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Lisa walked up to the door and went in, she was determined to give her partner exactly what he wanted this Christmas, in the past she had always shrugged off his suggestions that she be more adventurous with her appearance but this year was different.

She had gone back to college In the autumn to study for a law qualification, while she was away Mark was being the bread winner for the family, covering all of the house bills and supporting her both financially and emotionally. It hadn’t been easy for either of them but Mark had really helped her to concentrate on her studies without feeling too homesick. It was while at the college, which also had a large art department, that Lisa had had an idea for Mark’s Christmas present, he had always had a thing for punk hairstyles and clothing on girls, he put it down to going through puberty during the time when Toyah, Bow Wow Wow and the Thompson Twins, Allana Currie were popular. He always questioned her about trips to the hairdressers, suggesting styles and colours, but the most adventurous thing she had ever done, on Marks insistence, was to dye her then shoulder length hair black. She spent the next few days off work washing it out of course!

The problem had always been work, she didn’t want to risk loosing her job, on top of that she wasn’t particularly adventurous anyway, but the possibility of loosing her job had always been in the back of her mind. However her current situation was somewhat different, she was shocked by the appearance of some of the students at college, here almost anything went and many of the students took the opportunity to rebel against the strict dress codes within schools. As a mature student; well 32 made her mature compared to many of the students there, Lisa didn’t feel the need to rebel, however she did see the opportunity to give Mark something he had always wanted, at least for a few weeks. She was half way through the twelve month course, which meant that if she was to get a short haircut she would have at least five moths to get her hair back to normal before having to go out and get a job.

Her hair was currently in a grown out short bob, it had lost what shape it had in the months since she had last had it cut. She new that with the speed her hair grew she could have at least 5 inches of new growth in the six months from Christmas to the end of the course. She had been thinking about it for a few weeks, the Christmas break was coming up and she would be seeing Mark again when he came down to take her home for Christmas. She had very few lessons between now and the end of term, the time being mainly used for self study and the completion of modules they had started earlier in the year. She decided it was now or never.

She had seen the shops in town which would be capable of the sort of thing she was after, being a University town there were plenty of shops catering for student fashions, one of the ones she had actually been into was within a large development of alternative outlets, catering for everything from tee-shirts and posters to piercing and tattoos there were stalls for every taste. Lisa and Mark had been in there many times, but never admittedly to the Makeover Bazaar, which was where she headed now. She had phoned to make an appointment earlier in the week her voice cracked slightly as she asked for an appointment for Tuesday morning. The girl on the other end of the phone went quiet for a few mins as she checked the appointment book, “What’s it for?” she asked, Lisa could hear her chewing gum as she spoke, “I’m after a bit of a change of image” Lisa said, “Ok” the girl answered “Cut & Colour?, I can fit you for 9-30?” “Yes that’s fine” Lisa told her, and after giving her name she hung up the phone.

And so come 9-15 the following Tuesday Lisa found herself walking in to the Makeover Bazaar. The girl behind the counter looked up from the magazine she was reading and blew a bubblegum bubble, which popped noisily. “What can I do for you” she asked. Lisa gave her name and was instructed to sit down, and that her stylist would be with her shortly. Lisa looked around and sat down onto one end of a hard bright red plastic moulded sofa. She looked at the pile of magazines in front of her on the table, she picked one up and started flicking through it, her stomach was doing belly flops, was she making a mistake? Just then a girl came through a bead curtain from what Lisa assumed was the salon area, she was striking to say the least sporting pink deadlocked extensions which reached to her waist. She said hi to the girl behind the counter and turned to Lisa, “Hello” she said, “you must be Lisa, my name is Catherine, but everybody calls me Cat, if you’d like to follow through we’ll see what we can do for you today.”

