Home » Location » Barbershop » Blond, Black and Pink (Part 7)

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In Part 5 Penny, one of the five amigas led by the bald Melissa, had her hair cut into a super short pixie. Her Mother Heather and big sister Ginny both liked it. Ginny was getting tired of the high upkeep of her spiky style and was ready to make a change. Heather also was ready to get a short haircut and said she would go with Ginny when Ginny set a date. On the spur of the moment Ginny had decided to go on Monday because she had the morning off. Heather was surprised but took her up on the invitation.

Monday Week 3 – Ginny and Heather at Kate’s Barbershop

Heather had been up for a while when Ginny finally appeared for breakfast. As usual she had some juice, toast and a glass of milk.

“Mom, I think I’ll go on over to Kate’s. Penny said she had a couple of big scrapbooks full of pictures of short hair styles. I’d like to browse through them. Maybe I’ll find something I like especially well.”

“OK, Ginny, but I have a few things to take care of before I leave. I’ll be there by ten O’clock.”

“Bye, I’ll see you there.”

Ginny made the short drive to Melrose Street and found a parking spot on 25th St. close to Melrose St. and only a short walk to Kate’s shop. Kate opened her shop at nine am, but on Monday having a customer before ten was unusual. Ginny walked in at nine thirty.

The little bell over the door rang and Kate looked up to see a nicely dressed girl in her late teens with moderately short hair spiked up in all directions. She was not a regular customer and Kate didn’t recognize her.

“Come in. What can I do for you today?” Kate’s manner was friendly but brisk.

“Hi. I need a haircut. You’re Kate aren’t you?”

“Yes I am. What kind of haircut did you have in mind?”

“I’m not sure. But it will be short. You gave Penny a great haircut on Saturday. I’m Ginny. Penny’s my sister. My Mom is coming in for a haircut too. She’ll be here in a little while. Penny said you have some big books with lots of pictures to choose from.”

“Oh, so you’re Ginny. Penny said that you found that picture that she brought in with her. You know, I’d like to add that to my pixie collection. I’ll be more than happy to give your Mom a haircut. Let’s have a look at some of my collection. I’ve been collecting pictures of short haircuts for years. The albums and styles are indexed, so if you have a general idea of what you would like, you can find lots of examples. They’re all in that rack at the back of the shop by that little table. Let’s go back there and I’ll show you a few examples.”

“This is great Kate. I’ve never seen such a big collection. I don’t know where to start.”

“Well, why don’t you take a look at just the first page of each section. That way you can eliminate a lot of possibilities. I’ll bet you don’t want a chili bowl cut, and you couldn’t really get a bob. Most of the asymmetric styles are too long for your hair too. So I suggest you take a look at the pixie styles, boy cuts, buzz cuts with bangs, regular buzz cuts and brush cuts. There are a few longish brush cuts that you might like. And there are a lot of different styles all under the label ‘short crops.”

“I don’t think I want a pixie style, but I’ll look at the first page. Maybe short crops is what I want. I’ll just have to browse a little.”

“Sure, go ahead and take your time. I’ll be tidying up. Call me if you have any questions.”

Ginny looked at the first page of ‘short crops’ and found nothing that excited her. She switched to the ‘boy cuts’ and found several that interested her, but none that really grabbed her attention. Next she looked at the ‘brush cuts.’ As Kate had mentioned, there were a couple that she liked. She put a marker at that spot and continued on. She opened up ‘buzz cuts with bangs’ and was instantly grabbed by a picture on the first page. It showed a girl about her age with a short buzz cut with a fringe of bangs. There were side and back views as well. The bangs were too long she thought, as she compared her own face shape with that of the girl in the picture. She immediately knew she had found what she was looking for. She began to browse through the dozens of pictures of girls and women with buzz cuts with short, medium and long bangs. She lingered over several but continued on. Another girl with an even shorter buzz and very short bangs caught her attention. She marked it as well. She found another picture with a slightly longer buzz cut and bangs. She like it and put a marker at that page. A few minutes of comparison and she knew she had found what she wanted. There were two that she was very excited about. One was a very short buzz with tiny bangs. It was her favorite, but her first thought was it might be too extreme. The other was a little longer with a longer wispy fringe of bangs. She had also seen some buzzes on mature women like her Mom. She quickly searched again and picked out three examples that she thought would look good on her Mom. They were all longer than the four she had found for herself. She hoped that her Mom would like them.

“Kate, I found some buzzed styles that I like. Could you take a look and tell me what you think?”

“Sure Ginny. Let me have a look at you first. It’s important that you have the right hairline for some of those buzz cuts. And of course you face shape and ears make a difference. You have a good face shape”. She pushed Ginny’s hair away from her face so she could examine the hairline. “That’s good Ginny. You have a nice even hairline, so you can go as short as you like with your bangs. And your ears don’t stick out. That’s important. Let’s see what you have in mind.”

“This one and this one. I like this one the best, but it’s the shortest of all.”

“That’s a good choice for you. It would look just as good on you as it does on the girl in the picture. The other one is equally as good. They both would suit you well.”

“I like the short one. How long is it? Can you tell?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s a one quarter inch buzz, but with the sides and back cut to one eight of an inch to about an inch above her ears and then blended to the rest. The bangs are no more than a half inch. The sides and back would be just about like Penny’s. It’s pretty easy to do that cut with one inch bangs like the other picture. It’s just a matter of blending it with the short buzz on top. Actually you can have any combination of those features. They would all look good on you.”

“Thanks. I’ll show them to Mom before I decide. She should be here in a couple of minutes.” Ginny had glanced at the clock and realized it was almost ten O’clock. “By the way Kate, I found several really neat buzz cuts on women as old as my Mom. I’m going to show them to her. I’ll bet she would look super good with a buzz cut. See, here’s the one I like the best. It’s not as short as the ones I like, but it’s still a pretty short buzz cut. What do you think?”

