Home » Classification » Consensual » The Haircut Exchange

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On the Monday morning Krista came back to work, she was a changed woman. Everyone noticed that the pretty girl who headed the Customer Service Department was wearing a radically short (for her, anyway) hairstyle. Her long, shoulder length dark hair was replaced with a very short bob, angled back from the front of her face, where it was long enough to have a little curl at the end, to the back of her head, where the hair from the top of her head had been cut short, and the remainder down to her natural hairline had been clipped very short and bristly. I guess the best way to describe it would be to say it was an `angled bob’ haircut.

Now she didn’t look bad in her new haircut. Quite the opposite. Many of us were surprised. Once, I had complimented her on her haircut when she had “2 or 3 inches” cut off. “Thanks,” she said with a sheepish smile. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had it cut this short, but it really needed it.” Her hair was still nearly 18 inches long, however, and it was basically parted in the middle. Once she had worn it as two long braids on either side (I consider braids a turn on), but one of the principals, a known wise-cracker, called her “Pippy Longstocking” all day and she never wore it that way again. Thanks to the wise-ass!

In general she didn’t do much with her hair. She was very attractive and had a great personality. She was always smiling and very personable. She was one of those girls that had a personality where she made friends with everyone because she treated everyone like they were good friends of hers. She was a sweetheart. Of course, most of the sex-starved guys in the office would hit on her. There were two that were married, and one that had divorced his wife (no doubt because she had discovered he’d cheated on her and he thought it was OK). But, she shunned all these advances. I never tried my luck, partially because I don’t have much (luck, that is), but mostly because getting involved with workers can be trouble for both parties involved. Another voice inside told me I didn’t have a bat’s chance in hell.

We had talked a little bit during lunch about many things, nothing too specific, but general interests. Both of us shared an interest in the sea and marine animals. She also loved cats. Both were pluses in my book! Still, I felt insecure and didn’t ask her out.

There was another girl in Krista’s department, Eileen, who had a very short bob most of the time and I secretly believed if any of the girls in the department were going to do anything so radical, it would probably be Eileen. In fact, only two weeks prior to Krista’s new radical bob, Eileen had had her bob cut much shorter. I complimented her on it.

“Thanks,” she said. “Do you think I got it cut too short?” Not as far as I’m concerned you didn’t!

I replied that I thought it looked fine and wasn’t too short. She smiled. In hindsight, when Krista came back from her well-deserved vacation, it was too long!

Many people had gathered about her and were speaking various compliments and cries of surprise over the difference. One girl, Donna, who worked the phones and did filing work for the accountants, kept saying over and over “Oh my God! I can’t believe you got it cut so short!” After the third time saying it, the rest of us (Krista included) got the message that Donna couldn’t believe it. Donna had a tendency for her voice to pitch up and get nasal and whiny when she was surprised. I’ve sometimes wanted to lob a gigantic wad of gum into her mouth when she starts talking like that, to give the rest of us a break.

Being the company’s DBA, I spent most of my time working on new database designs, recoding our existing system and pushing out network updates to fix such-and-such problems. That was a day that took me to a different area working on trying to track down a technical database issue. I didn’t hear much about Krista’s haircut. I wanted to find a way to work near her so I could overhear what had happened. Still, sometimes we ate lunch at the same time in the smallish lunchroom area, so I thought maybe I’d get the chance later.

When it came time to grab some lunch, I finally got lucky. She was in the lunchroom at the same time. At least now I could get some idea why she’d done it, etc. She’s very easy going and I figured she’d spill the beans.

I asked her how her vacation was, basically small talk. She had had a good time. She commented, as most people did, that it went by way too fast.

“So,” I said finally, feeling a lump develop in my throat. “What made you decide to get your hair cut so much shorter?”

She looked almost anguished. “Do you think it’s way too short? Am I going to get in trouble with the owner, do you think?”

I smiled and shook my head. The owner was out in Denver working on something or other. “It’s not “way too short”! I think it looks great that short.”

She smiled, a shy, elusive smile. “Thanks,” she said quietly. God, I thought, if I had a half a chance with her!

“So,” I repeated after a moment’s pause, “why did you get it cut?”

“Well,” she began, “do you remember a while ago I was telling you how I was trying to get my brother to get his hair cut short? A crew cut or something short? Kind of like what you have.”

I nodded. When she had said in the same conversation that “buzz cuts and crew cuts looked `cute’ on guys”, why what else could I do but remember?!

She then recited the story of what had happened. Here is her story as she told me. “I had taken a flight down to Wilmington [Delaware] to visit my parents during my vacation. I had gone down with my brother as well, so it was nice to have someone to travel with. I always like traveling with someone you can talk to. I hate talking to complete strangers on planes. It’s awkward.

