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She was one of those ladies who you saw and never forgot. I first met her in 1977, it was Wednesday, I will never forget that day because it was my birthday. She came into the Salon and everyone looked at this magnificent woman. There she stood at the counter, about 5’5″ tall with bright Red hair done in a topknot. The topknot was held in place with one Dragon Designed Jade Hair Stick. The topknot was coiled up on her head about 3″ in height and about 4″ wide, I thought to myself now there is a lady with a really long head of exquisite Red Hair. (This salon was known for taking care of longhaired women and pampered longhaired women’s whims, that of washing and styling, combing and braiding. We also did some very unique as well as unusual styles of coils, buns, twists, topknots, falls, a combination of all three coils, braided into a topknot and then long hair loosely flowing from that topknot down the back to the waist or over a shoulder. We did or copied any style the customer could have found in a magazine and wanted copied.) Many of the ladies were longhair devotionals, that is to say, they would not think of trimming or cutting their hair. They were know for their longhair, why a trim of more then ½” of hair, was enough to send them trembling at the cuttings. Some would cry when you did have to cut off a ½ `, their hair was their crowing glory and most were not religious fanatics, they just knew they liked as everyone who knew them liked their hair long, most had never ever had a haircut. They were a special clientele that we catered too, THE LONGHAIR FOREVER CLUB. A social problem starting to exist, was that a cultural change was taking place, since 1973, short hair was coming back into vogue as it had in the 55 to 66 era, coming back into it’s own as a style, now long hair was as some wanted to say passé. “Blacks Best Dressed List” said, if you were into fashion, which was of course a statement back then, long hair was on it’s way out. If you had long hair to your waist, you now had a waste of hair that was too long. So much for history lesson 100 and now back to this lady, she had on a Chinese dress, slit up the left side from calf to mid thigh. The dress was done in bright silky green with a Golden Dragon Designed around it. This Golden Dragon about 6″ to 4″ in width, was very provocatively wound around the body in a very tight fitting cling. The dragons head started at the left breast, which looked to be about a 40C, then wound it’s way over the lower part of the right breast, then wound downward around a waist that was about 20″, then circling around behind this ladies ass about a 36″ bottom, then the dragons tail ending up very appropriately at this woman’s tail bone. If this woman was not alluring enough, the dress made up for the rest of it, more over it glorified this beautiful woman.

I was admiring her as everyone in the shop was in awe at the sight of her natural beauty, as well as her stunning dress. The receptionist said; “So you want to make an appointment with OC.” My heart bounced when I heard that she was asking for me to do her hair. I finished up with my customer, a lady I had just done a French braiding, twisted into a French twist hairdo. I took off the styling cape, escorted the lady to the front desk and thanked her for her patronage. She paid the receptionist and left a $5.00 tip for me as well, another satisfied customer I thought to myself. The receptionist said; “OC you have a new client.” The receptionist pointed to the couch in the waiting area. I tried not to be too obvious or too over apprehensive about meeting this beautiful lady. As I approached, she stood up and smiled, what a smile, a smile that could have melted the coldest of hearts. She thrust her right hand outward and said; “Hello OC, my name is Veronica, I was told by a good friend of mine that you are the man to see when it comes to hair.” I shook hands with Veronica and exchanged pleasantries, then said; “Come this way Veronica, we can discuss what you are wanting to do with your hair.” We sat down in the style room where there were thousands of long hairstyles in about 100 books on the shelves. I asked; “Veronica, what is it you want me to do to your hair, I mean, I love the way you have it styled, plus it quite obvious by your hairs shine and sheen that you do take excellent care of your hair. So what is that you could want from me?” Veronica said; “OC my husband is a very prestigious American / Chinese Businessman, he is known World Wide within his field of Sales and Marketing. We have decided that the current trend in fashion is to have short hair, so that is what I want you to do, cut my hair into a style that would be flattering to me, my husband, our social gatherings we attend to sell our World Goods and basically allure and impress people.” With that said Veronica pulled out a Ladies Home Journal page, the page had a hairstyle upon it and Veronica said; “OC this is the style we both think would attract attention?” I looked at the photo and said; “Yes I agree, you would look very stunning in this style, so shall we get started?” Veronica rose up from the couch very eloquently and followed me to our special room in the back of the salon where we did all of our makeovers. We built this area so the other long haired women in the salon would not be terrified watching a long haired woman going from very long hair to very short hair.

I seated Veronica and said; “Now are you positively sure this is what you want to do?”

