One Flattop Coming Right Up by Tim
National Level Dance competitions are tough. Few are even talented enough to make it, and fewer still are graced with the mixture of coaching, teammates, money, health, and luck to be a contender for a National Championship. The Evening Star Studio had groomed this group for three years for just this opportunity.
The theme was the military hero and his group of gorgeous girls. It was a vintage war era piece. Such attention to detail was made that even the hairstyles of the time were precisely duplicated.
For Robbie, the male lead, that meant a short military cut. Even though he grumbled for years about this requirement, and put off getting it cut until just two weeks ago, he stunned all the girls by fully committing and getting a very short flattop. It was quite a change from his shoulder length black hair that he often wore in a ponytail. While it at first seemed extreme, it worked beautifully for the number and all agreed it was the perfect decision. In fact, they couldn’t imagine any other look working for the production. Much to everyone’s surprise, including Robbie, this new look suited him much better and all the girls hoped he would keep his hair short in the future.
For the six girls, it meant a pretty long hairstyle from the era, all one length and reaching just below mid-back. This needed to be set on big rollers to produce full waves with a fat curl at the end, plus some extensive teasing all over, especially at the crown. It also included a very thick wall of extremely long bangs, which also got teased (heavily!). It was clearly a style from long ago, with nothing similar currently in vogue. But it too really added to their performance, and during their first dress rehearsal last month all the girls knew they were really on to something. It had taken quite some time for all the girls to look alike too. Janet and Tammy, who had worn short styles nearly all their lives, had to grow their hair for nearly two years to achieve the length. Trisha and Natalie basically just had to keep their hair the same length as always with only minimal alterations (not easy when both were well known for constantly trying new looks, and Trisha continually threatening to trim her bangs to a more manageable length), while Pam had to trim hers a good 3 inches and let her bangs grow out quite a bit. All the girls had to cut some additional bangs to produce the thick wall, and none were too comfortable with the vast amount of backcombing necessary to achieve the final look. Fortunately they only needed to tease it on dress rehearsals and performance days. But it was Keri who had by far the biggest sacrifice to make, as she willingly had nearly a foot of her below waist-length blonde hair cut off to match the others. Though it still ended up below her bra-strap, it was a major change. Even that wasn’t as bad as watching almost 2 feet of hair fall to form the wall of bangs. She remembered as a child how long it took to grow out bangs, and wasn’t looking forward to repeating the process. The only good news was these bangs already reached as far as her nose. Only by savagely teasing, curling, and spraying them did they even look like bangs. When she left the salon, her hair was the shortest it had been since Kindergarten and she figured it would take a good two years to grow back. Of course the bangs would take much longer. But this was important to her, and so she shed hardly a tear as her length was chopped off. After all, she was the one who came up with this period concept anyway, and was the driving force behind the matching hairstyles, fully aware what she would have to give up. The number was also her choreography, and she knew everyone’s part perfectly. Whenever anyone was sick or couldn’t make rehearsal, Keri could duplicate each person’s part, including Robbie’s. When the deadline came close and Janet was having health problems, Keri came up with the alternate plan in case one of the girls couldn’t perform at Nationals.
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The audience for the Dallas contest was huge, and for the prelims the squad was absolutely perfect. But after the routine, when they were busy jumping up and down on each other in congratulations, Robbie rolled his ankle. He wasn’t sure from all the noise, but he swore he heard an audible ‘crack’.
Not only did the group qualify for the finals (which would be on television, and watched by numerous talent scouts) but they were easily the top qualifiers. Another repeat performance and they were on their way in their dancing careers. Even if the scouts didn’t like them, the first prize money was substantial.
But they had only 48 hours before finals, and icing Robbie’s ankle wasn’t helping. It was swollen and could bear absolutely no weight. When they finally showed it to a parent who was a doctor it was perfectly clear. It was broken and needed to be casted immediately. Robbie was done for this contest.
The group sat in their room heartbroken that they would have to scratch from the finals. Keri’s alternate plan worked only if one of the girls were out. Robbie was irreplaceable. They needed a guy in the act. They brainstormed long and hard how to do the number without him to no avail, but it wasn’t until late in the night that the sleepless bunch considered throwing in the towel. It was at that moment Tammy came up with the idea.
