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Vicky was now into her second year as an apprentice hairdresser and was enjoying every minute of it. With her now seasoned relationship with Leslie everything was hunky-dory, on top of which she was now allowed to cut plenty of hair. An ambition was starting to materialize.

Today was special – both Vicky and Leslie were in need of drastic haircuts, they had been saving it up for well over 6 months, tonight after the shop closed they planned to crop each other’s hair in turn. Vicky would be on edge all day!

The morning drifted by slowly. Both Vicky and Leslie longed for the overdue haircut.

It was the kiddies’ holiday and as expected the appointment book was filled to the brim with mother and child appointments. Vicky did all of the cutting while Leslie watched over her, pointing out mistakes and generally guiding her through each cut.

The highlight of the morning came when a 15-year-old, accompanied by her father, came in. It was about 11.00 am, the girl was penciled in for a trim but dad had other ideas. After a prolonged chat to Leslie it appeared that it was not going to be a trim after all. Apparently he told Leslie that Lucy didn’t bother to look after her hair and his wife said she was to get the lot chopped off. Poor Lucy just looked on in fear knowing that her father’s private chat with Leslie could only mean one thing, the haircut from hell.

"Right Vicky, you can watch, I’ll cut," said Leslie with a broad smile across her face.

"Exactly how short are we going here?" she asked dad.

"Well how about like that?" He motioned towards Lyn, who had just had her hair buzzed very short.

"Seems like a good idea to me," Leslie quipped. "Right, let’s get started. Vicky, you get the clippers and guides I’ll go and get little Lucy caped up. You go and get yourself a cuppa, dad, and I’ll sort out Lucy’s problem hair for you," Leslie assured him.

Lucy’s father obligingly disappeared from the shop after Leslie had told him he wouldn’t recognize his daughter in an hour’s time, for which he said his wife would be very thankful.

As soon as the door had closed behind him Leslie pounced.

"Right then, let’s see if we can sort your hair out for you, young lady. Your dad’s given me a free hand to tidy it up for you."

Leslie started to comb the young girl’s hair out. Seeing it was obviously going to take quite a while to do she asked Lyn to complete the task for her. While Lyn busied herself with the task ahead Leslie went off to find Vicky and the clippers.

After a quick discussion they decided to reseat Lucy at a station with no mirror, the clippers were hidden from view on a table close by and plugged in ready for action. Vicky strode over and ushered Lucy quickly to her new chair.

She gently helped her back into the plush leather. Lyn followed and once seated continued to brush the young girl’s ultra-long, thick mid-brown hair.

Lucy by now was trembling with anticipation of what was going to happen to her beautiful hair. Deep down she was fed up with it anyway and would welcome a change. Perhaps a chin-length bob or even a bit shorter, as they say a change would be as good as a rest! If she had realized what was in store for her perhaps she wouldn’t have been too keen.

After a good 10 minutes of brushing her hair was beginning to shine beautifully. At this point Leslie took over and just combed it through a couple of times to check for knots.

"Right then, let’s get started," Leslie announced.

"Why haven’t I got a mirror?" Lucy stammered.

"Don’t worry, I think it’s always better if you’re having a new style so it’ll be a nice surprise for you when it’s all finished."

"I don’t know perhaps!" Lucy started

Leslie quickly interrupted "No honestly, this is the best way, you’ll see."

Vicky fixed the no.8 guard on the big clippers and got ready to pass them to Leslie.

Lucy heard the steady hum from the clippers but wasn’t aware of the danger as she had never heard such a sound before, in fact she found the sound quite relaxing.

Leslie quietly asked Lucy to tuck her chin into her chest and not to move. Vicky gently lifted the hair, that was close to touching the floor, up and in one go Leslie carefully ran the well-oiled clippers smoothly through her hair from the nape right up to the top of her head. This process was repeated five times ensuring there was now no turning back.

Hair was piling up on the floor and Lucy was looking pale. Leslie never once entered into conversation with the girl as she was intent on the job in hand.

Both Vicky and Leslie moved round to the left-hand side of the girl and started to repeat the same procedure. Hair fell to the floor, which was now covered in the dark mass.

"There you go, not long now and it’ll be all done," smiled Leslie as she moved round to the right-hand side.

Lucy just sat there speechless. Gently she ran her fingers through her freshly-cropped hair. It felt strange but deep down she was excited by it.

On seeing the girl doing this Leslie asked what she thought about the haircut.

"Well…."

"Good, another satisfied customer! Vicky can you hold this lot up while I just finish off the top." Hair was now starting to pile up in the young girl’s lap – she was horrified but keen to see the finished look.

Leslie continued to run the clippers over and over Lucy’s head, just to make sure she left no ends.

When finally the clippers were turned off the girl breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately for her Leslie was just changing the guide comb to a no. 2 to taper the back and sides in. When the humming started again the young girl jumped. "No need to worry I’m just going to taper the back and sides in nice and neat it’ll look just great, you’ll see."

A few minutes later found Lucy staring into the mirror feeling and admiring her new crop. She continually rubbed her fingers through it – she couldn’t imagine ever wanting to grow it again, she fell instantly in love with it.

