Perspectives by Keepitshort
My wife (Shelly) and I have been married for just over eight years. We are best friends and are still head-over-heels in love with each other. The only thing I would change about Shelly is her smoking. I don’t smoke and although I find it sexy at times, I don’t like the smoky smell in her clothes and hair. We have talked about her quitting several times (even argued), but each time she backs out because she is afraid of putting on weight and frankly she enjoys it. Anyway, back to my story.
We frequently take weekend trips to get away from fast-paced city life. This past weekend we took a trip to a small town about 100 miles north of here to do some shopping and just relax. Saturday morning we were strolling around the town square doing some window shopping. We walked hand in hand enjoying the beautiful weather. Shelly took one last drag on her cigarette and slowly exhaled while dropping the cigarette to the ground and grinding it out with her shoe. She snuggled up right next to me and put her arm around my waist. We stopped to look in a window and Shelly began gently scratching my back. It felt good. I turned towards her and gave her one of my famous hugs. Her hair brushed gently against my face causing my nose to wrinkle from the smell of cigarette smoke. In one brief moment I spoiled the whole mood by making an offhand comment about her smoking and the smell in her hair. Sometimes us guys never learn. Don’t mess up a good thing!
We continued down the street until we were in front of a hobby shop. I walked over to the windows and began looking at all of the wonderful models and kits behind the glass. I was about to go in when I noticed the CLOSED sign on the door. Disappointed, I walked back out to the sidewalk only to find my wife had disappeared. I looked up and down the street, but she was nowhere to be seen. She must be in one of the shops up ahead, so I walked up the street looking in the windows at each store. Sure enough, three doors down, there she was standing in a shop. She was standing inside looking at me and then back at a woman sitting in a large chair, then at me and then the woman. This was a little strange.
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Then it hit me! She was standing in a barber shop! I looked over at the rotating red and white striped barber pole just to be sure. The name painted on the large front window was “Bobbi’s Barber Shop.” At the bottom of the window was painted “Men’s and Ladies’ Haircuts $10”. Without saying a word the lady barber got up from the barber chair, picked up her cape and stood behind the chair. Shelly looked at me one last time and then slowly walked over and climbed up into the barber chair. I just stood there outside the shop. The barber looked at me momentarily and then reached in front of my wife with the cape and draped it around her. It slowly floated down around Shelly’s petite body. Before pinning the cape around her neck the barber tucked a piece of white tissue paper in her collar. I didn’t know what to say, so I just walked in and sat down in a chair in front of my wife. I must confess, I was more than a little curious at what was going to happen.
The barber turned to the counter behind her and grabbed a comb and began combing out Shelly’s thick silky black hair. When she finished, Shelly’s hair hung down about 2 inches past her shoulders. Shelly just sat there. Not a word had been spoken as far as I could tell. The barber returned to the counter and picked up her scissors. Starting at the front she began to comb the hair towards the back of her head. After the third time she grasped the hair between her fingers and scissored off everything that protruded above her fingers. This only left about an inch of hair at the front of Shelly’s head. A brief look of concern appeared on Shelly’s face. The barber repeated the same process all the way back to the crown, leaving nothing longer than an inch. She then moved to the left side and methodically cut off all the hair to the same length. Hair was now everywhere. Most of the pieces were about fifteen inches long. They still had a silky shine to them as they lay in Shelly’s lap and on the floor. The barber methodically moved around the back and right side cutting all of the hair to an inch in length.
My wife sat shorn and smiling at me. Her remaining hair fell gently around her head still covering half her ears. She actually looked pretty cute. This haircut made her look about 10 years younger.
