Not only did he talk me into it, but he did the deed himself. I became hooked. I finished my business courses and went into hair design. I now own four salons and cut hair as a hobby.?

?You became hooked?? Sara asked puzzled.

?Oh, yes, The feel of clippers running over your scalp is quite intoxicating. James continued to clipper me for a year or so after that.?

?You used to clipper her hair?? Sara asked. ?Was this before or after you started your website??

?Joyce was one of the first postings on my site.? James admitted. ?Now, she sends me all of her before and after pictures for me to post.?

?Do the women know??

?I have them fill out a waiver.? Joyce informed.

?He doesn?t do your hair still does he?? Sara asked.

?Oh, no, I have my husband do it every once in a while now.?

?What does he think about shaving your head?? Sara asked.

?He loves it. He and I actually met through James?s website.?

?Figures.? Sara said more to herself.

?Okay, Sara, off to the dryers with you, while this sets.?

Joyce led Sara over to another area behind some hand painted screens and sat her in a comfortable chair.

?Would you like some tea, or perhaps a mocha?? Joyce asked.

?Tea would be nice.? Sara said.

?I?ll have Heather bring it to you when she comes to do your pedicure.? Joyce said turning away.

?Pedicure?? Sara questioned James.

?It?s a service that she provides women while they are sitting under dryers.? He explained. ?It?s a great business move. Women come back more often for perms, and coloring, because of the pedicures while they are waiting.?

?James, if you come with me, I?ll get you those cards.? Joyce said from around the screen.

?I?ll be back in a few moments, Love.? James said kissing Sara?s hand.

?Hello, Sara.? A beautiful woman greeted. ?Here is some tea and some cookies. My name is Heather and I will be giving you your pedicure.? She smiled.

?Thank you, Heather.?

Heather gently set a tray down on a table next to Sara.

Sara barely noticed the tray, she was so intent on Heather?s beauty. Heather?s creamy skin and large blue eyes were enhanced by her clippered hair. Her ebony hair was clipped into a tall flattop, with a long spray of bangs that were gelled into spikes, to accentuate her beautiful blue eyes.

Heather removed Sara?s sandals and guided her feet into a warm bath.

?I?ll let these soak while I get my things.? Heather informed her.

Sara then noticed the tray which Heather had brought. Teapot, milk, sugar, cup and saucer, as well as some cookies were beautifully arranged. There were also cucumber slices to relax the eyes and to finish it all off a mint.

?How are you doing?? James asked.

?Does Joyce do this for all of her clients?? Sara asked.

?Yep. There are a few clients that she has, that she takes back to a special room, but they pay for everything they get.?

?Hello James.? Heather greeted with a great big smile.

?Heather!? James enfolded the tall woman in his arms for a friendly hug.

Heather pecked his cheek as she pulled back.

?Your hair is getting long.? James commented, ?You aren?t growing it out are you??

?Joyce is going to take care of it tonight after closing.? Heather smiled.

?I see you two know each other.? Sara interjected, starting to feel a little uncomfortable.

?Heather, have you met my fianc?, Sara?? James asked.

?Only on a client level. Joyce said that you were bringing a friend to us, but I didn?t know you were engaged. Congratulations, Sara, May I see the ring??

Sara, with her head in a dryer, and feet soaking, felt a little awkward as she held out her hand to show Heather the two carat stone, gracing her finger.

?Wow, how lovely.? Heather admired.

?James, you need to leave, so I can hear all of the details.? Heather smiled.

?Fine, I?ll go look around.? James sighed. ?Sara, you are in great hands, here. I?ll see you in a little while.? He leaned forward and gave Sara a kiss before leaving.

?How do you know, James?? Sara asked Heather.

?It is kind of a weird story. I was giving him a manicure in a small salon, trying to make it big. I had long, dirty blonde hair, which I kept up in a bun while working. I kept having problems with hair falling in my eyes. James said that he would give me one hundred dollars if I buzzed off my hair and gave it to charity, and that he would double it if he could be the one doing the buzzing. I thought he was just joking at first, but after a few minutes I realized that he was serious. I then thought he was a weirdo, but I was barely making ends meet, and could use the extra cash, so I relented and he clippered me. He was my first.? She sighed, then shook herself remembering the long ago event.

