Love By Hair-Raiser
Peter slurped to the bottom of his milkshake. It was the difficult time after they finished their burgers and now he would have to broach the subject of whether she was going to go through with it and cut her hair. He had been going out with Meg for about nine months and he had been encouraging her to go short for most of those nine months. Not that he particularly liked short hair and her just below shoulder length cut suited her, but there was something about watching a beautiful woman sitting uncomfortably as she is separated from her precious locks that he found really sexy. Meg had been insistent that she didn’t want her hair cut and she was finding Peter’s persistence a little annoying. That morning, as they had got ready to go shopping, a favourite activity of the couple for a Saturday morning, she had finally conceded that she would “think about it” when Peter had suggested a trip to the hairdresser’s after they had finished with the shops.
Meg knew what was coming but wasn’t making it easier for Peter. Their earlier bright conversation had subsided into silence and Meg was taking her time over her milkshake.
“Have you decided?” Peter ventured eventually.
“Decided what?” No. Meg wasn’t going to make it any easier.
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“Whether you are going to the hairdressers.”
Meg took a sigh and a moment to think. “Look. I’ll go with you to one hairdresser. If we have to wait more than 5 minutes we forget it for good. You promise not to mention it again.”
“But if the wait is less than 5 minutes, you’ll get it cut?”
“I’ll get that bob cut you were suggesting. No shorter than chin length.”
“With undercut at the back?”
Meg thought. “OK. But you promise not to mention it again if we have to wait longer than 5 minutes?”
“Deal!” The smile on Peter’s face made it look like he’d just won the lottery. Meg tried not to look too happy as well. She knew the nearby salon from her regular visits for trims and it was always busy on a weekend and so there was no chance of not having a long wait. She’d get to keep her hair and not have Peter continue to bug her.
They finished their shakes and headed out.
“Hey where are we going?” Meg asked.
“To the car,” Peter replied simply.
“But I thought you wanted me to go to the hairdresser.”
“Yes. To my one. It’s not far.” Peter didn’t have a regular hairdresser and had been to most salons in the area. However, he knew one salon that never seemed to be that busy. It was a typical mall salon. All plastic and bright lights. Despite the fact that the stylists never seemed busy, they never seemed to take much time with their customers, always rushing the cut so they could go have a chat in the back room before the next customer arrived. Peter knew the place was OK rather than good, but with Meg’s five minute limit, an OK cut was better than no cut at all.
When they arrived at the salon, Peter nearly dropped through the floor as the place looked packed. Six stylists all working and although no one was waiting, it didn’t look like any of them was finishing in the next five minutes. Meg visibly relaxed, she had started feeling more nervous in the car. She held her watch up to Peter.
“Five minutes, remember.” She walked to the receptionist. I’d like to get a haircut but I’m in a bit of a hurry, is the wait that long?”
“Oh no. We can do it immediately.” Stunned, Meg followed the receptionist to a free station at the far end of the salon. The jubilant Peter followed. After Meg sat down, the receptionist went in the back room and emerged with Liane, Meg’s stylist. Liane threw the cape around the still stunned Meg’s neck and fastened it. She started combing Meg’s hair through. “So what are we going to do today?”
“She wants it cut in a chin length bob,” Peter replied enthusiastically. “With an undercut at the nape.”
“Is that right?” Liane asked Meg surprised that it was Peter rather than Meg giving the instructions.
Meg nodded silently.
Liane got a spray bottle and started wetting Meg’s hair down.
“When you cut the bob, make sure it is perfectly level or at least angled down to the front. We don’t want it angled down to the back.”
“OK,” Liane replied.
“We’d like you to do the undercut with clippers. Number 3.”
Liane was getting irked at being told how to do her job. “I’ll be using scissors.”
“We’d prefer the clippers,” Peter repeated.
“I’ll be using the scissors,” Liane repeated equally firmly. She saw Kelly the junior sweeping at the next station and went over for a word. When she returned, Peter was still talking.
