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Emily stood at my front door, grinning, rubbing her deep auburn hair which earlier that day I’d shorn from wild shoulder length curls to a severe little boy’s cut.

“You know how you said about a touchup haircut,” she began.

“Do you want to go shorter already, Em?”

“I’d love to.but I think I’ll wait until I settle in at the new job for a bit and then come and visit you one weekend. If that’s OK.”

“That would be fine.”

Emily’s face was radiant. The reason for it, apart from the haircut, was striding up the path behind her; my ex-boss Simon, to whom I’d given a number two buzz that morning. It took us ages to get all the hair clippings out of the office carpet. Emily and Simon had obviously spent the late afternoon in bed.

“Ella, I was thinking,” Emily went on. “You’re so good at this. You should open a shop.”

Now I had time and money on my hands, the thought had occurred to me, too. But I wasn’t a trained hairdresser or barber, just a wicked thirtysomething who got her rocks off cutting hair VERY short!

“Can you see the ladies of Dorminster flocking through my door?” I said mockingly. Dorminster was the market town ten minutes’ drive away. It was, in a word, conservative, the archetypal British town where anyone over the age of fifty wore a polite bob or a traditional shampoo and set. And the younger women were just as adventurous.

“Dorminster, no,” said Simon. “But what about your own village? Word would spread.”

I considered this. Our village was `arty’. We boasted a TV producer, an author who, in one of the village’s worst kept secrets, made more money out of her severely pornographic novels written under a pseudonym than her respectable best-selling family sagas, three artists, a potter, and a `reclusive’ TV personality who pretended to hide away in a corner of the local pub but secretly loved being recognized and asked for his autograph. There were also a couple of women whose working lives were a mystery but whose lesbian relationship wasn’t. A bunch of people possibly game for a radical look, except possibly the TV personality.

One of the artists, Chloe, was a bit of a friend. We bumped into each other at the village shop when we couldn’t be bothered driving to Tesco’s in Dorminster, and if I was going for a walk I’d often meet her walking her dog, and we’d exchange gossip. Chloe had a frazzled mane of wild, bright red hair that stood out from her sweet little face as if she’d stuck her finger in an electric socket. I’d long thought that she’d look stunning with that wild mane tamed to a crop; on the occasions when she’d pulled it back in a ponytail or bun her face came to life.

“So you think I should doorknock and ask people whether they want a haircut?”

“I think you’ll find they’ll ask you what happened to yours,” Simon replied, ruffling my buzzcut and making me tingle from head to foot. “Anyway, we’ve gotta go. I’m sure we’ll both come back visiting – and for trims!”

Before I could even invite them inside they’d both kissed me on the cheek and trotted back to Simon’s car, hand in hand.

I considered my house. We’d bought the cottage because we loved the look of it – mellow stone – and because it had a little studio out the back, which Josh would use as an office. As offices went it made a fine storeroom. Josh had appropriated the second bedroom instead, as the little studio was freezing in winter. It was unused except for boxes stacked down one end. What a perfect place to set up the perfect cottage industry!

“I’d need a mirror, a proper chair. dunno about a wash basin, I’d just be cutting hair, not washing it,” I muttered to myself as I walked back to Josh and my glass of wine.

“You look like you’ve had a revelation,” Josh commented.

“Oh, I have, my darling. That studio in the garden. Ella’s Barbershop, I think.”

“Not strictly legal, sweetheart.”

“But a start. I’ll see if any of the villagers want a new look, and if it takes off, I’ll rent a proper shop.”

“Can I be the first client?”

I stroked Josh’s crewcut. “If you can wait until I get it kitted out. You DO need a trim. or more.”

“Time to shave my head again, is it?” He grinned and I felt a hot flush in my g-string knickers at the thought. All that lovely thick hair of his..lying on the floor, succumbing to my clippers.

“I’ll hunt out furniture tomorrow,” I promised.

And I did. I got onto the internet and checked out auction sites and, holding my breath, bid successfully on a second hand barber’s chair, mirror and little stand that would hold clippers and scissors and a cup of coffee for the victim. I also persuaded a salon supply shop that I was a hairdressing student and picked up a new cape, a better pair of scissors and a professional clipper set – I’d been using one bought in a high street shop. Two days later, I’d picked them up and together Josh and I kitted out the studio.

We moved the storage boxes to the already cramped space under the stairs in the cottage, shoe horning them in, and whitewashed the inside walls of the studio. The previous owners had installed a rack of downlights, which were perfect for the purpose, throwing bright white light around the little room.

