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I have visited quiet a few hairdressers in my time possibly in an effort to conquer my fear of them, you see I grew my hair very long even though its now uncool even the metal music fan population these days. I have two particular episodes which stuck in my mind, this one took place whilst I was working in a neighbouring town on a very hot spring day a few years back. Feeling hot and bothered and knowing that my hair was long even by my standards, I looked out for a local hairdressers on my way through town on the bus. Although on the other side of town and looking very old fashioned I took the number of a salon from the sign at the top as I whizzed passed. During my break I called the hairstylist up on the phone and arranged an appointment for later that day, an older sounding woman took my call. After work I headed off towards the salon back thought town.

As I approached I could smell the sickly sweet fragrance of perm solution, shampoos and other hair products before the shop came into sight. AS I saw it walking by, it looked even more old fashioned then how I saw it when the bus zoomed by that morning, lace curtains betrayed a new modern sounding name. I should go somewhere else I thought as I looked at the door and saw old d├ęcor with bamboo halfway up the walls.

Too late I didn’t realise that I was pushing the door handle down, so I stepped in and perhaps wished I hadn’t. A couple of older women were having their hair done two older hairdressers, one looked up and I said my name and appointment time. “Go through the back first on the right lovey” she said. I nodded. Her instructions led me towards the back where another smaller salon was, but just as old fashioned.

AS I entered I took noticse of the small room whuch had about three waiting chairs and the hairdressers chairs along the top wall and three old fashioned front basins along the same wall as the door. The opposite wall housed cupboards whist the far wall had three old dome hairdryers and a window. The room was decorated red, grey and pink in decor and the hairdressers chairs were also a red. Two older women were having their hair done in this room also, one was having a cut whilst the other was at the dryers. The hairdresser doing the cut was tall with long black hair and subtle yet almost gothic make up. The other was not quiet as tall and was in her mid 30’s to mid 40’s with very short blonde hair. As tried to start to explain why I was here to the brunette she just looked up at me, stopped me in my track by saying Sit down it shouldn’t be too long now. I sat down and grabbed a book from my bag and read for the ten minutes or so.

Its that lady next I heard the brunette say, wonderful I thought some one else has just come in who must have booked earlier, I want to get home tonight! As I was starting to look up to see who had come in I heard the brunette say Would you like to come over, there was no one else there as I looked round. Had I been mistaken for a woman even though I had long hair, I had only occasionally had that happened yo me at a distance before. She repeated her self, so I gave on last look around and walked over to the chair, she looked a little red so maybe she had realised her mistake. As I walked over to the seat the brunets former customer was waiting for the other customer because the blonde was still finishing her off. The brunette stood by the chair as I sat down.

She popped a cape over me and began brushing my hair. “Its very long” was about all she said as she continued to brush. As she was finishing brushing she walked away towards the front of the main salon with the two customers that had just finished, the blonde was tidying up at the back of the room. I waited for her to return with my head down in the position that she had left it. I felt a tugging at my hair a few minutes later as my hair was been combed again, I looked up through the mirror surprised as I did not see the brunette re enter the room in fact it was the blonde the other did not return for some time.

“You wanted a fair bit off so I will do a rough cut first then it will get washed before I finish it off” the blonde said as she had gathered a my hair together. Now was the time I thought that I should explain that a fair bit to me meant a few inches from the back as I felt cold metal scissors on the back of my neck begin to cut. As I was about to string my sentence together she spoke throwing me off from what I was about to say.

“Was you keeping up with the girlie’s” she said. By this point she had hacked through half of the loose pony tail that she had in her hands. Oh lord my girlfriend won’t like this and what will I look like with hair this short as panic stepped in. There was no point in trying to stop her now my hair would just look silly because she was well over half way through. I answered her question curtly by saying “I like my hair long”

“I have to ask did a lot of people mistake you for a girl, we thought you was when you first came in” she retorted. “Not really” I said. She let my hair go down. It fell around my face at cheek length many inches shorter then I wanted. “Its very thick” she said. But the thickness was no match for her scissors. “If you want to come over to the basin now love” she said.
I stepped across the room and took a seat “Sit further back” she said. I did as I was told and with in a minuet wast was dripping from the shower head. She pushed my head forward and wet my hair using her hands, I felt how much shorter my hair was and remained a little in shock as she continued to put a sickly sweet shampoo onto my hair and wash it. The hairdresser washed and conditioned my hair and put a towel on it. Still in shock and with my heart beating, I waited for her to finish within the towel in silence.

