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I have always been popular with the guys at my high school and I know other girls were often jealous. But I have never done anything I couldn’t tell my parents about. I have had many dates who tried to get inside my pants but I always fought them off.

Last Friday I was on a date with a guy I had wanted to go out with for months. After the show we parked the car for a bit and we started necking. Now my hair has always been healthy, shiny and long, past the middle of my bum. What I didn’t realize was he had taken the ends of my hair and shoved it inside his pants. I finally turned to pull my hair out of the way and realized what he’d done. The ends were all wet and sticky. I was furious. I got out of the car to walk home. He yelled after me, “The only reason guys want to go out with you is because you’ve got over sexed hair! We’re not dead you know! It’s the only thing you’ve got going for you!”

I was really mad and walked all the way home, about 4 miles. But as I did I began thinking that there was a lot of truth in what he said. I know other girls wish they had my hair and it wasn’t because of all the work it took to look after.

My parents were in bed by the time I got in. I lay awake all night switching between anger and depression. I cried but decided, above all, a guy would never like me for just my hair and I’d never be taken advantage of again.

I got up before anyone else and skipped any breakfast. It was Saturday morning and by 7:30 I had walked the 4 blocks to a small hair salon. I knew it was nothing fancy and only one older lady operated it. She didn’t have a very good reputation so none of my friends ever went there, but I knew she was cheap and I really didn’t care. She was in the shop but didn’t open until 8:00. However, she told me she could do me right then before her first appointment arrived.

I was scared, tired, and still angry. I was ready to make up any excuse except tell her the truth. I said I was tired of long hair and just wanted it cut really, really short so I didn’t have to look after it. She nodded sympathetically.

As she brushed it out she suggested something about 6-8 inches long. “So it would still show off the wonderful shine!” I said I didn’t care about the shine. At that moment, in fact, I hated it! I was shaking I was so nervous, but determined no guy would able to do that to my hair again. Holding back any tears I said, “I don’t want any shine I just want it short!” I could see a little smile on her face as she ran her hands down the full length of my hair. “You’re feeling really brave?” I nodded. “Just wash it and just quickly brush it dry?” she asked. I gathered my courage but I was still angry. “I don’t want to be bothered styling it at all. I don’t even want to have to comb it!”

She stood back and looked at me for a few moments like I was strange. There was a long pause, as she reached for her brush, a comb and scissors. I watched in the mirror as she began brushing out the back. I was trembling; fighting with myself; part of me begging “Don’t do it! It’s beautiful! You’ll regret this! You’ve worked so hard to keep it healthy and shiny.” The other saying, “Make sure no one will ever play with it again!”

Because my hair was so long she told me she’d cut it dry first, instead of wetting everything. As she brushed from the front to the side and around the back she rotated the chair. I watched the reflection of my long hair disappear behind me in the mirror until I was facing the magazine rack on the waiting area wall. She smiled in silence and she fondly ran her hands down the back smoothing everything out.

“Your going from all this work to not even combing it!” I was too scared to say anything. She held the scissors at the back of my head and I could feel the first long handful being lifted up. As she cut through it she said with amusement “We can’t stop now!” When she started dropping the long handfuls into the trash beside my chair my heart began to pound. She commented what beautiful condition my hair was in. I remained frozen, sitting silent in the chair.

She began hacking more vigorously into the sides and top. I sat there looking helplessly out into the room. The tears were slowly leaking out of the corners of my eyes.

When she rotated the chair to face me back toward the mirror. I was in shock! She ran her fingers through the mass of roughly chopped clumps. Everything was chewed off just an inch long over my entire head. I shook silently, trying to reconcile what I’d done to myself. She took the clippers from her side table and began going over the back of my neck. The strokes became longer, sweeping up the back. She worked her way around the sides and I could see it was cutting just a fraction of an inch from my head. What remained was indeed too short to comb, too short to even lie down. She ran her comb over the shaved bristles. “You won’t have to comb that!” She smiled.

I was now too scared to think. “Oh God! It’s too short!” I moaned. I tried not to sound like I was sobbing but I was. I just kept wondering what everyone was going to say.

“I won’t go any shorter if you don’t want!” I nodded. “Just stay like this?” she asked. I couldn’t reply. She brought the clippers back to the side of my head. Then in one stroke she buzzed right up the side over the top. She shaved the whole thing to just half an inch all over.

She ran her hand back and forth over my head and smiled. “There! It’s all gone. It will be quite a while before you have to comb this” My head felt so naked. “That’s really a big change. Your hair was beautiful!” Then she added, “It’s going to take a lot of years to grow that back.

When I got home there was total shock. No one understood what was going on. That afternoon there was a football game at the school. I figured I’d better be seen in a smaller group for the first time rather than show up at school on Monday like this. Most people didn’t recognize me at first but then they just gasped and stared. But one of the players’ brothers came up and congratulated me on my “brave new cut”. I needed the support. We talked and after went out for coffee. I was scared of what everyone was going to say. When he started to drive me home he pulled off and we talked some more. He knew I was very upset about my hair and people thought. He ran his hands over my head and told me it was wonderful. I could tell he was turned on. When he tilted back my seat I realized cutting my hair had been a stupid idea and not a solution. I’d accomplished nothing. I just wish I’d never cut it. The woman was right, it had been wonderful and I loved wearing it long. My virginity fell faster than my hair.

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