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It’s been a real challenge to get my daughter to look after her hair. Properly cared for it could look really beautiful, but keeping it clean, brushed and well trimmed…. well forget it. She’s just turned 14 and I felt it was an accomplishment just to get her to agree to go for a trim.

Well I took her to a new salon last weekend. I had fully intended to get her hair trimmed just a couple of inches. Honest! But as this guy began brushing it out he started commenting on how dry and damaged it was, and how the ends were breaking and split. I knew he was building up to announcing he’d have to cut more than just a couple of inches. I mean I knew her hair looked wonderful and I knew it was healthy. So to me it was obvious that any whim he had about cutting it shorter was a personal thing and not his concern to keep it in good condition. But I knew she was shy enough that she probably wouldn’t create a scene in public so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity so he’d have to take some of the blame.

His idea of getting rid of all the damage meant cutting it from waist length right up to her shoulders. Her eyes widened as she turned in shock to me and mouthed the words “Mummy NO!” The thought of something that much easier to look after had a lot of advantages. By the time she could grow it back she might actually look after it. Besides when would a chance like this come again! I found myself captured in his enthusiasm to go for something really different. I smiled and reassured her not to worry.

He ran his fingers deep into her hair gathering it up and holding it straight back from her head. I was quite excited at the prospect of seeing a new and different daughter. By this time I was sure he sensed my support for his enthusiasm and began using the scissors to cut through the large handful section-by-section, just and inch or two from her head. I was mesmerized watching the strands being cut away. She wailed as her hair was laid out on the counter. I ignored her anguish as I watched him finger the short hair up the back of her head. This was a lot shorter than shoulder length. I gasped ” My God! It’s short!” It was indeed drastic. Then realizing I had just revealed the potential of the disaster I tried to sound reassuring “You’ll love it! It looks great!” He smiled and flicked his comb through the short hair and smiled. “You like it nice and short?” What could I say? Most of the back was already cut just 2 inches. I was trapped. So I nodded silently, and smiled. That was the only encouragement he needed before grasping her remaining hair in long handfuls. I watched him lay it out on the counter beside the first. He worked so fast. There she sat; her hair was short. Roughly cropped about 2 inches long all over her head. This was supposed to be shoulder length?

Then from somewhere he had the electric clippers. Using his comb and the clippers he began pruning the nape of her neck, and continued around the hairline from one ear to the other. Just as quickly he snapped a comb attachment over the blades and began brisk firm sweeps up the back of her head. I was speechless. This was my daughter, the one with the waist length messy hair? I wanted to tell him that was enough, to put some of it back. I stood there struggling with my thoughts as he continued buzzing over the sides and back this way and that. He broke the silence. “You like everything short for the summer? Nice and easy to look after.” I began to stutter. “I don’t think I want it any shorter!” He smiled and nodded. “No! No shorter. This is short enough for her.” I nodded in agreement. And with that he ran the clippers right over the top of her head. He looked down at her blotchy face and announced, “There this is nice! No more hair!”

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