Crewcut and Headshave in Poland by barber Jos
Some months ago I read a small advertisement in my newspaper. For a year I have been alone and wondering how to find a new partner. I am 31 years old now and not the type to go to bars to look for a new friend. Moreover people are smoking and drinking too much there trying to forget how lonely they are.
It was a Saturday and that is the day that my newspaper contains hundreds of small advertisements of persons looking for a new partner. Usually I start to read my newspaper starting at page 1 etc. But for some months all my attention went straight away to the section where men where looking for women. Sometimes I found an advertisement with descriptions and wishes that appealed. But up till now I did not have the courage to send a letter. To be honest I was afraid to meet the most horrible disgusting……
Suddenly I saw an advertisement that was rather long and that contained a number of interesting words:
Teacher 37, with beard and daughter, widower and with a big house has place for attractive slim woman, not cleaner or kitchen princess, but an emancipated woman, sharing some interests. Classical music,travelling, camping, literature, art (polish graphic art!!!!), silence and… no smoking . Real friend for me and my daughter. Not to much makeup and your own attractive face. Preference for a mixture of boyish sportivity and girlish attractivity. Very short hair, eton crop, crewcut or a perfect buzzcut or courage to lose your braid or ponytail and not afraid by comments about it. Maybe too many wishes but why not be honest about what you/or I like The whole combination is unlikely. Give it a try and send a letter (with photograph) even if not all our wishes are the same.
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Interesting man, was my first thought, although what about that obsession for short hair?
The other advertisements were hardly interesting and I made myself a coffee. I studied myself in a mirror and saw my hair that was rather long. In the past I had it sometimes long, but often short or even very short in the summer. Anthony, my last friend, did not like short hair and often other people made nasty remarks about it, suggesting that short hair was good for dykes, but not for a nice woman like me. Even my brother who sometimes gave me financial support said something like that and the stupid thing was that I was too afraid to say that I wanted to do what I liked myself. In a cupboard I looked for some photographs of a holiday, about 10 years ago, when my hair had been cut in a barbershop in Poland. I went there with Wendy; both of us had hardly any money, but somebody had told her that you could go very cheap with a bus and the rest of life there was extremely cheap as long as you stayed at camping sites. It was indeed true and we did not even need to prepare our own food, because even for us the restaurants were ridiculous cheap. The major problem was smoke and the horrible number of men drinking far too much vodka.
We were very lucky that the weather was extremely nice. I was only unhappy with my hair and complained about that warm mass on my head and was really jealous of Wendy who had been to a hairdressing school for a cheap haircut just before we left. She found her hair too short, but to me it looked very attractive and I liked to feel the short stubble at her nape.
“You must imagine,” said Wendy, “that the boy cutting my hair even used clippers, I was shocked about it.”
“You know,” she said, “I have a good idea. We go by bus to town and we will look for a hairdresser that will change you into a very attractive boy. Hee, hee.”
We left the camping and waited for a bus, joined by some Polish students who tried to speak English. Usually our conversation was restricted to some short sentences. Of course the boys asked where we were going, but I told Wendy that she should not tell them about the planned visit. At the bus station we left the bus and walked to the old town center, with the neglected houses and the simple shops. And the groceries which nowadays had a reasonable supply of food. At the main square we discovered a small coffee shop and Wendy looked in her small dictionary for Polish words that were useful at the hairdresser’s.
When we had finished our coffee we started our search for barbers or fryzer as they were known in Poland There were many of them and most of them had an old-fashioned charm, with photographs that had once been colour. Many of them had a clear division in a left part for gentlemen (meski) and a right part for ladies (damski). What happened inside was usually far from clear as curtains were hiding the secret activities that should upgrade the appearance of the customers. Only the activities in some barbershops could be seen as doors were open because of the nice hot weather. It was clear anyway that the prices of a haircut were ridiculous low.
“For that price, you can try most of the hairdressers,” said Wendy and that resulted in a curious afternoon. “You can try all kind of haircuts,” she said; “the only thing is that it will end with short hair. I think that the last one should be in a real barbershop.”