“I’ve got a crazy thought about how we could still win this thing.” The rest were all ears. “Why don’t we have Keri take Robbies’ place? She has done his part numerous times and the second routine could still win fairly easily with the lead we have.”
Keri chimed in first to shoot the plan down. “I could do it, but the routine would look stupid with a bunch of girls dancing together. We need that male soldier.”
Their momentary enthusiasm quickly died down.
“Why doesn’t Keri dress up like a guy?” asked Natalie. “We have time to make alterations on the outfit, and you could buy a short wig.”
Robbie killed it this time. “A wig won’t work, remember? I tried it so I wouldn’t have to cut my hair and it kept flying off every time. With all of her hair it will certainly come off.”
All of them looked down in dismay. “The only way I’d possibly pass as a boy is if I had short hair like Robbie,” Keri said sarcastically. The entire group froze and slowly looked at her. They started smiling. When Keri saw everyone looking at her and remembered what she said she froze. She had absolutely no intention of losing any more than the good amount she already sacrificed. Her hair was much too short for her liking already.
“I know what you guys are thinking and there is no way!”
“Come on, it’s for the group!”
“We’ve worked so long and hard for this.”
“It will grow back.” They never let up until Keri relented in a sea of tears.
“Stop!” She couldn’t believe she was being talked into this. “What if I cut it to my shoulders or something. Then I could slick it down tight to my head and spray the crap out of it so it didn’t move. Would that be good enough?”
The group mumbled a bit and decided that while it wouldn’t be ideal, it would be acceptable. They would still have a chance to win. Requiring her to get a military type cut was totally unreasonable. Even Janet and Tammy, used to short hair for most of their lives, knew they wouldn’t go to that extreme if the roles were reversed. Actually, now that they both had long hair (compared to their former styles) neither was anxious to join she short-cropped set any time soon. They especially could feel for Keri, since she had had the longest hair of any of them by far up until a month ago.
Keri got almost no sleep that night, knowing the next day she would lose another foot of hair. So while her teammates had all fallen asleep watching television, all kind of draped over the chairs and beds in her hotel room, she spent the evening altering Robbie’s uniform so it fit her. By 5 AM it was perfect, and she put it on. Then she wet her hair and combed it back into a tight ponytail. It was a simulation of what it would look like slicked back, her ears fully showing, and her part totally hidden. Even though she looked very different, it clearly didn’t look masculine, so she repeated it with a side part. While this was better in reality it still made no difference. She fiddled with her long bangs for a bit, and wondered if cutting them shorter would be the answer. At first as she considered the possibilities she was optimistic, but quickly that hope was dashed. She would still look like a girl masquerading as a boy, even if she sliced her bangs back much further. She knew then cutting back her length only to her shoulders wouldn’t be nearly enough. It was obvious it would have to be much more drastic, and she started pondering her options. She remembered the short pixie cuts Janet and Tammy used to have. They looked real cute in them, but they also were extremely feminine. She’d never be mistaken as a male soldier with such a cut, and all the gels and hairsprays wouldn’t change that.
She looked down on a sleeping Robbie and his extremely short style. Even for a guy he had very little length left. But it definitely was the best cut for this production. Even the contest judges had told them so. Anything longer would seem out of place. Keri was mentally prepared now to get her hair cut short for the good of the group. But would she have the nerve to go as short as he had? She took out her ponytail and sat for a while, looking at her reflection in the mirror as she lovingly brushed her long hair. She spent the next two hours just enjoying it; putting it up in different updos, ambitiously curling it with the hot rollers, teasing it out just for fun, and finally brushing it thoroughly until all the curls were transformed into a sea of luscious waves. As the morning sun cracked through the windows everyone else was asleep, dead to the world, and they never heard Keri slip out the door to seek out a barbershop. She hoped she wouldn’t lose her nerve while she searched.
Just off the freeway was a poorer part of town, and rather than a fancy salon on every corner, their was a barber shop instead. Most were rather run-down, small, one-chair shops. They had probably been open for decades. If Keri wanted a short haircut, these were the places to get one. Though it was only 7:30 AM, one shop was already opening its doors. She pulled the rent-a-car in front and tried to still her nerves. It took her a good 10 minutes to leave the safety of her car and head cautiously towards the shop. She couldn’t believe how important this contest had become, because here she was about to do something she never would have dreamed of doing. It would take probably 5 or more years to grow her hair out. It might never be as long as it once was. She doubted she would be able to control her emotions during this haircut like she did a month ago when her waist-length mane was hacked to its present style.
