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Copyright ? 2003 by JC Ramsey, all rights reserved.

As I arrived at home from a pretty good day at work, I remembered suddenly that I would, unfortunately, be alone tonight. For my 50th birthday, four of my very best friends had planned to come over for a Monday Night Football party to honor this very special day. But, I had received phone calls from all of them today telling me that for one reason or another, they would not be able to make it. Therefore, anticipating the party, I had not made arrangements to do anything except ?hang out? with my buddies.

I got out of my car, picked up my briefcase from the back seat, and headed into the house through the mud room door, pressing the garage door button on the way in. Passing the washer and dryer, I noted that I had a load of laundry to do. I opened the door and walked into the hallway, turning right to set my briefcase down on a table and walking to the front door. I opened it and the storm door to walk out on the porch and retrieve the mail. Scanning the envelopes and ads, there was nothing significant that needed my attention for the moment. I placed the mail on the table next to my briefcase and headed down the hall to the great room. As I turned right on the way to the kitchen to hit the freezer and hope I could thaw something out before game time, I noticed the light blinking on my telephone unit. I picked up the wireless handset, hit the rocket dial, and was immediately listening to the first of three messages. Mortgage lender, delete that one. The second one was a reminder about a church committee meeting that I was to attend on Thursday, and I already had that on my calendar. As I rooted in the freezer for some wings or fish filets, I suddenly straightened up and closed the door.

The last message was from Warren, one of the guys who was supposed to come over tonight. He apologized for not making it, so in an effort to try to make it up, he told me that my favorite pizza and dessert would be delivered to the house, so not to plan to eat out or fix something at home. He said to expect delivery about 6:15, and wished me a very happy birthday. That was it. I pressed ?2? to save the message, and looked at my watch, noting the ?5:45? on the digital face. Well, I had enough time to change from my suit into something more comfortable. I wondered if the delivery person would need a tip?

Twenty minutes later I was back in the kitchen, wearing a pull over shirt, cotton slacks and an old pair of running shoes. I had washed my face and hands and was ready for the pizza. I opened a bottle of wine that I had chilling in the frig. I grabbed a book from the rack that I kept on the end of the bar and settled into my recliner. Sipping my wine, I had just gotten into the book again when the doorbell chimed.

I got up, put the wine glass and book on the bar, and strode down the hall to the front door. Opening the door, I saw a rather tallish young lady wearing a baseball cap in the normal manner and a pizza shirt over jeans.

?Hello,? I said, very pleasantly, reaching into my slacks to pull out three dollars for a tip.

?Are you Mr. Hansen?? she asked.

?Yes, I am.?

?Great, I?m to tell you that the pizza and the tip have both been handled, and that I?ll be back in 45 minutes with dessert and your birthday present.?

I must have looked a little stunned to her.

?Um, sir, did you understand what I said? Is everything all right?? she asked with concern showing on her face.

?Oh, no, I mean, yes, I mean, I?m feeling fine. It?s, just, uh, not everyday that one?s friends are so kind. I just wish they could have been here tonight.? I reached for the pizza box. ?Young lady, thank you very much for delivering the pizza. Now, if you don?t think they gave you enough for the tip, just let me know.?

?Oh, thanks for that, sir, but actually they have taken very good care of me.?

?That?s good to hear. They?re a great bunch of guys. So, I?ll see you again in about 45 minutes??

?Yes sir, I?ll be here.?

?Very good, look forward to that.?

I turned to walk back into the house, carrying the pizza box in front of me. So, they had taken care of everything with her. Well, if that?s the deal, that?s O.K. with me. I shoved the three dollars back in my pocket with the thought that I would tip her anyway on the return trip.

The guys had purchased my favorite pizza, and I watered it well with a couple of MGD?s. I kind of knew what dessert would be, but the birthday present. Now, that was not really like them. We had agreed not to exchange gifts on our birthdays, just hang out together or take a trip somewhere we all wanted to go. As I dwelt on the possibilities, the doorbell sounded again. Wow, 45 minutes had passed rather quickly. I put the bottles in the trash container, moved my plate and utensils to the sink, and walked quickly to the door.

Upon opening the door, there stood the young lady again holding a small box.

?Hi, Mr. Hansen, I?m back. Are you all finished with the pizza??

?Yes, I am, and it was delicious.?

?I?m very glad that you liked it. So, now I have your dessert and your birthday present. Would you mind if I come in??

?Of course not,? I said, while wondering about the dessert and the present again.

She slipped by me and waited for me to close the door. I turned to face her.

?Mr. Hansen, your friends have asked me to present this to you with their best wishes for your birthday. I believe that this is your favorite dessert.? She held out the box.

Smiling broadly, I accepted the box, while noting the twinkle in her eyes and her own broad smile.

?These guys have certainly gone to a lot of trouble. It would have been a lot easier if they all would have just come on over,? I said, with a tinge of disappointment in my voice.

She picked up on it quickly. ?I know that you all had plans to be together tonight. I would feel the same way. However, they decided that it would be better for you to be alone with your birthday present.?

It took me a few seconds, but I began to realize that something strange was going on. I looked carefully at the still smiling young lady.

?So, young lady, I don?t see any more packages or boxes in your hands. If there is a birthday present, where might it be? Outside??

?Oh, no Mr. Hansen, it?s right here.? She paused for the maximum effect. ?I?m your birthday present.?

I was too stunned to say a word. For almost a minute I just gazed at her, with emotions of surprise, outrage, disappointment, guilt, and anger coursing through my body. I guess my face turned very red, because she suddenly stopped smiling.