And so we visited the first hairdresser, where I lost the first 30 cm of my hair, resulting in a rather long bob. It was a carefully done job, but within 15 minutes we stood again on the street.
“What about a shorter bob and bangs?” said Wendy and we entered another shop, where we had to wait for some time. We studied a lot of old hair journals and the choice was made; not surprising a look from the roaring twenties. This time I lost again a lot of hair because it was cut to the hairline at the nape. The hairdresser made a lot of work of rather long but attractive bangs. In fact I liked this haircut rather a lot and I wanted to stop for that afternoon. We walked to some other parts of the town and Wendy pulled me in the next shop. Here the bob was made much shorter and my hair at the nape was made very short with the clippers. Also the hair at side was made shorter and a part of my nice ears appeared. The whole haircut had the form of a helmet with a nice transition from the very short bristles to the longer hair at the top and the hairdresser was very satisfied with her work. The bangs were now halfway down my forehead and we left the hairdresser, giggling.
“And now we go for the real crewcut,” said Wendy. “At the square where we were just a moment ago, I saw a nice old fashioned barbershop.” We walked back and had a look in the shop. There were no customers at that moment and two older female barbers were sitting on their chairs whereas a third one (a male one) was just wiping away the clippings of a young man that just left the shop. It was one of the students that we met at the bus and he asked what we wanted in the barbershop. Wendy made a nice story of it and told him that I had been to a hairdresser and that I wanted my hair as short as hers and we thought that a barber could do this job better. “Maybe,” she said in her most charming way, “you can help us to translate if the barber does not understand us.” The boy was flattered and joined us when we entered the shop. The boy explained to the barber Wendy’s wishes and after some hesitation one of the old lady barbers invited me to go to her chair and wrapped a cape around my neck. She started to comb my hair, but that was hardly necessary as that had been done the whole afternoon.
The boy started a conversation with Wendy and asked at that moment how long we wanted to stay in Poland. The barber asked at that same moment how my hair should be cut. Wendy told the boy that it should be done like her hair.
The barber thought about that and in between the boy asked again how long we were planning to stay. Just when Wendy wanted to answer the barber asked how long ago Wendy’s hair had been cut. With the intention to cut it as short as Wendys hair had been at the moment that she left the hairdressing school in Holland. Wendy, who did not seem to hear the question of the barber, said 4 weeks. The boy did not realize that she spoke about the length of the holiday and told the barber that Wendy’s hair had been cut 4 weeks ago. I did not realize what that meant, but the barber made the calculation that Wendys’s hair must have been extremely short and that my hair should be done in the same way. This was the only explanation for what happened next (although Wendy told me later…)
The barber took electric clippers, pushed my head forward and before I had any idea what happened the clippers were moving upwards quite near the skin of my head. Before I could say anything, the next move was made and within a minute the whole back of my head was (I felt) almost bald. I expected help from Wendy, but she seemed to pay no attention although she later confessed that she saw the whole thing, but she was so fascinated that she kept her mouth shut. The barber pulled my head into a more vertical position and I could see in a mirror behind me that very short stubble had been left. Before I could realize what happened the barber did the same at the sides of my head, with the result that a small cap of longer hair seemed to cover my head. I looked in the mirror hardly recognizing myself, but at the same time it was feeling very nice to have lost all that hair. For a moment the barber studied the first results of her work and I heard the giggle of Wendy and a “Wwowww, that’s short.” The barber was wondering now how the rest of the hair on top should be done and asked the boy about the length. Before I could say anything Wendy answered by showing between her fingers a length of oh, as she said, 2 cm. The barber seeing her fingers from another angle observed something like 1/2 cm and looked in a drawer and put something on the clippers . And then I heard and saw again the clippers running over my head and within a minute my head was covered by a dense layer of short bristles. Only the front hair was not touched by the clippers. The barber finished her job by cutting the bangs extremely short, quite a difference with the long bangs that almost reached my eyes with the short bob that I had an hour ago.