Lisa stood and followed Cat through the beads into the room behind. This was decorated in the same way as the reception, bright colours ad patterns adorned the walls, gaudy plastic furniture and decorations were also strewn in a seemingly haphazard way around the room. There seemed to only be one hairdressing station, towards which Cat guided Lisa, “Please sit down” she said indicating the black hairdressing chair. “Now what can we do for you today?” Lisa began explaining about her desire to do something special for her partner, Cat laughed when Lisa told her about his thing for punk girls. Lisa continued with her decision that it was now or never and that she had six months of college to return her looks to normal before she needed to get out and find job in the real world. Cat felt slightly insulted by what she saw as the implied suggestion that she didn’t live in the real world, but she smiled and said nothing.

“So what sort of thing were you thinking?” She asked. “I really don’t know” Lisa said, “I’m thinking it might all be a mistake”. “No, no not at all,” Cat put her hands on Lisa’s shoulders, “why don’t you leave the style to me, I’ve done these sort of styles a million times, your in the hands of a profession you know.” “I’ll tell you what will look good with this sort of look is a couple of piercings, and of course if you can’t hide them, the beauty is that you can take them out and the holes are almost invisible.” Lisa smiled weakly, “Ok she said,” biting her lip, “whatever you thinks best.” “So no one will be able to see any of this in six months time?” “You will be able to look completely normal for your interviews” Cat said, whilst thinking to her self, if you have a wig and some good makeup…”

Cat started on Lisa’s hair, the shoulder length brown tresses were combed through a couple of times and twisted in to a ponytail, then without much ceremony Cat took out her scissors and chopped it off at the base of Lisa’s neck, Lisa watched her reflection as the now much shorter hair swung round the sides of her head, that wasn’t too bad she thought, her hair had been almost this short last time she had had it cut. Cat put her scissors down and took out a set of clippers and with the machine making a humming sound which grew more ragged as it started cutting she pushed it up the back of Lisa’s head. Ok Lisa thought this is now shorter than I have ever ad it before. Cat continued cutting, as she moved round to the side Lisa saw how short she was going, the hair left in the wake of the machine was so fine as to be almost invisible, Lisa estimated a few mm at the most. Cat continued around the back and both sides and then to Lisa’s surprise the top as well, Lisa could now clearly see the shape of her head, she was glad her ears didn’t look as if they stuck out and amazed at how the haircut was making her eye’s look huge. Pretty soon all that was left of the long hair on Lisa’s head was a fringe, which Cat had brushed forward over her eye’s reaching down to her lips.

As Lisa sat there with what was left of her hair in front of her eyes Cat disappeared for a few moments, returning with a bowl of white foamy stuff. She began spreading this on Lisa’s head, at first Lisa thought it was bleach but the smell was wrong, then she realised it was soap, as she
wondered why Cat was soaping her head she saw Cat pick up something from the counter and then felt a scrape on the back of her head. She realised what was happening instantly and not for the first time felt fear fluttering in her stomach, she was being shaved bald! There was a comfort factor to having even a few mm of hair that Lisa now longed for, to be actually shaven bald seemed such a massive step beyond the clipper cut she had a few seconds ago. Cat continued around her head, when she got to the fringe she carefully shaved around the longer hair, Lisa sat unmoving, party scared of the razor which she could hear scraping across her skin, partly in the way a rabbit sits unmoving caught in a cars headlights, she knew the die had been cast and she was stuck with the decision she had made when she walked into the salon earlier. Once the shaving was complete Cat mixed up a strong bleach solution, this was pasted on Lisa’s fringe of hair and left to do its job.

Cat told Lisa she was going to give her a local aesthetic before she did the piercing, she explained it was common nowadays certainly preferable to having anything pierced without. Lisa started to say she had changed her mind but Cat cut her off mid sentence, don’t worry love she said I guarantee you won’t even feel me doing it, she asked Lisa to follow her into the piercing booth and walked out of the salon into a cubicle Lisa had noticed when she walked in. Lisa sat for a moment looking at her reflection, then stood and followed Cat.