Pop! I hadn’t noticed the barber return to the counter and pull the electric clippers from under the counter. I had been mesmerized by Shelly’s new look. The pop had startled Shelly too. The barber turned around with clippers in one hand and a comb in the other. She gently pushed Shelly’s head forward and without any hesitation plowed the clippers up the back of her head, slowly pulling them away the higher she went. She was well above the occipital bone when the clippers finished cutting. This motion was repeated three more times on the back. From my vantage point (I could only see in the mirror) what was left was hair an inch long at the crown tapered down to nothing at the base of the nape. Even in the mirror I could see Shelly’s white scalp at the base of her nape.
Using the clippers and comb the barber cut the left and right sides in the same manner. The comb would disappear into the hair only to be uncovered again by the clippers. The look was similar to the back, an inch at the top tapered down to nothing above the ear. The barber had really cut off a lot of hair. Shelly looked like she had been skinned by an overzealous barber, but I liked it. My wife had a very crisp (and short) haircut, but best of all, she looked fantastic. I never really thought about her cutting her hair and I’m pretty sure Shelly never thought about it, but what a change.
A smaller electric clipper was used to clearly define the hairline. The barber told Shelly to sit there while she momentarily excused herself to the back room. These were the first words I had heard her say. She returned after a few seconds with a curling iron. I hadn’t seen one of those in a barber shop before. The barber used the curling iron to curl the inch-long hair on top. When she finished she ran a brush gently through the curls to add body. Wow! The look was stunning. Shelly was stunning. I didn’t think she could get any more beautiful than she already was, but, boy was I wrong.
I got up from the chair and walked up Shelly. She climbed down and looked at me with those sparkling blue eyes and asked how I liked it. Unbelievable!
I don’t know how else to describe us, Mike and I are soul mates. He seems to know everything I need or want before I do. The moment I met him I knew we would be married. We have so much in common. One of our favorite things to do is taking short trips on the weekends to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Last weekend we drove up to a small town with a gorgeous town square. It had lots of interesting shops. Saturday morning we were walking around the square doing some shopping. I had just finished a cigarette and was feeling cuddly. We had stopped in front of a shop and I gave Mike a big hug. I also love to get those special hugs from my husband. Just as everything was cozy Mike made one of his little comments about my smoking. They annoyed me, but I always try to see it from his perspective. Mike doesn’t smoke and he is trying to look out for my health. Well, needless to say the mood was GONE!
We had stopped in front of a hobby store (one of Mike’s favorites). Mike immediately walked over to look through the window. I saw the CLOSED sign on the door and decided to walk to the next shop. As I got to the shop I saw a barber pole a couple of doors down. I had never thought of it before, but Mike’s biggest complaint about me smoking was that it made my hair smell smoky and he said it was a turn-off when we were making love and he could smell smoke in my hair when I brushed it across his face. In fact, thinking back that is what probably caused his latest remark.
I walked down to the barber shop and stood outside the doorway. The door was held open by an antique doorstop. There weren’t any customers sitting inside and a female barber was sitting in one of two barber chairs. She was attractive, about 40 years old, and had blond hair cut in a chin length bob with short bangs. I walked into the shop and just stood there about halfway between the door and the barber chair. The barber lowered her magazine and looked at me. I turned to look out the door and a few seconds later Mike appeared out on the sidewalk. I had never seriously considered cutting my hair before but the thought didn’t really bother me and I didn’t think Mike would mind either. I looked back at the barber and she got up from the chair, grabbed a green and white striped cape and stood behind the chair. I looked back at Mike and then slowly walked over and climbed into the barber chair. It was so big. The styling chairs at the salon I went to were doll furniture compared to this one. I sat back in the chair and put my feet up on the worn metal footrest.
In what seemed like slow motion, the barber reached in front of me and swung the cape over me. I then felt her tuck something in my collar and fasten the cape snugly around my neck. As she finished securing the cape Mike walked into the barber shop and sat down in a chair across from me. You should have seen the look on his face. Total surprise could not accurately describe it. He just sat there. I expected him to get up and walk over to me or at least say something, but he didn’t.