At the end the barber cleaned the nape part with a razor and declared that this was short enough. In almost 3 hours I had lost almost all my hair but the feeling was good and I enjoyed the whole thing. The boy did not know what to say.
I wanted to pay and leave the barbershop, but now Wendy walked to the chair and declared that she wanted also a haircut. The boy, not knowing how to behave with these two strange girls, greeted us and left the shop. While Wendy’s hair was changed into an identical crewcut she confessed that she understood the barber’s question very well, but that she had planned the whole thing before, and that she was afraid that I did not want to go as short as it was now.
At first I was rather angry and accused her of very bad behaviour. But I liked my hair and rather soon forgave her.
Maybe some of the Polish people considered us now as a lesbian couple, but we were not troubled by it and were surprised how many boys liked us when we visited the local dancing. Later we visited other towns a.o. that lovely old Krakow. I always liked the beautiful posters and I still have a lot of them framed in my house.
In Krakow Wendy and I visited once again a barber just before we left for Holland.
But at home I received so often remarks about my hair that it felt uneasy and my hair was usually long again. But if I see a nicely cropped girl I often feel the urge to have my hair again like I had it in Poland.
A year later Wendy married and nowadays we see each other maybe once a year. Her husband is a long hair freak, but I know that she…..
An hour later I ring Wendy and tell her about the advertisement. We have a lot of giggles remembering our polish holiday and she suggests that I give it a try.
Again an hour later I am busy, only this time wondering how many women are doing the same. (As I later hear about the number of women and girls that wrote Mike a letter I realize that it was good that I did not know about it, because I should never have written my letter with that knowledge.)
Already the same the afternoon I put my letter in a mailbox, wondering if there will be a reaction.
I was the one that made the advertisement. A year ago a girl which I loved left me and I felt quite lonely with my daughter. At first I wondered how to find a new partner, but how to do that. During the last months I read the special section with contact advertisements in my newspaper with more than usual attention and even wrote letters, which were good enough to be invited . But I did not like the girls very much. None of them had that almost bisexual attractiveness of the somewhat boyish girl that I like most. Sometimes I had the idea that my feelings had an almost homosexual aspect, but I know that is not true.
As a small boy I had a female teacher with very long hair and I still remember that she came back after a holiday with extreme short hair; one of the most attractive women I ever met. It was a pity that we differed too much in age.
How different from the women in my family with their perms and rollers. For the rest of my life I knew what I liked most, but learned that my preference was far from usual and most women were even afraid to cut their hair really short even if they liked it themselves.
How often did I hear a girl say that she found her hair much too short, because “friends” made the most terrible remarks about it.
When I prepared the advertisement I decided to add my wishes about the hair of my future partner. I wondered how strange women/girls should find this preference, because only once I saw an indication like that whereas usually suggestions about nice long hair were made.
I did not tell my family about the whole thing and I asked my newspaper to place the advertisement after my return from the holidays that I had planned.(4 weeks from now).
My daughter should go for three weeks to the family of my late wife and I wanted to visit Poland where I spent a year as a student. All my luggage was ready and I even had some appointments with friends and some Polish artists, because I wanted to buy some contemporary etchings.
It was Saturday morning and as usual I read the advertisements and suddenly I saw to my surprise my own advertisement. I was somewhat angry because I was afraid that the newspapers should send all the reactions to my house and I was afraid that my sister should open the letters to see why the newspaper should send me all those messages.
I waited till Monday and phoned the newspaper and asked them to send me the first letters, if there were any; the rest should be kept at the newspaper till I returned from Poland.
I waited, quite nervous, till the next day, walking very often to my postbox to see if there came any letters.
At noon I saw the postman with a big envelope, indeed from my newspaper, and after I opened it, I counted 35 letters from women. It was one of the most confusing experiences of my life. Before I doubted if there would be any reaction and now it seemed that my preference for short hair was a quite normal thing. I wondered what to do, till I read the letter of Carla, written in an amusing style, with a lot of good humor and talking about the many things that I like so much and she even knew Poland well. The photograph that was added showed an attractive girl with long hair – at the back she scribbled: “need a haircut.”