“I like the cut, but I haven’t seen your Mom, so I can’t say whether it would look good on her or not. Of course she has the final say anyway. Most of the time when people come to me they are ready for a short cut, and all I do is tell them if the style they want is going to work for them. Most times I can adapt what they are looking for to their face shape, but sometimes I tell them they should do something different. I’ll just have to wait.”

The little bell rang and turned to see Heather step into the shop.

“Mom, we’re back here. This is Kate.”

“Hi, Kate, I’m Heather.”

“I’m glad to meet you. Ginny has been looking through my collection of short hair styles. You might find something in them that you like too.”

“Yes! Look at these two Mom. Kate says she can modify they so that I get a combination of the two.”

“Let me see. My goodness, that is short Ginny. What do you think Kate?”

“It is short, but you know Ginny would look very, very good with a cut like that. She has
just the right features and it would enhance her eyes.”

“Well Penny’s cut was really cute and her Dad liked it. I guess the only question I have is whether it’s OK with your job. Will that be a problem Ginny?” she asked.

“I don’t think so. Some of the girls have pretty funky styles and wild colors. One of the guys has a mohawk. I think it makes the place more interesting to people. A buzz cut like this would be pretty mild compared to what a lot of the kids are wearing.”

“OK. I can see how it would look good on you. I agree with Kate that it would make you eyes stand out more. So go ahead. I’ll look through the collection myself.”

“Mom, let me show you a couple that I found. I think you would look great with this cut. Or this one.” She showed Heather the two pictures.

“Goodness Ginny, you think I should get a buzz cut like you. I think I’m too old for that.”

“No way, Mom. You would look super. And besides Dad would flip. He always tells you how good you look when you get you hair cut even a little bit short. He would love it. And wouldn’t it be great for us to have Mother Daughter buzz cuts. Remember you showed me that picture of Grandma and her Mother and told me about the time they had gotten twin poodle perms like that actress, I can’t remember her name. You said that Grandma had to have that curly perm for two years, because her Mom wanted them to have twin hair styles. I think it would be fun to have the same style. What do you think Kate. Wouldn’t she look great?” Ginny’s enthusiasm was overflowing.

“Slow down Ginny. Let me have a chance to look at these pictures. They do look pretty good. It would be a big change. I don’t know Ginny. What do you think Kate? I’m beginning to be tempted. What am I saying?”

Kate look at Heather critically. “You have the right shaped face. Can I see your ears.” Heather obediently pull her hair back to reveal her ears. “Oh, they’re nice and small a don’t stick out at all. That’s perfect. I should check your hairline in back, although that’s usually not much of a problem.” She lifted Heather’s hair in the back and checked out the hairline. “I agree with Ginny. You can definitely carry off any of those buzz cuts and they would work extremely well for you. They would flatter your face and you would look very good. In my opinion you would look younger and very smart. Of course you should know that I am partial to short hair styles on women so I’m a little biased I suppose.”

Heather laughed at this disclaimer.

“There’s another picture in there that shows how you would look even better than these two. That women has a face shape that is almost identical to yours. Here it is.” She had quickly thumbed through the section of buzz cuts and found the one she wanted. There were six views of a forty something woman with a buzz cut that sported a few wisps of bangs on the left side.

“She looks a lot like you Mom. That is awesome Kate. Mom, you would look fabulous with that cut!”

“Goodness, that is short. I wouldn’t dare Ginny. What would people think seeing someone my age with a cut that short?”

“What do you care about them Mom. All of your friends would envy you. You would make them all look frumpy. You would be a standout.”

“You really think your Dad would like it?”

“You saw how he loved Penny’s cut. He likes short hair on women. If you get it cut like that he’s not going to be able to keep his hands off you.”


“Well you know we all know how much he likes you. You too still act like you just got married. It makes the kids laugh, but they think it’s great.”

“How short is that cut Kate? Would I really look as good as she does?”

“Well if you really like it, what’s the difference how short it is. I guarantee that you will look as good or better than she does. You have all the right features. I’d give you a few more wisps of bangs, but otherwise it would be like the pictures. You will be a knockout and beautifully elegant to boot in that style. Besides that you will look ten years younger.” Kate knew that Heather would be a real standout in the buzzed style she had in mind and she was using all her persuasive powers.

“You are right about your Father Ginny. I’ve finally figured out that he loves short hair on women. He would like me to cut my hair, the shorter the better, but he won’t tell me. He just tells me how nice I look no matter what length it is. I began to figure it out because every time he sees a woman with very short hair he stares at her until he has to look away. He tries to disguise it, but I know. One time he slipped up thought. There was a woman with a crewcut in front of us and he told me that I would look good with a cut like that. Maybe I’ll have to give him his wish. Besides I’ve always wanted to try something really short and never had the courage to do it,” Heather confessed.

Heather looked at the pictures once more and tried to imagine herself with such a haircut. She thought the women in the pictures, particularly the one that Kate showed her, looked great with their buzzes. She even believed that she would look good and that her husband Chris would like it. Still her conservative side kept interfering with her desire to do something daring. She remembered how she had praised Penny with her radical cut, and she remembered Penny telling her about the beautiful cuts that she had seen Kate do. She was deep in introspection when she heard Ginny’s voice.

“Go for it Mom. I would love going out and being seen with you. You would be the best looking woman anywhere around. People would think you were my big sister.”

Heather heard herself saying, “I guess we’re just going to have to be twins Ginny. Let’s get started before I lose my nerve Kate. I’ll leave it up to you. Do whatever you think will look best.”

“Terrific. Sit down in my chair and let me get you caped.” Kate combed Heather’s hair and examined its texture and thickness carefully. Heather had thick strong dark auburn hair. Kate knew she could go very short and it would still not show any skin. She was tempted to go shorter than the woman in the picture that Heather liked, but she didn’t want to go so short that Heather would be shocked. She decided to begin with a No. 3 on the sides and a No. 4 on top. She could go shorter later. She combed a small section of hair forward at the front and secured it with two clips. They would form the graduated area and the few wisps of bangs that she planned. She snapped on the No. 4 guide and quickly reduced the back to half an inch. Examining the result, she realized that she could go shorter. She switched to a No.3 guide and repeated the process. This time she was satisfied with the result and changed her plan. She would use the No. 3 on top and a No. 2 on the sides with a No. 1 ½ about an inch above the ears and in the back up to the occipital bone.