She walked to a little trolley by where I had first sat and had the bulk of my hair hacked off and returned with a comb and a different pair of scissors, she did not ask me to return to where the mirror was instead she started combing my hair at the basin. As she combed I could feel my hair only coming down to just above the jawline. Quickly she cut around from the back to the front taking small sections, as she got closer to the front I could tell that she had cut a lot more off in order to get it straiter. As she snipped I tried to gently move my head in order to gage how much shorter it was by feeling my hair fall on my face. To my shock it was just between my jawline and moth. “Sit still or I shall not be able to cut it strait and I will need to take some more off” she scolded. I did as I was told!

She spent a few minutes checking and and combing to check how straight it was and correcting it her and there before she told me to sit back in the original chair. As I approached I noticed that my hair was still all over the floor, I sat down in dismay and she began to comb again.

As soon as I was seated she began sectioning my hair away separating the hair from in front of the ear from the hair behind it using hair grips to keep it away, then she reached for the scissors.”Now your hair is a bit shorter I will cut you a fringe. A fringe wouldn’t have suited you before but I think it will look nice” she said. Starting right at the left ear she made a cut leaving and then did the same at the right and moved to be in front of me where she joined my new fringe up. It was about halfway down my forehead when she completed here rough cut and changes scissors, Snip snips snip as she cut the fringe across into shape properly. For two occasions I thought she had finished but she looked and said that it wasn’t straight, checked my head position and continued to shorten my fringe. When she finally finished I had my first proper look in the mirror. She had left me with half an inch fringe from ear to ear!! I should have complained but I felt out of control and horrified, it was a very strange feeling.

She tipped my head forward and said “Nearly done now lovey, I am just going to give you a nice step and then dry you off!” I had no idea what a step was and th
oughts like well I will just have to pop to another salon tomorrow if its that bad when I have a proper look at it when I get home.

Again I felt the cold metal of scissors on the back of my head as she was cutting away at an area. When she stopped and put down the scissors she picked up another object and tilted my head back. I stopped trying to look out of the side of my eyes to see what the object was as I head it buzzing. She had started up the clippers and was taking them to the back of my head. I was scared yet somehow exited as see seemed to draw level with my ears. I guess this was where my hair was going to end from now on. The minutes went by as I sat too scared to say anything but at last the buzzing stopped she put down the clippers and picked up a soft brush to brush my stray hair away before combing and clipping at tiny in accuracy’s in her work. “Don’t worry too much if its not short enough, it will go shorter when we dry it off” she said. Not short enough!! I thought……

“I will pop you under the dryers while I tidy up and then were done, so if you want to pop yourself over” she said a few moments later as she pointed towards one of the old fashioned dryers. The final humiliation was that she set me under the dryer, turned it on and went to dispose of my old hair or so I thought.

The smell of sickly sweet hair filled the air around me as my hair was drying, several short minutes later, which seemed like an eternity she came over again. My hairdresser lent across, turned out the dryer and said “Almost done, just pop back over to the seat and I will comb it through for your, sweet heart.”

I did as I was told and she followed, grabbing a comb and some MORE sissors. I got the first chance to look at myself properly in the mirror. What I saw was an almost femanised version of me staring back with a shortish bob which had too wider a fringe. She began to comb and snip away at stray bits. Finally she grabbed a mirror and said “Is that enough off the back”, I just nodded but thought to myself, could it really get any shorter!

She removed the cape and said “If you would like to follow me” I followed here through to the desk at the front of the shop, where she charged me for my hair cut.

The customers in the front part of me and the other hairdressers were all looking at me….or so I thought. The certainly did when one of the older hairdressers looked up and said to me “I bet that feels better now” before I could reply she commented to my hairdresser by telling her she had done a good job.
With that an older women looked up and said “It looks really angelic, I wish my lad would get his hair cut nice like that, I bet your pleased with it you look like a quireboy”.

I gave a meek smile made my excuses and left as fast as I could.

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