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I am what you would call a typical teenage girl.

I dressed and looked like the majority of the girls my age, of fifteen. My hair is light blonde, somewhat curly, and just a little above my shoulders. I had let it grow, a few years back, since a lot of my girlfriends were letting their hair grow also. But, no longer than a few inches below my shoulders.

My mom is not typical of most mothers. She liked it when I had my hair cut short, but understood why I was letting it grow out. She, herself, liked her hair to be short, almost as short as a man’s regular hair cut.

One morning at breakfast Mom said, ?Sweetheart, why don?t you get a haircut like the rest of your friends are doing"?

I started to answer but realized it was true, some of my girlfriends had started getting shorter hairstyles lately. I guess I was so busy being a teenager I didn?t notice the gradual change in the length of their hair.

I told her, "I will think about it for a few days?.

School would be letting out for the summer in a three months, so I thought I could get my hair cut a little at a time. Then, over the summer I would let it grown out and by the time school began in the fall I would be almost back to my old image.

I was in town shopping when I ran into Gary, a close friend. He had a really short hair cut, a crew cut infact. He looked great. I asked him about the change and he told me ‘it was for summer’.

I asked him if he liked it and he said, ?It’s really comfortable, easy to take care of, and ready to go?. I asked him where he had gotten it cut. He laughed and wanted to know if I was ‘planning on going to a barber shop to getting my hair cut’. Something I had never done before, but the thought was there.

I told him, "maybe for a trim, just to please mom".

Then, he told me he went to, "Chuck’s on the cornor, downtown on Edward Boulevard". We told each other ‘bye’ and went on our way, I towards downtown and he to his house.

I arrived at ?Chuck?s on the cornor’ about forty-five minutes later. Nothing special about the place except when you went inside, lots of things were happening at the same time. It turns out Chuck wasn?t the name of one of the barbers, but the name of his pet fish!

Of course, there were lots of pictures of Chuck all around. He was a little gold-fish, in a big tank. It turned out the barber?s, rather barberette’s, name was Eileen. I waited my turn, which wasn’t unusual becase the sign said "men, women, and children". Eileen gave good, quick, and short haircuts.

When it was my turn, she asked, ‘what I wanted done’ as she put the cape around on me. I told her a trim so as to satisfy mom.

She looked at me and said, ?Young lady, you really should think about a major cut like the rest of the girls are. You’re way behind the times with this mess.

"How long does it take you to get your hair in such a mess??

I looked in the mirror and had to agree with her. I asked her, "what she had in mind"! She combed my hair this way and that way, then back off my face, then she said, "Something really short, say on the order of a Crewcut". But, what she ment was Boyish Cut which she menitoned was popular with a lot of the girls my age.

I thought to myself, "Why not?

My friends were all going short. I liked Josh?s crew cut".

I said something to her about a crew cut, "same length all over" I think it was.

She mentioned, "my facial features wouldn?t go too well with that short of hair cut".

But, that’s what I wanted. She just looked at me and shook her head, "Girls these days"!

Eileen told me she was going to cut my hair to half an inch using the clippers, by running it all over my head. When she was finished, she let me look and said, ?Now, that is a Brush Cut. How do you like it??

I had to agree it didn?t seem right to me, not short like Josh?s, which looked great on him. I was turned around, so I was facing the larger mirror behind the chair, and before long she was using a different pair of clippers as working on the right side of my head slowly working around to the left side. When she finished, I looked and I couldn?t believe it. I was practically bald on the sides and back but the top, which was still the same length. I told her, "I didn?t like the sudden change between the top and sides".

"I’m not finished’, she told me as she took another pair of clippers and a comb and began to work. She took a lot of time and when she was finished, she had blended everything together and it looked great. Then, she lather the hair line and shaved a small thin area along the hairline.

When I got home, mom was totally blown away with surprise, and a little anger.

I said, ?How?s this mom??

She hugged me saiding, ?You look ….. well still like a different young girl. So, do you like it??

I told her it was great.