Heather had shivered at the first touch of the clippers. Heather was familiar with the feel of clippers on her neck. She had often had cuts that were tapered at the back and required some cleanup with the small and very quiet battery operated clippers most stylists used, but this was different. These clippers were much bigger and a lot noisier even though they were cordless. The vibration that they produced had been what sent a shiver down her spine. She had a strong urge to reach up and feel it after Kate had made the first few passes with the clippers. She had just gotten her hand free when Kate ordered “head down please.” She withdrew her hand and dutifully let her head drop. The sound of the clippers returned followed immediately by the clippers starting behind her ear and going up and over the top of her head. This process was repeated several more times until she felt the clippers in front of her ear going up right to the top of her head. She stopped breathing then caught her breath. There was no hair in her lap, so she didn’t have any idea how much hair was being cut o

Kate spoke quietly to her. “You’re going to be gorgeous, just wait and see.” Heather relaxed a little. There was no hair on the cape. Kate carefully dropped all the cut off hair on the floor behind Heather, out of sight. She had finished cutting all the hair except the front section to 3/8 of an inch. Now she could see that she had made the right decision. She did not want to have to use the clippers any more than necessary at least for this first dramatic transformation. “I’m not cutting it any shorter now, just making sure it’s even all over” she reassured Heather. She continued over Heather’s head, this time re-cutting the back section that had been left ½ inch long.

Replacing the No. 3 with a 2 she started up the back again. Again she spoke softly to Heather, “To make it really beautiful and elegant the sides and back have to be a little shorter than the top and perfectly tapered. That’s what I’m doing now.” Kate’s quiet reassurances and the slight vibrations of the clipper had eased Heather’s anxiety. She began to relax and enjoy the feeling. Kate carefully ran the clippers up the side of Heather’s head until she reached the area where it began to curve into the top. She had started behind the left ear and worked her way forward. Returning to the back she repeated the procedure going up almost to the crown. Kate was very pleased with the shape of Heather’s head. Unlike some women and many men, there was no flattened area at the back of her head. It was beautifully rounded. Once again she spoke to Heather. “You have a perfectly shaped head. Did you know that? This is the perfect style for showing it off.” Kate had removed the No. 2 guard and replaced it with the 1 ½. “I’m almost done with the clippers.” She went up about half the distance of the previous run. She quickly completed the circuit around Heather’s head and put the clippers aside.

“Now comes the slow and careful part Heather. I have to blend everything with scissors and comb. I’m going to do your bangs first, but not completely. I just need to get the basic shape right so I can do the tapering and blending to the top. ” She picked up a small pair of scissors and cut Heather’s bangs to about 1 ½ inches. About an inch back from the front hairline the buzzed hair began. Kate decided to cut most of it to about ½ inch and match it to the shorter hair behind it. Kate got out her razor with the tapering guard – the same one she had used to cut Penny hair and make it lay tightly against her head. She used it the same way to produce a few wispy strands of bangs across Heather’s forehead. They were less than an inch long. The hair behind these few wisps had been reduced to ½ to _ inch and thinned with the razor. Now she used her small scissors and a thin comb to taper it so that it blended with the hair behind it. Kate decided that she would come back for some finishing touches once she had completed the rest of the blending. She began on the left side and began the meticulous process of combing and snipping that would make the transition from the ¼ inch sides to the 3/8 inch top completely undetectable and would further enhance the shape of Heather’s head.

Ginny had been watching in complete fascination. She had never seen any stylist work with such skill on hair that was so short. As the haircut progressed, Ginny became more and more excited seeing the result as it emerged. “Mom, you’re going to look incredibly good. I can’t wait to get mine cut. I hope I look half as good as you.”

Heather finally smiled. “I’m scared to look at myself. You’ll have to keep encouraging me. One side of me says I’m crazy for doing this, and the other side is laughing and saying you finally let me have some freedom to be myself.”

Kate laughed. “We’re going to show that old stick in the mud side that a little freedom will have her dancing.” She continued her meticulous tapering and blending. She had been completely around Heather’s head once. Now she carefully used her scissors to trim around Heather’s ears. Next she used her little battery powered edger to give her sideburns a sharp outline and to trim and to remove any stray hairs around her ears and along her hairline and on her neck. She couldn’t decide whether to leave Heather’s hairline natural or to give it a little more definition. She decided on the latter. Someday she might persuade Heather to let her wax it to give it a well defined outline. Several of her customers now had hairlines that were clean and sharp as a result of having been waxed every six weeks or so for a years or more. Now their hairline was permanent and didn’t need to be shaved to keep them looking sharp. She had raised Heather’s hairline about a quarter of an inch and used her small battery operated adjustable clippers to taper and blend this new hairline into the hair above it. It had a gently rounded shape that ended in a broad point in the middle. She thought that looked better than squared off or with 2 or three points. She returned to the bangs which she decided needed some additional thinning. Heather’s face needed only a tiny amount of softening to remove any hint of harshness. She had relatively thin eyebrows that were a little lighter than her hair, which keep them from overpowering her face. Kate wondered if perhaps she had lightened them. She liked that effect and had encouraged some of her customers to try it. Kate was certain that the final result would be outstanding. Finally she was finished except for clipping low on Heather’s neck where it had been covered by the cape.

She refastened the cape and added a little mousse to the fringe of bangs so they would stay in place. Finally after using her blow drier to get rid of any stray hairs she was finished.

“It’s done Heather. You look stunning, if I do say so myself. Ginny why don’t you come on over here.”