The room was small and smelled of disinfectant, which Lisa assumed, was a good thing. “If you could just jump up on the bed and lie down for me.” Cat said, Lisa obliged, Cat placed a towel under her head to catch any bleach that ran on to the sheets, the towel felt decidedly odd against Lisa’s bald head, “Now I’m going to use a topical aesthetic, which I will rub in to the skin, what I normally do is put quite a lot on, as the more surface area that is covered the better the effect.” she had a jar of what looked like cold cream in her hands which she started rubbing into and around Lisa’s right ear, Her left ear followed as did the sides of her head and then her face, Lisa felt her ears begin to go numb, a stiffness spread over her face as the lotion did its job. “Is that stating to work?” Cat asked she pinched Lisa’s earlobe out of her line of site, Lisa didn’t flinch at all, instead she said “I think so.” Her voice was slightly slurred. “That’s fine Cat said, “You will feel slightly stiff for about half an hour until the aesthetic wears off, its nothing to worry about, most people find its best just to lie back close there eyes and relax.” Lisa did so, she really couldn’t feel anything on her head at all now, even the towel behind her bald head had faded. Her mind thought through the line, her bald head, one more time, she hoped Mark appreciated this she thought, at least by the end of Christmas she should have a half an inch of hair again.

While she lay with her eyes shut Cat worked on her ears, Lisa had asked for nothing that couldn’t be hidden in six months time, Cat reasoned, well a wig would hide earrings of any size wouldn’t it? She was using a scalpel to make large incisions in Lisa’s ear lobes, the cuts were 12mm long almost separating the earlobe from the ear, the inside edge of the hole in the lobe was carefully sown up and into the hole was pushed a large hollow ring, 1.5cm across, it went in relatively easily the earlobe stretching round the ring as if it had been gradually enlarged over some months. Cat quickly did the other side and then using more acceptable piercing techniques she began the rest of the process, the tops of Lisa’s right ear was given six new rings, all of relatively large gauge with the cartilage pierced using a dermal punch, her left nostril was pierced twice and her bottom lip received 3 snugly fitting rings. Lisa was completely oblivious to all of this.

Once finished Cat asked Lisa if she could stand up and move over to the wash basins, Lisa swung her legs off the bed and sat up, her head felt very strange, it was already lighter by virtue of its lack of hair, but now she felt numb as well, she stood and walked over to the basin where Cat began to wash out the bleach from her fringe. The warm water began to bring some sensation back to Lisa’s head, and as Cat shampooed out the bleach she noticed her ears starting to feel slightly warm and tingly, which she supposed was only to be expected. Once rinsed out Cat had Lisa lie back while she pasted yet more gunk onto the small amount of hair Lisa had left, this time Lisa couldn’t see the bowl or the liquid, so sat back and worried quietly while Cat busied herself with Lisa’s hair.

She seemed to have finished with Lisa’s fringe and started rubbing some sort of lotion into Lisa’s bare scalp, it was quite relaxing, like a scalp massage, and for the first time Lisa saw some benefits to having no hair, her eyes closed and she actually started drifting off to sleep. Cat finished massaging the depilatory cream into Lisa’s head and took off her gloves. The cream only needed ten minuets to work on the roots and it should stop re-growth for a few months at least, maybe more. Cat rarely used it on head hair as it was actually intended for pubic hair, which being much coarser required the cream to be quite strong. She might be unlucky Cat thought with a smile; she might be one of those people who never get any re-growth.

Cat gently woke Lisa and lead her to the sink unit to wash out her fringe, she also rinsed off the cream on her scalp, after draping a towel around her head Cat lead her to the cutting station again, Lisa looked at her reflection, to start with she was confused, the face looked like hers but something wasn’t quite right, she lifted her hand to her face and carefully touched the rings through her lip, her eyes widened as she realised they went all the way through, she could see the nostril rings were just as real, her hands then moved to her ears, still hidden beneath the towel, she started to lift the towel as Cat unwrapped it from her head revealing her new look in ill its glory. Lisa’s eyes went wide, what was left of her hair fell in front of her face, it was a bright vivid blue, her ear’s looked very red but it was the massive holes in her earlobes which shocked Lisa the most. “What have you done to me!” She exclaimed, “I’m a freak!” “Don’t be silly” Cat told her, “This sort of thing is very popular at the moment, and I guarantee that your boyfriend will find it quite a turn on, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get to have a few more piercings to go with them.”