?Oh, Mr. Hansen, I?m sorry, uh, are you all right, I mean, I didn?t mean to upset you.?

I finally found my tongue. ?Young lady, clearly you have been sent here by my friends, but just as clearly you have failed to understand that I do not partake of any, um, personal relations, especially with young women.?

Now she seemed to be a little surprised. ?Oh, well, I thought the, I mean your friends, would have given you some clue as to why I was here.? Now she paused, searching for the words. ?I suppose it would seem to be an invitation the way I expressed it, but I thought that you knew why I was here.?

?Well, other than you delivering the food and telling me about the birthday present, I have no clue, I mean the guys did not say anything to me about you.?

Then, it hit me, and I took a long look at her. The baseball cap was very low over her eyes, and the back of the cap was very full. I began nodding my head at her, and now began to smile.

?Those guys, boy, I?m going to get them on their next birthday!? I exclaimed. I paused for a moment, and then spoke what I knew to be true. ?So, you?re here for a haircut.?

Now she began to smile. ?You figured it out. Yes, I?m here for a haircut, and so that?s why I?m your birthday present.?

I stuck out my hand. ?I?m Don Hansen.?

She took my hand in a very firm grip. ?Very nice to meet you, I?m Vicki Tate.?

?Vicki, do you know what?s in this box??

?No, I don?t?

?I hope they sent enough for us to share. It?s French Silk pie. Would you like to have some??

?I?d love to.?

For the next twenty minutes we sat in the kitchen eating a piece of the pie along with glasses of milk. She told me she had a mutual friend of one the guys and that?s how she found out about my hobby. She asked me a lot of questions about what my real job was and how I got into cutting hair. I knew quickly that this lady was very smart and that she was here on a mission. We cleaned up the table, put the leftover pie and pizza away, and I showed her to the guest bathroom, while I went to my own room and washed my hands and conducted other essential business. We met in the kitchen.

?Well, Vicki, are you ready to get your hair cut??

?Yes, I can hardly wait.?

?Well, let?s go down to my hobby room.?

We walked back down the hall, and I opened a door across from the garage door, reached in to flip the light switch, and I descended the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, I turned left, opened a door, and again reached inside to turn on a light switch. The room was instantly bathed in a soft, natural light. I showed her around, letting her see some of the photos I had taken of makeovers and in progress haircuts. She stopped to look at a montage of clips I had downloaded from the internet of various women?s haircuts. Beside the framed montage there was a decorated coat hanger, and dangling from the coat hangar was a pair of dark brown braids and a long blonde ponytail. Then she noted the video camera and still camera set-up, right next to the styling chair. Behind the styling chair was a freestanding shampoo bowl, and on the side of the chair was a large counter with drawers and doors, various pieces of equipment and bottles on the countertop, and a full width mirror with side wings that would allow a client to see the whole haircut progress. She was impressed, even more so by the plants that kept the room fresh. We chatted for a few minutes about how to keep plants alive without the use of sunlight.

Finally, I gave her the invitation. ?Would you like to take a seat and talk about how you want me to cut your hair??

?Sure, I?ll bet you?re a little curious about all this.?

She glided to the chair and gracefully sat down, keeping her back straight. She was still wearing the baseball cap.

?Anything you want to tell me before I take off your cap??

?Yeah. Uh, basically, this is your evening, and that?s the birthday present. You can do anything you want to with my hair. Anything,? she said, with great emphasis. ?I?m here for as long as you want to work with me. You can make a video, take pictures, whatever you want to do. I don?t know how you usually do a haircut, but when you are all finished with my hair, I want you to shave my head with a razor.?

She gazed directly at me, and I looked right back into her eyes, and I knew that she was dead serious.

?Vicki, I hope that you are not asking me to shave your head because one of my friends suggested that shaving a girl?s head would be a good birthday present for me.?

?Oh, no, Don, quite the contrary. You see, I?m in the military, and I?m going to advanced training next week, and I?ve decided that to keep up with the guys, and not have so much hassle, my hair has got to go. I dealt with it successfully during basic training, but if I?m going to get through this next phase of work, I just have to be quick and without distractions, if you know what I mean.?

?Well, I do know what you mean, and I?m glad that this is your decision alone and someone is not pushing you to do something that isn?t right for you.?

?Have no worries about this, it?s definitely what I want. I didn?t want to have a military barber do this, and I just didn?t want to go to a salon or a barber shop and have people stare at me. So I just happened to hear about you from a friend of Jim?s who has a really short haircut, and when I asked, she told me about you. When I said that I wanted to get all of mine cut off, that?s when Jim got the idea for your birthday present.?

?I have to give him credit, it?s a great idea.?

?Just having met you, I am even more excited about the evening. This is just what I had in mind to do with my hair, a private haircutting session.?

?Well, O.K. If we?re going to do this right, let?s get it recorded from the very beginning.?

?Sounds good to me.?

I stepped over to the video camera, turned it on, picked up a new cassette, and put the cassette in. Checking the focus and image, I made sure that it was currently on an angle wide enough to see all of her as she sat in the chair. I also picked up the remote control and made sure that it was working, so when I wanted a close-up I could move the lens without walking to the camera. It was all working great.

I returned to stand beside the chair, and with the remote I switched the camera on.

?This is my latest haircut video. Tonight is very special because it?s my birthday, and Vicki, my customer for the evening, has agreed to let me have my way with her hair. She wants, at the end, to have her head shaved, and we will get there. But, we are going to enjoy her beautiful hair for a bit, then we?ll shampoo and dry it, then play a little more, then prepare to cut it off, and finally we will do a clipper cut and a razor shave. So, I hope you enjoy our time together.?