Her telephone number was mentioned and I had the courage to ring her. Within a short time we were talking about the most different things and it looked like we had known each other a long time. I told her that I was leaving early next morning, because I had to be in T. on Thursday. She told me that her holiday would start Saturday and she did not yet know where to go.
“Oh just come to T.,” I said, “and I will see you there.” It was more or less a joke and we talked about other things.
Suddenly she cried, “Oh heaven, I must phone my brother, I will call you later.” An hour later we were on line again and she told me that she had made a booking to come by bus to T., arriving on Tuesday. “It sounds ridiculous,” she said, “I even did not see you, maybe you are the most horrible…”
I explained her where the camping was, but that was not necessary, because she had been there before. “I only hope that the toilets are more clean than in the past,” she said.
“No problem,” I said. “A Dutchman has bought the camping and it is clean and safe now.”
We talked a lot and I informed her about my car and how to recognize me and we made the appointment that we should leave a message at the reception, where the owner knew me very well.
It is Tuesday morning now and I sit already 15 hours in the bus. Am I crazy. The whole bus was terribly crowded and luckily I am not such a tall girl. It means that I slept almost the whole night. Outside I see regularly nests with storks on the roofs of farms. Another one and a half hours and I will be in T. It is a nice old town and the memories of that holiday with Wendy are returning. I feel my hair and know that this evening I will be short-haired again. Bardzo krotko, I remember. How short will it be and will I go together with Mike? In fact I hope that he is not at the camping and that I will have time to see the town and potential barbers at my own. I have a daydream and see the photographs of Sinead O’Connor and wonder how I will look with a shaved head. I feel my head and try to imagine how a smooth head will be. And how Mike should find that. It is crazy that for some months I regularly see myself at the barbers, first with a nice crewcut and then the barber smiles and says, “You must try a headshave, you will look great.” I get the shivers of my dreams and my neighbour in the bus even asks if something is wrong. “Crazy ideas in my head,” I murmur, because I must be happy if a barber wants to buzz my hair, without too many objections and comments.
We stop at the station of T. and I walk to the camping which is not far from here. The owner greets me and tells that Mike has told about me and shows me the place where his tent is placed. I place my own small shelter besides his tent, put my luggage inside, write a small letter to Mike and decide to go to town, because I cannot suppress my needs to lose my hair as soon as possible. I give the message for Mike to the owner and look for the bus to the town. When we cross the bridge I see from the other side a car with a Dutch number plate coming.
Is it Mike? But I decide to go on to the town.
When I come back from town, where I went to the bakery and the grocery I hear from George that Carla just arrived but that she disappeared already, leaving a small letter. She writes that she likes to walk a little bit in the old town and will look for a hairdresser or even better a barber. Oh heavens, this is something that I don’t want to miss. I cross the bridge again and see Carla walking in the direction of the square. The trouble is that I cannot find a parking place and must go to the big one at the river. I lose “hours” and go very fast to the square where I see her walking. What to do and then I do nothing, that means that I just follow her from a distance. It is an attractive slim girl. I see that she looks through the shop windows of a hairdresser, but she shrugs her shoulders. From the other side an attractive girl with a shaved head comes and Carla even turns to see the girl better. Ten years ago a girl with a shaved head would have been the most crazy thing here, but I realize that I saw several girls like that and even wondered if Carla would have the courage to do something like that. Then Carla walks back and I see that she goes to the girl and asks her something .I see that the girl stares at Carla’s hair and starts to smile . I feel and know what is happening and follow the girls when they walk away. From far away I see how they enter a small street, where the girl points to a classic barber and even goes into the shop with Carla. A minute later the girl leaves the barber and I see Carla sitting, waiting for what? There are two barbers, one man, one woman, busy finishing the classic haircut of their customers, but no other customer.