Lucy looked at the top – it was still about 1 inch long.

"Can you cut the top down shorter for me before my dad gets back?" she asked Leslie, quickly jumping into the nearest empty chair.

"Fine with me babe," Leslie said. She quickly put the cape back on Lucy and reached for the clippers.

"How short?"

"I’ll leave it up to you," Lucy replied.

Leslie fitted a no. 3 guide and slowly worked through the hair on top until the clippers had finished their job.

The young girl ran her fingers back through the freshly mown hair. She loved it.

"I think I’d like to become a hairdresser when I leave school" she smiled.

"You’ve got the job, hun," Leslie smiled.

The door opened. It was dad and time to go.

"Well that’s the morning over with," said Leslie, scooping huge lengths of hair gently into a waiting bag.

"We’ll take this lot home with us tonight and have heaps of fun," she said, smiling at Vicky.

The afternoon came and went and it was soon time to get off home. As Leslie and Vicky were now living together they shared a car which made sense what with soaring petrol prices. On the way home they had to go get some food so they stopped off at the large supermarket near to where they were living. Inside the store was a unisex hairdressers, they always stopped outside and looked in just to see if there was any action going on. Tonight was no different. Just as they were passing a young girl with very long blond wavy hair was just about to be caped up. They looked at each other and smiled.

"Why not, we’re both in need of a good cut. Let’s go for it," Leslie said.

Both girls made a dash for the door not wanting to miss anything of the haircut about to take place.

The stylist apologized saying that she was working on her own tonight and she may be quite a while before she could attend to them.

"No problem," said Leslie quickly. "We don’t mind waiting, do we Vicky?"

Vicky just smiled politely trying not to look too obvious.

"Would you mind turning the sign to closed for me, I don’t reckon I’ll have time to cut any more tonight."

Vicky got up and complied with the stylist. This was perfect, she thought.

It appeared that the girl in the chair only wanted a trim. The stylist was trying to suggest to her that a nice short cut would look good on her.

"My boyfriend would go ballistic if I dared to do such a thing," the girl blurted out.

"Hang on, honey, whose hair is it anyway?" the stylist replied.

"Well mine I guess but…"

"There you are then. Us girls have got to stick together, right ladies?" the stylist looked at Leslie and winked.

"That’s right give an inch and they’ll take a mile. You gotta show them who’s boss from the start. If you want to get ya hair cropped, do it," Leslie replied.

"Well I had been thinking of a change. What do you think?" came her reply.

"Let’s go for a cut then," the stylist quickly replied.

"What do you think will suit me then?" she answered.

"Well a lot of girls are taking the plunge and going for flat-tops these days," the stylist answered.

"What’s a flat-top when it’s at home?"

"It’s short back and sides with a flat top," the stylist replied.

"That sounds a bit drastic to me."

Susy, the stylist, gathered the young client’s hair at the back to try to show her what she would look like with shorter hair. The young girl smiled at herself in the mirror – she was enjoying receiving all this attention.

"Yes that looks quite stunning on you," smiled Susy in the mirror.

"Well let’s go for it," she answered. "If he doesn’t like it that’s tough, he’ll have to lump it."

Susy smiled back at her in the mirror. She had just made another conquest, she was pleased. Gently combing the girl’s hair she asked if she was sure as she didn’t want to upset her boyfriend. The answer she wanted came back defiantly.

"As short as you can get it."

With that Susy quickly grabbed the hair into a rough ponytail and 30 inches of blond hair was gone. She laid the tail carefully onto the shelf in front of the girl who gasped at the sight of her freshly chopped hair. Immediately the girl felt the back. It was so thick now, she let out an involuntary sigh and then told Susy to continue. The hum of the big clippers filled the salon. Susy took off the no. 4 guide and replaced it with the no. 2. She gently pushed the girl’s head forwards and slowly ran the clippers up the girl’s nape. This was repeated several times until the whole of her neckline was revealed. The girl instantly felt her nape. She marveled at the bristles that were left, she definitely loved the feel of it. Susy continued to cut the hair at the sides in the same way. The clippers were ruthless – no hair was spared, it all had to come off. Hair was by now spilling into her lap, a massive pile of gorgeous blonde hair. The young girl felt released of her inhibitions and told Susy that it was the best feeling she had ever had in her life. Susy was pleased she could be of assistance. The girl knew she had done the right thing but wasn’t sure her boyfriend would see it her way. Susy now picked up a strange-looking comb from a table, it was big and looked awkward. The comb was pushed up the back of the hair and as the clippers were run over the surface of the comb the hair fell away like butter and once more slipped into the waiting lap. This was repeated on both sides, now there was only the top left. There was to be no fringe so Susy started at the front and sheared brutally everything in the clippers’ path.

The transformation was incredible – the young client could not keep her hands off of it. She loved it, she looked stunning. The floor was now completely covered in a blanket of blonde hair. Leslie and Vicky sat in their seats mesmerized by the new look. Susy gently brushed the girl off and shook the blue and white cape. The silence was broken by Susy.

"Who’s next?"

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