With than introduction, I turned to the chair, and turned it so that the left rear portion of the chair was to the camera. I stood behind her, and with a little flourish, I slowly pulled off the baseball cap she was wearing, taking it by the bill and gradually pulling it back, until I could lift it from her head. What the camera could now see was a large wad of hair that was pinned to the crown and back of her head. There were twists and turns, great highlights and I gently moved her head around so the camera could take it all in. I put her hat on the counter, then turned back and gazed again at her head, with all the hair on top. Where to begin?

?How in the heck do you put all this hair up, anyway? Superglue??

She started laughing. ?That?s the main reason I?m here tonight. Can you imagine trying to deal with this hair in a combat situation? It?s just got to go!?

?You have any suggestion as to where I start??

?No, there are all manner of bobby pins and hair pins in there, so just dive right in and enjoy your search.?

With that sage advice, I did so. Making sure that the camera had a good view of her head and my hands, I began to slowly insert my fingers into the crown of locks and search for anything metallic. When I found a pin, I would grab it and slowly pull it out. After I had removed seven, the mass of hair began to feel a lot more loose. A few more, and finally the great wad of hair was free, ready to be exposed to the camera. I placed the last pin on the counter, and then using both hands, began to slowly shake her hair loose from its bindings. I hoped the camera was picking up the gradual fall of each long lock from the back of her head, down to the top of her shoulders, tumbling to the back of the chair in a cascade of dark brown, the ends finally stopping as they hit the floor. She helped by shaking her head, and I watched her great mane dance in front of me. I was so glad that we were capturing this on video. What a birthday!

With the camera recording every move, I proceeded to just dive into the brown mass, filling both my hands with her long tresses, lifting them up and letting them fall slowly back again. I went from side to side doing this, then back again, then back to the other side. I withdrew my hands and turned the chair so she was facing the camera. I walked behind her, then using both hands, reached forward and ran my fingers through her hair at her temples, pulling back the hair captured in my hands, until I was at the crown of her head. I then lifted up my hands and all the hair they contained, and began to pull her hair back from her face as tightly as I dared, and while doing so began to pack the hair into my left hand. When I could close my hand around this hair, I used my right hand to smooth away the other hair that was still clinging to this great wad, and then I reversed hands and did the same on the left side, until I was just holding this large section of hair that represented the front part of her head. Now I began to smooth all this hair back into a ponytail, continuing to tighten it, and gradually lifting it up. When it was very tight in my left hand, I began to pull out pieces with my right hand and display them for the camera. I did this until I had shown every piece of this ponytail to the camera, then I used my right hand to pull the ponytail up in pieces and let them slowly fall back, sometimes covering her face, sometimes to the sides, sometimes in back. She was smiling and grinning and yakking throughout this, very much in the spirit of the moment, liking that I was playing with her hair in this manner, and keeping a very firm, tight grip on her long locks.

After a couple more minutes of playing with this part of hair, I divided what I was holding into three sections and began to slowly braid it. There has always been a thrill for me when holding a woman?s hair in my hands and braiding it. All of the sensations of tactility, the mechanics of doing the crossings, keeping her hair tight in my hands and pulled away from her head, and the change from loose hair to a braid, ah, what a pleasure! When I got to the end, I tied a large elastic around it and let it fall over her shoulder and onto her lap. She picked up the braid, held it straight up, and then used the fingers of her free hand to make a scissors cutting motion right at her scalp. She knew what was going to happen and she was ready to go there! So was I!

I took the braid from her and played with it for the camera for a couple of minutes, and then I let it fall back into her lap. I wanted her to enjoy her hair for a bit before the cutting started. I owed her that much. She clearly loved her long hair, and this was a big moment for her. I was very fortunate to have been selected to be the one to cut off her hair.

As she played with her braid, I turned her away from the camera again and I moved behind her. I picked up a wide toothed comb and began slowly combing the remaining loosed hair section by section, starting on the floor and working the comb upwards. When I could run the comb through the section, which I continued to hold, from scalp to floor, then I would set it aside and separate another lock for the same treatment. At this point, I was just so enamored of this beautiful hair. I had worked with hundreds of women over the years, but this head of hair was going to be truly memorable. I loved holding a section of hair with my left hand, entwining my fingers into the hair, as I carefully combed through the hair below. After several more minutes of combing, all of her hair, except the braided portion, was completely combed, hanging over the back of the chair. I made sure that I turned the chair from side to side for the camera to get the full effect of the mass of follicle extensions. I often wondered how dead cells could have such an intoxicating impact on certain people, like me. Coupling the length, thickness, color, shape and feel of her hair, it was almost overwhelming.

But, it was time to move on. ?Are you ready for the next step?? I asked her.

?Ready when you are,? she said, merrily.

?Shampoo time!?

?Oh, goody, my last shampoo with long hair,? she said, with no hint of sadness. I took the braid from her, slipped off the elastic, and slowly took it apart. ?You have no idea how wet and cold my hair can be. Sometimes it would take all day for it dry. I can never shampoo at night?I?d wake up the next morning with pneumonia. So, cutting this off just so I don?t have to shampoo and dry it will be a real blessing, especially during my next training phase.?