With the mirror and chair installed, it looked the business. A dustpan and broom stood politely in one corner, ready to whisk clippings off the tiled floor. Filling up some of the space was a second hand armchair we’d found on the roadside in Dorminster. With a throw rug over the top, it made a comfortable waiting chair – assuming I’d ever have more than one customer at a time! I put an old, tiny occasional table next to it, and plonked some of my vast collection of hair magazines on top. Down one end of the studio was a sink and bench; the previous owner, we understood, liked to dabble in watercolours. I had a kettle on the bench and a set of cheap, trendy mugs.

“It looks wonderful,” I said, tweaking the throw rug into place. “Shall we christen it?”

Josh sat doubtfully in the chair and looked at his reflection. “I’ve never watched my head get shaved before. Never seen the expression on your face. Probably an evil grin,” he joked. Usually I shaved his head in the kitchen, where he couldn’t see his scalp get bared but had to rely on his other senses to enjoy the trip.

“Terribly evil,” I agreed, whisking the cape around his neck and fastening the Velcro gently.

The new clippers nestled in my hand. They were quieter than the high street ones, humming softly as I oiled them and then brought them to Josh’s nape.

“Head down, please,” I said professionally, and slowly and temptingly Josh put his chin to his chest, exposing his nape and the dark hair curling there.

Once I pushed the clippers into his hair, they made satisfying, growly, cutting noises. Not quiet any longer! I’d put the balding blade on them and, true to its word, Josh was left with a path of very fair hairless skin up the back of his head.

“They cut even closer than the other ones,” I murmured delightedly, watching my husband’s short pelt fall to the floor. I stroked Josh’s skin; it felt smooth and Josh groaned.

“I’d forgotten how sensuous your fingers are on my bare scalp,” he said in a muffled voice from deep in the cape.

With that I proceeded to bare the rest of his head in long, steady strokes. Four passes up the back of his head saw it denuded of soft brown hair.

“You can put your head up now and watch the rest,” I said.

Pushing one of his ears forward, I revved the clippers up behind it, up almost to the top of his head.

Josh grinned into the mirror as tufts fell onto his shoulder. “You take no prisoners, Ella!”

Firmly I held his head in place as I shaved away his sideburns and all the hair in front of his ear, then repeated the process on the other side.

“I look like one of those guys in an old movie, you know, with shaved sides and just some hair on top.” Josh turned his head to one side, looking at his whitewalled sides.

“Not for long,” I promised. “It’s all coming off. Every last hair.”

Usually I stood in front of him to shave the top of his head, but this time I stood to the side so he could watch his hair get mown.

I placed the clippers right in the middle of his forehead, and trying not to grin too evilly, pushed them back over the top, leaving a clean white path in their wake.

Josh’s eyes were wide as he watched the last of his hair get peeled off. Without his thatch of hair he looked different, but certainly no less attractive. He had a nicely shaped skull and I ran the clippers over every bit of it, shaving off any stray hairs that had missed the first pass.

I looked at his reflection. His eyes were closed now in pleasure as I buzzed his scalp again and again, the clippers quieter now as they found less hair to shear.

I switched them off and stroked his head with both hands, marveling at the smoothness of it. Josh groaned. Under the cape I had the impression of an erection the size of the Eiffel Tower.

I licked his shaved scalp, running the tip of my tongue all over the top of his sensitive scalp until he was squirming in the chair and I was dripping wet.

Josh fumbled his jeans off, then his briefs. He was still wearing the cape, and I traced patterns on his head with my tongue while my own jeans hit the floor.

Then I mounted him, caressing his bald head, touching every bit of it and brushing tiny clippings off its perfect ivory surface, and we both came in bucking orgasms in the barber’s chair, my knees awkwardly jammed into the sides, the cape rustling between us, Josh’s hands on my own buzzed head, ruffling the hair up my nape.

He groaned into my breasts. “Ella.Ella.promise me.”

“Yes?” My fingertips danced a butterfly’s path over his scalp.

“.You won’t be doing this to your other customers.”

I kissed his shaved head. “Never, my darling. Only you. Only ever you.”

Sliding off his knees, I whisked the cape from Josh’s neck and he surveyed his newly shaved self, rubbing his scalp with a rueful grin. “So much for hair. That was wonderful, darling. Every bit of it.”

Josh’s hair lay on the floor in erotic little clumps; hard to believe that only minutes ago they’d been on his head. Professionally I swept them up while Josh admired his new look.

