Home » Location » Barbershop » Helpless At The Barbers (Part 1)

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I remember I was wearing a bright red frilly frock that day. It was very hot. My hair was till below the neck. I knew this day had to come. I was literally dreading it for months and at last there I was in the car heading straight to the barber shop along with my other three cousins.

The sun was extremely hot and I started sweating in the car. My hair was in a pony tail so the ends got stuck to my neck because of the sweat. There it was……….. I could see the barber shop in the distance and I could see it was full of men. In fact lots of men of all ages. When we entered there was no chair empty so we all had to sit on one of the benches. The barber greeted the servant and looked at the three of us smiling. He asked what it would be for today. The servant replied as clean as possible. One of the big barber chairs was suddenly empty. The man who just got out of it had a head shave too. We all started squirming on the bench.

My cousin was to go first. Her hair was below her shoulders. She had black thick hair. I could see the tears in her eyes. The barber picked her up and made her sit on the chair and started pumping it. He put the white sheet cape around her and started examining her hair. He opened her pony tail and started running his fingers through it to check how thick it is……… Because the thicker the harder it is to shave!!! She was up in the chair, nothing but her head popping out of the cape. She looked helpless and hopeless. The barber started to comb out her hair to get all the tangles out. After the hair was smooth and shiny he sprayed water on it and took a bottle of shampoo out. He started shampooing her hair. To make it soft for the shave. After the shampoo was out of her hair he combed it once again. He got it all straight pulled it at the back. Then he took out his hand run clippers which are extremely sharp. Sharper than electric clippers. He bent her head till it touched her chest and started shaving at the back. At first all I could hear was the scraping but then gradually I could see her white scalp. The barber held her head in one of his hand and held the clippers in the other hand. He started slowly going up while shaving and now I could see that most of the back part of her head was shaved. The thick black strands starting falling into the cape and by now half the men in the shop were looking at the head shave. She looked so tiny in that big chair and that big white sheet. She was looking at her self in the mirror and knew that in a few minutes she would have no hair at all.

The barber bent her head more and started shaving the middle of her head……. He was so fast with in a minute the head was bare. All that was left now was the hair on the front of her head. By now she was almost in tears. Then the barber took out his straight razor. It gleamed in the light. He told her not to move and held her head tightly. He started at the fore head. He started scraping the hair at her fore head. Now I could see the complete change. He scraped slowly and carefully. In a minute her fore head was clean. He started in the middle of the head holding her head tight so that she doesn’t move. All the black hair was on the cape and by now all the other men were looking at her. One of them even said he felt sorry for the kid. She was blushing and looking at her self.

Then the barber bent her ear but there was a problem she was wearing earrings. So he stopped and took off her right earring. After that he started shaving below and above the ear then he took off the left earring and shaved that area too. By now she was a total baldie with two big red ears sticking out. She looked ugly sitting there…………. Her tiny white head sticking out of the cape……… But it was over. The barber put shaving cream on her scalp and lathered it with a brush. Then he started shaving with the straight razor again. Then he took out a wet towel and put it around her head. After the head had soothed down a bit he took it off. By now her scalp was red and I bet it itched. He took some oil and rubbed it all into the head. It started shining. He took the cap off and oh my god she looked terrible funny. By now she was crying. So the barber told her not to her hair would grow much better next time.

I was to go into the chair next. I did because I had no other choice. My hair was in a pony. The barber picked me up and made me sit. He made me sit right next to the window chair from where the passerby’s could see and many other shop keepers could see too. He caped me with the white sheet. He pumped the blue leather chair up. As I was a bit short he had to pump it high. He opened my pony tail and ran his fingers through my hair. God how much I hated that . But I was helpless. Then he took out the sprayer and started spraying my hair till it was wet. Then he told me to look down and started massaging my hair. He held my head on one hand and massaged by the other. His hands were strong my head just kept moving. He massaged the roots of my hair to soften them up. Then he took out a straight razor. Till then I was blushing and sweating as half the man in the shop were suddenly looking at what was about to happen to me. I just sat there trying not to look at myself in the mirror. The barber asked me not to move my head during the shave as the razor was very sharp. The barber was a big tall man with strong hands. He bet my head a bit down and started scraping right in the middle of my scalp I could feel the sharp razor making its moves. I couldn’t look at myself, I didn’t have the guts to. The servant was laughing and another barber came and stood on top of my head. I was sweating and a few passer byes stood in the window to watch. I looked up but the barber pushed my head down and said that if I move ill get cut badly so I didn’t after that. He continued with his shaving.

The middle of my head now had no hair. It was white as I could see it in the back mirror. I started feeling the breeze from the fan right on my scalp. It felt cool. The barber was almost done in the middle so he proceeded downwards. Half my head had no hair. Half of it did in the front. Now the barber came into the front held my face in his hands and started shaving in the front. I could see my forehead get wider and wider. The razor was too sharp and my scalp had already started itching. He started working on the right side. He bent my ear and shaved thereafter he went to the left side I could see my right ear sticking out. I looked ugly. He did the same to my left ear… By then both my ears were red and sticking out.

I was a complete bald by now just a few hair left sticking to my wet scalp. He didn’t remove those but just started lathering. I looked funny with a white cap pf lather on my head. Then he took another bigger straight razor and started scraping very carefully. In a few minutes my head was completely bald and clean. He cleaned it with a towel. It had started itching badly. He took out some oil and oiled my head. I looked at myself. There I was sitting there with my bald head sticking out of the big white cape and all my black hair lying on the floor. I was blushing and I was embarrassed. I just wanted to get out the shop and hide.

The barber gave the servant special instructions about not letting us go into the sun as there will b no hair for a long time. He had given us a special shave. We went home….. the house was full of guests. As soon as they saw me they all had a good laugh. Every one wanted to touch my head. I ran into my room. But later in the day I came out. The other kids who had hair laughed at me and touched my hair. I was given diff names like baldy etc

I wasn’t allowed to wear any hat. So I roamed around bald……. And who ever saw me said poor little girl…….. being a baldie for three weeks was hard.. After all the barber had given me a special close shave………..

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