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This story is a work of fiction based on a factual experience

After a few years of discussion and several months of searching the Internet and a small fortune spent on hairstyle magazines, the day had finally arrived. As my wife Kath ,set off for her regular ‘just the ends!’ Trim she kissed me and said well you can finally say goodbye to all this and she held a handful of her jet black locks in her left hand , ‘pick me up in 2 hours, don’t be late!’ And she was gone. She hadn’t told me the style she had chosen but had hinted that although it would be a major change for her, I would probably still consider it a fairly conservative style so I expected a bob,probably one length and cut to just above her shoulders, still long, but it would mean her losing a good foot off her poker straight hair.

Less than half an hour later the phone rang and it was Kath,I could tell from her tone that she was very unhappy ‘ can you come and collect me now please!’ And she hung up. I was outside the hair salon in less than 10 minutes and she jumped in the car her hair still slightly damp and obviously uncut , she stared out the window and said out loud ‘ 8 years I’ve been going there at least every 8weeks plus all the special occasions and they have the audacity to refuse to cut my hair the way I want it!, I cannot believe it, I know what I want I’ve a good mind to report them to trading standards’
I cleared my throat ‘didn’t they know you were wanting a change of style, I mean you’ve been talking about and planning this for ….well…years!’
‘Don’t you start! Now drive to my sisters!’

I knew when to keep quiet, and continued to follow her instructions as she started to text messages on her mobile. After a few minutes of incoming and outgoing messages she asked me to take a left at the next set of traffic lights, then park at a set of shops, as I pulled up I noticed a rather old fashioned hair salon in the middle of the row of shops, ‘come with me’ she instructed as she got out the car and soon both of us entered the shop and were greeted by a young girl behind a small reception counter. Kath enquired if there was any chance of an immediate appointment , looking at her long tresses the girl replied that she could have a trim in about 20 minutes, we agreed and went to a nearby cafe for a coffee. As we sipped our drinks she surprised me by asking ‘do you want to see my new style or will I leave it as a surprise’
‘Surprise me’ I replied and again she caught me off guard.
‘OK, on the condition you back me up, I’m going to text you my new style and if this hairdresser refuses to cut it the way I want it I am relying on you to insist that it is cut as I request ok?’
I looked at her with my mind in turmoil , my phone beeped a new message tone and I could only nod my approval as we left the cafe and returned to the salon.

As we entered the girl took my wife’s jacket and showed her to a chair, and started to brush through her long locks, in a few moments a lady in her fifties with her hair tied back approached and I heard her ask in a slightly abrupt manner ‘ just the ends or a little more off?’ At that my wife called me over and gave her instructions to the stylist, ‘I’d like a change please, I’d like it bobbed’
As the stylist combed her hair the questioning began ‘Well I can do it but I will have to cut it dry, OK to about here?’ And she gathered the hair loosely so that it was just brushing her shoulders. Kath shook her head ‘ no I was thinking a bit shorter than that, let me show you what I was thinking’ and at that she opened an image on her phone and showed the stylist, who raised her eyebrows and said ‘quite a change, but yes that would work. I would really like more time to do this but I can cut the basic style today,with a couple of tweaks, if that’s ok with you ,I’m Mags by the way,will I get started?’
Kath nodded enthusiastically and turned to me ‘OK you can take a seat and watch but first give me your phone till I delete that image I sent you’ I handed her the phone then sat in the next chair as directed by Mags.