There was only one thing left to do to open Ella’s Private Barber Shop well and truly. I popped the cork on a bottle of champagne.

* * *

Emily was right. The villagers were politely inquisitive about my new look. I explained that since I’d left my job I decided to do something I’d always longed to and buzzed my hair short.

“Very fetching,” said Chloe, as we met in the village shop to buy milk. “Not all women can get away with such a short haircut, Ella. You’ve certainly got the features for it.”

I gave her what I hoped was a critical, appraising gaze. “So have you, Chloe.”

Chloe tossed her wild red curls back. “Oh, I’d love to cut it all off but I think I’d be frightened of having no hair to hide behind. We artists might have egos but when it comes to exhibitions sometimes it’s nice to peek out from behind the curtain.or pull the curtain around your face if it’s going badly.”

“But braver to face the world without the curtain,” I said gently. “Let people see the raw you, the bare artist. Let them appreciate you.”

We walked out of the shop. “Can I touch your hair?” Chloe said abruptly, and I obligingly let her stroke my mink brown pelt. “That feels so soft!” she said in surprise. “I thought it would feel spiky. Where did you have it cut?”

I grinned. “At home. Josh and I are closet DIY freaks.”

“Seriously? You cut it all off yourself?”

“Actually I got Josh to do it. I gave him directions. As you know, I cut his hair, in fact, last night I shaved his head.” I took a deep breath. “In our own little barber shop I’ve started up.”

Chloe’s eyes widened. “Where?”

“The old studio in the backyard. It’s all kitted out with a chair and mirror.” And clippers, I thought with a hidden smile.

“Good heavens. And here’s me hoping you’d take up painting or something in your studio so we could have artistic chats from time to time. Can I see it?”

“Of course.”

We walked down my rutted driveway and I unlocked the barbershop door with a flourish.

“Oh, my.” Chloe walked around the barber’s chair. “How professional! And this is just so you and Josh can give each other haircuts?”

“Well, I was rather hoping to branch out and see if anyone in the village or beyond wanted a haircut too,” I said lightly, flicking the downlights on.

She picked up the clippers. I’d swapped the balding blade for the regular one and put a range of guards out on the bench. “I’ve never seen clippers up close. What do you do, put one of these plastic combs on the end? Oh, I see. That’s the length it gets cut to. Which one is your hair, Ella?”

“A number two. A quarter of an inch.”

“Weren’t you frightened while it was being cut? About losing all your long hair in one go? About how you’d look?” Chloe put down her milk, sat in the chair and spun around, like a child who sits on an office chair for the first time.

“Not really. I mean, tie back your hair in a tight ponytail so it sits close to your head and you get an idea of how you’ll look with a buzz anyway.” I rubbed my hand over my head, enjoying the sensation of such short hair.

Experimentally Chloe pulled her hair back from her face.

“Here, let me.” I picked up a brush and drew her hair back from her forehead and temples in soothing long strokes, brushing it flat against her head and holding it firmly in my fist at the back of her head. “See? Your eyes look so much bigger, you can see how beautiful your face is without all that hair around it.” Already little hairs and tendrils were escaping to form a froth around her hairline. I smoothed them down with my palm.

“I see,” Chloe said slowly, turning her head this way and that.

I released her hair and it billowed in a halo around her head, fluffy and insane.

“Well, go on,” Chloe said finally, staring at her reflection in the mirror. “Take it all off.” She lifted up a frizzy lock and let it fall back to her shoulders.

I couldn’t believe it. “Are you serious?”

Slowly Chloe nodded. “I don’t tie it back very often as I get these silly little wispy bits escaping, which tickle my face and neck and drive me mad. If my hair’s loose it’s fine, I don’t notice them. But I really like the way it looks when it’s off my face. The only solution is to cut it all off so there are no wispy bits. Which means cutting it all really short, like yours.” She sighed; regret? “And at least I won’t keep getting paint in it. I’m sure regularly cleaning it with turpentine and methylated spirits isn’t good for its condition.” She wriggled in the chair, making herself comfortable. “OK, barber Ella, do your stuff. And quickly, before I change my mind!”

Swiftly I caped her, letting the wild red locks flow over the shoulders of the cape. Her hair was thick and quite long. I decided to cut most of it off in one fell swoop to make it easier for the clippers to bite into.

Slipping my scissors into my back pocket, I picked up the brush again. “Last chance to change your mind, Chloe.”

I drew all her hair back into a ponytail high at the back of her head, brushing it until it crackled, holding it firmly in my left hand. “Are you sure?”