“Now just relax and you’ll enjoy it. It’ll be so much easier to wash and care for when it’s that just bit shorter. We’re only talking about 3-4″ max. Hardly anything.” Peter was enjoying himself, but unfortunately his enthusiasm wasn’t relaxing Meg. Liane picked up her comb and scissors and moved to the back of Meg. She put a centre parting down the back and lifted most of the left side of Meg’s hair over the left ear. She repeated it with the right side leaving a long section down the back that started about an inch above the hairline.
“So you’re just doing 1″ for the undercut? Is that high enough?” Peter enquired.
This was too much for Liane. “Could you give me some room please?” she declared through gritted teeth. Peter stepped backward and on cue Kelly pushed the roller trolley behind him and he knocked it flying. It didn’t make much of a crash as it hit the floor but it was enough for all of the people to turn around and see Peter and trolley intertwined on the floor. Liane nearly smiled but she managed to stay stern-faced.
“Look. We’re trying to run a salon here and you’re getting in the way. I’m afraid you’ll have to sit in the reception area.”
Peter was about to argue but the look on Liane’s face indicated that it wasn’t going to do any good. He went to the reception area and tried to find a seat with a good view of Meg’s chair. Unfortunately none of them were that good. Either the view was obliterated but the other chairs, or if he moved to the end chair, Liane would obscure his view of Meg. They were quite a way away which meant it was going to be hard to see the locks tumbling or Meg’s reactions. He certainly couldn’t hear anything. This was turning out worse than he had hoped.
Kelly finished picking up the rollers and putting them back on the trolley.
“Could you help me?” Liane asked.
“Sure.” Kelly had been expecting a reward.
“Hold the sections in place please.”
Kelly moved over to the front of Meg and with a hand on each side of the head, held the section of hair over the ears.
“OK. Let’s start. Please bend your head down.” Meg bent her head down but the pressure from Kelly’s hands increased and Meg’s chin was planted firmly in her chest. Kelly’s grip was held fast and Meg couldn’t move. Liane lifted a small section of the neck hair with the comb, and held it close to the scalp with her fingers. Liane made the first cut sending a long tendril of hair to the floor and leaving a 1/2″ stump. Peter craned his neck to try to get a better view. Liane continued cutting.
“It looked like your boyfriend wanted this cut more that you did.” Liane observed.
“Well you must love him very much then.”
Meg reddened. “Too early to say.”
“So why did you agree then?”
“To be honest. For peace and quiet. He’s been asking me to go short more or less since the day we met. He’s so cute that I want to make a go of it, but if he doesn’t drop it after this, that is it.”
Liane kept cutting. “You know it’s not a lot shorter. I’m not sure if he doesn’t see this as the start rather than the end. What’s stopping you going shorter? Just don’t want to give in to him?”
“No it’s not that. Well, to be honest, I just don’t think short hair looks that feminine.”
Kelly interrupted quickly. “Oh it can. It can look really feminine.”
Meg tried to look up. She couldn’t remember what length Kelly’s hair was and feared that she had just offended the girl. Kelly’s grip held firm and Meg could only see up to the girl’s small breasts. Her hair was at least shorter than that.
“We could take the undercut a lot higher and tip the bob down to the front. I think that was one of your boyfriend’s suggestions. It would still be long and feminine at the front but meet his preference for short hair at the back. A real win-win.”
“Yes. Go on,” Kelly urged. “He does look cute.”
Peter blushed as Kelly and Liane looked in his direction. Meg’s heart raced as she pondered the suggestion. There was no doubt Peter wanted her to go shorter than the compromise cut that they had worked out.
Unseen by Meg, Liane and Kelly exchanged a smile. Liane took the comb and redid the parting so that it was level with the top of her ears. Again the rest was pushed over Meg’s ears and again Kelly pushed down firmly while holding the hair in place. Peter nearly leapt out of his chair as he saw Liane push the comb up Meg’s neck and cut huge chunks of hair close against the comb rather than using her fingers as she had previously. Quickly a large mound of hair built up on Meg’s shoulders and on the floor.
“What a great neck you have.” Liane observed.
“Really?” Meg replied. “I haven’t really looked at it too much.”
Liane put her comb and scissors down and came back with a mirror. “Let the poor girl lift her head a moment.”