When Ginny was on the other side Kate swung the chair around so that Heather faced the mirror for the first time. She saw three figures in the mirror, one was very familiar, her daughter Ginny. On the other side she recognized Kate, the lady barber who had just finished cutting her hair. Between them sitting in a barber’s chair was an attractive women with a remarkably short haircut that framed her face with a tiny fringe of bangs and little else, but somehow seemed to light it up and make it seem extraordinarily friendly and appealing. A smile slowly grew on that unknown but somehow familiar face and Heather thought, ‘My, that is a very attractive young woman. What a daring and flattering hairstyle.’ Finally Heather’s mind connected her thoughts with the fact that she was sitting and looking at herself. Her smile grew.

“Oh my goodness Kate, for a moment I couldn’t believe it was me that I was seeing. I never thought that a haircut could have such an effect.”

“It sure can when you’re ready, and you were ready. You just needed a little encouragement and support. Let me show you the back view.” Kate swung the chair back around and picked up a large hand mirror and handed it to Heather who held it and examined herself from all angles.

“Mom, You look so good I can hardly believe it. We’re going to look like sisters.”

“I don’t know about looking like sisters, but I already feel younger for some reason. And I don’t think I’ll be satisfied with a different hairstyle for a while. I guess I’ll have to get it cut pretty often won’t I?”

Kate had removed the cape, but Heather, like Sandy, continued to sit and look at herself and feel her new haircut.

“About every two or three weeks. Some of my women customers with buzzes like yours can’t stand it to get even a little bit long and come in every two weeks, but three weeks works pretty well.”

“Mom will you get out of that chair. I can’t wait two weeks to get mine buzzed. The longer I have to wait the shorter I’m going to get it buzzed.”

“OK. I’m out.” Heather laughed. She was exhilarated and could hardly wait to show Chris the new Heather.

Ginny jumped into t
he chair and sat down eager to get started. She had gone back to the collection of buzzed styles and had discovered several more that she liked. Now that she saw how great Heather looked, she was determined to to be even more daring. Her hairline in the front was almost the same as the girl’s in the picture – a rounded frame for her face with a modest forehead. She kept her eyebrows in a thin neat arch. Her hair and eyebrows were a lighter version of Heather’s. She was sure she could carry it off.

“Are you ready to get started?”

“Not quite Kate. I found another buzzed style that I liked in your book. It’s open to it. It the one at the top of the left hand page.”

Kate examined the picture. “That’s even shorter than the first one you chose. Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. You said you could do any combination of effects, so I want it like that on top, but a lot shorter on the sides and back – shorter than Penny’s. And I still want a little fringe of bangs. Can you do it that way?”

“Yes indeed. I think there is another picture in there that may be what you’re aiming for.” Kate quickly thumbed through the pages to the end of the section and found what she was looking for.

“OK, here it is. Do you want the sides and back about like hers and the top more like this with a little fringe.”

“That’s it Kate.”

“One other question. Do you want about the same amount of fringe as Heather. That would be OK, but it might be a little much for such a short buzz. I would suggest an even shorter fringe. It would still offer a softening effect.”

“I’ll let you decide. You did a great job on Mom. I trust you. Just make it super short.”

“You got it Ginny. Super Short it is. Let’s get on with it.” She picked up the large clippers and snapped on the No. 1 ½ guard. Without hesitation she began at the back and went up to the crown, leaving only enough hair to be able to say it isn’t stubble. In little more than 5 minutes Ginny hair had been reduced to a very closely clipped cap except for the fringe of longer hair that fell over her forehead almost to her brows. For this cut Kate had Ginny facing the mirror so she could see the action. Ginny sat without an expression until Kate started at the top of her head and reduced that to barely there. She grinned broadly as she saw her head emerging from the spiky style that she had sported. Just as she had done with Heather, she went over Ginny’s head several to make sure it was even. Kate put down the big clippers and picked up the battery operated adjustable one. It was adjustable from a maximum of 1/8th inch to a minimum of 1/64th of an inch. She set it for 1/16th of an inch and did a trial run to see what the effect would be. Deciding that once it was blended with scissors and comb it would achieve what she wanted she continued. Each pass up Ginny’s head left a path that was so short that it seemed more a shadow on easily seen skin, which was what Kate knew was needed to achieve what Ginny wanted. She had finished one side and decided to give Ginny a preview.

“OK Ginny, let’s see how I’m doing. Here’s the mirror. I’ll turn you sideways and you can see what it looks like. Of course I’ll blend it in to the top and the bottom will be a little shorter. Does it look like what you want?”

“Oh, yes Kate. It looks good, but you can go shorter if you want.”

“Of course. You can carry it off easily.” She moved the lever to 1/32nd inch and then moved it back to 1/16th inch. Then had another thought. “What about the top Ginny. Was that short enough? I can go shorter if you want.”

“Let me see it again Kate.”

Kate handed her the hand mirror again. This time Ginny examined the top of her head with it. Then felt it. “Go a little shorter Kate. I going to be really daring”

“OK. I’m going to do it all over with the No. 1 guide on top and then two stages on the sides graduating from barely there to very short where it blends with the top. With a little fringe of bangs you will be very striking indeed. Here we go.”

Kate began at the front again, leaving the half inch wide strip of hair that would be Ginny’s fringe and transition from the 1/8th inch hair on top to the short wisps of fringe that Kate would cut at the front. She had reduced the top to that length in short order and set the clippers to 1/16th inch. This was going to leave only stubble on the sides and back up to the crown, but it was not the last step. There was more to come. Each pass that she made up to the curve of Ginny’s head she was very careful to make the transition taper at exactly the same place. She went to the left side, again making sure that the two sides had the taper at the same height. Finally she did the back. She went over it twice to get the taper there exactly right. Satisfied she adjusted the blade of her clippers to 1/32nd of an inch. She had done this short a cut on only two women, but it was a comparatively frequent request on some of her male customers. She was confident in executing it. She made the first pass up Ginny’s head beginning the taper only a half inch below the previous taper.