She nodded; a difficult task as I was holding her hair so firmly. “Cut it off.”

I drew the scissors out of my pocket as swiftly as a gunman from a Wild West movie. Without giving Chloe time for any last protests, I began to saw into the base of the ponytail, cutting it off to within half an inch of her scalp.

Chloe gasped at the first rasping sound, and watched wide eyed in the mirror as the first shorter locks fell forward to barely her jawbone. Relieved of their weight, they sprang in corkscrew curls around her face.

God, her
hair was thick! Even my new professional, super sharp scissors were making heavy weather of severing her hair. Again and again I plunged them into the rope of hair until finally the last lock was cut, and I held well over a foot of red hair in my fist.

“That’s the bulk of it.” I dropped it on Chloe’s lap.

“My God. It was long.” she said softly. She brought one hand out from under the cape and stroked it, like a cat. Then felt the back of her head where I’d cut her hair the closest. “Oh, Ella! That’s already so short!”

“It’s only the beginning,” I promised her. “No turning back now, you can’t go out with the back all cropped and the rest long and uneven.” I slipped the number two guard onto the clippers. “You’ll look fantastic, Chloe. You’ve got such thick hair it’ll look like it’s painted onto your skin.”

So I didn’t scare her too much, I decided to start at the back where she couldn’t see how much was coming off and how little was left.

Steadying Chloe’s head, I switched the clippers on and placed them at her neck, letting her get used to the feel of them against her skin.

Slowly I eased them up into her nape, hearing the satisfying crackle as the first hairs came away. “Okay there, Chloe?”

She gulped. “Fine. Rather scared at the end result, but those clippers do feel nice.”

“They do, don’t they? It’s addictive, I can’t wait to get mine buzzed again in a few weeks,” I said conversationally as I pushed the clippers right up the middle of the back of her head to her crown and watched a swathe of curls tumble to the floor.

Chloe sat immobile and wide eyed, her lips parted, as I sheared away all the hair at the back of her head, leaving a neatly buzzed pelt that sat flat with no frizz. “Put you head down for me.chin to your chest, I just want to do your nape again.”

Her neck was long and white. I started down low and ever so tantalizingly nuzzled the clippers up into her nape, hearing them cut the hair even shorter. I wanted to clip the nape with her head bowed so that it would grow back evenly against the shape of her skull. I drew the clippers away from her head at the occipital bone and started the process again.

Chloe moaned softly. “That feels incredible, Ella. I had no idea.”

“One of life’s best kept secrets,” I agreed, shearing the back of her head again and again in languorous strokes until her breathing was ragged. Even when there was no hair left to cut and it was all a perfectly even quarter of an inch, I ran the clippers up her nape for another minute so she could enjoy the vibrations.

“There,” I said softly, “That’s the back done. I’ll leave your hairline natural as it looks very pretty.”

“My head feels on fire.so alive,” Chloe muttered. “Tingling.”

Gentle I positioned her head straight again and started behind her right ear, buzzing all the way up the side of her head and enjoying the expression on her face as she saw her hair fall away.

“There’s so much still coming off!”

“Lots,” I agreed. “Lots more still to cut off, too.” I bent the top of her ear over and carefully clipped around it; her hair was thinner around her ears and the pinky white of her scalp showed through daintily where I’d sheared it away.

Red curls tumbled down the cape onto Chloe’s lap as I shaved them from above her ears.

“Oh my God.”

With a long stroke of the clippers I sheared away her sideburns and all the hair at her temples, letting her see for the first time just how short her hair was being cut.

“Stunning,” I murmured, buzzing her hairline to get rid of those stray ticklish bits she’d complained about. “You’ll look stunning.”

As I walked around to the other side, Chloe lifted a hand and touched the side of her head. “Shaved,” she whispered. “So short it feels shaved.”

“There’s a huge difference between buzzed and really shaved,” I said conversationally. “Although theoretically a shaved head is anything from completely hairless to about a number two, if you ask a hairdresser. But your hair is so thick it’s just a super short cut on you.”

Chloe’s hand wandered to the back of her head, exploring her nape, and she gasped. “Oh! Oh, that feels GOOD!”

“Wait till it’s all done,” I promised. “Your head will become a total erogenous zone.”

With that I began shearing around her other ear, a little quicker and more confidently as it was apparent Chloe was not only enjoying her cut but the end result.

When I clipped off her sideburns and temple, she was smiling into the mirror at her bold new look, locks of hair adorning her cape rather than her head.

