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Lisa knew her audition with the Iron Spiders, for the position of lead singer, had gone well, the only possible reason for her not getting the position was that her “look” didn’t fit in with the group. Lisa was certain it was worth making an effort to swing the decision in her favour. The group was getting lots of press and the songwriter, Steve, was brilliant, she was sure they had a big future. Leaving her boyfriend Mike chatting to Steve she left and made a phone call to a friend who owned a salon…

On her way to Kat’s shop Lisa called in at a boutique on the parade. She knew exactly what she was looking for and steeling her nerves went up to a rack on one wall of what was, fortunately, an empty shop. She picked a PVC miniskirt, a pair of knee-length 4″ heeled boots and a bask made of ribbed PVC in gloss black. The bask had breast forms moulded into it, guaranteeing an impressive bust. She didn’t want to try her purchases on, she had only just had the nerve to go in and buy them. With her purchases in a bag she hurried on to Kat’s salon, pushing the door and, finding it open despite the closed sign, she went in.

Kat greeted her from the back of the salon. “How do,” she called, “what’s going on? You didn’t tell me why you needed your hair doing in such a hurry.” Lisa explained the events of that morning and how if she was going to make it into the music business as she hoped she needed to ditch her girl-next-door look. This was something Kat had longed to hear, she had become a hairdresser specifically because she loved the dramatic makeover, the radical restyle.

It was rare that she got to do one but she had long harboured fantasies regarding her friend Lisa. She doubted the outcome of the makeover would get Lisa her big break but if Lisa thought so then that was good enough for Kat.”So what were you thinking?” Kat asked, mentally crossing her fingers. Lisa opened her bag and took out the PVC bask and skirt. “Well I was going to wear this so my hair wants to be something that would go with it. I want to be certain I get Steve’s attention. He had said the group was going to be quite edgy, and modern.”

“Well why don’t you leave it to me,” Kat said, not able to believe her luck. “I guarantee Steve will be stunned when he sees you.” “Ok,” Lisa replied. Kat motioned her to the first seat, and Lisa climbed in after taking off her coat.”What about decoration?” Kat asked. “What do you mean?” Lisa said. “Well we have the piercing stuff here now, along with tattooing and hair removal. Tattooing with the permanent ink might be a bit much but we have a ‘temporary ink’ and piercings only last as long as you want them. I think it’s probably worth going all the way don’t you?” Kat knew that Lisa would agree if she phrased the question correctly, and as she hoped Lisa told her to go ahead, she would put
herself entirely in Kat’s hands.

Kat stood behind Lisa running her hands through Lisa’s shoulder length hair. It was in excellent condition and a glorious colour, a rich dark honey blond. In contrast Kat’s hair was naturally dark, the top a bright mass of blond extensions and the back a soft pelt hair clipped down to a few millimetres in length. The condition and length of Lisa’s hair was irrelevant as far as Kat was concerned, she had always thought Lisa was one of the most attractive women Kat had met. Taking her clippers she put on a 3cm guard and switched them on. She saw Lisa in the mirror shut her eyes. “Do you want me to cover the mirror?” she asked. Lisa nodded. After doing as she had asked Kat once again fired up the clippers. “You sure?” Again Lisa nodded. Kat placed the clippers behind Lisa’s right ear and slowly brought them up, following the curve of her ear removing a strip of hair. Lisa released her breath; she had stopped breathing as Kat started the clippers moving up her head. Kat repeated the clipper run several times each one alongside the last. She stopped, leaving Lisa with the side of her head clipped down to around one inch in length and going up to within 3-4 cm of the top of her head. The other side and back followed after carefully sectioning off a “crest” of hair, starting with a fringe and going back to the crown of Lisa’s head. Kat stood back and looked at the result so far. She was impressed. Lisa’s head looked to be a fantastic shape. Changing the guard to a 4mm cut she went over the same areas again, now all that was left was a velvety soft blond fuzz. She released the crest from the clip holding it, this was still a good 30cm long and hung down to below Lisa’s chin. Using smaller clippers Kat cut several strips through the crest from left to right. Roughly 3cm long, these divided the Mohawk into 4 sections.