Veronica looked at me in the mirror and said; “Yes OC, this is what I came here to do, get a new short hair style.” I caped Veronica up, she looked intensely at me in the mirror during the capping and then spoke; ” This is really it isn’t it OC, I mean, for once in my life I am going too have short hair, this is going to be the last time I will see my hair long, this is going to be the last time I shall have my hair as long as it is for a very very long time.” I nodded a Yes, as Veronica seemed intent on looking at me as I pulled the Jade Dragon Stick out from the hair it held in place. Down tumbled the red fiery locks of hair, falling towards her shoulders, it bounced then sort of danced downward to the bra area and back of the chair, the hair sort of sprung outward and coiled down hitting against the seat of the chair, then it again sprung to life bouncing off the chair and outward to the floor, then fell about 16″ on the floor and laid out flat like a dead person. I could not contain myself and said; ” Holly Shit Veronica, are you really sure you want to cut this mass of gloriously thick, beautifully luxuriant, red virgin hair, into a China Doll cut at chin length, with bangs?” Veronica looked at me in the mirror and said; “OC I want you to cut my hair into that style I brought to you, as you call it a China Doll cut.” I picked up the mass of hair and started to comb it out into a ponytail while Veronica was more intense in her looking and watching me. I then asked Veronica “Do you want to keep the ponytail I cut off?” Veronica stared at me and trembled a shaky Yes reply. [I had doubts about this hair cut, I did not feel comfortable with her attitude and response, it was hesitant and I denoted it, too may times in my haircutting career, women came into cut their hair out of peer pressure then regret it, crying all the way through the cutting, crying when they left with their hair in hand out the door, crying for weeks afterward, calling me and asking why I let them cut their crowning glory off. I had see it a hundred times already and knew beyond the reason of doubt, Veronica was not really wanting to cut her hair off.] I then stopped combing Veronica hair and placed it into a ponytail with a rubber band. I had an idea to test the water of my feelings about this cut. I moved to Veronicas front, combed the hair forward over the eyes, to cut the bangs first, this would elicit a reaction of crying and boohooing I knew, if it did not then I was wrong and could continue with the cut. I took scissors in hand and said; “Last chance Veronica.” A weak frail voice
responded; “Dooo it OC, cuuuut it offfff.” I opened the scissors at temple height on Veronicas left temple and Schiinnnk, down came a 62″ section of hair, Veronica jumped, shrieked, then looking out the corner of her left eye at the gap, missing was hair that was once there, now it laid at rest on the floor and in Veronicas lap. Veronica’s eye was filling with tears and they started to run down her cheek. I made another cut to the middle of her eyes schhiiiinnk. Veronica started to whimper. I said; “Veronica, this is not your wish too cut your hair is it?” Veronica replied; “No O it is my husbands desire that I do this, he was reluctant but I have to stay in vogue you know.” I said; “I am aware of that but; let me do the china doll cut with a twist to it.” Veronica asked; “What do you have in mind OC.” I said; “We can accomplish both worlds. I will cut your locks along the chin line as the china Doll cut calls for, but; I will stop the cut behind your ears. Here I will cut your hair to knee length. You can wear the long hair up in a French twist with a hat and the style will look short or you can wear the long hair in different styles with the front and sides giving the illusion that all your hair is short in a China Doll cut. The worst scenario is if he does not approve, I will cut the long hair short, but; I think he will like this cut, he will have it short in appearance and yet long also.” A smile came over Veronicas face and she replied; “OC you are a genius.’ I finished out with the bangs and moved to the right side and started cutting up the right cheekbone to the back of the ear. I then went around to the left side and cut the hair the same as the right side. Veronica was actually enjoying this. She looked at me in the mirror and said; “OC you are the man. I thought I was going to loose all my hair and you noticed I was not comfortable with it even though I told you it was our wish to cut it short. How did you know?” I replied back; “Years of experience Veronica, just years of experience.”

I went to the back and raised up the ponytail, undid it and uncapped Veronica. Veronica asked are you going to cut my ankle length hair to knee length OC?” I looked at Veronica and said; “NO, I think I will trim it at ankle length, it is more of a statement at that length, but if he does not approve, come back and we can always cut it off. Oh yes I’ll not charge you for the return and cutting, it will be on me.” Veronica stood up and walked to the staircase. This was and area where we had a spiral staircase. The client would walk up the stairs and let their hair down we could comb it out and trim off the uneven ends without having to lay on the floor o have the client stand on a table. I trimmed Veronica’s ends even at calf length. I then prepped her on how to wear her hair so as to give the illusion of a China Doll cut only. Then show the husband how it would look and then tell him what we did and show the calf length down. I said; “I do not think he will be disappointed, but; like I said before, if he gets mad blame it on me and we can cut it short.” Veronica was ecstatic as she left the salon. About 6 p.m. that night, Veronica returned to the shop with her husband. They checked into the front desk, Ton, Veronica’s husband said; “I would like too see this OC who did my wife’s hair today. I thought to myself; “Oh god he does not like it and I am going to have to cut her hair short all over.” I got done with my client who had her hair swept up with braids and flowers intertwined. I walked her out to the counter and the receptionist said you have that lady Veronica back with her husband Ton. I walked to the waiting area and met Ton and Veronica. Veronica had her long hair braided over her right shoulder with a green ribbon intertwined in the braid. Her hair looked beautiful with the short hairstyle, contrasted by the long hair also. Ton said; ‘You are OC.” I said; “Yes Ton, I am OC. I am the one, who told your wife to cut her hair the way I cut it, but; if you do not like it come back. So since you are back, you must not have liked what I did and I will keep true too my word, if you will come with me Veronica, I will finish your cut.” Veronica started to laugh and I turned around, Ton was smiling and said; “No OC. I wanted to thank you for not doing what I said and for having done a style that accomplishes my dreams of my longhaired wife, plus a cut that is both stylish and innovative. ” Ton reached his hand out and we shook hands. As I shook hands I felt something in my palm, I pulled back from the handshake, smiled at Ton. Ton said; “Veronica we must go to the party now or we will be late, oh bye the way OC you are her stylist forever.” I smiled like a cat that just ate the canary and thanked Ton and Veronica. When they were gone, I opened my hand and found a $100.00 bill folded. I smiled even more and said to myself, another satisfied customer.

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