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I’d just moved to a small town in Canada, out in the middle of nowhere. It was a logging town, dominated by two pulp mills and several lumber operations. Being from a big city I didn’t know anyone there, and was just starting to meet people after taking a job I’d been pursuing for over a year.

It had been about 3 months since my last haircut, and my hair was getting both long & thick. I was having trouble keeping it controlled – ever since I was little the sides would stick out whenever they reached a certain length. Ever since I was a teenager there was no way I let a male barber near my hair – they always tended to do things the way they wanted it. Since I was 15 I had only allowed female barbers or stylists to cut my hair.

Now I needed to find a stylist as I needed to look presentable for work, and since I worked in health care, that was also an issue. But I didn’t know where to start, until someone I met through work introduced me to her girlfriend, Donna. Donna was co-owner of a local salon and she personally specialized in men’s haircuts. It took another week and a lot of pushing, but I finally called and made an appointment with her for a haircut, on a Saturday.

After a long and nervous wait 1:30 p.m. came and I walked into her salon. As I hung my coat up she called over to me from the shampoo basin, as if she had been waiting for me. I walked over and had a seat in the chair as she fastened a towel into the collar of my shirt. `Put your head back,’ she said, and I leaned backward into the sink. Warm water ran through my hair and I could feel Donna’s hands running over my scalp, working her fingers in. Then came another rinse of warm water and another round of shampoo. When she was finished Donna rubbed my head with another towel and told me to come over to her chair.

As soon as I was in her chair Donna turned it so that I faced a mirror. She picked up a large black-and-white cape and draped it over me. Then she pulled the towel from my collar and wrapped a neck tissue around my neck, then pulled the cape together snugly at the back.

`Wow, do you ever need a haircut,’ she told me as she ran her comb through my long tresses, combing it down and sectioning it. `How long since your last haircut?’ she asked. `About 3 months’ I replied sheepishly. `It shows,’ she answered. By now I could see in the mirror just how long my hair was – my bangs hung down into my eyes, the sides reached my earlobes and the back was touching the cape.

`Now.what are we doing today?’ she asked. `I imagine something quite a bit shorter.how about I take about an inch and a half off all around – that should still leave you about an inch on top and half an inch at the back & sides.’ `Sounds good,’ I replied nervously. Donna picked up her scissors and started at the side, cutting several long, heavy lengths away. I watched in the mirror as my strawberry blonde locks dropped onto the cape and slid down.

`You really should get your hair cut about every 6 weeks – that’s what I suggest to all my male clients,’ she said, as she worked her shears over the top next, snipping away long, thick chunks of my hair with her scissors. Strawberry blonde locks were falling everywhere – on the cape and floor, and I could see small pieces sticking to her hands as she worked.

`Now you’re starting to look like a new man – and we still have a lot to do,’ she told me, taking her scissors and running them across my forehead, snipping long lengths away from my face. My ugly, thick bangs dropped onto the cape, and I smiled at the image in the mirror. I could hear her scissors cutting away as she worked them across the back, and that part of my head started to feel lighter as the hair dropped away to the floor. Then she dried my hair with her blow dryer, and picked up some scissors with teeth on the edges of the blades.

`I can remove most of the bulk with these – what do you think? It will certainly feel a lot lighter and will last you longer,’ she told me. `Sure,’ I answered. I watched in the mirror as she worked her scissors over the top first, then the back. My hair fell in soft, dry clumps to the cape & floor. Then she picked up a razor from her work area and applied it to the back & sides, before holding up a hand mirror to show me the back.

What a difference! I must have looked about 20 years younger. The hair at the back was down to a very stylish ½” and there was about 1 inch still left on the top. The sides came straight across at the ears. `I love it!’ I told her as she dusted off my neck, pulled the cape apart and removed the tissue, then removed the cape from me.

I paid Donna for her services and tipped her generously. Before I left, she told me `Your next cut will be the end of next month – right around early November.’ I made sure I came back that November, and Donna became my regular stylist for my stay in that town – 2 years.

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