I had the braid loose, and I proceed to comb it out, allowing it to join the rest of the long locks. I stepped over to the cabinet and got a fresh shampoo cape and several large towels. I put the towels on the counter, and then swept the shampoo cape around her, letting the ends dangle while I gathered her hair into a ponytail at her neck and lifted up the heavy hair. I placed it over her left shoulder and let it slide into her lap. I pulled the shampoo cape ends together and closed it securely around her neck. Now, I stepped to the shampoo bowl, turned on the water, and adjusted the flow and temperature. The shampoo was right there, so I turned back to her, released the back of the chair, and lowered her into position, letting her slide her neck onto the bowl and get comfortable. Now, after she was ready, I picked up her hair from the left side and dropped it into the shampoo bowl, watching it fill to overflowing with her dense tresses. I began to soak the long hair, ends first, picking up sections as needed to let the water penetrate. I worked my way to her head, finally able to spray down her scalp, being careful not to get any water in her ear canals. I placed the sprayer on the hook, picked up the shampoo, and poured some on her head, then a long ribbon on the length of her hair, and after setting the bottle aside, I began to work my hands into her hair, making sure the shampoo was covering every portion of her super long hair.

?I have rarely had my hair shampooed like this,? she cooed, eyes closed, letting me do whatever I wished with her head and hair. ?Most people were just clueless about how to wash my hair. I haven?t had a salon wash for years. This is really great, a wonderful to finish the life of my long hair.?

?I?ve always enjoyed washing hair. I was visiting the girl friend of my college roommate one evening. We were just outside chatting, and I noticed that she had her hair up, which was unusual for her. She finally said that she had to go and wash her hair, because it was so dirty, and she wanted to let it down. Then she said that she really needed help washing now because it was so long. I asked her where she washed it and she said either in the bathtub or in the laundry tub in the basement. So, I volunteered to wash it for her in the laundry tub, and that?s what we did. She loved it. She just lowered her head in the tub and I stood beside her and gave her a great double shampoo and conditioning. She taught me how to properly massage her scalp with the pads of my fingers instead of with my nails. For the rest of the summer, unbeknownst to her boy friend, my roommate, I gave her a shampoo at least once a week. She taught me a lot of things about handling long hair.?

I was massaging the shampoo into her scalp with my fingertips, and she was really moaning now! She let me take her head wherever I wanted it to go. I began to wonder if this was the longest hair I had ever had in my shampoo bowl. It seemed to be overflowing! Again, sensations were taking over my mind?looking at the long hair, totally soaked and swimming in shampoo, glistening in the bowl, moving gently as I massaged her head. Then there was the connection of this shiny mass to her head. Finally, my hands buried deeply into the wet hair, feeling the thick, heavy wet locks, while I at the same time moved my fingertips slowly along her scalp, making sure not to pull her hair, but to allow her to feel the strong pressure of my hands and fingers. When my hands began to tire, I knew it was time to rinse, but only after I had covered every square inch of her head.

I made sure the water was still the right temperature and began to rinse all this hair that was filling up my sink. I had to keep lifting it up to let the suds drain away and keep her hair from picking up more shampoo. After I had rinsed off most of the length, I began to work on her head, using my free hand to press the shampoo from her scalp. She was sighing contently during the whole process. It took me a good ten minutes to get her hair completely rinsed to my satisfaction. Finally it was done and I turned off the water. As I was pressing the water out of her hair by running my hands over her head, then wringing the water out of the length, she chatted with me about what a great shampoo I had given her, and how she had always enjoyed having someone wash her hair. She said that if she could have a person in the military be responsible for taking care of her hair, she?d keep it long. However, no such luck in the Army!

I kept her in the reclining position and began to sop up water from her hair with a towel. I had just decided to this rather make the effort to raise her up with all this long wet hair that was so heavy. In a couple more minutes I had her hair free of dripping water, and I tossed the towel on the counter and lifted her up, letting her hair follow her up, pulled from the sink then spilling behind her in a great dark sheet. I used the towel to dry off her face and ears and eliminate any drips that wanted to run down her forehead. I used the towel to continue blotting up water from scalp to ends.

Now, I began the process of combing out her hair, which would also involve drying it. I used a combination of the wide tooth comb and a new towel to speed up the process. I wanted to cut off her length when it was dry, because it made better video, and it was definitely more exciting for me. We continued to chat as I worked my way through each section of long hair, slowly combing from ends to scalp, drying it with the towel. As I completed the combing of each section, I would lift it up and towel dry her scalp. It was a long process, but she seemed perfectly calm and patient with it. I had the feeling that I was doing her a favor by taking the time to do this. Although her mind was made up about the cut, she was going to miss her hair, and to have it cut off, well in my experience, was always traumatic for women with such lengthy locks.

She continued to chat about what she intended to accomplish in the military while I finished drying and combing through her hair. She had no idea what a wonderful time this was for me. I had only dreamed about cutting off a head of hair like this. This was my ultimate fantasy totally fulfilled. I was really going to owe the guys a lot for this present!

Five more minutes, and her hair was dry, totally combed out, and looking very nice. I picked up a brush and began a very slow brushing of the now dry hair, bringing out the natural red highlights in her hair and making it shine. I spent a good ten minutes just brushing. It was an unbelievable sight, seeing all that hair spread out behind her, falling to the floor, dark and lovely. What a shame to cut it off, but it was her choice, and I was fortunate to be the one chosen to do the cutting for her.

I made sure that I got both close-up and full view images of her hair ready to be cut. I brought a small table beside the chair for a place to put each lock as it was cut. And now, the time was right.

?All right, I?m ready to start cutting, if you are ready.?

?I?m ready, so just go ahead. Don?t feel bad, I?m looking forward to this. I had my cry about losing my hair days ago. Do whatever you want to do with it.?

?O.K., here we go.?

