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This past fall I began living out of town to attend college. It was about a four-hour drive each way and I made several trips moving my stuff down.

I had planned to get my hair cut shorter before I left but I knew my mother would beg me not to touch it. It was very thick and sleek and reached over half way down my back. But I was tired of dragging it around. Neither did I want to get all set up with new classes and friends and then suddenly cut my hair and have everyone gasp.

When I stopped for my usual bite to eat in this little town I spotted a small salon down a side street. I decided to walk in and see if I could do it right then. The guy was enthusiastic, so I pointed to just below my shoulders and told him to cut.

Well he cut. As I watched in terror my hair was chopped right up to my earlobes. He even under shaved the back of my neck with the clippers. I felt very naked. It definitely needed some getting used to.

At Thanksgiving, I was heading back home. I kept finding my hair falling across my face and it was too short to pin back properly. As I passed through this town I decided to stop again. I thought that maybe he could layer it or something to make it more manageable. Any thought of having long hair again had been swept into the trash on my last visit and besides; shorter hair was definitely easier to look after.

He remembered me and exclaimed “Ah. You’re the girl with the long hair!” He suggested doing everything short so it would be wash and wear. I figured “Why not?” Within 3 minutes there was scarcely a hair left longer than 1″. He used the clippers to prune and shape the back and sides, which ended up just 1/2″. He left a small section longer right at the front so it could be gelled into a sort of spike. I looked very scalped. But it felt great and I loved the feel of the clipped hair. No one at home had seen me since I’d left in September or knew I’d cut my hair. Needless to say everyone just about died, especially my mother.

I enjoyed the attention my hair got back at college, except for the spiked front which made me feel somewhat like a unicorn. Christmas break followed just a few weeks later and I found myself traveling home once more. Shorter hair needed trimming more often so once again I stopped in for a trim. Again he greeted me as “The girl with the long hair!” and asked if I wanted him to use the clippers on the sides and back again. I agreed. When he started buzzing around my ear my heart pounded as I noticed him doing it very close. He paused to ask if it was short enough. I exclaimed, “I didn’t want it to look too shaved.” I also took the opportunity to pull forward the unicorn spike and asked him to do the top so everything was the same length. He casually nodded, “uh huh …. sure!” leaving me to believe he’d forget.

He continued pruning around my ear and I was getting nervous as he started clipping higher. I was just about to stop him to say that was more than enough when he lowered the clippers to just in front of my ear. Suddenly in one sweep he went right up the side and across the top of my head. I felt my whole body go numb. My hair had been instantly destroyed. I was shaking as I sat there and watched him shave the rest off. It all happened so fast. He ran his hand back and forth over the shaved bristles and joked how my long hair would finally be under control until I graduated.

I looked completely skinned. Everything was shaved less than 1/4″. My scalp showed through over my entire head. I hurried out to my car and sat there taking a few deep breaths. I looked in the visor mirror, and reached up and touched the shorn stubble. I was, “The girl that had the long hair!” My mother was going to freak!

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