Kat went to the back of the shop. While she was gone Lisa gingerly brought her hand up from under the cloak and felt her hair. A shiver ran up her spine as she realised that no matter what happened with the group she couldn’t go back to how she was any time soon. Kat came back after a few minutes pushing a trolley with several bottles, boxes and cartons on it. She took a small bottle and after adding it to the content of a bowl and mixing it she began pasting the contents on to Lisa’s Mohawk. Kat stood back and squinted, trying to picture Lisa as she wanted her. Leaving the bleach to do its work she again took up the smaller clippers, this time with no guard, and once more ran them over Lisa’s head. Taking a handful of foam from the dispenser on the counter she lathered and then shaved the short hair on Lisa’s head. Again she stood back and squinted. “I am going to use some lotion on this,” she said, resting her hands on the shaven sides of Lisa’s head, “it will keep it looking better for longer.” “Ok,” Lisa replied, not really certain what Kat meant when she said “better”. Kat took the lotion off the trolley, unconsciously keeping the bottle from Lisa’s line of sight. She emptied the contents into the palm of her hand and carefully rubbed it into Lisa’s head. Lisa started as the lotion touched her skin. “It may sting a bit,” Kat said, “but that’s only because I have just shaved the skin.” “I had noticed that,” Lisa said. Leaving a layer of the lotion on Lisa’s head Kat turned Lisa round. “While the colour and stuff is doing we may as well start the piercing.” Lisa pulled a face. “Look,” Kat said, “you should try everything you can to make this happen, as I said we aren’t doing anything that is permanent.” “OK,” Lisa said. “Carry on.”

Kat pulled up the trolley and took out a handful of needles. Opening one she carefully eyed up Lisa’s eyebrow. Pinching it lightly between her fingers she gauged the best placement. Using a clamp she again pinched a section of skin on Lisa’s eyebrow and with a quick push placed the needle through Lisa’s skin. “Ow,” Lisa said, more for effect than actually because the piercing hurt. Kat had had her eyebrow done some years ago and she remembered being surprised at the lack of discomfort. Removing the needle a small ball closure ring was threaded into the hole. Other piercings followed: a second eyebrow ring alongside the first over her right eye, and a large septum ring. For this Kat used a much larger diameter needle. Not having the luxury of stretching time, the needle removed a plug of skin and cartilage 3mm across. The ring for her septum was 3cm in diameter and filled the 3mm hole perfectly. This was the hardest piercing for Lisa, her eyes streamed when the needle went through. “Ow!” she cried out, this time meaning it. “This looks fantastic,” Kat told her, closing the ring in her nose. It fitted perfectly in the space between her nose and upper lip, skimming the top edge of her lip line.

“We need to rinse out the bleach,” Kat said, “we will finish the piercing in a moment.” She led Lisa over to the sinks, checking the temperature of the water she used the shower head to rinse off Lisa’s hair and the remains of the lotion on the now smooth areas. Under the lights of the washing station she looked closely at Lisa’s shaven skin. The lotion she had applied would kill the roots completely for some time
. It was the best available, but Kat had never used it on somebody’s head before. Lisa’s skin was completely smooth, even the tiny spots of hair normally left visible just below the skin were missing. From previous experience Kat knew Lisa would get no growth for at least 3 months and for hair to grow back in any quantity it would be nearer 6 months. It crossed her mind that customers who had had the treatment done on bikini lines and legs had reported back that the hair that eventually grew back was sparse and light even after a 12-month period.