I picked up my small scissors from the counter, turned the chair so the camera would see the front right portion of her head, and stood on her left. I used my little finger on my left hand to separate the first lock, running it an inch below the center part and about an inch or so into her hair. I lifted up my little finger, and using my right hand began to pull the lock upward, smoothing it out, and pulling down the hair that was not part of this section. In a minute I had the lock separated and was holding it in my left hand. My hand was about a foot above her scalp, with the end of her hair disappearing below the table beside her. I raised the scissors to her scalp, placing the opened blades on top of her head, and with a deep breath closed them on the edge of the first lock. RRRRRRIIIIIIIPPPPPPP click, RRRRRRRIIIIIIIPPPPPPP click, RRRRRRRIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPclick, RRRRRRIIIIIIPPPPPPPclick, and a final rip and click and the lock was free in my hand, and she now had a square patch of hair at the front right corner of her head that was about 1/8 inch long. She smiled as I held up the first trophy lock, then I placed it carefully on the table, which was covered with a white silk cloth.

I looked at her reflection in the mirror. ?How was that??

?Not too bad, actually. I kind of like how it feels, that little pull of my hair, and then how the pull goes away a little bit at a time as you snip it off. You?ve done this before.?

?Yes, I have, but you have by far the longest hair I have ever cut off at one time.?

She smiled at me as I stepped back to her side and smoothed her hair back with my comb. I then slipped my finger again into her hair, about an inch below the shorn portion and back to my imaginary vertical line, and again pulled up and out, lifting another long lock of dark hair away from her head. It was a real pleasure to hold such a lock of hair, carefully smoothing it out, then grasping it with my left hand, and watching the hair at her scalp go taut as I placed some tension on it. Her eyes closed as I raised the scissors to her temple, silently opened the blades, and began to slowly snip through her hair, with the blades touching her scalp. A few snips, and in the quiet of the room the unmistakable sound of the hair being cut by super sharp scissors, and another lock was being laid on the counter.

?Do you want to wait until all of your hair is cut off before you look?? I asked her, separating another lock.

?I don?t know, I guess I just right now want to experience my hair being cut, because I know I?ll always be able to watch the haircut from a better angle on the video. I?ve been thinking about this so long, I just want to enjoy every moment with all of my senses. I?ll look when you come around on the other side. I just like,? she paused for a moment as I cut off the next lock, ?uh, I just like listening to my hair being cut off right now. What a scary sound. It?s like, I know I?m losing something, I can feel you run your finger along my head, then a piece of my hair is being lifted somehow, and then you pull it tight, and just after that I hear the sound of the scissors cutting through my hair, and, it?s like I don?t want it to happen, yet I don?t want it to stop. Does, uh, that sound crazy??

?I?ve never had a woman say that before,? I responded, cutting off the next lock, which finished the section in front of her right ear. Now she had a vertical stripe of extremely short hair, that sort of looked like bars separated by the white skin of her scalp. I ran the comb through the next section, which would expose her ear, and pushed the chair a little to the left for a better camera angle. ?I guess I can understand it. One of the things I have thought about while doing a haircut of this type is that there is only so much hair you can cut off at one time, and then it?s gone. And the hair you cut off today will be totally unlike the hair you cut off six years from now, assuming you grow your hair back to 36?. I mean, there will probably be some gray, it will be probably be a bit thinner, and the color not as bright. So, I try to do this in the most positive manner, knowing that the hair I receive or the hair that the woman takes home is really unique.?

I had the next lock in my hand and I paid close attention as I snipped it off her head, again reveling in my position as the man cutting off a very sacred possession, something that was beautiful and worth keeping.

?Now, I had not thought of that before you said it, that my hair right now will never be the same again. I guess that?s right, because my mom has a ponytail of my hair that was cut when I was six years old, and it?s much lighter in color than my hair is now.?

?Oh, you would be amazed at some of the ponytails I have, and we hold them up against the client?s hair after a few years and the difference in color is incredible. Most everyone?s hair gets darker if it?s light, and the darker haired people tend to get a little lighter and of course grayer as time passes. That?s why when a woman comes to me for a major length change I always try to save the hair in some fashion, whether they take it or not, just so they can see the contrast later on.?

?I?ve had some friends who donated their hair to places like Locks of Love. You know anything about them??

?Well, there is pro and con about that. They have successfully recruited hairstylists all over the country to sponsor donation events, and then the hair they harvest is sent to Locks of Love. They say it?s used to make human hair wigs for kids and teens who have some kind of hair loss situation. It?s clear that a lot of hair is needed to make a wig. However, some have said that the quantity of hair they receive doesn?t match up to the number of wigs they have supposedly supplied at no cost to these kids. I mean, there is a cost in making a wig regardless of where the hair comes from. If the hair is free, then there has to be a payment for the labor to make the wig. So, most people have figured that it?s a trade-off of some sort. A lot of the hair that is donated is sold on the open hair market to wigmakers, doll makers, and collectors. That defrays the cost of making the wigs, and the hair used for the wigs is already there. Some people who are upset that this is encouraging women to get their long hair cut off for not a real good reason have said Locks of Love appears to be a little on the shady side. They say the BBB of Florida has apparently not given them a good business rating, and they really don?t say much about their finances or the actual number of wigs they are providing each year. I can only say that each woman?s hair belongs to her and she is entitled to do with it whatever she pleases.?

