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This is a story of what happened to me in 1976, as a 12 yr old girl. At that stage my mum cut my hair and I had the classic home Egyptian bob, you know straight fringe (bangs) and bobbed above the shoulders. It had been like this since I was about 7 when my dad took me to his barbers for a trim, dad always got a scalping! I had long centre-parted blonde hair. However after the barbers I had a short plain cut, around the ears cut with a shortish fringe. Mum was horrified, so she became my hairdresser.

I, as most of us have, fantasised about going back and getting it cut shorter again, but it really was a fantasy, as very few girls has short hair back then and I was shy and didn’t like drawing attention to myself. Anyway one Saturday afternoon I was walking along the street where the shop was and as I walked by slowly I noticed the Closed sign was up, it was quiet in the street so I peered through the window and could see the front reception but the main part was not really visible. I was just going to move off when a voice behind said ‘Open the door and go in’ . I don’t know what possessed me , but I did. I then looked at the person and was it was the old barber, complete with white smock on. He said "go on through sonny and jump in a chair". All my instincts told me to come up with an excuse and leave quickly especially as he thought I was a boy!, but I found myself wandering into the shop part nervously and getting into an empty red leather chair.

"So do you want a trim or a short back and sides, sonny" he said as he enveloped me in a cape. I simply replied ‘yes’, meaning just a trim. The barber then got his scissors and cut my a good 1 1/2 inches off my fringe and I inwardly gasped. He then cut by ‘bob’ around a ear level, removing a good 3 to 4 inches! I looked at myself and was shocked, but before I could say anything, he pushed by head down so my chin was on my chest and I then heard and felt the clippers moving up the back of my head, several times. He then quickly moved my head to one side and ran the clippers from the side up to 2 inches or so above ear level. This he repeated on the other side. It seemed all to be at lightning speed, as I never had to chance to say or do anything. He then scissored away a bit of the top and removed my sideburns. Finally he started rubbing my head, actually he was brill-creeming me and I looked in the mirror and a very, very short back and sides with a side parting, plastered to my head was my new look, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He brushed away the debris and removed the cape, I quickly paid and left.

I got home and no-one was home, so I washed out the brill-creem and tried to make it look feminine, no hope! Mum was horrified until I told her it was the new fashion (a lie) and she said the great parent line of ‘well it’s tidy and easy to keep’. The ribbing I got at school was terrible, but I survived. I thought I’ll never go back again, but never say never and 4 weeks later I returned… well that’s another story.

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