A bell hanging on the doorframe alerted the barber (Don) sweeping the back of the shop he had a customer. When he saw a beautiful woman with long wavy hair standing there, he figured it was some kind of mistake. Maybe she needed help with directions.
“Can I help you?”
“Are you open for business?”
“Yes I am.” Don peered out the window to see if there was a man or perhaps a small boy in the car waiting still to come in.
“Then I guess I’m your first customer,” she said, showing no emotion.
“I’m sorry but I don’t cut women’s hair. I only do traditional men’s barbershop haircuts.” He figured that would be the end of it, but she didn’t move.
“I know. That’s why I’m here. It’s a long story but I have to have… well… I have to get a short haircut.”
“There’s a salon down the street that opens at 10 you might want to consider. My wife goes there. Ask for Marie. I’m sure she can give you any style you wish.”
At this moment, surrounded by this very stark environment, the huge, old-fashioned barber chair, the many clippers hanging by the shelf, and the numerous pictures of basically bald clients on the wall, it was a very tempting offer. A short yet feminine style would be much easier to live with, and to explain, then any cut she might get here. She started to turn away towards the door, but stopped. It just wasn’t what the role demanded, like it or not. She shook her head and turned back to the barber. “I really need the kind of haircut you get in a barbershop.”
Don was a little intrigued now, and put down his broom. “All right. What did you have in mind?”
She closed her eyes and swallowed hard, summoning up some courage. She tried picturing Robbie’s haircut, wondering what the proper name for it was. “Remember in the war the short haircuts the aviators wore?”
Don had no idea where this was leading. “You mean the crewcuts?”
“I don’t know if that’s what they were called. They looked kind of like a flattop, but they seemed different.”
“Are you thinking of the ones that were real short on top, and shaved on the sides and back?”
Keri couldn’t believe what she was saying. “I don’t know. I guess so.” She was shaking and confused.
Don showed her a picture on the wall of one of his customers. “Like this?”
Keri studied the picture. It was so small and poor quality it was hard to tell, but it looked to be the same as the cut Robbie had. Since it wasn’t a profile shot, she couldn’t tell how short the sides and back were, but it was definitely very level on the top. “Yeah, that’s it. Is there a name for that?”
“It’s called a High and Tight Flattop.”
Even the name scared her. Keri was now trembling so hard it was clearly visible. As this moment of truth was nearing she felt nauseous. The words nearly stuck in her throat.
“Well, believe it or not that’s what I’m here for.”
Don was dumbstruck. While he had heard stories of other barbers cutting a woman’s hair very short, he had never done it, and wasn’t sure he even wanted to. This lady had beautiful hair, and certainly didn’t seem the type who would want such an extreme style. “Did you lose a bet or something?”
She grinned just for a quick moment. “Something like that.”
“Well, if that’s really what you want then I suppose you should have a seat. It’s kind of a shame though. You have really pretty hair.” Don realized immediately that those weren’t the best words to say right now. He was trying to be polite and comforting but recognized he was probably just discouraging her. She was still standing there, even more reluctant to step to the chair. She was looking at her hair in the mirror, fiddling with her thick, curled bangs. He decided to try another angle.
“If I said I refuse to do it what would you do?”
“Leave and find someone else who would.”
“Well then since you’re so dead set on this it must be for a good reason. Sit down and let’s just do it.” He rotated the chair slightly so it faced directly at her, beckoning her to take a seat.
This worked better as she nodded her head, took a deep breath, and slowly climbed into the big chair, drawing her mane forward of her left shoulder. The chair was so huge she felt like a little girl again sitting in a grown-up chair. Don put on the salon cape around her neck. It was topped off by a tight white choker of tissue. Keri didn’t know what to make of this, and felt even more nervous about what was to come. She never had anything so tight in the salon that had cut her hair to its present length. As Don gently pulled her long tresses behind her so they cascaded down the back of the chair and got a feel for how thick and full it was, and how wonderful the texture of the waves felt, he realized he was now actually looking forward to cutting off so much hair and having a story of his own to tell. He figured he would keep a big hunk of her clippings in a bag for evidence. Still, he didn’t want this woman making a huge mistake without clearly stating all her options.