I went back to Eileen several times and noticed I was getting a pretty good tan on the head. On my latest visit, when she had finished, she said, ?Danna, you should now think about a different style. You should try my favorite?!

I said, ?What’s that??

She reached up and pulled her hair, a wig really, off revieling her BALD HEAD!

"WOW, now that would really be wild", but I passed on it.

A week later, I saw Paula who had a crew cut, too. We talked and walked at the same time.

Paula said she was on her way to see Eileen. I told her what Eileen had said to me the last time she cut my hair.

Paula said, ?She told me the same thing. I wonder if she wants us to start a new trend since a lot of the girls have now gone to crewcuts??

I laughed and said, ?I think I will stick with this cut. It looks good on me".

We got to Eileen’s and sat down. Before long I was in the chair and Eileen was asking me if I was ready to take the final step.

I looked at her and said, "I wasn?t. I don?t know if I could ever go bald?.

She finished up my cut and I noticed she went shorter on the top than before. It did look better and cooler. Paula sat down and told her, ?I?m ready?!

I must say it was most interesting to sit there as Paula was peeled. Eileen worked the clippers over her head like there was no tomorrow. Within a few minutes what hair she had on her head was either in her caped lap or on the floor around the chair. The lather on her head sure said, ?SHAVE ME?!

As we left, Paula said to me, "You need to think about it. You would love it".

When I got home, mom noticed the shorter version. She rubbed my head and said, ?You father is going to be surprised this time. He always wanted to have your hair cut short but he respected you wishes. Being a MARINE, he loved the manly look of the short hair even on women?.

I told her what Eileen had suggested and she looked at me and asked, ?And, what are you considering it?

"Now, that would be something for your dad! I love his shining head.?

Dad and I were close because they never could have any more children after I was born. So, I became a daugher to mom and a ‘somewhat’ boy to dad. He like mom, like short hair on women, as well as men.

And, so it went. Each time Eileen cut my hair, she would go just a tiny bit shorter. I don?t think she thought I noticed it. By the time school started again, I had a clipper-shaved head. The sides and back weren’t razor shaved, but close to it. The top still was a little longer hair there. Several of the girls had joined Paula with the head shaving. I just couldn?t bring myself to have my head totally shaved.

From time to time, mom would get out the albums and she would talk about dad and when she came across a picture of him without his cover. She would say, ?Now there is your dad! You look so much like him. You would look great with a cut like him?.

This went on all of my junior year as I let my hair grew some.

I just couldn?t make myself say ?Shave It? to Eileen. I could tell she wanted to shave me so bad. I hadn?t been to see her in a few month since I was so busy with my studies and the volunteer work I was doing for extra credit at school. I took a break and went to Eileen’s. I told her I thought I liked the top long than what she had cut it last summer. So, I ended up with something close to a High-N-Tight cut, but the top was almost an inch long. Eileen had blended the buzzed back and sides with the top and it looked great.

When I got home, I could see the disappointment in mom’s eyes. I had something planned I wasn?t going to tell her about. I continued to let the hair grow out both on the top and sides.

One day mom asked me "why I was letting my hair grow out".

I told her it was for Senior pictures, which would be taken in a few weeks just before I started back for my senior year.

I began my summer job as a lifeguard at the community pool. I had been working at this job since I was a sophomore. Dad and mom was going to visit her sister, then they were off to New York City for a vacation, for the next two months beginning today. I saw them off at the airport and drove to see Eileen, to put my plans into work. Luck was with me, I had two hours before I had to be at the pool.

When I entered the barber shop there were a few men, boys, and two women and a girl, waiting their turn for Eileen or one of the other barbers. Eileen finished her customer and motioned me to her chair, "Everyone is waiting".

I got right in her chair and before she could ask, I said, "SHAVE IT! MAKE IT SHINE"!

There was no hesitation in my voice or wishes this time.

I quickly glanced a look in the long mirror, along the wall, and saw everyone was now paying attention to Eileen’s chair. The two other barbers had turned their chairs toward the middle of the shop ….. in the direction of Eileen’s chair. The two women were smiling, as were a few men.

