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I moved here with my two sons from my small rural town about 3 months ago. In all the confusion in my life, hair was the last thing I was concerned about. So it wasn’t until school broke off for the summer that I even looked at the boys and thought they needed a haircut.

In the town I lived for the last 15 years, there was no hairdresser. My sister used to trim my hair when she came to visit, but once the boys arrived I began to get it done at the barbershop once or twice a year when they went in. I would get their hair short every summer; usually ½ – _ ” with the clippers. I would keep mine layered and easy to look after. He usually cut it about 4-6 inches from the sides to the top.

So it was not unusual when I took the boys for a haircut last weekend. We went to a small shop just off the main street near our apartment. There was just the one barber. When I announced we all came for haircuts he asked if I meant me too! I hadn’t intended that but it wasn’t a problem! I sent Jamie up first. I told the guy we hadn’t had haircuts for 5 months and needed everything short for the summer. He asked “Take it all down with the clippers?” I smiled and said, “Sure!” He said nothing else until he swept down the center of Jamie’s head shaving everything to his scalp. I was in shock. Never had they had their hair cut so short. I mean _ of an inch was always a big change. This was shaved right to his scalp.

He smiled and exclaimed “That nice for the summer!”

I had little choice but to sit there and watch. Jamie looked absolutely skinned. Reluctantly I sent Eddy up and held my breath as the barber shaved his hair with the same lack of respect. The boys looked at each other in disbelief. I grew up hearing stories about boys and the ritual summer haircuts but I had always thought that an excuse for parents who just didn’t care, and shearing it all off was just the easiest thing to do.

So when I got in the chair I didn’t consider his ruthless aggression anything more than just a guy thing. He placed the cape around me and asked if I wanted it short too! I said like the boys it had been last cut 5 months earlier. I think it must have been 8-10 inches long. As he tried to flick his comb through the tangles I commented I desperately needed it easier to look after for the summer. He nodded. I added jokingly, “Not as short as the boys!” He laughed, pointed to my neckline and suggested he’d keep it close so it would be cool and not stick to my neck.

Like the boys he left the chair facing the waiting area. The mirror was behind me otherwise I might have seen him reaching for the clippers. They suddenly started buzzing right behind my ear. He began one firm sift stroke into my hair. I grasped the arms of the chair in terror and gasped, “Wait!!!” but he continued pressing the clippers through my hair right up the side to my part line.

The boys were drawing in a magazine so I tried not to startle them. I knew that once the clippers start there is really nothing you can do but continue. I had no idea how short he was cutting it. I just watched great clumps of my hair dropping down over my shoulders and into my lap. He was cutting everything. I could see the dark root growth of my hair as it tumbled over my lap to the floor. I began to tremble. I was scared.

When he turned the chair so I could see I was shocked. The reflection looked like someone else. My hair was shaved ¼” all over. Jamie and Eddy stared, and said, “Mom, you look like a guy!”

Well here I am with the shortest hair in history! I just pray each night it will grow out by morning and that this was just a bad dream.

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