“Quite honestly, I’ve never cut off so much hair. Are you sure you want this done?”
She bit her lip as she slowly nodded her head in confirmation.
“Do you really want one like that picture or perhaps you’d rather I make something longer? You could still end up with a flattop without me cutting it to the wood.” She looked at him quizzically, unfamiliar with the terminology.
“That means cutting it sk… (he decided not to scare her with the words ‘skin tight’) Well, it will end up real short.” All the while he was combing her hair gently with his fingers, enjoying the sensation. He wished his wife had long hair like this, instead of the short, practical, frumpy style she now wore. He recalled with a smile when they were young how long her hair used to be.
She had considered this dilemma popping up for several hours and wasn’t sure which way she would go now. On one hand the longer version would be that much quicker to grow out and probably still work for the contest, but on the other hand if she was going to do this it might as well be all the way; or ‘to the wood’ as he put it. If she didn’t, and they lost the contest by a fraction of a point, she’d forever live in regret. She definitely didn’t want to go through all this sacrifice and have any regrets. What difference did it make if she lost 13 inches of hair instead of 12? The words somehow came out, though she wasn’t sure how.
“Thanks, but unfortunately it needs to be real short, just like that picture.” As the words escaped she already wanted them back, but just clenched her teeth.
Don was now getting extremely excited but tried to keep a cool exterior. The proper thing to do would probably be to cut a long version anyway, and then go shorter if she requested it. But he was really looking forward to this opportunity to buzz a beautiful woman. After all, she was just another customer. She straight out asked him for ‘real short,’ and that was something he was very good at. He silently vowed to give her the absolute shortest High and Tight possible. This was going to be fun.
“All right. One flattop coming right up.” With that he wheeled the chair around so it faced the back wall of the shop. There was still a small mirror that Keri could watch the entire process, and her gaze was glued on it. She took a good last look at her precious long hair. It was glorious, still full of volume and waves from the curlers. Even her long bangs (which she couldn’t wait to grow out and be rid of), now teased a bit, curled under and stiffly sprayed in place, looked good. Those last words of the barber rang through her head. Was she crazy? Had she really asked for a haircut like Robbie’s? She squeezed the arms of the chair tight trying to will herself to stay seated, but she knew right then she couldn’t go through with this. She had now changed her mind, and paused a bit trying to find the polite words to tell the barber. Just as she was about to speak up, Don removed a comb from a big glass jar filled with blue liquid and grabbed a pair of scissors. The mystery of what this blue liquid could be momentarily stopped Keri’s train of thought. She tried to read the wording on the jar, which was backwards since she could only see the reflection. During that instant Don walked to her right side, quickly grabbed a handful of hair and snipped it off just below her ear. A foot-long section fell down the cape in front of her. It happened so fast he hadn’t given her a chance to chicken out. Her haircut had begun, like it or not.
She stared, completely stunned, at the chopped section on the apron, almost in disbelief that it actually was her hair. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. She studied the section, noting it looked much longer lying there than on her head. Although it only seemed like an instant, by the time she returned her gaze to the mirror, he was already halfway around her head and starting to come back to the left side. He seemed to be in some kind of race. The length in back was already gone, lying on the floor. A sloppy bowl of hair was now all that was left of her formerly magnificent waist-length mane. Already the difference in her appearance was substantial. It didn’t even reach her collar any more. As Don disappeared behind her to return to his tools she shook her head, hoping to wake up from this nightmare. It was odd feeling the ends poking into her cheeks and neck, her still untouched bangs falling towards her eyes.
Keri kept staring at her foreign reflection, lost in thought. Don was quickly back though, with a comb in one hand and a huge pair of electric clippers in the other. She cringed as he tilted her head forward and the appliance was switched to life. She knew she had only seconds to speak up if she wanted to end up with anything but an extremely short cut. She once more stared at the mountainous lap-full of waves that had just been chopped off. She was panicking now, but was frozen in fear. She couldn’t move a muscle. She tried to say ‘STOP’, but nothing came out.
Once again she was too late. She felt the comb lift a big chunk of hair at her neckline, and the clippers moving in and rapidly hacking it off. Seconds later another chunk followed it to the floor. She didn’t know how much was being chopped at a time but could feel him working very quickly, and could feel it getting notably lighter. He kept continuing higher, and higher, AND HIGHER up the back of her head. Not until it had reached clear to the top did he return to the nape for another pass. “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!” was all she could mumble silently to herself as he made short work of it.