“Just the top to go. Do you want to watch or shall I spin you around?”

“Oh, I’ll watch,” Chloe decided. “It’s scary, but fun, and feels delicious.”

Frizzy, bubbly curls stuck out all over the top of her head, and I ran my fingers through them. “Time to say goodbye,” I grinned, holding her fringe up so the clippers could slide underneath it.

“Goodbye,” Chloe said obligingly, and I dove the clippers into her hair. They snarled and crackled and left a short path right down the middle of her head. Hair built up in front of them and I tossed it over the back of the chair with a practiced flick.

Eyes so huge they looked totally round, Chloe watched me buzz off the rest of her hair with four long, easy strokes. One minute she still had curls. Now she was buzzed, clipped, shorn.

There was certainly no hair left to hide behind. Making sure I hadn’t missed any hair, I held the back of Chloe’s head with one hand and sheared the top again and again with the other until the clippers found no more hair to cut, ruthlessly making sure not a hair remained on her forehead, but that every one was a regulation quarter of an inch short.

The floor was awash with red hair, masses of it, clouds of it, and Chloe’s head looked small and neat without it.

I turned the clippers off and the only sound was Chloe’s ragged breathing. Wordlessly I trimmed her sideburns to tiny points with the scissors, then stroked the shaved hair I’d left on her scalp. Goodness, I was getting turned on! My knickers felt thickly wet in my jeans.

Controlling myself, I dusted Chloe’s head, neck and face with the big soft neck brush to get rid of the millions of tiny clippings that clung to her.

“Finished.”

I unclipped the cape. Chloe turned her head from side to side. She was wearing a flowing, bohemian, long purple cotton dress, and with her new crewcut looked beautifully feminine.

She rubbed what was left of her hair with enquiring fingers and let out a gasp at the sensation of pushing the tiny hairs back. “Oh! Oohhhhhh.” She closed her eyes and stroked her own pelt.

Ah, I thought. Welcome to my world.

I stood behind her and started to massage her scalp with expert fingers, rubbing circles in her newly mown hair, sometimes running my fingernails over her skin and watching her twitch in the barber’s chair, eyes closed in ecstasy, her breath coming in ragged gasps. My fingers roamed all over her head and she pushed back against them.

She rubbed her legs against each other until she shuddered underneath my fingers, moaning.

Lucky girl! I was longing for the same, I was unbearably turned on. But I reminded myself I had to be professional – and not shag the clientele. After all, I HAD made a promise to my husband!

After an age Chloe opened her eyes. “What happened just then?”

“I believe you’d call it an orgasm,” I began. “Which is a physiological reaction.”

Chloe took a half hearted swipe at me. “I can’t believe I got turned on by having all my hair cut off.”

“I can. Happens to me,” I said casually.

She eyed me with a painter’s eye. Was she seeing me as the temptress in the Garden of Eden, and contemplating painting me holding out a pair of clippers rather than an apple to a longhaired Eve?

Finally: “Do you think everyone gets so turned on by those clippers?”

“Not everyone, I’m sure. Depends whether your scalp is an erogenou
s zone, I suppose. Lots of men get buzzcuts and I’m sure it’s more for practicality than sensual purposes.”

“I haven’t been so turned on in ages. Not even my last boyfriend, who was hung like a donkey, got me in this kind of state.”

“You’ll have to come back for regular trims if you want to keep it looking good,” I hinted with a smile.

She grinned wickedly at her reflection in the mirror. “And it DOES look good. Yes, I’m sure I will. If you throw in a scalp massage.”

“Of course,” I said.

Chloe looked around the room, her eyes finally resting on the masses of her hair littering the floor. “This is a professional setup. Are you going to charge?”

“A nominal sum, just enough to pay for the electricity to run the clippers and keep the coffee and biscuits stocked.”

Chloe fumbled for her wallet.

“You’re my first client. It’s on the house.”

“On the floor more like. Look at that lot. It looks so much better all cropped short. You know, Ella, when the lezzies get word of this they’ll be round here like a shot.”

“And hopefully tell their friends,” I agreed.

“Do you fancy a stroll past their cottage? To tell them Ella’s Barbershop is open for business?”

“What a good idea.”

“And then I’ll go home and start on a self portrait of me, as I am, without my hair to hide behind. Naked.”

She rubbed her hair again and I had a hunch that if she was lying back on the sofa in her studio she wouldn’t be painting.

I followed Chloe out the door, locking it behind me. I left the lights on; I had a hunch business was going to be brisk.

The end

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