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(this story is a continuation of ‘A Vicious SB&S’)

It was mid July and 8 weeks had passed since I got my short back and sides and both mine and my cousins’ hair had grown about 1’’ and we were starting to look reasonably hairy again. For the first time my aunt and uncle had booked a summer holiday in Spain for us and my aunt had become obsessed by how hot the weather would be in Spain and how short hair would be cooler for everyone. She prevailed upon my uncle to get his hair cut a bit shorter than normal and even had about an inch trimmed from her coiffure. Consequently both my cousins and myself were very much on the haircut alert.

I had finished school for the summer break but Roddy and Chris did not finish until the Friday lunchtime. My aunt suggested that I come with her to pick them up from school and I agreed. It was a 5 mile drive to the school and we met them as they were leaving the building. Then the expected bombshell exploded. ‘We’re flying out on Sunday and the weather will be very hot and you will all need a short haircut,’ she announced. This was not unexpected and we wearily prepared for another short back and sides. We got into the car and my aunt drove it to a car park just off the High Street of a small shopping centre. We got out and she escorted us to a small Barber’s shop. We went inside. There were two chairs in black leatherette but only one youngish looking Barber. I drank in the scene, this was my fatal mistake as Roddy and Chris, with their extensive haircut experience, darted for the waiting benches. ‘Right,’ my aunt addressed the Barber, ‘They all need crew-cuts and,’ her voice rose to give the following words considerable stress, ‘could you ensure that the hair is cropped very close.’

The Barber smiled, I was still looking around the shop and as I was the nearest to the chairs, he turned to me and beckoned me into a chair. I realised that I had been outmaneuvered and trapped and that I had no option but to go first. I climbed into the chair with a sinking feeling in my stomach. I knew what a crew-cut was and my aunts instructions did not inspire any confidence .A tissue was wrapped around my neck before being covered with a white cape. Next the chair was raised and I was ready. I expected my hair to be combed first but this formality was dispensed with. He reached for a pair of clippers, they were black but slightly larger than the ones of my previous haircut and he placed what appeared to be a small metal comb on the end of them. He switched them on, instead of a low bass hum the sound was whirring with a nasty metallic grate.

The clippers approached straight at me and touched my forehead and he was away, the note changing as they hit the hairline They were moved from front to back slightly to the right of centre. The hair piled up in front of the clippers like snow in front of a snow plough and at the end of each pass he tossed the hair way with a flourish, some cascaded down the cape but most ended up on the floor. After 1’’ of travel of the first stripe I could see the very short hair and the white of the scalp underneath. Each row the clippers made revealed further short hair and white scalp. 5 passes were enough to complete the top. He was obeying my aunts instructions to the letter, I was getting a very close crop.

The top was finished, he removed the comb from the clippers and pushed my head down. The blades of the clippers dug into my neck and he pushed up. Unlike my first clippering where the actual shearing was almost a pleasant experience, this was not. It felt as if he was scraping the hair from my head (as indeed he was). Each pass I felt the clippers dig in and I experienced the scraping sensation. I sat miserably in the chair with a nasty suspicion as to what was happening at the back. This haircutting experience was very rough and did not compare with my first haircut.

Eventually the clippers appeared from behind the back and started just behind my left ear. Dig and scrape, the 1’’ hair piling up in front of the clippers but this time I could just see the naked white scalp. Then over the left ear which he bent so he remove an awkward bit of hair. Finally the sideburn disappeared leaving more white scalp. The right side was reduced in a similar fashion of dig and scrape and with a final flourish he removed the right sideburn and the hair trickled miserably down the cape. He then made a perfunctory attempt to blend the ultra short top with the naked sides and he was finished. He replaced the clippers while I stared at my reflection. My first thought was that I looked like an inmate of the Soviet Gulag but then I noticed my ears. After the short back and sides they stuck out moderately, now with no hair to soften the outline they were very prominent. I remember next thinking that I looked like a wingnut.

He swept my naked back and sides with a powdered brush and then released me, giving me the tissue which was round my neck in order that I could wipe my neck. I slid from the chair staggered and stunned at the speed and the savagery of the hair cut, it must have been less than 5 minutes. I tottered back to the waiting bench noticing the looks of apprehension and alarm on the faces of Roddy and Chris. My aunt had been similarly staggered and she immediately ordered the Barber ‘to leave more hair on.’ It was too late for me though. Roddy was next and he was quickly shorn, I did get some comfort from the fact that he did not appear to enjoy the experience any more than I did. Chris showed no emotion during his shearing. They both looked half- human with their crew-cuts which is more than I could say for myself.

My aunt paid the Barber and we trooped outside. We paid a couple of visits to two small shops on each occasion I had the feeling I was the centre of attention, people were staring at me. On the walk back to the car it was worse, everyone seemed to be looking at me. Then it hit me, the haircut! This was just before the days when really short hair came back into fashion and my hair (or lack of it) was a rare sight on a teenager. This made me feel very self conscious, I felt and looked some kind of freak. I was glad when we reached the sanctuary of the car and drove home. Next day, Saturday, I tried to leave the house as little as possible.

We flew out on the Sunday. The change to very hot weather was new. I did not know about sunblock and having to protect yourself from the sun and of course I had acres of naked white scalp showing and almost the first thing that I did on holiday was to go down with sunstroke. Just goes to show that ultra short haircuts don’t really work in hot weather.

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