I worked on slowly removing the next vertical section of her beautiful hair, savoring each moment of feeling her hair in my hand, pulling out a lock, and slicing it off slowly, then adding it to the growing pile. Now that her ear was completely exposed, I noticed how nicely shaped it was. So, her ears would be no detriment to her new look. I scanned the portion of her head that had now been stripped of long tresses, noting that I had done a very consistent job with the length. It was a little unnerving to see the shorn hair while I held the next lock up to be cut off. I was always a little saddened when I did this, shearing off all of a woman?s hair. It always seemed to go so fast, yet when I would replay the video, there was a lot of time given to this portion of the makeover process. Because any woman only has so much hair to be removed at one time, that was another sad part. A head of hair like this was probably once in a lifetime. But what joy it would be to have this length and quality of hair to cut off, say, once a month. Perhaps I would get tired of doing it? No, I don?t think so. I watched carefully as I held the next silky lock of hair, pulled it tight, and snipped it off. It would have been fun to let these locks fall helter skelter over her shoulders, onto her back, watching them make the journey down to her lap, then onto the floor, where they would come to rest, looking like coiled serpents. But this hair had to be kept as it was being sheared off, in as near natural a state as possible, so that I could have the pleasure of removing it from time to time, and holding it in my hands, stroking it again, as I watched the video of the cutting session.

I had by now removed a vertical strip behind her ear, so I was working on the next vertical section that corresponded to the right side of the back of her head. I was going to have to make up my mind in a few minutes what to do with the scalp lock, or that portion of her hair at the top of her crown that should be the longest lock of hair. I was thinking that I would cut it for her to keep, because in spite of her many comments, and her upbeat attitude, this was true test of her will, and although she was making it look easy, I knew it was not. Her downcast eyes, in a stated effort to ?experience? the cutting, were a sure sign to me that she was going to miss her hair. Most women who had gone through such a drastic change and were committed to it wanted to see their hair being cut off during the process and not depend on a video. So, that?s why I decided to do this special lock for her.

I gently pushed her head down a little so that I could separate the lock that was under her occipital lobe. I always enjoyed cutting off these locks, because the shape of the woman?s head was starting to be visible, and that was very exciting. I also enjoyed cutting off the nape locks, because the hair here is so soft, and the skin so tender. One more snip and the first of the three nape locks had been severed.

Now, for the scalp lock. I reached behind me and picked up an elastic, then I used my finger to separate a two-inch square of hair at the very top of her head. I pulled the large lock up, and used my other hand to smooth away all the hair that was clinging to the lock but not part of it. When I had it totally separated, I combed it very slowly and carefully before putting the elastic around it, about two inches from her scalp. I then put three more elastics on the lock, about six inches apart, to make sure the long tress of hair would not come apart over the years.

I could see in the mirror that she still had her eyes closed.

?O.K., Vicki, I think that you should see this one,? I said softly.

Her eyes fluttered for a moment, then she moved her head up, and the eyelids slowly opened. Her attention went directly to the lock I was holding.

?What are you going to do, Don?? she asked.

?Vicki, this is going to be my present to you. This will be your remembrance of this evening, and of your gorgeous hair. I just wanted you to see me cut this lock off so you will have the experience of seeing at least one lock shorn in person.?

?Don, you don?t have to do this for me,? she said quickly.

?Don?t worry, I want to, because you have given me so much of yourself tonight, it?s the least I can do for you.?

Now, she finally smiled, at least a little, the corners of her mouth lifting up. With her eyes wide and focused on the hand holding her lock of hair, she squared her shoulders and prepared herself. I slowly lifted my scissors to the top of her head, opened the blades, and placed them gently on the shorn portion of her head. I pulled the lock I was holding up so that it was taut, and then I moved the scissors forward. With a look into her eyes, I winked, she nodded, and I slowly closed the blades, hearing an audible ripping noise followed by a soft click as the blades closed. Paying attention now to the cutting, I very slowly cut through the thick hair, gradually releasing the lock into my hand. One more rip and click, and it was free. I held it up for her to see, then I lowered my hand, offering it to her. She removed her left hand from beneath the cape and slowly took hold of her hair, letting the end fall down and hit the floor. In a moment her right hand was out and she had stretched the lock across her lap. What a sight!

?If you want to braid it, or add more elastics to make sure it stays together, just let me know how many you?ll need.?

?That?s a good idea, why don?t you give me a couple of more elastics and I?ll put them on right now to keep all of it together.?

I reached behind me and picked out three more of the clear elastics that I loved to use, and placed them in her hand. Now I could see the first tear rolling down her cheek, and I truly wished that somehow that this night would not have happened for her sake. I paused for a few moments to place my hands gently on her shoulders as tears began falling from both eyes. I got a tissue and handed it to her, and she began to dab at her eyes.

In a choking voice, she said, ?I promised myself that I wouldn?t do this. If my platoon could see me now they might not want me to be there, I mean, crying over something like getting my hair cut. I guess it?s just the finish of something that I?ve had for so long, and the beginning of a new life, and my hair just won?t be a part of what I do, at least not for a while.? She sniffed a few times and continued to dab at the tears that welled up in her eyes.

I had seen this struggle with many women, mostly before the cutting began. I was always patient, holding their hair up or back to let them see approximately what they would look like with short hair. Many wanted one more chance to brush or comb their hair; some would braid their own hair before they had me cut off the braid, as a way to handle their hair one last time before it was gone from their head. I could only imagine the emotion and the thoughts of such an experience.

Vicki straightened up again, nodded to me in the mirror, and gave one last little sniff. The tears had stopped, and her jaw was firmly set. She still held her hair in her hands, but she was ready now to proceed. I separated the next lock at the top of her head, and began the process of smoothing out the hair, pulling it away from head, making sure no other hairs were clinging to this lock, then watching and listening as I placed the scissors on her head and closed the blades to begin the removal of this next piece of her crowning glory.