I couldn?t wait for the finished cut. I knew when my parents came home, in two month, dad would be all smiles. But, I wasn’t sure if mom really wanted me to shave my head. I had a few days to hope she, too, wanted me to shave my head.

Eileen quickly grabbed the big black clippers, oiled it up, and flicked the switch on, sending a humming sound that filled the shop. She wasited not time in asking to make sure, she just placed the clippers in the center of my forehead and pushed it slowly back over my head.

I watched as the hair piled up infront of the clippers as it was moved back over my head, then to fall to the floor behind me and the chair.

"You can’t back out now", Eileen said as she positioned the clippers at my forehead and being another slow pass over my head. I watched as she pealed my head of hair more than she had done before. She was smiling as she moved the clippers over my head sending more and more hair to the floor around the chair.

My attention as so fixed on watching Eileen peal my head, that I didn’t hear the barber to my left call out, "NEXT", for his next customer. Nor did I see who got up and sat in his chair. It was when Eileen turned her clippers off, to oil it up again, and I heard the loud "CLICK" of clippers coming to life next to me, that I looked around.

When I saw who was in the chair, I could not believe I had passed her by, nor seen her sitting in a waiting chair when I came in. My eyes quickly went to her, my high school English teacher ….. Mrs. Gail Davison.

Our eyes met in the mirror, as she smiled to me, "Think you’re the only one getting her head shaved for the first time"?

Then, her right hand came from under the cape pointing towards a man, the same man who just got out the chair before her ….. the man who had just gotten his head shaved and I missed it while Elieen was buzzing my head ….. the man was her husband Richard Davison one of the boys gym teachers and football coach.

Eilleen saw my attention was on her as the other barber had her head tilted forward, he pushed his big black clippers up the back of her neck, then her head, and over the top of her head sending five feet of ‘bottle’ white blond hair into her caped lap. I had to shive as I watched the first pile of hair fall from her head. I knew for sure I could not have let Eileen do that if my hair was as long as Mrs. Davison’s hair.

Within a few minutes her head was as buzzed as mine, only it looked as if her head had already been shaved, because of her white blond hair.

My attention was brought back to my image in the mirror before me when I head the sound of Elieen turning on her clippers.

"Let’s get you completely buzzed and shaved before you back out on the shaving", she told me as she begin finishing buzzing my head completely. Soon, too soon for me, the clippers were tuned off.

I turned and looked at Mrs. Davison her head was now lathered and the barber was wrapping a large white steamy towel around her head. She quickly closed her eyes, as her husband said, "Told you you would love the hot towel".

She just sat there her eyes closed and a big smile across her face. The barber removed the towel and relather her head. She opened her eyes just as he begin shaving the first stroke from the right side of her head. She smiled at her husband who was sitting their like a pleased animal in heat. It didn’t take long and he was finished, just as Eilene was lathering my head.

She wrapped my head in a warm towel and let it soak, then removed it and relathered my head. I watch in the mirror as she stropped the straight razor on the leather strap. My heart rose quickly into my throat as she raised it to the center of my forehead. I took a deep breath as she made the first stroke of the blade.

Just as quickly she made three more shavings backwards from the first.

I sat there with my eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of the cool air touching my scalp. Then, I felt a gentle hand touch my arm and opened my eyes in shock.

"Enjoy", Mrs. Davison said as she patted my arm with a smile. "See you at the pool this afternoon"!

I smiled at her then turned my attention back to the mirror, and the waiting customers, to watch Eilene shave me bald like she had wanted for the last year, or so. I glance to my right as a boy, from school, sat in the chair and told the barber, "Let’s go for it".

Then, to my surprise the girl, a few years younger than me, was sitting in the chair to my left. The barber had clippers in his hand, singing away, as he looked at her mother sitting in a waiting chair. She just shook her head "YES", and the clippers were being moved over the girls head. She too would be getting her head shaved, I thought to myself.