Lisa sat in shock as Cat dried off her hair, sweeping it to one side across her left eye ad tucking it behind her ear. After a few minuets she put down the drier and stood back. “There you go” she said “All finished.”
Lisa hadn’t said a word during the drying of her hair, Cat thought she actually looked a bit pale, which she supposed could have been shock, still she would soon get over it she thought to herself, she had got a few moths to get used to the new style.

After paying Lisa walked out of the shop, she felt slightly sick, which wasn’t made any better by the feeling of the cold air on her bald head and the thought that everyone was staring at her, she tried to tell herself she was just being silly it was only a haircut and a few earrings, but she couldn’t help but Catch site of her reflection in shop windows and it quickly became apparent that many people were staring at her. She supposed she couldn’t really blame them, the sort of person who looked like this did so because they wanted people to look at them.

She hurried home and locked the door of her bed-sit behind her. After taking off her coat she went immediately into the bathroom and had a closer look at her new face in the mirror, It would take a little getting used to she thought. First things first the big earrings would have to go, she doubted the large lobe holes would close up if she left the rings in for any length of time, she carefully took out one of the rings
and inspected her lobe “fuck” she said to herself. The hole had had its inside edge carefully sown up and it looked like it would take a minor operation to get the inside edges to close together again, she couldn’t face her doctors questions as to why she had had it done in the first place, she would die of embarrassment. Without the ring in place her ear looked very iffy and slightly mangled, at least with the ring it looked as if it was supposed to be like that even if it hadn’t been her decision. She had a pull at the other rings in her ears, they were quite thick gauge with no obvious fastener, she turned a ring all the way through her ear, eventually finding a thin seam. Carefully she tried to prise the ring apart, it wouldn’t budge, partly due to its thickness and also because she couldn’t get enough leverage on it without causing a lot of pain. The rings in her now swollen lip were the same, but the ones in her nostril were slightly thinner, she carefully pulled one of these open and it came off, leaving a small red hole on the side of her nose next to the other ring. She looked at her face for few minuets and came to a decision, I for a penny she muttered and put the nose ring back in through the hole, wincing slightly at the pain. To be honest she thought the nose rings are pretty cool, she had thought about having her nose pierced in the past, not twice in one side admittedly but even so of all her new piercings they were the ones she didn’t actually mind.

After getting some food and spending the rest of the afternoon studying she spoke to Mark on the phone, she had been debating about whether or not to mention her surprise but had eventually decided against it. He was coming to collect her at the end of the week so he would discover for himself soon enough.
After a few more hours study she went to bed.

The next morning she slowly woke up, It was already getting light outside and the sun streamed into her eyes through a blue veil of hair. Her mind jerked awake and her and reached up and touched her head, it felt smooth and slightly warm, she went over the events of yesterday in her mind, her hand moved from her scalp to her ears and she felt her teeth chink against one of the lip rings as she licked her lips. Se got out of bed and waked over to the bathroom, again the face in the mirror shocked her, she leaned in close and studied her ears, lip and nose, her piercings looked less red than yesterday, which was something at least, she studied her scalp, there didn’t seem to be any stubble yet, which was odd, but she wasn’t overly worried, it was less than 24 hours ago she reasoned.

For the next few days she stayed put in her room, studying and worrying by equal measure, but it was now Friday, Mark was coming over on Saturday so if she was going to put the rest of her plan in to operation she had only got today to do anything about it. To give Mark the kind of surprise she wanted meant she would need to do something about her wardrobe, her clothes were all a bit casual for the look she was going for, well lets face it, they were a bit casual for the look she now had. In the few days following the visit to the hairdressers she hadn’t actually been out of the house, this was another problem, she really didn’t want Mark to think this look had been forced on her, she actually wanted him to think she liked looking like this. So she needed to face the world. She opened her cupboards and started looking for suitable clothes, after half an hour she had found an old pair of black jeans which were a bit on the small side but with some effort he thought she could get in to them, a pair of DM’s she hadn’t worn for years and a white tee shirt. After doing a little constructive ripping on the jeans and tee shirt, which was now cropped above belly button length, she started dressing. The stranger who looked back at her was a scary sight, very self-assured looking and confident, not at all how she felt. With her limited supply of makeup she added back eyeliner to her eyes, and a solid red lipstick outlined with black. She ran her hands over her head, there was still no sign at all of hair growing back on her head, this was beginning to scare her a little but for now she forced it from her mind. She had to admit she looked amazing, and she guessed more or less unrecognisable to anyone she knew!