I allowed her the time to compose herself and have her own thoughts as I systematically removed each lock of hair. She didn?t speak again until I was cutting off a lock just behind her left ear.

?So, what do you plan to do with my hair??

?I haven?t thought much about that. You can see I have a couple of samples on the wall. This place doesn?t get used much, so there isn?t much dust. I like to wrap the hair in a scented cloth, then put it in a plastic bag, then in a manila envelope, seal and date it. Once in a while I?ll take out a braid or ponytail that I?m particularly fond of for length or thickness or color and just handle it to remember the time I had cutting it. I usually watch the video just once, and then edit it for sale, if I have the lady?s permission for distribution. But the hair is special. I never sell a woman?s hair. A couple of ladies have come back to me and asked for their hair, and they were glad that I had kept it.?

?I?m glad that you?ll have it here. When I get out of the service, I might want to get it from you.?

?Hair your length and texture is very unusual. You have given me a very special birthday present.?

I was down to the last lock, the sideburn piece on the left side. I smoothed out the hair, grabbed it with my left hand, twisted it slightly, pulled it just a little, then putting the scissors against her scalp, slowly snipped it off. I placed it on the huge pile of locks behind me, and took a deep breath. What an evening so far! I turned back to look at her denuded head, basically a landscape of tufts of hair separated by white scalp. I ran my hands over her hair, feeling the coarseness of the uneven hair, yet I was excited by the thickness of what was left. I turned the chair so that her back was to the camera, put the scissors on the counter, and picked up my trusty Wahl clippers. I preferred these because the Osters just made too much noise. There were oiled and ready to go.

I checked her face in the mirror, and a nod told me she was ready for the next phase. I put my left hand on the crown of her head and slowly, lightly pushed, and she lowered her head, exposing her neck. I adjust the unguarded clippers for the maximum cutting amount, flipped the switch, and listened for a moment to the familiar vibrating hum. I placed the edge of the teeth below her hairline, right in the center of her neck, and with a sigh of delight, began to push the clippers up, keeping them tight against her scalp. The hair began to lift and then shear off, falling softly over the clippers, onto my fingers and hand, then rolling off in the journey to the floor. I kept a steady movement, over the occipital lobe and up to her crown. A good, clean path of white scalp, free of any tufts of brown hair, was now visible.

?That felt, uh, very weird,? she said, not able to talk very loudly with her chin down.

?Hopefully it felt good.?

?Yeah, it did, and I like the sound of the hair being cut. So different from the scissors.?

I started a path to the right of the one I had just made, and her hair again rained down in small balls and tufts. I reached the crown again, and started another path, on the right, working my way around her head. When I got to her right ear, I pushed it forward and ran the clippers from behind her ear up to the line I had established from the crown. The last strip took off the sideburn and temple hair. She was now totally hairless from the middle of her head in back to the right side. I repeated the process on the left side, and in a couple of minutes all she had left was the cap of hair from crown to forehead.

I turned the chair so she was now facing the camera. I gave her a little nudge to drop her chin a bit, and I placed the buzzing clippers on her forehead, while standing behind her. I had the cord clipped to my shirtsleeve so there would be unobstructed view of the clipper ?going down the middle?. I pressed the clippers against her scalp, and began moving them back into her hair. The shorn hair began to roll up over the blades and fall off on either side of her head, landing on the cape in front of her shoulders and trickling down to her lap, joining the hair that had been clipped from the sides of her head. The clippers made their journey to her crown, and now the end of her hair was almost near. I moved the clippers back to the front and made another path of white scalp to the right, then another one, and all that was left was the stubble and tufts on the right side of her head. Three passes, and it was all gone, and she had a little mound of hair to stare at.

?O.K., I?m going to run the clippers all over your head again in different directions to get as much off as I can before the final shave.?

?Take your time, the clippers really feel good on my head.?

So I took her at her word, moving the clippers slowly and carefully from ear to ear, side to side, trying to get the last vestige of her hair. I used my left hand to feel ahead of the clippers, enjoying the sensation of very smooth scalp and the occasional bit of rough remaining hair that was soon gobbled up by the sharp clipper blades. A few minutes, and the clippers were shut off for the evening.

?Do you want to feel your head?? I asked, as she seemed to be about ready to open her eyes and look at her new ?do?.

?No, still not ready. I want to wait until it?s all done.?

?All right, that?s your decision. I?m going to put a warm washcloth on your head for a couple of minutes then apply some shaving gel, and I?ll start the headshave.?

?Sounds very relaxing. With my eyes closed, I might go to sleep on you.?

?You?d be surprised how many of the girls go to sleep having their head shaved. It does seem to relax them after the trauma of their hair being cut off.?

I place a large washcloth under the hot water, soaked it, and then wrung it out a bit. I placed the edge of the cloth on her head.

?How does that feel? Too hot??

She waited for a moment to speak. ?No, I think that?s all right.?

?It will cool off very quickly. By the time I get my razors out and the shaving gel ready, I?ll be taking off the cloth because I don?t want your head to get cold.? And true to my words, in two minutes the cloth was off and I was squirting the gel on her head. As I began to rub it in and create a lather, I told her what a beautifully shaped head she has. As we chatted about head shapes, and the bumps and creases she often saw on the men who shaved their heads in the service, I had turned her again to face the camera, and without hesitation began moving the Shick three blade razor in small strokes back from her forehead.