When Eilene was finished, I saw a different person in the mirror. I really liked what I saw. I hoped this would make mom happy.

I went off to the pool and I kept the head shaved for the rest of the week. Sitting in the sun I developed a really good tan on the head. That Friday it was time to have my senior picture taken. I made sure that just before I went I was freshly shaved.

Eilene was please to do it for me, telling if was "on the house".

I sat for several poses then off to the pool. From that point on, I let the hair grow out for the next month and half. Mom called. "telling she and her sister were going to do some traveling, when she and dad came back from New York City, and she hoped I didn?t mind her staying several more weeks. I didn?t mind at all. The longer she was away, the long the hair would grow. Besides it would geve me and dad some time with each other. We never discussed why my hair was so short.

By the time mom got home, my hair was longer than she had left. She didn?t suspect a thing. One day she mentioned she heard from the school that my senior photos were ready. I told her I had picked them up the other day and by mistake left them in my locker at school. I had already received the proofs and had selected the picture that looked most like dad. I ordered some wallet size ones and one large one for her.

The pictures came one evening while I was watching television and mom mentioned she excepted them from the Mailman. She handed her an envelope to open. When I did she was standing next to me as I opened it, she was in tears.

I had the large picture framed for her. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She hugged me and said, ?It?s so beautiful. You look just like your dad! Why did you let the hair grow back out??

I looked at her she saiding, ?I didn’t know if you would like me shaving my head for dad".

She gave the a hug and kiss, "Yes, I did and it would have been for me, too"!

I looked at her questioning, "What do you mean "for you, too’"?

She reached into the bookcase removing another album. She thumbed through the pages, "here".

I looked at the photo not reconizing the woman in the photo, until mom said, "That was taken the day your dad come home from Vier Nam. I got my head shaved for him that morning. Was he surprise and all smiles, not to mention that night".

The following morning I got up early, not having anything special to do. I told mom I was thinking about getttin my head shaved again. She sat down with a cup of coffee and looked at me, with a smile she asked, "Mind if I join you"!

"I really do like the shaved head", I told her. "I did the moment of the first shave. When Eilene, that’s who did for me, shaved it for the second time, she wanted to know why I was going let it grow out then next day. I told her about the surprise for you.

She smiled looking at the photo and said, ?You look great with the shaved head. I think you should keep it even if it means she looses a customer.? Within the next hour mom and I was sitting waiting our turn for Eilene. For the look on her face, as she looked at us ever so offen, she knew why we were there. An hour later I was sitting in her chair my hair falling all around chair. Soon, as she did months ago Eilene would have me shaved smooth. Then, it would be mom, for the first time in many many years.

I watched, sitting in a waiting chair, as mom closed her eyes as Eilene made pass after pass over her head sending her four feet long hair to the floor around the chair. I have never seen her smiling so much as that morning. It was as if she was remembering that morning years ago when she shaved her head for dad.

I watched, as the other customers, as mom went from long flowing hair to a face where her eyes truely shown their beauty. A woman I was sure dad would become young agin with.

It was another two weeks before dad came home. When he entered the airport terminal, we were standing side by side with smiles from ear to ear. He stood his eyes wide open with joy as we walked towards him. Mom stepped into his open arms as he planted a kiss on her I have never seen him do before.

They said nothing to each other, nor did he touch her head, as I would have expected. He looked at me and smiled, "My daugher".

We hugged and kiss, he kissed me on the head then brushed his finger tips over my smooth head. "I like it", was all he said.

We went home and later that night I was asked if I could see if Karn, my best friend – who also shaved her head, would mind if I spend the week-end with her. I had to ask but when I told her the reason she was pleased to have me over for the week-end, or longer.

I have kept the shaved head, visiting Eilene at least once a week so she can give me that special feeling of having someone else slide the razor over my head.

Several of my best friends are thinking about getting their heads shaved. They only have to convince their mothers. I told them to have their mothers talk with mine. I am sure she will convince them.

The End
Copyright (c) December 2003

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