?He seems to be a lot of woman?s first.? Sara remarked.

?It was incredible, a day I won?t soon forget.? Heather sighed again. ?After he finished, he gave me Joyce?s card and told me to tell Joyce that he sent me. It took me a couple of weeks, before I finally sought out Joyce, and low and behold, here I am, making much better money, and getting a lot more respect and job satisfaction.?

?And you still buzz off your hair?? Sara asked.

?Oh yes! It is such an incredible feeling. A month after I started working here, I met my husband. He usually comes in to watch Joyce clipper my hair. That reminds me, I want to hear all the details, of how you two met and how he proposed.?

Heather was just finishing up her duties, when Joyce came by and checked Sara?s color.

?It looks great, Sara, Will you follow me to the sinks??

Heather slipped Sara?s sandals on her feet then helped Sara stand to follow Joyce. Joyce led Sara to the sink and washed out the coloring agent, giving Sara a scalp massage in the process. She wrapped Sara?s hair up in a towel and led her back to the styling station.

?How did it go?? James asked.

?Wonderfully. The pedicure was a nice surprise, and Heather is such a sweetheart.?

?Are you ready to see your new hair color?? Joyce asked.

Sara watched in the mirror as Joyce whisked away the towel revealing medium auburn hair. Sara just gaped at herself in the mirror, while Joyce finger combed her hair around. Sara was in awe at how the auburn color, made her eyes seem more blue.

?I told you, that color would work.? James stated for Joyce?s benefit.

?What do you think, Sara?? Joyce asked.

?It?s so different.? Sara said.

?It?s always a little bit of a shock at first, but you will get used to it.?

Sara?s eyes found James in the mirror. He was sitting behind her and to one side with a grin on his face and a sparkle in his eyes. She smiled, back nervously, anxious about what was going to occur next.

?Shall we get down to work?? Joyce said.

?You can?t clipper hair when it?s wet, can you?? Sara asked.

?Clipper? Sorry Sara, that isn?t what James has in mind, but we could change that.? She smiled.

?I just thought that with everyone around here with clippered hair, and his hair fetish, that you would be clippering me.? Sara explained.

?If you would like to go that route, honey, I wouldn?t mind. But I thought you could try something else first and if you would like, you could get clippered, at a later date.? James said.

?I?m sorry, honey, but I?m just not ready to be clippered yet.? Sara?s heart pounded with some relief.

?I will only be using the clippers a little in the back and to clean up the edges, Sara.? Joyce explained as she combed Sara?s hair out down to her shoulders.

Joyce sectioned off Sara?s hair and piled most of it on top of her head and began cutting a line from just below her occipital lobe down around the right side of her head to come to a point just below her bottom lip. She then let some of her hair down, sectioned it off, and made another similar cut. Joyce did this five more times as the right side of Sara?s hair became an angled bob.

?Like this, James.? Joyce asked, turning Sara?s chair for her fianc? to view the new look.

?Perfect.? James smiled only at Sara.

Joyce left Sara facing away from the mirror and facing her smiling fianc?. She then started combing out the left side of her hair and started snipping away. She seemed to be cutting this part a little different,

Maybe it?s because she isn?t using the mirror. Sara thought.

Then Joyce started cutting very close to her ear. She could hear the scissors as they cut through each strand of hair. Sara started to get nervous again, wondering what exactly Joyce and James had in mind. Joyce continued to comb and cut her hair towards the back of her head. Joyce spent quite a lot of time on the back of her head near the occipital lobe area of her head. Joyce suddenly stretched up, and turned Sara to face her. She then combed what was left of Sara?s shoulder length hair, down in front of her face and snipped. A large curtain of hair fell from in front of her eyes. Sara was now getting curious about what Joyce was doing. Her hair touched her ear and face on one side, but not the other. Would Joyce now cut her right side again?

