The last and only time I had the courage to change my hairstyle I had come away furious and feeling violated. That was a long time ago when I had decided to cut my mid back length straight dark brown hair to shoulder length. Instead it was mercilessly cut to a boyish crop. I don’t know exactly what happened, a lethal combination of an overzealous hairdresser, a naive and shy girl, false assumptions and poor communication I guess. My hair had grown back but I kept the bangs from that cut … and a fear of hairdressers.
I’m not sure when my anger turned to arousal. I started to be secretly thrilled when other women would get their long locks cut. I started to look at my friends and imagining them with their hair shorn off, with their curtains of curls tumbling to the ground. I longed to get my hair cut off too but I was afraid of how others would react, afraid of just having to deal with the comments, perhaps afraid that my emerging fetish might be discovered. I liked my long hair too and I would wear it different ways and curl it on special occasions. This would always draw compliments on how pretty my long hair was.
But I really wanted to cut it all off. I started to have fantasies of witnessing some awful crime and as part of being in the witness protection program I would have to get my long hair lopped off – all part of establishing my new identity of course.
So I had been planning this day for months. I would be moving to a new state to start a new job and I figured this was my chance to take the plunge. This was the time to conquer my fears and get my long tresses cut off – but this time I wanted it to be at MY request.
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I immediately felt self conscious as I walked through the door. They knew me in here and surely they were all aware that the last time I was in I had discussed going short with Lynn my hairdresser. That combined with the fact that I had brought my boyfriend along I thought would have made it obvious that something was up. But no one seemed any different. Lynn was finishing up a set on an elderly woman and Kristen took me in back, shampooed my hair and told me about her Cocker Spaniel Jake who has food allergies.
Before I knew it, I was sitting in the chair with the cape on and my long wet locks hanging straight and looking rather forlorn as they seem to do when wet.
“I see you came in with a friend, are we going to cut his hair too?” Lynn said looking at Bryan and eyeing his ponytail. He had also recently decided to grow out his bangs and they were at the point where they hung in his eyes but he couldn’t tuck them behind his ears either. I’d offered to let him have my collection of barrettes (after all I didn’t think I’d need them anymore) but he declined. Bryan grinned awkwardly, aware that he was being looked at. He looked rather out of place just sitting there in a salon where I have yet to see a male over the age of 10 getting his hair cut and I felt a wave of affection for him.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have this thing for guys with long pretty hair and shorn women. It’s a double standard I know but what appeals to me is not always logical. Maybe it is that I’m attracted to the unusual or maybe I just like gender bending. Anyway, that’s a subject for another time. I mention it here because my boyfriend Bryan has beautiful long silky tresses which I dearly love.
“No he’s here for moral support”
“So did you decide?”
Lynn has been cutting my hair for years now and the last time I came in for a trim we discussed several short styles. My heart was pounding and I could feel my neck pulsing where the cape was wrapped around it. “I want to go with the crop, very short in the back and on the sides but longer on top with longish bangs”.
There, I had said it. I could feel my face flushing.
“This will be quite a change for you. Are you sure you want to go that short all at once? There are lots of things we can do in-between.”
“Yep” I replied. Actually I wasn’t feeling that sure and part of me was thinking that I could still back out and go for a bob, or lots of shaggy shoulder length layers like we had discussed before. But I also knew that I really wanted it shorter than that and I would be mad at myself later if I panicked and chickened out.
“Let’s do it then”. She brushed my wet hair back and neatly gathered it in two sections near the nape of my neck. It had grown to what I estimate about 8 inches past my shoulders. With a large pair of scissors she severed one side and then the other. My hair swung forward and hung at the side of my face, ending just a couple of inches below my chin.
I had imagined that this would be an exciting moment – that I would feel a rush of warm sensuous relief as I saw my long tresses severed and knew that there was no turning back. Instead, I felt like I needed to pee and I stiffened with anxiety. She gathered up my hair in several sections, twisted them and clipped them to the top of my head. She separated out a small section in the back and without fanfare started snipping.
She worked her way up the back. Every time she would start a new section she undid one of the clips on top, gathered up a section an clipped the rest. There was a rhythm to the combing, snipping, gathering and clipping that was mesmerizing. Six inch pieces of hair kept tumbling down the cape. She then started on the sides and would go back and forth from one side to the next checking the symmetry. I could see my ears exposed. Then she would undo another section and swiftly cut it off. Finally she let loose all the hair in the clip and started cutting the top, working from the front to the back.
As I watched I felt very little. My head looked small to me surrounded by the cape and I felt like I was looking at someone else or looking back in time at the last time I was cropped. Somehow it all seemed surreal.