Heather was watching fascinated. She was surprised that Ginny had made the decision to get such a radically short cut, but it didn’t bother her, especially after having seen bald Melissa around the house rather frequently in the past couple of weeks. She mused that if she and Ginny were seen together they would make quite a pair. Then she realized that with all three of them together, Penny, Ginny and herself, they would really draw attention. She laughed inwardly and a big smile crossed her face. After the initial moment of disorientation at seeing herself, she had become comfortable with it and each time she saw herself in the mirror across from her she liked what she saw even more. She turned her attention back to Ginny. Kate had already cut one side and Heather could see only a shadow. It’s practically shaved, she thought. She watched until Kate had finished or so she thought. Kate adjusted something on her clippers and began again in the back. This time she went up to just a little short of the place where she had stopped before. She did the same on the sides leaving only a hint of any hair left where the clippers had done their work. Heather took a deep breath. Well, it’s what Ginny wanted, she thought.

Kate began the process of blending the different length of hair on the top and the intermediate length at the top of the sides and back. She was using the thinnest comb Heather had ever seen. It was less than 1/16th inch thick at the thin end. Kate used it steadily and efficiently, combing and clipping with scissors only 3 inches long. They looked almost like the embroidery scissors she remembered her Mother using. She saw that they were indeed hair cutting scissors, just very small and thin. Now she knew why Kate needed them. At one point Kate put down the scissors, and picked up her little edging clipper and used the clipper over comb technique. Apparently even the little scissors couldn’t get quite close enough to achieve the result Kate wanted. Kate combed up the miniscule lengths of hair still left on Ginny’s head and seemed satisfied. Once again she got out her thinning and tapering razor. After wetting the remaining fringe of hair she methodically cut it shorter and tapered it from the root. She did it in little sections, working from front to back, making it progressively shorter. She left only the tiniest of fringes – just a few wisps going from temple to temple and slightly longer in the middle. The fringe was there, and behind it was a small region where the hair tapered quickly to the 1/8th inch that was the longest hair that Ginny had except for the fringe. Kate used her tiny scissors to make some invisible adjustment to the fringe. She acted satisfied as she put down her scissors and comb and picked up the little edging clipper. Using it upside down she shaved Ginny’s sideburn and then went around her ear making a clean line. She repeated
the process on the other side. Periodically she would look at Ginny in the mirror. Apparently she could see the overall look better than way. From where she stood she was too close to see some imperfections. She rotated Ginny away from the mirror.

“Head down Ginny. I need to do your nape line. It needs to be pretty high to balance out the rest. Wait a minute I have some napes shown at the back of my collection.” She returned with the folder opened to the last page which showed a variety of nape treatments. They included single, double and triple points, a simple square bottom line, sides that curved to a broad point, a rounded line and one with slightly curved sided and an upside down crescent between the sides so that two points were created.

“I could do any of these except the three point one. Or I could just leave it natural.” She waited.

Ginny looked at the examples. “Would leaving it natural look bad?”

Actually, no. I would just taper it a little higher up the back and you wouldn’t be able to tell where it began. But that wouldn’t last very long. Actually none of them will last very long, so in some ways the simpler the better. Some of the women whose hair I cut short have me wax the neckline in the shape they like. That makes it keep its shape. After a while it becomes permanent and doesn’t need to be waxed any more.”

“If I keep my hair buzzed I might want to do that. What do you think would look the best?”

“I think the rounded line but fairly high up.” You have a beautiful neck. That would show it off more. You could easily keep it shaved. If you end up liking it that way I can wax it for you.”

“OK, do it that way.”

Kate picked up her edging clipper again and used it upside down to define the line that she wanted to create. Even though the hair was very short, Heather could see the line distinctly. She thought it was quite a bit above Ginny’s natural hairline, but it didn’t seem unnatural and it did make her neck seem longer. Interesting she though. Kate look at it in the mirror and made the hairline a bit higher. After examining the result she picked up her adjustable clipper again and made another adjustment. This time she had to work free hand, because she was adding a taper to the hairline. When she was finished Ginny’s hairline was still defined but now the transition seemed less abrupt.

“It’s almost finished Ginny. With this kind of cut I always do a lather shave to help keep it looking sharp for as long as possible. It only takes a few minutes.” She went to her hot lather machine and ran a small quantity into her hand which she applied along Ginny’s hairline.

“Heather had never seen this done on a girl before, but then she thought of Melissa and her sister Christine. They have it done to their whole head every day. Still it was interesting to watch. Kate had put a towel across Ginny’s shoulder and stropped her straight razor. She wiped off the foam at each place she wanted to shave. The sideburn was first. It received a quick downward swipe and was done. Going around the ear was a skill that Heather was amazed at. How to do it without cutting an ear off baffled her. The hairline at the nape proved rather simpler. Kate did it quickly and shaved the remainder of the neck in a few deft strokes. She wiped the leftover foam from around Ginny’s ears and her neck and dusted everything with a bit of powder including the top of her head.

“Well Ginny, I took a lot of hair off your head. What do you think of the result?” She spun Ginny around to face the mirror. Ginny looked at herself in bemusement. After a moment she put her hand on her head to feel it. She giggled at that. After some further appraisal of what she saw and felt, she turned to Heather and said “I really told her to do this didn’t I?” She giggled again. “It’s really wild to feel it and when I looked in the mirror I almost didn’t recognize myself. I like the way it looks so clean and cool. The little bangs make it soft looking around my face. And I think my head is a nice shape too. I think I’m going to keep it like this for a while. How often will I have to have it cut Kate.”

“That is a very short cut you have Ginny, so it depends on how much you want to keep it looking like this. If you don’t want to lose it much at all you’d have to come in every week for touchups. Two weeks would be almost the maximum otherwise it will look like you had started to let it grow out and then got it cut again.”

“Every week? That would get expensive.”

“Actually it’s not so bad. I have a lady who comes in every week to touch up her buzz cut. It is so quick that I only charge her $7.50. So it’s really only the time you have to spend that is a problem.”

“Only $7.50? I’ll see you next Monday then. It’s a great haircut and I like it very much. Thank you Kate.”