I enter also, greet the barbers, sit down, look around and wonder what Carla is feeling.
Carla takes a travel guide from her small backpack and seems to stare at the pages, but is clear that she is nervous.
I sit here in that old shop. The barbers seem to be friendly and I was happy that I explained the girl what I wanted. Why didn’t I wait and share this with Mike? I feel that the guy that just entered the barbershop stares at me; he must be wondering what a girl like me is doing here.
Nice man with a beard, strong face, nice eyes, but rather nervous. He would be great with a shaved head. The male barber is ready with his job and asks the man with the beard to the chair. It seems that the woman will do my hair. She finishes also and while the customers pay I am also asked to sit down. The customers leave the shop and than barbers wrap capes around our necks and ask in Polish what we want. And then the man besides me talks to me and says, “Carla, what about a perfect buzzcut.” I am totally confused but happy as I find him very attractive.
It is Mike, who tells me that he tried to find me in town and saw me with the girl going to the barber. The barbers ask again how our hair must be cut and then Mike says, “What about a headshave? I saw you staring at that girl and you asked her where that was done didn’t you?” I confirm that it is true and that probably I would have been without any hair when we would meet an hour later.
Mike explains that our hair can be buzzed with the clippers, without any attachment. We look for a moment and I wonder how it will feel to lose my hair again.
The barbers switch on the clippers, push our heads somewhat forward and there we sit like small schoolboys. How long did I wait to feel this? The barbers are working slowly and carefully all the hair at the back is removed. I like this very, very much and when the back is finished I feel my head and say woww. Our heads are put in a more upright position and the barbers buzz the hair at the sides. The only curious thing is that the skin of our head is very, very white. And then something starts that was never done before, The barber places the clippers under the bangs and starts to move in the direction of the crown and I see the rest of my hair falling down,. It is a pity that it is going so fast. But to be honest it looks crazy after the first movement of the barber. But soon almost of my hair seems to be done and the barber is shaving my whole head again and again to be sure that it is all the same.
I like it and it is not so very different from the extreme short hair of 10 years ago.
The last few minutes I hardly saw how Mike was, but when I turn my head I see that he is okay, only the beard looks strange, but I see that the barber is removing most of it, only leaving a small short tuft of hair at the chin.
I have the idea that my haircut is almost ready, but the barbers seem to have another idea., covering my whole head with white cream. Suddenly I realize that they are going to shave my head totally, resulting in a smooth shiny billiard ball. For a moment I doubt if I like that, because I like to touch the extreme short rests of my hair that feel to my fingers like sandpaper.
But I realize that there are no problems as my hair will be the same like now in some days, when it grows again. The barbers sharpen their classic razor blades and start to scrape away the last of my hair. It is quite a long job, because they are feeling again and again if my scalp is really smooth. At the end they apply a white powder on my head and than my head is cleaned and the barber finishes applying oil, leaving a very smooth but also rather white head. I see at first a curious face but when I start to grin I see the extremely nice face and carefully I feel all the parts of my head where no hair seems to be left.
I almost forgot Mike until I see him also grinning in the mirror. We pay and thank the barbers, give a good tip and leave the shop. Outside we see the girl with the shaved head who asks smiling if we are satisfied.
Together Mike and I return to the camping where George stares at us, but he is polite and gives no comments. Of course many people on the streets wonder about the curious couple, but usually people say that they like it but never will do it themselves.
We spent a most wonderful night and our (lack of) hair plays an enormous role when we play together, touching, licking, kissing each other. We like to feel the nice shape of each other’s skull, woww, how wonderful.
Two times we return to the barber for a fresh headshave and then we decide that our hair may grow again a little bit to a nice very short crewcut. We had a lot of fun and you can imagine that my own small tent was not used during that holiday.
Nowadays I live with Mike and his small daughter in his nice house and usually We have our hair very short and happily I am not afraid anymore about comments. Our summer holidays we usually start with the nice headshave we like most of all.