Her head was returned to normal and she immediately looked in the mirror to try to see what he had done, but from the front she couldn’t see a thing. All she knew was the back felt very different indeed. Her mind was racing trying to think of a way to undo what had already been done. Suddenly Don was on the right side, the comb lifting up by her temple, and the long sections touching her cheek were quickly falling down the front of the cape. She stared in disbelief as the clippers continued up and around her ear, and soon nothing was touching it. Now a bit of a sideburn was actually apparent, which really was a jolt. Only about an inch of length all over remained as he went to the left side and outlined that ear. Don then returned the clippers to his hook. Keri was breathing rapidly as she took in this new reflection. She looked awful. Her gorgeous waist-length hair was only a faded memory now. She looked like a cross between a little boy and a stereotype lesbian. She didn’t want to look like either. Her ears felt odd, exposed to the air with no hair to cover and protect them. She wondered if he was going to go shorter still on the sides. She guessed he would, as Robbie’s hair was a bit shorter, though maybe she would be lucky and this was the worst of it. He hadn’t really touched the hair on her crown, or the curled long bangs, at all, but she assumed for a flattop most of it would have to go. Her eyes were moist as she fought back tears. Her lower lip was visibly trembling.
Don was back with another pair of clippers, and her head once more was pushed forward rather harshly. Once again she wouldn’t be able to see what was happening, and could rely only on her sense of feel. What she felt was the clippers resting directly against her skin, steadily carving a path completely up to the top. She closed her eyes tight and shuddered. She was now fully committed to this extreme cut, and now figured she would end up with nothing left in back. She was actually going through with this. She would have her High and Tight Flattop!
After numerous strokes, seemingly overkill to Keri, he returned her head to level to work on the sides. She watched wide-eyed as the clippers removed basically all the hair from the sides of her head. Only the slightest stubble remained, and that too was basically gone by repeated runs with the clippers.
It was at this point Keri realized her hair was going to end up different than Robbie’s. It was going to be shorter. Much shorter. This was something she truly hadn’t forseen, and definitely didn’t want. To make matters worse, Robbie had dark hair so his stubble showed more than did Keri’s light blond hair, and he also had his cut two weeks ago so he had some growth on his side too. That meant her finished look was going to appear even shorter than it really was. But it was too late to mention anything. Both sides were now very smooth, almost totally devoid of hair, and she was sure the back was too. Only the top and the long bangs remained. How much more was going to go? This was supposed to be a flattop, so some hair had to remain on her head.
Don surprisingly turned the chair 90 degrees so it now faced the back of the shop. Now Keri couldn’t watch anything he was doing, and he was about to start in on the top. Figuring it didn’t make much difference at this point to say anything, she closed her eyes and basically sobbed.
She felt Don move in with the clippers and comb again, this time starting in the front and working his way back. First his comb lifted up the long bangs, struggling from the resistance of the teasing and strong hairspray, and the clippers dug in. Huge portions of hair rained down. She looked hoping to see some hair fall back in her line of vision to no avail. While she could feel some bangs still lying on her forehead, nothing reached as far as her eyes any more. He steadily worked his way back, then brought the tools forward and started making another pass. Nothing fell back against her forehead, and she figured her bangs were truly gone. She wondered if she had any more hair left up there to bother with, but it kept coming down, and with each pass she could feel the comb getting closer and closer to her scalp.
Suddenly he turned off the machine and walked in front of her, taking a good hard look at his work. She was hoping he was done. But he clicked them on again and returned to make even another pass. This time the comb was actually touching her scalp and, as the clippers ran over it sending even more length to the floor, she knew she was going to leave this shop with almost no hair. Though this was what she asked for she somehow didn’t believe it was truly going to happen. Part of her expected he would go easy on her since she was a woman, leaving her with a feminine version of the cut, but he clearly wasn’t. He stopped again and looked it over. Was this the end? No! He switched them on and walked to her side yet again. She froze in panic as the clipper began making a pass without the comb as a guide, the blades resting directly against her scalp at the crown. He was taking it down to absolutely nothing! While at first she was going to complain, she quickly recalled the bare ‘landing strip’ on top of Robbie’s head when he first got his cut (it had filled in mostly since then) and how she had poked fun of it. Now she could feel it was her crown getting the same treatment. Don methodically ran over and over this path, then blended in the sides and back..