The barber was combing out my hair. I had no idea how I wanted it cut. I knew the barber would have some suggestions so I decided to see what she had to say. It felt good as she combed my hair. Mike would frequently brush my hair in the evenings before we went to bed. I loved to be pampered like that. The barber stopped combing for a few seconds and then returned and began combing my hair from front to back. I was really enjoying this, especially the look that was still on Mike’s face.
A moment later I felt the barber grab my hair and heard a long schnnnick. Immediately, long strands of hair began falling in front of my face and sliding into my lap. My mind raced. I wanted her to stop to discuss the haircut but at the same time I didn’t want Mike to know I was surprised at what she was doing. She was combing my hair again. Soon more long strands of hair were falling into my lap. I looked at Mike for some indication of what she was doing (there was no mirror in front of me). He still sat there in a trance with a smile on his face. Okay, if Mike was smiling it couldn’t be that bad. Another schnnnick and more hair fell into my lap. The barber obviously had a haircut in mind when I sat down in the chair. Mike was smiling, I decided the barber knew what she was doing and I was just going to enjoy the experience. There sure was a lot of my hair being chopped off though.
She quickly moved back over the top of my head. Each schnnnik sent more of my hair to the floor. Once she finished the top she moved to my left side and began cutting. She worked her way around the back to the right side. I had no idea how short my hair was, I could just feel her grab each lock and then hear the scissors cut it off. In no time at all she had finished my haircut. Mike looked very happy which meant I would probably like it also.
Pop! The sound came from behind me. The air was filled with a low hum. I had not a clue what made it. I must have jumped because Mike was chuckling to himself. The sensations that followed I will never forget. Everything seemed to be in slow motion. I felt the barbers hand on the top of my head. She gently pushed my head forward towards my chest. The humming grew louder and I knew it was close to the back of my head.
I have heard this sound before. Where…? It was the sound of electric clippers. In the salon, they used them to cut short hairstyles and now the barber was about to use them on me. I had always wondered about the clippers. Not what they would feel like but, why they used them instead of scissors. A second later I knew the answer.
I felt the vibration on my neck. It tickled. As the clippers started to move up the back of my head the sound changed slightly. I could hear the blades actually cutting my hair. Suddenly, I had goose bumps all over. A slow smile stretched across my face. The memory of that first pass up the back of my head is still as clear as the moment it happened. I still get goose bumps every time I think about it.
She had started the second pass up the back of my head. This time I savored the sensations. The sound, the vibration and the anticipation. The clippers felt like they were cutting all the hair from the back of my head. I was now wondering if I had any hair left back there. Two more passes and she finished the back.
The left side was cut next. I could see she had a comb in her left hand. I could feel the comb lift up my hair and then the clippers cut it off. The sound was different though. The clippers made a rasping sound as they cut. It was the sound of the clippers scraping across the comb. The left side was finished in what seemed like only a few seconds and then the comb and clipper and comb ritual was repeated on my right side.
The sound of the clippers stopped. Silence. You could hear a pin drop. The silence was soon broken by the sound of a much higher pitched hum. The barber had a small clipper in her hand and trimmed around my hairline. She also used the clippers to touch up different spots on my head.
“I’m almost through, honey,” said the barber. Her first words. She disappeared into the back and reappeared almost immediately. She was carrying a curling iron, not something I expected. She started curling my hair. When she was finished she brushed it out, undid the cape and took it off. I just watched as ringlets of hair slid off the cape and onto the floor. All of that hair had been on my head only a short time earlier. I looked up at Mike. He had gotten up from his chair and walked over to the barber chair and I climbed down.
“Well, how do you like it?” I asked.
“Wow, you look fantastic,” he said. “Take a look.”
I suddenly realized I still had not seen my haircut. I slowly turned around and looked at myself in the mirror. I almost didn’t recognize myself. It had all been cut off. I’ve seen similar haircuts on other women but it’s entirely something else to see it on yourself for the first time. I walked up to the mirror to get a closer look.