The crest of hair Lisa had left was now a light yellow blond, so after putting on a pair of gloves and taking a tube of thick creamy liquid from the trolley Kat started spreading it through the hair. “What colour is it going to be?” Lisa asked. “I am going to get it as white as possible,” Kat said, “that way it will contrast nicely against the pink skin and blue green tattoos.” “Tattoos?” Lisa asked. “Yes, non-permanent tattoos,” Kat said with more emphasis. Well, Lisa thought at least if they are on my head they will soon be covered by the hair regrowing anyway. After applying the toner to Lisa’s hair Kat continued with the piercing, opening a new needle she clamped the centre of Lisa’s top lip. Lisa looked worried but before she had any chance to complain Kat had forced the needle through, this was followed by a small segment closure ring. Kat unsnapped the clamp. “Owwww,” Lisa said. “How many more are you intending to do?” “Well,” Kat said, “I am doing 3 rings in your top lip and 2, in between, in the bottom, one in your tongue, and having seen your top, I think your nipples as well, so you should probably grit your teeth.” Lisa closed her eyes and Kat opened another needle. After twenty minutes of piercing, Lisa’s metalwork was finished, Kat had drawn the blinds and Lisa was sat with her top off cautiously prodding her nipples, now sporting 2cm silver BCR’s. “OK,” Kat said, “let’s wash out that toner and see what we have got.” After a quick rinse Kat dried Lisa’s crest, leaving the now white blond hair loose over the left side of Lisa’s head. “Ok, nearly done,” Kat said. Lisa looked at her watch, she had been here now for an hour and a half, she had another 4 hours before the group were due to meet but her head was spinning with the changes already. She dreaded to think what else Kat had planned.

Kat pulled up the trolley and took out the tattoo gun, loading it with black she started tattooing on the left side of Lisa’s head the outline of a dragon. Its body ran up the side of her head with its right front leg running over the top through one of the gaps in Lisa’s crest, the claw encircling Lisa’s right ear. Lisa was reasonably happy so far, as she was still convinced that even if the tattoo didn’t wash off it would be covered by hair in a week or so. Kat continued tattooing the outline, dragons were something she sketched often and she drew quickly and accurately. The front left leg was drawn in, this came down in front of Lisa’ s left ear with the claw appearing to grip around Lisa’s throat and chin. This came as a surprise to Lisa, she wasn’t expecting tattoos to be visible on her face. She sat and worried as Kat carried on.

The dragon’s head was sketched in, this covered half of Lisa’s forehead and left eye with the dragon’s mouth open on her left cheek and the left side of her nose. It was as Kat was outlining this section that Lisa finally asked how quickly the tattoos would wash off. “Oh, they don’t wash off,” Kat told her. “The ink is biodegradable, and it is eventually absorbed by the skin.” “But that is quite quick is it?” Lisa asked, hopefully, “Oh no,” Kat said, “generally they take around 2-3years to fade to nothing. Look,” she said, “this is your career we are talking about, it should last more than 2-3 years.” “But what if I don’t like it and grow my hair back?” Lisa asked. “Well,” Kat said, “I guess by the time your hair starts growing back fully, in around 18 months to 2 years, the tattoo will have faded enough to cover with some light foundation anyway, so no worries.”
“What do you mean, 18 months to 2 years?” Lisa said, a hint of panic in her voice.”Well, that’s how long the hair takes to grow back properly,” Kat said, as if explaining to a child. “To start with it will be very fine and patchy, the best bet is to keep it shaved once it starts growing at all, unless you want more of the lotion, several applications generally see off all hair growth for good,” she said helpfully. “You mean I am going to be stuck like this for years?” Lisa said incredulously. “Well yes,” Kat said, “so do you want me to carry on or leave you half finished?”
Lisa realised that there really was no other choice, if she stopped now with a partially completed tattooed-on outline she would look pretty stupid. At least if she let Kat finish it wouldn’t look as if she had bottled out half way through. “Carry on,” she sighed, trying not to think of the possibility of the group not doing well; she certainly couldn’t go back to her old job looking like this. The estate agent didn’t have a very strict dress code but she knew they wouldn’t take to kindly to bald girls with facial tattoos. As she thought this she shuddered, it was hard to think of herself in those terms…

