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I have always kept my hair past the middle of my back. But when I wore it up my hairline at my neck was very irregular and straggly. I seldom went to salons since I never needed more than just the ends trimmed but I liked it when they clipped the stray hair off my neckline.

It was a couple of months ago that I got the idea a barbershop might do my neckline a lot cheaper and without an appointment I would be able to keep it neater more often. There was a small shop near my apartment so one night on the way home I stopped in. I waited until just before closing sine I thought it would be less intimidating with no one else there. There was just one guy in his forties who ran the place. I told him I just wanted the back of my neck clipped to clean up the stray hairs. I detected a sense of enthusiasm as he smiled, “No problem!”

Since he didn’t have any large hair clips I just kept my head tilted down as he brushed my long hair forward over my face. He started at the base of my neck with the clippers. I was staring into my lap. The mirror was behind me but my hair completely blocked my vision anyway. His first strokes were very gentle and short and I was thinking he was doing a good job. When he got to the base of my neck he suddenly swept over half way up the back of my head. I gasped, “Not too much!” He told me that he was just making a “nice straight line” across the back. I hadn’t wanted that. I had just wanted the stray hairs at my neckline evened up. But I knew there was nothing I could do at that point so I sat in silence as he continued to shave the back of my head level with the top of my ears. I could immediately feel the difference in the weight of my hair and the cool air from the room across my neck. I shuddered.

When I got home I looked in the bathroom mirror. It was impossible to wear my hair up or pulled back in a ponytail since it showed the shave part and looked very strange. But touching my neck was very erotic.

I had a dilemma. I always wore my hair up to keep it out of the way, but now I couldn’t. For almost a week I tried to control my frustration. One evening I had a few drinks in front of the bathroom mirror and decided that a chin length bob was the only solution. I `m not sure what I was thinking as I picked up the scissors and began sending 18 inches of my hair into the sink. The most important lesson I learned was that I was not a hairdresser.

My problem had become a disaster. My bob started on one side at my chin and ended up on the other closer to my mouth. The hair was hacked in chunks, especially around the back and was uneven showing every cut. My efforts to trim it only made it shorter and did nothing to help. First thing the next morning I phoned the salon in the basement of my building for an emergency appointment. I confessed I had let my boyfriend try to trim my hair. The girl apologized saying she’d try not to take off more than 2 inches. I emerged from the shop with my hair neatly chopped above the middle of my ears all the way around. She used the clippers to shave the back again and went even higher under the overhanging bob. This was a shock. Everyone I met agreed.

It only took a few hours to realize the next problem. My hair kept falling in my eyes. It was so short I couldn’t stick it behind my ears and it would hang in front of my eyes all day long. I patiently waited for it to grow. After almost 3 months I needed to get the neckline trimmed again. I wanted to let the rest grow so eventually the short hair would blend in with the longer. Since I didn’t want a cut, just my neck trimmed I went back to the barber hoping he could still do this on a regular basis.

I told him he could use the clippers but to just cut it close at the neckline and taper it since I wanted to get the shorter hair to blend in.

He combed everything and commented, “You got it cut since you were here last.” I didn’t want to get into all the problems or tell him I hated it so I lied, and said it was just a sudden impulse. He asked if I liked it “nice and short” I said I did but added how the front always fell in my face. He said, “We’ll fix that!”

He glided his comb over the short hair on my neck sweeping his clippers over the teeth. As he worked higher he began buzzing into the longer hair of my bob style. My stomach tightened wondering what he was doing. He kept cutting as I asked how short he was going. He pinched at the freshly cropped hair near the crown of my head saying he couldn’t blend the short hair without trimming it all over. I swallowed hard. He ran his hand all the way up the back of my head through the short hair. He I was scared. I realized everything was going to have that close-cropped feel. I sat there gripping the armrests anticipating the shock of my reflection. He kept working. Clumps of hair dropped into my lap. The top still hung its full length down over my eyes and nose. Without pausing he slid the comb across my forehead and immediately sent it all into my lap leaving my forehead bare. “That gets it out of your eyes! What about the top?” he asked abruptly. His comb ran through the remaining long hair. I felt myself shaking. I couldn’t see the mirror. I didn’t know what to say. He interrupted the silence. “Just even everything up?” What else could I suggest? To nervous to speak I just nodded. He turned back to his counter and snapped a plastic guard over the front of the clippers. I reached up to feel the close-cropped sides. I was shocked. The clippers were already buzzing as he brought them to the side of me head just in front of my ear. In one sweep he went up the side of my head and across the top then commented, “This gets it all even. Gives you a fresh start!” By the time he finished I couldn’t recognize my reflection. I looked like I had just joined the military. My hair was shaved ΒΌ” long all over my head. He ran his hands back and forth over the stubble. “That will be easy to look after! Your hair was so long. Now it like a boy!”

I got down from the chair and paid, then walked out onto the street to feel the cold air penetrate to my scalp. I wanted to cry. I was scared that someone would recognize me. When I got back to my apartment I just stared into the mirror. My hair is so short. It is so weird to touch. I had loved the feel of the back of my neck before. Now my entire head is buzzed. I can’t believe the sensation. I look like a boy and I certainly was more attractive with long hair but the erotic sensation of feeling my shorn head is something else.

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