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I had already gotten two haircuts that summer. One right after graduation. At first, I thought that that haircut was too short, as I drove away from the salon I felt the lightness of my head. But soon I realized that the summer heat was too much, and the hair on my neck combined with the heat made me very uncomfortable. So I went to another salon, sat down and asked the stylist to cut a couple inches off of the bottom. This bob looked cute, but three or four weeks later, I started getting bored.

I had been looking in magazines at pictures of haircuts, and one came with pictures of a girl with a short, layered bob, sort of like the one a popular singer and actress was sporting. I cut this picture out and put it in my pure; I needed a trim anyways.

So the next morning, I was driving in my car after taking the kid I babysat for to camp. It was about nine o’clock, and I decided to drive to a salon about twenty minutes away from my house. I walked in, and a young girl greeted me at the counter.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Yeah. I just need a haircut” I replied.

“Okay,” she said, turning to look at the salon. There was a blonde lady, in her late thirties to early forties, standing by her chair. The girl behind the desk made eye contact with her, and the stylist waved me back.

I sat down in the chair, feeling a little nervous. My mom had told me not to cut my hair any shorter, but I had to have this haircut.

“Do you want your hair washed?” the lady asked in a thick German accent.

“Please” I replied. The stylist signaled to the shampoo girl, who came over and took a small white towel and began tucking it into the collar of my shirt as the stylist took her cape out of a drawer in front of me. She unfolded the cape, which was not as large as I liked, just covering my arms and knees, and placed it over me, a thick plastic, fastening it tightly around my neck.

“What are we going to do today?” asked the stylist as the shampoo girl turned my chair facing away from the mirror and began preparing for my shampoo.

“I have this picture. I would just like to keep the layers longer on the sides like hers are”.

“So what you want is what she has. It is like a bob in the back and shorter layers all around. And do you want bangs in the front or on the sides like she has?”

“I like the bangs on the sides of my forehead,” I replied, though I yearned for the thick, blunt cut fringe that I had as a child.

“Okay, I can do that” the stylist said, and with that, the shampoo girl asked me to lean forward as she adjusted the chair back and fixed the cape over the back of my chair. I leaned my head back into the shampoo bowl, and the girl shampooed and conditioned my hair, then draped a towel over my head and squeezed the excess water out. She leaned my chair up and turned me around, and walked to the front of the salon, leaving me alone with my stylist, whom I was not sure understood exactly what I wanted.

“How short are you going to cut it in the back?” I asked.

“In the length of a bob,” the stylist said. I wanted to explain more to her, but I figured that she might cut it right, and that I would just let her do what she thought was best. She combed out my hair, which reached halfway between my chin and shoulders, and twisted the front pieces forward. “We cut with scissors first, then razor the layers in, ok? Please put your head down so your chin touches the chest” she started right in.. My chin rested on the sticky plastic of the cape and I felt the cool metal of the scissors sliding on my neckline. Shnicckkk went the scissors right below my nape. Schnickkk schnickkk schnickk. This isn’t so bad, I thought, as she combed the front sections out and cut the long bangs to the bottom of my nose and trimmed the sides of my hair with nice crisp crunches of her scissors. Pieces of hair about two and a half inches in length were covering my cape and the floor. “Now the layer,” the stylist said.

She took out her detailing razor, and began taking pieces from the front and sides, razoring them off at about ear length. She did this for several minutes, and my hair, stuck to my head and damp, was minimizing in size. It got closer and closer to my head, and I began to get nervous. Finally, she took out her blow drier and began to dry my hair using her fingers. When she finished, I had a haircut which looked like a modified bowl cut, shorter in the front than in the back. It felt good to have this short haircut that I did not like, in the same way it felt when my father made me get my hair cut from waist length to shoulder length with bangs when I was eight. I could no longer put my hair up in a ponytail, and I didn’t like how the haircut looked, I thought it looked dumb, but that was part of why I like haircuts and how they make me feel. Like I am not in charge. It was strange to totally hate the haircut but like it at the same time. It looked kind of ok when I flat ironed it and used styling balm to make some pieces look piecey and spiky, but I still would not wear it down in public, I’d put it in two pigtails and wear a headband to keep the short pieces in front back.. But that’s okay, because secretly, I have my short haircut, even if it does look dumb. I am thinking about growing it out so in a few months I can cut even more at once. MMM..

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