“Anyway, we got down there and we had a pretty decent flight. We visited my parents and got settled, but they were very busy and so we decided to go out and see what was going around town.

“A couple of days went by, over the weekend it was nice because my mom and dad got some time to talk with us. But still, they were very busy and didn’t have a lot of free time. It’s getting to be the busy season so they were like a candle burning at both ends.

“Still, my brother and I went out, sometimes together and sometimes by ourselves. I’d go shopping downtown or go to the beach to work on my tan and just watch the ocean.”

“Anyway, on Thursday my brother and I went out and we were going to get some stuff downtown. Somehow we got to talking about the heat, etc. He said it was pretty bad, and it was, well, warm and humid. It was that sort of humidity that makes you feel complete gross about 5 minutes after you get out of the shower!”

I nodded in understanding. I knew that feeling!

She continued. “Well. I said it wouldn’t be so bad if he’d just get a buzz cut. He sighed and frowned. `You’re always saying that, sis,’ he told me. `Maybe I ought to listen to you for a change.’

“I was genuinely surprised. I didn’t realize he’d thought about it. `Do you want me to stop somewhere so you can get a haircut,’ I asked him.’

“‘Sure, sis,’ he said after he’d thought about it a little. `I guess the worse thing that can happen is I hate it and let it grow out.’

“‘Great,’ I enthused, but I must have been just a little too zealous about it. `Hang on a sec,’ he said. `If I do this, you have to get yours cut too!’

“I shook my head. `No way,’ I said. `I like it like this.’

“‘Sis.either you agree or I won’t do it. You have to get it cut the way I think you should. You want me to get it cut the way you want, so I think it’s fair for you to do the same.’

“Again, I declined. He shrugged. `Suit yourself,’ he told me and seemed to forget the whole thing.

“‘You.you. you wouldn’t make me get it cut as short as yours, would you,’ I stuttered. `Please.you wouldn’t would you?’

“He grinned and looked at me. `No, I wouldn’t. Still it could use a little bit cut off to get rid of your split e
nds.’

“What split ends?? I thought, but I didn’t say anything. I shrugged. `OK,’ I said. `As long as you promise not to ask the stylist to cut my hair that short, or shorter, I’ll accept it. We’ll do a haircut exchange.’

“‘Agreed,’ my brother said. He started looking at people we drove by, I suppose he was looking for a shorter style I’d look good in.

“So, we get to this salon on the outskirts of town that didn’t look too busy. I walked in and gazed at all the photos of different haircuts. I wondered what kind of haircut by brother was going to pick for me!

“An older woman walked up and she introduced herself. I asked her if she had an opening for us. She nodded. `I can take you now. Which of you first?’

“I motioned to my brother. `My brother first. He wants a crew cut.’

“The woman nodded and lead him to the back to wash his hair. She washed it down and then brought him back and sat him in a tan leather chair. She talked to him briefly, then she got out a pair of clippers. With a snap, they turned on. You know it was funny.through the noise of the shop, and it wasn’t that busy, and the radio, I still heard those clippers go on. I saw my brother and the woman converse a few times, and glance in my direction. Maybe he was asking her advice on what sort of haircut I would get. I felt a knot in my stomach. What was he deciding to do to me while they glanced at me?

“She cut his hair pretty short, with a number 2 I think she said it was, and gave him a nice, short crew cut. She cut the sides much shorter, a sort of faded affect or something like that. I don’t know what they call it. My brother seemed faintly surprised it was so short.

“‘You look great,’ I told him as he got out of the chair. `Perfect for you and perfect for the summertime.’ I turned to the stylist. `You did a great job on him!’

“The woman smiled. `Now for you, dear.’ I felt that knot leap back, twice as tight as before. The stylist looked at my brother. He glanced about the pictures on the walls, then leaned over and whispered in the stylist’s ear.

“She nodded and led me by the arm to the back where she’d wash my hair. I asked her what I was in store for and she just smiled at me. `Let’s say, I’m going to take a little bit off the ends and give you a bit more modern look. A good cut for the summer for a professional girl.’

“We exchanged a little small talk, but to be honest the knot in my stomach had pupated into a full-fledged butterfly swarm! I couldn’t concentrate on anything except what secret decision my brother had gleefully decided upon with her advice.

“She led me over to the chair and I sat down. She wrapped the cape around me and began combing my long hair out. She parted it in the middle, which relieved me a little and she spent a minute or so combing it and getting the part in the middle just right.

“Once she had made up her mind that it was parted the right way, I felt the chill of fear. She reached for the scissors and I knew it was now that I was going to find out what he had in store for me. She placed the scissors at the hair at the front of my face, about level with my jaw line and as soon as I realized she was going to cut about 6 inches off, she was crunching the scissors and the hair fell away!