As Kelly’s hands released their grip, Meg moved her head back up and the hair that was pushed behind her ears tumbled back down the back. Some of the hair piled on Meg’s shoulders fell to the floor. Immediately Meg looked at Kelly’s hair. It was pulled back in a ponytail and was probably about the same length as Liane’s. Meg felt easier that she couldn’t have offended the girl about her haircut. Liane lifted Meg’s hair that now covered the freshly cropped section and held the mirror so Meg could see her neck and Liane’s work.
“See. Isn’t it elegant.”
“It looks OK,” Meg conceded.
“No. It looks elegant. You know some women have such thick, square necks that short hair just doesn’t work. Well, do you think it looks feminine?”
Meg strained to look in the mirror. Liane had cut the hairline in a wispy manner so it looked real soft. Meg could see easily that she was looking at a woman’s neck and not a man’s and so she agreed that it was feminine.
“So shall we do that all over?” Liane asked casually.
“What?” Meg was genuinely surprised by the question.
“It just seems a shame for you and your boyfriend to keep arguing about you getting a short cut. Better just get it over with and move on. He is so cute. Shame to lose him over something as silly as hair. You said yourself that he was driving you nuts keeping asking you to cut it.” Liane glanced at Kelly hoping for support.
“Yes and it would be so much easier to care for. Just wash and go. I wish my boyfriend was like yours. He has a freak out any time I get a haircut. If it weren’t for him, well, I don’t know how short I’d have my hair.”
“Look at him. He looks like a little puppy dog who’s been locked out of the house.” Kelly giggled and once more Peter blushed as all three ladies stared at him.
“Best thing I can do for you two love birds is just take this mess off. He won’t bother again asking you to go short. I guarantee it.”
Meg stared in the mirror, back at Peter and then back to the mirror. She didn’t know what to do.
Liane combed Meg’s hair through trying to help her relax. She drew the top section of hair straight up, curled it and pinned it to the top of Meg’s head. All of the rest of Meg’s hair, from about an inch above the ears, fell straight down and other than the mound of hair on Meg’s shoulders and on the floor, it looked like she’d not had any hair cut at all.
Meg took a deep breath. The three women’s hearts were pounding in anticipation.
“Do it!” Meg declared.
Again Liane and Kelly exchanged a knowing smile and then smiled to Peter who sat frustrated knowing that a big decision had just been reached, but not knowing what it was. Meg stared intently in the mirror, like the novice on a roller coaster, she readied herself for the ride that lay ahead. Peter got to his feet and paced to get a better view of what was going on. Liane had moved so her back completely blocked Peter’s view and no matter where he moved in the reception area, he could not see what Liane was doing. Finally she stepped back and where hair had covered the side of her head, there was none. Meg’s ears were surrounded by and not covered by, close cropped hair. Peter had to take a harder look to check that the hair hadn’t been pinned up, but the mound of hair covering the cape provided the evidence that Peter’s first look was correct. This was too much for Peter. He got up enough courage and stormed over to where Meg was being shorn.
“What the hell are you doing?” he demanded.
There was a stunned silence. Peter didn’t notice that the whole of the salon was looking at him again. Eventually Meg replied, “Getting my hair cut short like you wanted.”
“But we agreed a chin-length bob.”
“But you wanted it shorter.”
“But that’s not what we agreed.”
“And what’s the problem? You wanted it short and it’s going to be short.”
“Nine months. Nine months I tried to get it cut short. Two minutes with this woman and your hair is history. You think more about a complete stranger’s wishes than mine.”
“That’s silly. We did it because we thought that’s what you wanted and now it seems you don’t. You might have mentioned it before we got here. Why did you change your mind?”
“I didn’t. I just wanted to be part of it. To share the experience with you.”
“You’re here aren’t you?”
“No. I’m over there.”
“You poor thing,” Meg smiled at him. “Can he stay over here?”
“So long as he keeps out of the way. Oh. And no advice please,” Liane relented.
Peter gave Meg a hug and a kiss. “I love you.”
Meg’s heart melted. It was the first time Peter had said that.
Peter started picking up the cut locks as Liane got ready to start on the other side.