The top stood up and was brushed back towards the crown. The sides were tapered very short especially around my ears. My hairline stopped almost a quarter inch above my ears. I turned sideways to see in the mirror. You could see my scalp through what little hair there was left above my ears. The barber handed me a mirror so I could see the back. Wow! It was short! The clippers had done their job well. You could see my scalp halfway up the back of my head.
Mike sure wasn’t going to smell my hair now. I liked it and I could tell by the smile on Mike’s face that he liked it to.
It was slow for a Saturday. In fact, this was one of the slowest Saturdays I can remember since I opened my shop 12 years ago. I love cutting hair. Most of my customers are men but I have worked hard to increase my female clientele. I have about two dozen women clients now. Almost all of them are in their twenties and thirties and have short hairstyles. They all seem to like getting their hair cut in an old fashioned barbershop.
I think I’ve seen it all since opening the shop. Men getting summer haircuts, kids first haircuts, wives directing their husbands’ haircuts, husbands supervising their wives’ haircuts, moms with all the kids getting haircuts, etc. More recently I have seen more and more women opting for shorter styles. I really enjoy those haircuts because of all the hair hitting the floor. Sometimes you can tell when someone is ready for a big change. I don’t believe in cutting hair just to cut hair. A short style is not for everyone, but when it is right for a person it looks fantastic.
I watch people all day long, whether they are in my shop or walking around the square. I have become very good at reading people. It is amazing what you can learn from body language. Every emotion we have is displayed in our movements. When I’m not cutting hair I like to sit in my chair and watch people on the square.
Today was no different. I was sitting in the chair reading a magazine when an attractive woman stepped into the shop. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties. She was wearing a simple blue sun dress. Her hair was jet black and hung loosely down past her shoulders. She had beautiful thick shiny hair. What really interested me was the look on her face. She had a look of uncertainty and excitement, but there was something else there. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. She had stopped halfway between the door and myself, she was hesitating. She looked at me then back out the door then back at me then out the door.
Bingo! A man walked up outside and looked in. She was looking for him. She looked at him for a couple of seconds and then turned back towards me, then back at him and then at me. I stepped down from the chair and moved behind it. The woman gave one final look out the door and slowly walked over and climbed into my chair. The uncertainty in her face was gone. I now knew she was ready for a real haircut. I’ve seen this before. The woman getting approval before getting shorn. You never really know how a customer wants their hair cut without discussing it with them, but I was pretty sure what this customer was after. She wanted a haircut. She had beautiful features. Her face was ideally suited for really short hair. She had very feminine cheek bones. I was going to cut her hair very short around the sides and back and leave a little length on top.
While I was concentrating on the woman the man walked in and was now sitting in a chair directly in front of the woman. I floated the cape around her, grabbed a tissue, and tucked it into the back of her shirt collar. I then fastened the cape tightly around her neck. I was going to enjoy this haircut. I was going to take a chance and just start cutting her hair. I knew if she didn’t want it cut she would let me know in a hurry.
I started by combing out her hair. I knew immediately she enjoyed this. Every time I pulled the comb through her hair she would relax and let her head be pulled back slightly. Her hair now had a brilliant shine to it. I stopped and went to the counter and picked up my scissors. Returning to the chair I began combing her hair again. I had decided to start in the front with her long bangs. If she stopped me then the only damage would be to her bangs. I ran the comb through her hair one last time, grabbed a section of hair right at the front of her head and without hesitation cut off all the hair above my fingers. What was left was hair about an inch long.
As I cut I saw and felt her body tense. This would be the moment of truth. She had no mirror in front of her to see what I had cut off. A second later she relaxed back into the chair. I, of course, took this as permission to keep cutting. I promptly combed up the next section and cut it off. I finished the top and moved around to the left side of her head. Again without hesitating I began scissoring hair off to an inch long. Each cut sent more and more silky tresses sliding into her lap and then to the floor. I loved watching those ringlets slip to the cape.