“I felt almost too shocked to have an emotional response. I was feeling cold, but I had agreed to my brother’s proposal. I had to go through with it!

“I didn’t notice that as she cut towards the back of my head, she was cutting higher! I couldn’t see so well. Basically she was angling up the way you see it now. She worked more slowly and methodically, as if she wanted to make sure every single hair on my head was cut. When she got around to doing the left side, she repeated what she had done on the left side. It was then that I realized she was cutting more off the back than she was off the front! I didn’t know whether to scream, kick, cry or just what to do. I ended up just sitting there, I’m sure my lip was quivering. Totally in shock by now.

“She seemed to work just as slowly on the left side as she had on the right. I felt like an eternity and a half had passed since I had climbed into that chair. My hair was still damp, so I guess it wasn’t that long. But it sure felt like it!

“Anyway, as she seemed to finally get to the end I started to reach up to take the cape off as she put away the scissors. `Not so fast,’ the stylist said. `I’m not done yet.’

“Not done yet, my mind screamed. What new devilish tortures did she have in store for me? I waited a moment or two as she took up a new plastic attachment and snapped it onto the clippers. Oh, what devilry was afoot now, I thought!

“She snapped on the clippers and began to push them from my hairline up, pulling them away from my head about halfway up the back. She worked patiently. Way too patiently for me! I wanted to run screaming and yelling, but I bit my tongue and just sat there, watching what she was doing. She didn’t take long with the clippers, thankfully. I breathed a sigh of relief. Surely she was done now?

“But no, she wasn’t. She then took a brush and some white shaving cream and started to lather my neck. `A quick neck shave and you’ll be all done,’ she breathed. She quickly finished transforming my neck into a white foam ribbon. I then felt her start to scrape the razor, gently but firmly, over my now bare neck.

“It was a curious sensation, to say the least, but it was worth it. I felt faintly excited when I got done with the razor and the stylist said she was now done. I stood up and whipped my head side to side. The longer hairs in the front jostled around my face, but the much shorter hair in the back seemed to also move much less. She had clipped the back from my natural hairline up to where the angled hair had been cut so short. Then she had razor-shaved my neck to make it smooth. I was appalled at first, but I actually came to like it pretty quickly!

“My parents were shocked at both of us when we got back to their house. My mom couldn’t believe that I’d get my hair cut so `brutally short’ (her words), but she thought my brother looked awesome in his buzz cut. I told her how we had agreed to `exchange haircuts’ so he’d get his clipped short. I guess he opted for the same thing for me!

“The weirdest thing was all the compliments I started getting! It was almost weird. People I didn’t even know mentioned what a cool looking haircut I had! A girl that works for my parents went out and got hers cut the same way at the same place. I was blushing, let me tell you!

“So, anyway, the rest of the time I helped my parents out and prepared to head back here. I had hoped that it would `miraculously’ grow back out again. but no such luck! I guess everyone could see that the hair was very neat and sharp, so they must have guessed I recently had gotten sheared. On the flight back the stewardess had a very similar haircut. I asked her about it and she said `I’ve never gotten as many compliments as I did when I got it cut like this. Trust me, give it a half a chance and you’ll love it. You’ll grow to like it short. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get it cut as short as this gentleman next to you (she pointed at my brother).’

“I shuddered, and she grinned. `You never know, do you?’ she said. Still, I did get a lot more compliments when we finally got back here. My brother got a few as well. He told me he was shocked how many people were raving about my haircut! His was just as radical, but more people seemed to notice that I’d had it cut. I told him his was so short, no one could tell it was shorn at the same time.

“He grinned wickedly at me. `Next time we do a haircut exchange like that,’ he told me, `Yours will be even shorter than mine!’

“‘Fat chance,’ I replied. `What if I have your head shaved?’

“It was his turn to shudder. `You’ll be as bald as me, then,’ he eventually said, but I could tell his heart wasn’t in it.” She paused and smiled. “That’s pretty much it until I got back here to the office. Do you think Donna can beli
eve I got it cut this short?”

I laughed. “I’m sure no one would suspect that! That was a great story.”

Krista lowered her eyes, blushing lightly. “Thanks,” she said. “I still feel a little self-conscious about my hair still.”

“Don’t be,” I said, trying to rally her spirits. “You look cute like that. I wish I could look half as good when I get mine cut!”

She grinned. “My boyfriend said I looked really great in it. I thought he was going to kill me for having it done, but he liked it!”

“He’s got good taste,” I replied. “Very good taste indeed.”

We finished our lunches and were soon back at work. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about her story and the shortness of her haircut. When I got home, I wrote it down and that’s what you’ve been reading. I thought it was such a great story that I felt it should be shared.

The End.???

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