?Wow, that does feel good,? she cooed in delight. ?Do you really like to shave women?s heads??

?Truth be told, I really prefer to play with a woman?s hair. I love to keep a woman?s hair looking good, so my preferred method is to help to keep the hair trimmed and healthy and just enjoy playing with it. My cutting experience began by a few of my trimming customers deciding to go short.?

?They trusted you to cut their hair short??

Laughing, ?Yeah, I was amazed. I had never really thought about cutting off major hair before. The first one just came to me for a trim and asked me how I thought she would look in a bob. I pinned her hair up on the sides, we both agreed it looked good, and she said to cut there. I was scared to death. The first section I cut was the most nerve wracking experience I ever had, especially when I looked on the floor and saw that long hair lying there. But as I progressed with her hair, it started looking good, and I got more confident. And I really enjoyed cutting her hair short, even though I missed her long hair when she would come by for a shampoo. The next day I went to the book store and got all the books I could find on haircutting, so I would be ready for the next one. I knew they wouldn?t all keep their hair long forever.?

I had shaved the top and crown of her head and was now working on the right side, pulling the razor back toward her ear, listening to the raspy sound of the razor blades cutting off the remnants of her hair, actually below the skin. I kept moving my left hand across her head, constantly checking to make sure that I had completely shaved her. It was a wonderfully different sensation now, my left hand resting against her head, fingers moving in different directions to seek out any hair that had to be removed, the warmth of her head, and the slickness of the shaving gel. So different from the feel of long, heavy locks of hair being held in the same hand as they waited to be cut off.

?Do you remember the first woman whose head you shaved??

?Oh, yes. That was Doris. She had a boyfriend who had cheated on her. She was one of my customers, and she showed up one evening without an appointment. She told me the story, and said that she was going to teach him a lesson he would never forget. He loved her long hair, it was red and curly. She told me to cut it all off, put it in a plastic bag, and then shave her head with a razor. She wanted to be ?smooth?, she said. So, I did to her basically what I did to you tonight. I cut off all her beautiful red curly locks, one at a time (I saved one thick one for me, not knowing where the hair would end up), then I clippered off her hair, then I did the shave. Shaving her head was also scary. I didn?t want to cut her scalp, so I was very slow and deliberate. And you know what? She was so upset, and so shaken with having her hair cut off, that the shave put her to sleep. I had to hold her head up to shave it.?

?What did she do with her hair??

?She kept it, still has it, I imagine.?

?And did they stay together, her and her boyfriend??

?He learned the lesson; they were married two years later, so she had shoulder length hair for the wedding.?

I was now working on the back of her head, almost finished. I was using the third razor, and the shaving had gone quickly. A few more strokes, and a careful check of her neck and nape, and we were done. I dampened another cloth and wiped off the shaving gel. I then got a soft, dry towel and dried her head. Then I got my special aloe formula skin conditioner and applied it gently all over her head. What a feeling, to be rubbing my hands all over her smooth head, remembering that two hours ago I was combing through a thick head of long hair.

?Well, Vicki, time for the unveiling. Are you ready??

?I am.? Her eyelids fluttered open, and she stared at the image in the mirror. I removed the cape, and her hands carefully and slowly went to her head, and she began to wonderingly feel the ultimate smoothness and warmth of her beautiful head.

?My gosh, I have eyes again,? she said.

?That?s the first thing you notice, how your eyes and brows stand out. Also the structure of your face, because there is no hair to hide behind anymore.?

She turned her head from side to side. ?My head is beautiful. Hard to believe it can look so good.?

I continued running the film as she got to know herself as a bald beauty, and I cleaned up around the chair. I took her long hair and set it aside in preparation for me to tie it together. I picked up a large plastic bag and put her lock of hair in it for her to take home. The towels, cloths and capes went into a basket that I would take to the laundry room. The razors went into the trash can, and I swept up the hair remnants on the floor. I cleaned my tools, and turned to look at her again.

?Don, it?s so beautiful, I don?t know what to say.?

?Vicki, you don?t have to say anything. What a pleasure it was for me to do this for you. Now you can take your training and stay smooth for as long as you need to, then you can let your hair grow again when you reach your duty post.?

I escorted her out of the room, up the stairs to the entry way, and she stopped to pick up her purse, putting the ponytail into the side pocket. I got all her information about where to contact her and write to her. We exchanged thank yous all the way to the door, and just before she walked out into the night, she gave me a hug and peck on the cheek, and she was gone. I watched her pull out of the drive, and she was on the way home. I closed and locked the door, and went back into my shop. I took the huge hank of hair, organized the locks together so that one end was pretty even, and tied a large soft elastic around that end, then another, and then another. I lifted up the prize, feeling the weight, smelling the fragrance, letting it fall against the cheek she had just kissed, and enjoyed all the sensations for a good minute. Then I carefully made a triple circle with the hair and wrapped it in my special hair cloth, then I put it a plastic bag, and then the large manila folder. I opened the closet door in the room and placed it in the filing cabinet, where it joined over a hundred other envelopes. What a tremendously lucky guy, I thought to myself.

I pulled the cassette from the camera, put it on top of the clothes basket, exited my hobby room, turning out the lights. I put the basket on top of the washer, then went to my ?family? room, putting the video in the rewinder, and tossing in a fresh recordable CD in the duplicator. When the video was rewound, I put it in the duplicator, turned on all the proper switches, and settled back to watch my newest video. At midnight, with the sweet fragrance of her hair still on me, I turned off the lights and went to my bedroom, aware that my 50th birthday had come to end, but what a birthday it was!

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