Joyce swept the comb back through the hair on her left side, combing everything back, then combed the right side straight down, making everything come to a point, almost touching her lip. She took a step to one side, giving James a clear view.

?Yes!? James exclaimed. He grinned from ear to ear.

Sara jumped when she heard a loud pop followed by a buzzing noise behind her.

?It?s okay, Sara, I?m just going to get the back and the edges.? Joyce stated.

Sara could feel her almost dry hair now, still brushing the back of her neck. Joyce touched the clippers to the base of her neck. Goose bumps jumped up on her arms, causing the hair on her arms to rise. A chill swept from her heart down to her toes. Joyce slowly raised the clippers up through the remaining hair. Sara?s heart fluttered as the clippers continued to rise, eating away at what hair she had left. She had said that she didn?t want to be shaved today, why was Joyce going so high with the clippers. She felt Joyce?s hand lift the hair on her right side and was startled again as she felt the clippers tear into her hair.

Joyce turned off the clippers and took off the comb guard. Sara prepared to bolt as she saw Joyce turn on the clippers again, and come towards her head. She relaxed slightly as she felt a comb sweep up hair and heard the clipper vibrate against the teeth of the comb. Joyce worked her way around the left side of her head and then she felt the vibrating teeth brush the base of her neck, as Joyce cut a crisp line across the base of her neck and up and around her left ear.

James stood up smiling and came closer.

?Joyce, it looks better than I could have expected.?

?Would you like to be the first?? Joyce asked.

?You know I wouldn?t pass this up for anything.? He stated.

James leaned in and kissed Sara on the lips. As he did so, his fingers found the Sara?s nape and caressed it. An electric jolt shot through Sara?s body; She shuddered uncontrollably. James smiled as he pulled back He stepped around behind Sara and gently blew on her exposed nape. A wave of warmth washed over her. Next she felt a soft long bristled brush, brushing loose hairs from her neck.

?Okay, lover boy, Let me finish styling it before you take it any farther.? Joyce teased.

Joyce fingered some gel through the hair on Sara?s left side and took a brush and blow dryer and began to brush through her hair, grabbing bits with the brush here and there, so that the dryer had better access. She then took a large round brush and began drying and brushing Sara?s right side adding volume and finishing up with several strokes to create a polished look.

?Well here you go. The new Sara.? Joyce announced as she rotated the chair around so that Sara could view herself in the mirror.

Sara gasped when she found herself in the mirror. Her hair had dried a little lighter shade of auburn than she would have thought, and wow! Were those her eyes staring back at her. The left side of her hair was cut short. Practically shaved on the side and sort of spiky on the top with lots and lots of fine layers. The right side however, was as she had guessed, an angled bob. She turned her head from side to side noticing the difference and the detail. James handed her a mirror and turned her away from the mirror again so that she could see the back.

Sara then saw why Joyce had spent so much time with the back of her hair. She had somehow made the short, feathered back side of her head blend so smoothly in with the bob side, that you could hardly tell where one side ended and the other began. Her neck. Sara reached up her fingers to feel a soft pelt of hair barely covering her neck. It looked so long, and graceful. Almost like a swan?s. Sara thought immediately of Audry Hepburn?s graceful neck.

James turned her back around and met her lips with his. His fingers swept through the hair on her left side to stroke her newly revealed neck.

?What do you think?? He asked, pulling back.

?Joyce, you did a wonderful job.? Sara smiled. ?It is going to take a little time to get used to not having hair.? She said to James.

?We have time. And I have clippers.? James smiled.

?Let me get used to this first.? Sara warned. Her fingers again sought out different parts of her hair.

?Oh my! Sara, you look fabulous.? Heather exclaimed as she came to see the finished product.

Sara beamed.

?You two run off now.? Joyce instructed.

?How much do I owe you, Joyce?? James asked.

?Are you kidding? James, You and Sara will never have to pay for a haircut in here. Not with all of the business you bring me. Take her home and show her how much you like her new look.? Joyce smiled.

?Thank you Joyce.? Sara said. ?You too Heather, Thank you.?

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