“It was my pleasure for both of you.”

The paid Kate and gave her a generous tip. They left the shop together and headed in opposite directions to get to their cars. Ginny stopped and turned. “Mom, wait a minute” she called. Heather stopped. Ginny had rushed up to her.

“What’s the matter Ginny.”

“Nothing. I just wanted to suggest that we go to some place to have lunch. We can have fun showing off our heads. I’ll treat you. How about going to that new restaurant on Elm Street.”

“That’s a good idea Ginny. I’ll take you up on it. I know the place. I’ll meet you there.”

“Sometime we ought to get Penny to go with us Mom. We’d be the coolest threesome around!”

“That’s a great idea Ginny. The idea went through my head while you were getting your haircut. That reminds me. I wanted to see how it feels.” She reached up to rub Ginny’s head. Ginny leaned over to let her reach it easier.

“Very bristly isn’t it Ginny? I like the feel of it. You look quite striking and your eyes really stand out without a lot of hair to detract from them. I think Chris will like it a lot.”

“I’m sure he will and yours even more. I’ll meet you there. What is the name of that restaurant? Can you remember Mom?”

“Something garden I think.”

“That’s it. The Herb Garden. Let’s go.”

Ginny had parked around the corner from the restaurant and was waiting at the entrance when Heather showed up. Ginny grabbed her Mom’s hand as they went in. Heather couldn’t remember the last time Ginny had held her hand. A little lump formed in her throat. She squeezed Ginny’s hand and received a return squeeze. The hostess said it would be only a minute or two wait and that their server would be Jill. They waited patiently until their waitress arrived. Still holding hands like little schoolgirls.

Jill arrived a moment later and greeted them and showed them their small table for two and asked if they would like something to drink. She looked closely at them while they made up their minds. They ordered ice tea for Ginny and and an iced herbal tea recommended by Jill for Heather.

They ordered their lunches and engaged in a little small talk while they waited. Inevitably they came back to the subject of their haircuts. They both agreed that neither of them would have been so daring without the presence and encouragement of the other. They continued their conversation after their salads and sandwiches had arrived. After a while they almost simultaneously realized how much they had in common. They laughed and their exchange of experiences became more animated.

“I think I’ll get my ears pierced again. I’d like to have big and a small hoops and a stud. That would look really good with this haircut. You ought to get another set too Mom.”

“I already have two. Don’t you think that’s enough?”

“Of course it’s enough, but who wants to have just ‘enough’ when you can have more and it’s fun and looks good. What would you think if I got a stud here?”

“Get your nose pierced? I don’t know Ginny. That’s pretty far out isn’t it? On the other hand I’ve seen it on a few girls.”

“Five or six girls in s
chool have them. You remember Seema? She came over from India with her parents. She has studs on both sides. She told me that she used to wear a ring in the middle of her nose and wanted to wear it again but people here didn’t do that so she hasn’t worn it.”

“Yes, I do remember her. She is quite beautiful. Does she still wear her two nose studs.”

“Most of the time. One time she did wear her nose ring. I liked the way it looked. Some of the other kids thought it was cool and talked about getting one, but none of them did. Maybe some day I’ll have the courage to get one myself.”

“I don’t see any harm in it except that it might not be acceptable for most jobs.”

“That’s true. A small stud is pretty much OK though. I see that fairly often.”

Jill returned. “How is everything? Is there anything that I can get you? How about dessert?”

“The salad was great and my sandwich was delicious, but I could use a refill on my iced tea. No dessert though.” Ginny spoke promptly. She knew from experience how often she was largely ignored when she made this mandatory statement and had to wait patiently until someone finally answered her.

“Yes it was all very good and I would like a refill also.” Heather echoed Ginny.

“Be right back.” She returned almost immediately with two pitchers and refilled their glasses.

“You can bring the check please.” Ginny added.

When Jill returned she put down the little tray with the bill in it and stood by the table a moment. Then she spoke.

“I hope you don’t think I’m too nosey, but you look so much alike I wondered if you are sisters.?”

“Ginny couldn’t help but break into laughter followed immediately by Heather. Ginny recovered first. “She’s my Mother Heather and I’m Ginny. I told her that if she got that haircut people would think we were sisters. At first we were going to get almost identical twin buzz cuts, but at the last minute I decided to be wild and got mine cut super short.”

“I think you look sensational Ginny. That is a great look. And you Mother is absolutely stunning. This has been an amazing summer so far for me. A couple of weeks ago I served two completely bald girls and their Mom. They had just had their heads shaved. I loved the way they looked.”

Ginny and Heather looked at each other incredulously. Surely there was not another pair of bald sisters in the entire city.

“Do you know their names, Jill?” Paula asked.

“I’m not sure. The younger was Meredith or something like that. She already liked being bald. But I know their Mother’s name. She gave me her card. I have it in the back. I’ll be right back.”

“It has to have been Christine and Melissa Mom.”

“Oh, I agree. A Mother with two bald girls is a pretty rare sight. There might be another family like that in the whole country, but I doubt it.”

Jill arrived with a card in her hand. “Her name is Paula Jensen.”

Heather laughed. “We were sure it had to be Paula’s girls. We know them very well Jill. They live in our neighborhood. My daughter Penny is best friends with Melissa, the younger of the two sisters. They are still very much bald and apparently intend to stay that way.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Everyone in the area would know about two bald girls.”

“They’re likely to get even better known. Christine is going to be a champion swimmer. She’s already good and getting better all the time. She’s almost certainly to get featured in the news sometime this summer. And Melissa is leading her soccer team like a champion herself.” Heather had been present at Christine’s sensational performance on Saturday.

“That’s amazing. Christine was really mad at her Mom when she was here. I guess she got over it.”

“Not only that, but she has a boyfriend who is a black belt in karate or something like that. He’s been helping her work out in the gym.” Ginny added her bit to the story.