She started by combing my wife’s hair straight back from front to back then let a very thin veil fall down in front of her eyes and in a flash had produced a pair of scissors from her pocket and sliced a straight fringe across her forehead which barely touched her eyebrows ‘that’ll do as a start we can take it up a bit more if you want’ she then made a triangular parting about 2 inches in from the centre of Kath’s hairline and out to each temple pinned all the hair back behind this and then combed a heavy screen of hair straight down in front of her eyes completely obscuring her vision but not my view , as the the thick curtain of hair hung down she unhooked a set of electric clippers then inserted her comb into the hair, levelled the teeth with the cut guideline and ran the clippers along the comb shearing off great sheets of hair the falling locks gathering in Kath’s lap. Twice more she repeated this until what was left was a thick dark fringe running straight across her forehead just above her eyebrows. If I was shocked at how quickly this had been done it was nothing to the look on my wife’s face as she bit her bottom lip, Mags merely saying ‘ that’s better now you can see what’s going on ‘. Mags unpinned the hair on the right side and it tumbled down over Kath’s shoulders to the chair arm, as she combed it down she asked ‘ keep the ears covered, or do you want to see the lobes?’ This was the first time I realised just how short Kath was considering going which was way more than I ever thought she would contemplate , I knew she would have to answer quick because the comb was almost in place and the clippers running.’ Ehm keep my ears covered please’ I heard her reply.
‘Ok , but when I stack the back it might be quite severe leaving it this long’ said Mags and then the clippers rasped against the comb and at least 18 inches of black locks slid down the cape over the arm of the chair and plopped onto the floor. Rasp, rasp, rasp,rasp and all the hair was severed leaving behind a straight , blunt bob which hung at the front, barely an inch below her earlobe.

As Mags moved to the other side I caught my wife’s eye in the mirror and my own reflection my mouth open and an unbelieving look on my face , she gave me a little half smile and I watched as years of her hair slid down her left arm. The clippers were now attending to the back, shearing her long locks off at her neck ,Mags kicking the shorn locks off her shoes and she called for the junior to tidy the floor up as she hung the clippers back on their hook. First at the back then at both sides she took her scissors and snipped off any long stray hairs that the clippers had missed, she then lifted a hand mirror and held it behind my wife so she could see her reflection, ‘ There we go,a few years growth gone in 5 minutes’ and she gave a little laugh. Kath gave a rather involuntary laugh and gently shook her head , I could see her eyes watching the junior sweep all her long locks off the floor and Into a dustpan and sensed a pang of regret in her voice as she said ‘ it feels so much….ehmm.lighter!’ And all 3 of us laughed. Mags continued ‘ it’ll be even lighter once I’m finished , I always remove the bulk with the clippers when someone decides on such a major change as you did, no second thoughts and all that, now I’d like you to consider something’
‘Go on’ Kath hesitantly replied , still coming to the shock of losing so much hair so quickly and looking at the rough mop she now sported , the stylist still holding the mirror ran her fingers up the back of Kath’s hair ‘ it would really suit you if I tapered the back up to about here ‘ and she held her fingers at the middle of the back of her head and continued ‘ then a nice curved angle round to the sides it will leave you with a sleek bob with great swing ‘ Kath again bit her lip and then asked hesitantly ‘ by tapered how short are we talking’ Mags looked at her in the mirror and replied ‘Trust me, it will look stunning, you’ve done the hardest part now let’s get some shape into this ‘ Kath smiled and gave a nod of consent.

No sooner had she done so her head was bent forward and a curved parting was made across the back of her head from ear to ear and all the hair above this line was pinned up out of the way and the hair hanging down just touched her collar. Out came the clippers again and a plastic guard was fitted to the blades and holding Kath’s head firmly down Mags ran them from the nape right up the back shaving the hair close to the scalp, I was amazed at how short (and high) she was shaving it. I also noticed Kath tense then relax at the vibration of the clippers pulling her head back to meet them but being held firmly in place by Mags who then removed the clipper guard and began tapering Kath’s hair clipper over comb down to the hairline finally finishing by outlining the hairline with the teeth of the clippers into a very distinct 3 pointed ‘W’ . When she released the clips holding back Kath’s hair it fell covering the freshly shaved back and nestled on her neck. Mags was ruthless but expert with her scissors and comb snippets of hair the longest about an inch were quickly removed and a soft curve formed along the bottom of Kath’s hair the hair gently getting longer down both sides until it formed a sharp angle sweeping to two perfect points at her jaw. Finally she took a pair of thinning scissors and chopped into her fringe removing clumps of hair, then she re- cut the fringe taking another half inch off the length leaving a perfectly straight line across the middle of her forehead. As she reached for the hand mirror she asked Kath ‘Ready for the new you?’ And she held the mirror up to show her the back.

