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Ever since I graduated from high school I have kept in touch with Julie. We have lunch together at least once a month and often plan other outings together. Well when we met for a snack last Wednesday she really shocked me. All the time I’ve known her she has had beautiful waist length hair. Without warning me she came into the restaurant and sat down. She’d cut her hair short. Like, really short. It was just 2 inches long all over and really close around her neck and ears. It was stunning, and certainly the topic of a lot of discussion over our meal. She’d just had it cut on Monday and said she still found it a shock passing by a mirror when she didn’t expect it.

The fact was, I had been growing out a pageboy look, partly because I wanted something different but didn’t know what. As a result it was reaching below my shoulders and looking very tired. She commented that she went in planning to get it cut just to her shoulders but the stylist wanted to cut it a lot more and really put the pressure on. While she was open to suggestions she really hadn’t any idea he was going to go so short. She had to admit that she really liked it, but at the same time it was a big shock especially when she wasn’t expecting it.

She showed me the back of her neck and around her ears telling me he had actually used the electric clipper to go so close. It was about 1/4″. When I felt it, it was so soft and sent shivers up and down my spine as I ran my fingers over it. He’d cut the sides and back and top all one length for really easy wash and wear. Lunch ended all too soon but as I made my way back to work I was convinced I wanted to get my hair cut like that! She had mentioned the salon and the stylist’s name so I phoned to make an appointment for the end of the week, which would give me some time to change my mind and let my friends know to avoid any shock. It turned out he was fully booked but had an opening if I could get away from work about fifteen minutes early.

The stylist’s name was Carlo. I told him about Julie and how he’d cut her hair just two days earlier. He nodded and I was sure he remembered. I explained I wanted it short like hers and how I loved how it felt where he used the clippers on the back of her neck and around her ears. I reminded him he’d done it just one length all over so it was really wash and wear. He smiled and joked along. He wanted to know how close I wanted him to go with the clippers. I said I thought it was about 1/4″. He nodded.

He roughly cut my hair in a short look about 6 inches long all over. It was already looking very different and I was wondering if I was making a mistake doing this so impulsively. But he kept working, then took the clippers off his shelf.

With them buzzing in his hand he swept up the hair on the back of my neck. He did a small patch around my neckline on one side, shut the clippers off and paused. He picked up his hand mirror for me to see and said, “That’s nice and close! 1/4″ just like you asked!”

I cringed. I’d never had the back of my neck cut so short but it was much like Julie’s, so I nodded and told him it was OK. He brushed my hair down again, flicked his comb back through it a few times and continued to work around my hairline. After a couple of minutes he said, “You want the top, and the back and everything all the same length, right?” I knew this was my last chance to chicken out. I knew Julie’s hair looked great especially when she flicked her head. I was nervous but looking forward to it. I just nodded. He lifted the hair up off the back of my neck again and began again at the base of my neck with the clippers.

My heart leapt and panic filled me. In one stroke he went right up the back of my head and onto the top. I knew he was shaving all my hair just like he had at my neckline. I gasped in shock and was about to cry out for him to stop, but he must have read my mind! “Too late to stop now!” he told me. I tried to hold back my tears but he laughed and told me it was all right to cry. “Lots of women cry when they cut their hair!” It all happened so fast. It didn’t take him more than 2 or 3 minutes to shave my entire head. I watched in the mirror as I was transformed to almost skinhead. I was so upset I don’t remember even driving home. I just stood in front of my bathroom mirror in tears praying for a miracle, that by morning it would grow enough so I could be seen in public.

That evening I phoned Julie. I had to talk to someone. She was shocked, but told me she wasn’t surprised. She never would have recommended him since he bullied her into cutting over a foot more than she’d wanted. I was so upset I took Thursday and Friday off work. Saturday Julie came over and tried to get my courage up enough to go out for a drink. I needed it. I know my hair will take at least four to six months to look presentable. It will be a long wait.

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