“I liked the way they looked so much that I decided to get my head shaved. I’ve always wanted to. My boss said that he thought a bald server might be good for business. So I’m having it done on Wednesday at the same barber shop where they had theirs shaved.”

“You, mean you’re going to get you head shaved at Kate’s Barber Shop.” Ginny thought this was pretty funny. “That’s where we got out haircuts this morning. Kate is the best haircutter and stylist I’ve ever seen.”

“Every girl or women around here who wants a short haircut must go there.” Jill said in amazement.

“She shaved another girl on Saturday. My other girl Penny got a very short haircut and then stayed to watch Kate shave that girl.”

“That’s wild. Kate seems to have a corner on the market for shaving girls and women. Paula said that she wanted to get hers shaved too. Maybe after Kate shaves me you can all come back for lunch. Paula said she would come and bring Christine and Melissa.”

“That would be fun. A bunch of bald and almost bald girls being served by a bald girl.” Do you work Sunday brunch?” Ginny was intrigued by the idea. They would really made a scene.

“No, but I could switch with one of the other servers for the occasion.”

“Well I’m going to talk up the idea and see what happens. Would you be interested Mom?”

“Of course Ginny. I like Paula and we haven’t had a chance to get together for a while. It would be fun. And I do want to show off my new haircut. Maybe I can get a few more recruits.” She laughed. “That just came out. I didn’t mean to be making a joke.”

“How can we contact you if we do get it set up? Can I leave a message here?”

“You could but I’ll give you my number so you can call me.”

“That sounds good. Ginny you can call her.”

Ginny put her credit card in the tray and handed it to Jill. “We had better get going.”

The bill paid they left the Herb Garden Restaurant.

As they walked together in the direction of their cars, Heather decided to ask Ginny a question. “Ginny, what prompted you to want to hold my hand when we went in? I haven’t held you hand in years.”

“Ah, Mom, it was just an impulse. You’ve always been a great Mom for me and Penny. And you’ve never treated us like we were dumb or couldn’t understand things and you gave us a lot of freedom. Besides that you’ve always been a little radical now and then. So when you were willing to be persuaded to get that great haircut, I just thought that I was very lucky to have a Mom like you. I just wanted to let you know.”

“You/re a wonderful daughter. I’m proud of you and Penny. I guess I didn’t do as badly as I feared I would. Give me a hug and go on to work. If I stand here any longer I might cry.”

They parted and went their separate ways. By the time Heather got to her car she had recovered sufficiently from her misty eyed state that she was able to drive home. She kept wanting to look at herself in the mirror. She experienced a feeling of eager anticipation to see Chris’s reaction to her new haircut. She wanted to make it a special evening for them – just the two of them. Ginny would not be back until eleven o’clock. She could fix him a special dinner – candlelight, wine and soothing background music. By the time she reached home she had her plans made.

She would have called Paula, but she knew she was at work. She decided to call Michelle, Cindi’s Mother. The four amigas’ Mothers were all good friends and often did things together so there was no hesitation on her part.

“Hi, Michelle, it’s me Heather…. I’m fine, how are things with you…. I know, we need to get together soon….. I haven’t seen Hallie in weeks…… Penny told me that she might get it cut like Steffie’s. It would look good on her. Steffie seems to think that Christine and Melissa are terrific….. I know. And she looks great with her hair long. No one thinks she should cut it…..You’re right. It wasn’t quite the right thing to do to just arbitrarily have them shaved, but they both seem to like it, especially Melissa. S
he seems determined to stay bald….. Me, Oh no! I told Penny she had complete freedom to do whatever she wanted. I did tell her I hoped she didn’t get it shaved, but I couldn’t really tell her she couldn’t. That would be the same as telling her she had to have it cut a certain way……. She went by herself with a picture she had found. It was a surprise to me. I had never seen the picture…….. Anyway, Ginny and I got haircuts today. Mine is shorter than I’ve ever had it. It was a shock when I first saw myself, but I love the way it looks. Ginny says I look like her big sister…… She encouraged me to get it cut this way……No, that’s not why I called – well, it is in a way. I want to surprise Chris with a special evening alone, just the two of us. Ginny will be at work and won’t be home until eleven and I was hoping that you could invite Penny to eat at your house and stay until about nine. I’m planning a candlelight dinner for Chris. I haven’t done that for years. He will love it….. You should, any of us would be happy to have Cindy stay with us – even overnight. James would love it I’m certain. Thanks Michelle. We have to get us all together for a backyard barbecue or something. Maybe we could all go down to the lake for a picnic and go swimming. How about if you and I start planning something….. I’ll check on reserving a pavilion at the lake….. Sure, we could do both. You want to call and see what their schedules are like and maybe we can get the ball rolling….. OK, give me a call when you have something firmed up. Bye.”

Heather hoped that Michelle got her message. She was very perceptive, so probably she did. Heather thought it a little surprising that Michelle seemed so determined that Cindi had to keep her hair long even though she was critical of Paula for shaving Melissa and Christine without their consent. She knew that none of the girls had ever suggested that Cindi should cut hers. On the contrary they all said that she looked great with her long hair and she shouldn’t cut it. Of course if all of them except Cindi got short cuts, she would feel the social pressure and might feel she had to cut it to conform to the group’s standard.

Well that was not her problem at the moment. She had only four hours before Chris would arrive. She wanted to have everything arranged perfectly by then.

By four thirty she had the dining room set up for two. A pair of candelabras held two ivory colored candles each. An elegant red linen tablecloth covered the table that was now round, Heather having removed the two leaves that were normally left in place. The gourmet meal that she had prepared would only take twenty minutes to cook. She hoped she and Chris wouldn’t get so involved that she forgot to start it or worse yet forget to take things out of the oven and off the stove.

Every time she saw herself in the mirror she got a little excited at how good she looked. Maybe she should get her ears pierced again even though she already had two sets. On impulse she held up a small ruby stud to her nose and tried to imagine how she would look. Maybe she could glue a stone there just to see how it looked. While she was musing over that possibility she heard the back door open and close. Penny was home. She headed back downstairs to tell her that she would be eating at Cindi’s place.