She handed me the mirror and spun me around. I didn’t really recognize myself. It was fairly fluffy on top and tapered down to about one and a half inches at the bottom. It grazed the top of my ears and she’d left a bit of hair in front of my ears that swept back in a soft triangular shape. It looked OK but….it reminded me too much of the housewives I see at the Safeway. The ones who justified short hair because they had four kids and no time to do their hair. It was short, practical, but lacked what I craved.
I was agonizing. I couldn’t believe I wanted it shorter. I felt bad because she’d dried it and everything. Was I just getting wrapped up in the moment and would I regret it if I asked for something shorter? Was my perception of short hair warped by having looked at too many wonderful GIFs of shorn women? I couldn’t really fault Lynn my hairdresser. The fact that she was never one to go haywire with the scissors had made me a loyal customer and kept me coming back for regular trims. But today was different and I wanted something more daring. I must have been quiet for a long time because Lynn finally burst out “Well, what do you think?”.
I felt like I did when I was twelve and begged my mom to get my ears pierced. I wanted to go shorter but felt embarrassed and awkward asking for it. I finally blurted out “actually, I think I’d like it shorter. I think I’d like it shorter in the back… and on the sides”.
“Well that I can do!” Lynn looked relieved… or could it be excited…or was I just projecting my feelings onto her? “I had thought you would look great with crisp lines in back and on the sides but I didn’t want you to feel too shorn. Would it be OK if I use the electric clippers?”
I nodded and inwardly grinned. She reached into a drawer behind her and pulled out a pair of clippers with the cord wrapped around the handle. The last time I had felt clippers I wasn’t into it. But frankly with all the lustful talk about them on HA I wanted to feel them again for myself. The skin at the back of my neck tensed in anticipation. She carefully unwrapped the cord and plugged it in. Next she clipped on an attachment to the blade.
“What size guide is that?” I asked (thinking there might be some people here who would want to know)
“This would be a number 3”. With that she turned on the switch. They were very quiet at first but the sound grew louder as they approached. She placed them on the back of my neck.
The first thing I thought about was Lauren Gallini’s vibrating pillow. It wasn’t hers actually – it was her mother or fathers – but we used to play with it. When you put pressure on it it vibrated. Our favorite thing to do was sit on it. We would take turns sitting on it and after about 5 seconds we would roll off of it giggling hysterically. We would also try to get her dog (a Miniature Schnauzer mix named Misty) to lay on the pillow but she was frightened of it. Anyway if you put your head on it like you were supposed to it made this whirring sound and vibrated rather like the clippers were doing to my head. Only the pillow didn’t strip your hair off.
She told me to put my head down and begun sliding the clippers up the back of my head. Tufts of hair floated away. She did this over and over again. The last few passes met with very little resistance. She then took off the guides and holding my head firmly in her hand she shaved the bottom edges right next to my skin.
Next she took a spray bottle and sprayed it against the sides of my head. I was feeling hot and the cool spray was wonderful against my bear neck. With a couple of swift passes the hair no longer touched my ears. She cut the hair above my ears right against the skin. I could see a line of pale skin without hair above the ear. She blended this into the top. I thought she was done but she picked up a little tiny pair of clippers without a guide and flicked them on. She slid them across the bit of sideburn hair and over my ears to the back.
Again she turned on the hair dryer to dry the sides – but it was more of a token gesture. She waved it at my head a couple of times and flicked it off. Again the mirror and a spin of the chair. This time it was really short and just what I wanted. I felt like I could see each individual hair – and the skin underneath – all along the back and up my head. I could see the back of my pink ears and the backs of my earrings. A surge of warmth ran from my head and thighs. “Oh my” I gasped, more at my body’s involuntary reaction than anything else. I collected myself a bit and then said “I LOVE it, thanks so much”.
I wanted to touch it soooo bad. Finally she pulled off the cape and the few straggling tufts of hair drifted to the floor. I reached up and touched the bare skin on my neck and slid my hand up. It was wonderful. The hairs were stiff. As I ran my fingers against the grain they vibrated my skin as they bounced past my fingertips. Going the other way they were so soft and smooth.
As I got up from the chair I felt a bit dizzy. Kind of like when you get up too fast after donating blood. There was this moat of hair all around the chair. I stepped over it like it was big furry dog asleep at my feet. I looked up at Bryan and grinned. He came and he put his arm around my waist as I paid.
When we got out of the salon Bryan said “that’s quite a cut – how does it feel?”
“It feels wonderful”. He looked kind of nervous so I grabbed his hand and put it against the back of my head. He stroked the short hairs and just said “Oooooh”. He’s gotten much more comfortable touching it now 🙂
PS: I love the end result, and although it has been over a month since I got it cut, I can’t keep my hands off it. My neck feels alive and just the rush of air past it sends tingles down my spine. The skin at the back of my neck used to get sore sometimes from my hair tugging at it. The sensation now is wonderful. I also think I’m hooked. Lately I have been admiring the perky short haired woman I see in the mirror and wonder what she would look like if her hair were shorter.