‘WOW!’ Exclaimed Kath and her hand escaped from the cape and she ran her fingers up the back of her head feeling for the first time the clippered undercut she had been given her eyes closing as her fingers touched the soft bristles she turned to me ‘You like it?’
‘You look stunning’ I replied ‘I never thought in a million years you would go this short!’
Kath laughed ‘neither did I! Well not in one go! I had always ehm dreamed of having the back short but nothing like this! And the fringe is so , dramatic!’
‘The whole cut is “dramatic” I replied.
Mags then piped up ‘ this is the long back version, see how you like it and if you want it taken all the way I’ll do it when you come back for your neck trim in two weeks’ and she held the back hair up revealing the shorn undercut.
‘What do you mean by all the way?’ Asked Kath. Mags looked at me and asked me to vacate the seat then called the junior over and had her sit down in the chair, she swivelled Kath’s chair round to face the other one. Mags continued as she lifted the hair on the back of the young girl’s head ‘ this was done the same as yours almost 3 weeks ago as you can see as the hair grows it loses some of the definition but because it’s covered by the longer hair you don’t see it.Now she’s tired of this and we agreed before you came in that she wanted something more dramatic than an undercut, that’s why I was in a bit of a rush with you’ and at that she switched on a smaller higher pitched set of clippers then continued ‘ these are called balding clippers because that’s what they do ‘ and she ran them up the centre of the girl’s head see they take all the hair away leaving only skin behind, they shave you nearly as close as a razor’ we both stared wide eyed as she continually ran the clippers up the back of the girl’s head shaving her bald. As she finished the girl stroked her smooth scalp letting out a wow! The stylist let her hair fall over the shaved scalp ‘so that is an all the way under shave but she wants to go totally ‘all the way’ and at that she pointed her clippers teeth first at the girl’s scalp at the point the under shave met the longer hair. It was no match,as the clippers touched the hair it slid down her back and down to the floor, it took her less than a minute to work her way along the hairline and then suddenly there was silence and the girl sat there with the back of her head shorn of any semblance of hair and the stylist turned to both of us ‘what do you think?’

Kath and I exchanged glances and then she said ‘can I touch it?’ The girl gushed ‘feel free it is awesome’ Kath placed a finger on the shaved scalp and her other hand touched her own cropped under shave’ then she turned to me and Mags ‘what do you think?’ Mags shrugged ‘it’s your decision but you would rock it’ now it was my turn ‘ Kath, please do what you think is best’ she looked at me ‘Touch it then give me a yes or no’ I touched the smooth scalp and a shiver ran down my spine and I couldn’t hide my excitement ‘ I turned slowly towards Kath ‘it’s your call’ Kath was back to her confident , determined self ‘ I said yes or no!’ I slowly nodded my head in ascent but said ‘why not leave it as it is and take the weekend to make your mind up?’ Kath began to take her gown off ‘Yes that’s a good idea’ I was paying for her new do to the junior who constantly stroked the back of her shaven head, and Kath was getting into her coat when suddenly she said ‘No, nothing ventured nothing gained I’ve come this far so let’s go “all the way” now, at least with the undercut I ‘ll leave the Bob and decide an an “all, all the way”over the weekend’

At that Mags gave a huge smile saying ‘I’m going to enjoy looking after your hair , as she ushered her back to the chair saying head down please’ and she ran the balding clippers up the back of Kath’s hair shaving her to the skin. Kath gave out little sighs as she stroked the smooth skin and whispered ‘it truly is awesome’
Leaving the shop the stylist said ‘enjoy it and pop in any time on Monday!’

As we left the salon I stroked her shaved scalp sending shivers down her spine while at the same time I pressed my other hand into her spine half way down her back and whispered into her ear, ‘just think half an hour ago your hair was down to here’ Kath sighed ‘And now this is the longest it’s ever going to be!’ As we sat in the car she was texting and when I asked to who she replied ‘pictures to my old hairdresser!, and my sister to cancel our visit , take me home please’

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