After putting on her leather jacket; which let the side down a little by being altogether too smart, but then she wasn’t about to distress a £400 jacket; She went out. The obvious place to go was the mall where she had had her transformation. The attention her hair and piercing earned amazed her, over the last few days she had spent a few hours in front of the mirror in tears, eventually she had told herself it wasn’t that bad and there were many girls with equally extreme looks. However the reality of her appearance on a busy Friday in the centre of town brought home to her just how alien she looked to most people. Mark better appreciate this she thought bitterly. She had more or less decided that after Christmas, before returning to UNI she was going to buzz her hair back to one colour and remove as many of the piercings as possible.

In the mall Lisa wandered around looking at the selections of clothes, The good thing about this stuff was the price she thought, and after a while she had selected a second hand long leather jacket, a red leather Basque and pair of black PVC trousers and to top it all, a pair of thigh length boots with a 6″ heel. She smiled as she imagined Marks reaction, if this wasn’t fulfilling his fantasy’s she didn’t know what was. As she wandered round she heard someone call her name, it took her a few minuets to recognise Cat waving to her from across the store. The cause of her confusion was Cat’s bald head. Cat came over. “You look fantastic” she said, “you have really gone all out for this haven’t you?” “You look different yourself” Lisa reached up and stroked Cats smooth skull. “Its cool isn’t it?” Cat replied, “it was doing yours that gave me the idea, and the best bit is it will stay smooth for months, how is yours?” She asked. “What do you mean stay smooth?” Lisa asked. “Oh the depilatory cream will stop hair growth for a few months at least.” Cat said, “I thought that was what you wanted?” She lied, “you said you wanted to look normal in six moths time so I figured three months like this and three months to grow you hair out to a less eye-catching style?” Lisa just stood there stunned, she hadn’t been daring to think about why her hair wasn’t growing back yet, she had considered the possibility that she was one of those people for whom shaved hair never grows back, so she supposed at least this was slightly better than that. She hurried home with her purchases and spent anther night crying over the loss of her hair.

The next day she pulled her self together, a long soak in the bath made her feel a lot more human, even if she didn’t look it she thought bitterly. To be fair she reasoned I did enjoy yesterday, the attention certainly made a change, and in a strange way she actually felt in control, gone was the slightly unsettling feeling that people are looking at you and you don’t know why, it was replaced by quite an empowering feeling, people were looking at her and she knew full well why. She began to dress for Mark if she had looked interesting yesterday today she looked nothing short of incredible. She gazed at her reflection in the wardrobe mirror, a sci-fi dominatrix stared back, the boots were amazing, and more amazing was the fact that she could walk in them. It had taken her a while to do up the bodice, It was far from done up all the way but as it was it was very tight, pulling her stomach in and accentuating her hips and breasts. With the jacket over the top she headed off to the station to meet Mark.

She couldn’t understand why she felt so good; she was nervous, very nervous about Marks reaction but she was fairly certain was gong to be blown away by her getup anyway; but above this she felt strong, she felt in control and it was a feeling she was staring to
like. She saw the train arrive and the Passengers depart, Mark got off half way down the train and started walking towards the exit of the station, he walked towards Lisa as she stood near the exit, she had seen his eyes flick over her a few times and then look away, presumably searching through the crowed for the old Lisa, he glanced at her again, she opened her coat slightly revealing her figure and boots, he couldn’t help his eyes wandering over her body and back to her face. She smiled at him, he looked very puzzled, he was only a few feet away now as she said, well haven’t you got a hug for your better half?

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