The clippers were shut off and Keri nervously waited for the chair to turn towards the mirror.
“There you go Miss. A High and Tight Flattop,” Don said and spun the chair to face the small back mirror again. Keri saw an image but at first didn’t even believe it was her. Her head looked so small she felt like she had shrunk, and seeing a level top was a strange illusion. She had expected the top to be much longer, and with the light blond color being so faint she could easily be mistaken as totally bald. She automatically reached up to touch her head and was shocked by the feel of the nearly smooth sides. As she continued around to the back she discovered it too had just the tiniest stubble left. She slowly worked her way to the top, desperate to feel some hair. When she got to the crown and still felt none, she quickly tilted her head down to see the damage. The front ridge was actually only about 1/2 inch long, and quickly disappeared as it headed back toward the crown. The result was an amazingly wide exposed strip of scalp that ran almost the complete length along the top. It was surrounded only by the tiniest horseshoe of hair. This ‘landing strip’ was far bigger than Robbie’s. It looked like the difference between a pond and an ocean. For all practical purposes, she considered herself bald.
“Oh God it’s all gone!” She was sure this had to be a bad dream. She hadn’t really just had all her precious hair cut off. But this was in fact real, and she had willingly asked for it.
“This is what you asked for, right?”
“Huh? Oh yeah. You did a… good job. It’s just so… short.” She kept touching it, stunned to feel nothing where there used to be so much.
“Let me just clean it up and then you can be on your way.” Keri had no idea what was left to ‘clean up’ but said nothing. No use complaining now. The chair was again pointing towards the rear mirror, and her nerves returned as she saw and felt warm shaving lather spread all over the sides and back, and Don used a straight razor to ‘clean up’ around the ears and neck. The fact much of her head was being shaved completely smooth didn’t even phase her now. She was a mixture of numb and in shock. She just held perfectly still as she watched the foam slowly scraped away leaving only pale white skin. She hadn’t imagined in her worst visions ending up like this.
Don had to fight hard to contain his smile. This had actually been great fun, and he had secretly taken the top down far shorter than he needed. In fact he couldn’t have made it any shorter if he wanted to and still have a flattop. He couldn’t remember the last time he had cut such a big ‘landing strip’ (the shape of her head made it much more pronounced), and now here he was shaving the sides and back totally smooth with a razor. He normally didn’t do this unless asked, but took the liberty this time. He also extended the shaving cream far higher than he normally did. There would not be even a trace of hair left anywhere on the sides and back, and the remaining horseshoe of hair was hardly noticeable. Since the photo was so vague and this might be his only opportunity to do this style on a woman, he figured he might as well enjoy it a bit. He pondered shaving the exposed landing strip with the razor so the top would be perfectly smooth also, but opted not to. That would be pushing his luck. Besides, he had been so thorough with the clippers it really wouldn’t have made any difference.
After the robe was removed, Keri stood up, trembling a bit, and stared at the mounds of her former mane now strewn on the floor. It looked like even more than she remembered. Then she paid and tipped Don and stepped outside, freshly shorn. The feel of the wind and cool temperature on her now exposed scalp jolted her. This would take a lot of getting used to. She climbed in the car and just stared at her reflection in the mirror, rubbing her head. Her heart really started pounding now almost uncontrollably. It was time to head back to the hotel and show the rest of the group what she had done.
When her teammates saw her, they were stunned, and all took turns screaming and rubbing her nearly bald head. They were both laughing and crying, and listened attentively for the play by play of Keri’s morning. They practiced their routine that day, and news of the haircut spread quickly amongst the competitors. By the next day, for the finals, all knew of the sacrifice, including the judges and all the spectators. Keri was even interviewed by television about her effort for her team. If anything, the squad was in an even better position to win because now everyone was pulling for them.
The routine went off perfectly, and the championship was theirs. It did prove as a stepping stone to their careers, especially for Keri.
After all was said and done, Keri grew her hair out again. It took almost 7 years to get it to her waist again, as she played with countless different styles as she let it grow. She didn’t stop there though, and today it reaches almost to her knees. All one length and beautifully healthy. She has no desires to cut it again, but for that one event is glad she did.