Meanwhile Kat had continued the outline of the tattoo, the right back leg reached down her neck and grasped her right shoulder, the left back leg also came down her neck and gripped her right breast, the nipple being clasped between its claws. The dragon’s tail, the last part to be drawn, coiled down the back of Lisa’s head and over her right shoulder, encircling her breast in a spiral with the nipple in the centre. Changing ink Kat began shading and colouring, again the delicate work went quickly. Dark greens and blues, with iridescent flashes of electric blue defined the dragon’s scales and red and yellow fringes adorned its legs and tail. After 3 hours of constant work Kat stood back. Lisa had gone to sleep, as Kat knew this wasn’t uncommon, the constant buzzing of the gun often had that effect. Lisa had woken as Kat did the side of her head. The closeness of bone to surface made the tattoo process more painful in these areas, she had stayed awake during Kat’s careful tattooing of her face, particularly around her left eye, where the dragon’s face came right up to the edge of her eyelid. Before doing the tattoo above Lisa’s eye, Kat shaved and then applied a thick layer of lotion to her left eyebrow. Lisa had said nothing.

Kat stood back and stretched, she checked over Lisa. She was very pleased with the tattoo, it was a little red looking but that was to be expected. She knew Lisa was going to be sore for a few days, but the overall look was just how she had imagined. She gently woke Lisa, who looked round a little confused. She focussed on Kat and then put her hand up to her head, the tattoo was slightly sticky and it was this she touched fist, and then the remains of her hair. Her fingers traced the piercing in hereyebrow and she pursed her lips, looking down to catch a glimpse of the rings in her lips.

“Is everything finished?” she asked. “Just jump in your dress and I will finish your hair and you are off,” Kat said. Lisa stood up, her body ached all over and her tattooed left eye felt very odd and stiff, as she moved her lips she could feel the rings clinking together.

She opened her bag and took out the boots, these she quickly pulled on and laced, pulling them tight, meanwhile Kat took the top. “I have a couple of modifications to make to this,” Kat said. She went over to a table with a small pair of scissors, where she carefully cut out a circle of PVC from each nipple area. She handed the top back to Lisa just as Lisa finished pulling on the skirt. She took the top and slipped her arms through it, Kat helped her get her breasts into the moulded forms and as Lisa looked on Kat carefully popped the nipple rings out through the holes she had cut. The dragon tattoo covered both nipples, including the aureoles and this meant the skin visible through the holes was predominatel
y blue or dark green, from a distance it looked as if the top had rings attached to it. Kat helped lace up the back of the corset-like section, cinching in her waist. Her breasts were pushed out by this to fill the moulded cups in the top. Using firm hold gel Kat styled the remains of Lisa’s hair into a big wave, leaving her hair standing straight up from her head, showing off the shaved strips cut through the crest and then flopping down gently to hang down the right hand side of her head.

“I think I need to look now,” Lisa said. Kat made a drum roll noise and pulled the towel off the mirror. Lisa’s eyes widened, the girl looking back at her couldn’t possibly be her, the tattoo encircling her head and face completely changed even her most basic of facial features. The metalwork in her face also tended to catch your eye, as she moved her lips the lip rings flashed under the lights, and the septum ring clinked against the ring in the centre of her top lip. While she knew it would take some time to get used the new look she now had, and she thought bitterly I am going to be stuck with it for a long time, she was certain that she couldn’t have tried any harder to make an impression.

Kat was stunned by the transformation, she didn’t think Lisa stood much chance of getting anywhere in the music industry but she knew people who would pay good money to have her model clothing and jewellery, but for now she said nothing. Lisa thanked her and asked Kat to wish her luck, which of course Kat did. Lisa left to meet up with Mike and the Spiders.

“Look Mike,” Steve said, “Lisa is a lovely girl but her voice just isn’t right for the group, it wouldn’t matter if she looked like a cross between Cindy Lauper and Pamela Anderson I still wouldn’t be able to offer her the position. I think I let her down gently earlier, I told her she didn’t have the look the group were after.”

Just then the door opened…

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