I looked up at the guy in the chair. He had a big smile on his face. Maybe he liked seeing hair cut like me. I wondered if this was his fantasy being filled. Had they discussed a haircut before coming into my shop? No, I don’t think so. She was looking for him to stop her when she looked at him outside. I don’t think either of them was ready for me to just start cutting hair without discussing a style first. I know I was taking a chance being so bold, but I just had a feeling this was what she wanted. Sometimes we have to trust our feelings. Judging by the smile on his face and hers I made the right decision.
I had finished the left side and was working my way across the back. I quickly finished cutting all of her hair to an inch long. I was really going to enjoy the next part of this haircut. I don’t think either the guy or the gal had any idea what I was about to do next. If she didn’t balk at the sound of the clippers this was going to be one great haircut.
I turned around and grabbed my favorite clippers. They have cut a lot of hair off in their years of service. I kind of viewed this type of haircut as a treat for them. They get to do the work they were truly designed for.
I wanted to make sure she knew what was coming so I turned the clippers on while I still had my back turned to the chair. The music they make is wonderful. As I turned around I could see the look of surprise on the guy’s face. I had definitely caught him off guard and by the small chuckle he was having I had caught the lady in the chair by surprise as well. I turned around to face the chair and stepped up behind the lady. I gently placed my hand on top of her head and pushed it forward. I love this next part. I placed the clippers at the base of her neck and pushed them up the back of her head. To the lady it must have felt like I shaved the back of her head. In reality, I gently pulled the clippers away from her head as I cut towards the crown. Her neck was laid bare at the base of her nape. A nice even taper continued all the way up to about an inch and a half from her crown. Before I could begin my second pass I saw goose bumps appear all over her neck and shoulders. I was right again, she was going to like the clippers. They almost always do. I think it has something to do with the sensation of having those vibrating clippers caress the back of your neck and head for the first time.
The second and third passes duplicated the look of the first one. The back of her head had been shorn almost completely. The cut already looked great, if I may say so myself. Her hair lay down nicely until the taper became so short that there wasn’t enough weight to pull it down.
I moved around to the left side again and using clippers over comb tapered the side to match the back. The right side quickly followed. I enjoyed lifting her hair up with the comb and then buzzing it off with the clippers.
I looked in her lap and saw the pile of hair there. She had to be wondering if she had any hair left. The floor all around the chair was covered with shiny black hair. There was hair on her shoulders, a pile in her lap and the floor was littered with tresses. There was hair everywhere, just the way I like it.
She was going to look fantastic. She had the perfect face to carry this haircut off without any problem. She actually looked like a different person. I wasn’t quite finished yet. There was still a little touch-up work to be done.
I put the big clippers up and got my cordless trimmer. I worked my way completely around her hairline, from ear to ear, removing any excess little hairs. When I was finished her hairline had a well-defined, rounded look. I also cleaned up a couple of stray hairs near the top with the clippers. There! The haircut was finished. It was perfect. All I needed to do was style the longer top.
“I’m almost through honey,” I said as I went into the back of the shop to get my curling iron out of my bag. This would be the first time I had ever used the curling iron in my shop. I returned and began curling the inch-long locks on top. When I had finished I brushed the curls out, brushing from her forehead to her crown. Her hair stood up nicely. I didn’t even have to use hairspray.
I put the curling iron on the counter and unfastened the cape from around her neck. As I peeled the cape away black hair slid silently to the floor. The guy was now standing in front of the lady admiring her new look. I like this part. I just stood back and watched. The talked about her new look and if he liked it and if she liked it, which of course they did. They paid me $10.00 for the haircut and gave me a $5.00 tip, another sign they liked the haircut. The last I saw of those two was them walking out of my shop with the guy rubbing the back of the lady’s head. I must say, that is the happiest couple to have ever left my shop and one of the best haircuts I have ever given.