“Mom, are you home?”

“I’m up here Penny. Come on up.”

Heather waited in her bedroom for Penny to arrive.

Penny walked through the doorway and stopped as she saw Heather. Her jaw dropped and she stared in amazement.

“Mom, you got your hair cut.” Penny was speechless

“Oh. Did I? Well, yes I do think that I did. What do you think of it?”

“Its fantastic Mom. You look super. It’s really short isn’t it?”

“Yes it is. You were part of my inspiration. It’s not as short as Ginny’s but it is short and I like it so much I’m going to keep it cut like this, at least for the summer.” She ran her hand over her head enjoying the feeling of it again. “I never realized how good a buzz cut like this feels. You don’t mind if I go with you to Kate’s shop the next time you go do you?”

“Oh, sure. You look really cool Mom. You mean Ginny got hers cut too?”

“Yes indeed. Hers is even shorter than yours. It’s almost shaved except for a little fringe of bangs. I have something else to tell you. I’m planning a surprise for your Father when he gets home just for the two of us. We haven’t done anything together for a while and this was a good opportunity for us to have an evening together. So I’ve arranged for you to have dinner with Cindi tonight. Is that OK with you? I’ll tell you all about how he reacted to my new look tomorrow.”

“I’d really like to see how he reacts, but its OK.”

“I told Cindi’s Mom, you should come back about nine o’clock before it gets dark. We’ll be here so you can talk to him yourself when you get back. And you can see what I decided to wear too. I love you Penny, but sometimes I need to have some time with just your Father and me. I love your haircut too. Give me a hug and then go on over to Cindi’s. They’re expecting you.”

“I love you too, Mom.” She reached out and was embraced by Heather. “I think Daddy is going to flip out when he sees you. See you later. Bye.”

Heather had been thinking about what she should wear. She had looked at several outfits and rejected them. Abruptly she saw exactly what she wanted. It was an elegant one piece outfit that really showed off her small figure. Although it was actually a pants outfit, the pants legs were so wide and full you could not tell it was not a long very full skirt. She had worn it only a couple of times, but Chris had complimented her extravagantly each time. She picked out a pair of large white gold hoops and added emerald studs set in platinum that Chris had given her for her birthday several years ago. OK, she thought, I’m going to knock his socks off. She took a quick shower careful not to disturb the little fringe that Kate had arranged. Her makeup was minimalist as usual. A little pale turquoise eye shadow and a brown eyeliner. She rubbed a little Vaseline on her eyebrows and dusted them with face powder to make them lighter. She did not like her brows to stand out. She though they distracted from her eyes. She normally kept them lightened, but hadn’t done them recently. With her new haircut she especially did not want them to be noticed. In candlelight she could add a little color to her cheeks which she did very judiciously. Rose colored lips completed her look. She looked at the clock and discovered it was five thirty. She examined herself in the full length mirror and was satisfied. She had chosen open toed shoes with two inch heels. She disliked wearing the usual three inch heels, and refused to even own a pair despite her diminutive stature. She quickly installed the two pairs of earrings she had chosen and went down stairs and turned off most of the lights. She couldn’t make it dark this time of year, but she did adjust the blinds in the living room and dining rooms. At least she could make it a little more subdued.

She went into the kitchen to wait for Chris to arrive. He always put his car in the garage and came in through the entrance into the back hall. She could easily intercept him before he got to the kitchen if she called to him to come into the dining room, she thought to herself. That was a better plan and she went into the dining room to wait. She had a sudden case of last minute jitters just before she heard the garage door open to allow Chris to drive in. A moment later the door at the end of the hall opened and then closed.

“Chris, is that you? I’m in the dining room.” Chris stepped into the room.

“What’s happening in here…. my god, Heather? Is that you? Let me look at you. Wow. You look sensational. That’s a terrific haircut. You’ve never had it that short before. I don’t know what to say.”

“Shut up and kiss me, you fool!” Heather though
t that line had been in some movie, but it had popped into her mind unbidden. Chris complied enthusiastically to her demand.

After several breaks for air they finally stood a little apart while Chris took her in from head to toe.

“I can’t tell you how much I like it. You look splendiferous. Can I feel it?” She nodded and he ran his hand over her head to feel the soft brush that was her hair. “It feels so sexy Heather. You didn’t do that just for me did you.”

“Don’t be silly Chris. I know you like me with short hair, but I wouldn’t have done this for anybody if I didn’t want it for myself. Actually my rebellious demon finally got the better of me with a good bit of encouragement from Ginny and Kate. That’s why I did it. Penny’s short cut was in the back of my mind too. I really do like it and I plan to keep it like this for quite a while. I may find I like it so much that I’ll never change.”

“Well, I think that you’re the greatest person in the world, and now you have the greatest haircut in the world. It certainly got my attention, but I’d marry you again in a heart beat whether you had hair to your butt or no hair at all. Still I can’t help liking this bit of icing. What’s the rest of this about?” He had finally realized that something was going on.

“You and I have the house to ourselves until nine o’clock. Ginny’s working and Penny’s spending the evening with Cindi. We’re having a candlelight dinner. So go freshen up and meet me at the dining room door in twenty five minutes.”

“I guarantee I’ll be there.”

Heather had a sudden moment of panic. ‘I forgot the wine’ she thought. Chris had found a small wine cooler on e-bay that held forty eight bottles. It had seen better days, but it worked fine. They kept it in the basement storage room. When Chris went upstairs, she went down. She wanted a white wine but wasn’t sure what would be suitable. Chris usually chose the wine for their dinners. She found three different white wines, but the one labeled Fumé Blanc rang a bell. That was it. She hurried back upstairs. The oven was already hot, so she could put the baked chicken dish in to cook and set the timer. The rest was easy. Reheat the veggies, microwave the baked potatoes, open the wine and put in the fancy stopper, put it in the wine cooler and add ice. She relaxed. It was going to be a glorious evening.

To be continued in Part 8

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