Tina and Jackie – Fidgety in the Chair
I had just started working for Mr. Peterson at the barbershop in the small town where I grew up. I went to barber college in the closest major city that was about 45 miles away to learn my trade. I had started with Mr. Peterson that November and now it was May and I had learned a lot while working for him. He was very good and better than any teacher I had in Barber College. I had become quite good with the clippers, since that is what you used most of the time. I had just bought some new clippers, so I had three sets now. The new ones were the biggest Osters they make and man are they powerful. I loved using them.
It was Saturday morning and some of the usuals came in for trims and a few young boys getting crew cuts for the summer that was just around the corner. The day had started out with the sun shining and then the weather became awful with a rainstorm passing through that was raining like there was no tomorrow. Mr. Peterson said that days like today business would die down and we would be able to go home early. It was 11:00 a.m. and we had the last client out the door and we started reading the day’s newspapers and magazines that were in the shop. Mr. Peterson looked up and it was now 12:00 and we usually closed at 1:00 on Saturdays, so he decided to go on home and left me the keys to close up. I was shocked because I had always got the feeling that Mr. Peterson never trusted me up until now. I was glad to see that I had earned his trust. He left and now I was alone in the barbershop and kind of bored. I started to clean up around the shop after reading the sports page and the outdated magazines. Then the bell rang on the door. Entering was a young boy with his Mother and her friend into the shop. I jumped to attention as I was in charge now. I greeted them as they entered the door.
“Hello, come in, come in, what can I do for you today?”
The boy walked over and got into the chair. “My mom wants my hair buzzed.”
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I replied okay and nodded at the women that were now sitting in the waiting chairs as I pulled the cape around the young boy. I grabbed the big Osters off the counter and away I went. Within a matter of two minutes I had buzzed his short blonde hair in a buzzcut that was short to the scalp. I pulled the cape away and let him out of the chair, he paid me and as I turned around to the put the money in the register, I heard the doorbell ring as he left the shop.
I turned around, letting out a loud sigh and looked up. Left in the shop were the two women.
“Oh, sorry. I thought you had left.”
The women both looked at me and the tall thin blonde woman with a short bob said, “You do cut women’s hair here too, don’t you?”
“Why yes ma’am, we sure do, who is next?” I replied.
The shorter woman got up and walked over and sat in the chair. She had dark brown hair that had grown out from a wedge cut and it was down on the collar in the back and covering her ears, with the bangs hanging in her eyes. I shook the cape and draped it around her and then put a tissue around her neck, before fastening the cape with a metal clip. I pumped the handle to raise her up in the chair.
“So how did you want it cut?”
She looked at the other woman who was sitting there staring at her friend. “However she wants it cut,” she said, as her hand came out from underneath the cape, pointing to the tall thin blonde.
The other woman, who was extremely thin, came over beside the chair and took her hand and ran her fingers through the back of her hair. “Well, I want you to buzz this in the back really short… really short.” She looked at me. “Then the sides here. I want it cut short here too and showing her ears,” and she walked in front and put her hand on her chin and raised her head so that they were looking each other in the eyes. “The top I want you to cut really short too, leave enough on top to comb over, but the sides and back buzzed really close, okay?” She walked over to the other barber chair and took a seat there so she could be closer and turned it to face her friend.
I asked her, “Are you sure about this?” as I was combing through her hair.
“Oh yes, I am sure,” said her friend from the next chair. “She has been needing a haircut for some time now.”
I went to the counter and grabbed my new Oster clippers and turned them on. CRACK…buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, filled the air. I took my left hand and placed it on top of her head and forced her head over and placed the clippers on the base of her neck. She jumped when the cold metal touched her skin. “Hold real still now, okay.” I started the clippers up the back to the occipital area before pulling them out of her hair to flick my wrist and release a large clump of dark brown hair to the floor. With the first cut the second and third were quick to follow. With each pass of the clippers, she would lilt her head to meet the clippers as they cut the hair in the back, leaving it 1/2″ with each pass. Each pass became faster as the clippers now started back again and now found themselves going all the way up to the crown, more and more hair being cut and tumbling to the floor. I completed the back and moved to the left side.
“I was wanting the back cut shorter than that,” said the woman from the other barber chair.
“Well I am. I am going to taper it up shorter to blend it in with the top, is that okay?” I snapped back.
“Oh I am sorry, I just wanted to make sure,” she replied.
I took and bent her head over to the right as I took the clippers and quickly reduced the side to a 1/2″. The hair now was tumbling down the cape and collected in her lap. I moved around to the right side and started in front of the ear and with a few quick passes the right side was cut to meet the left.
“Tina, you already look better than you did,” she said from the other chair. Tina sat there motionless for the time as I took off the blade and put on the shortest blade. I turned on the clippers again Crack, buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
With that I took the comb and combed over the back and then pushed her head forward again. I took the comb and clippers and started to taper it up to meet with the top layers of 1/2″. The bottom of the neckline was clipped to almost nothing as it was a very close short taper. The comb and clippers worked as one as over and over the clippers and comb went through the back tapering it closer and closer to the scalp. I completed the back and moved around to the left side and started around her ear, tapering around the ear as close as the neckline was now. Again the clippers and comb worked together to become a single tool, leaving a short taper in which you could see scalp through the hair. I completed the left side and walked around, staring at the woman in the other chair.
“Is that how you wanted it?”
She replied, “Oh, yes that is it exactly, please continue.”
With that, I started around her right ear. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, as the right side now was blended and tapered as short at the back and the other side. “Looks like you are going to have to get out in the sun after this haircut, your tan lines are showing,” I said as I turned off the clippers and returned them to the counter. I took out a 3/4″ guard and put it back on the clippers and, as I turned around, turned the clippers back on. Crack, buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I walked in front of Tina and looked at her as she was still motionless and staring at the amount of hair that was in her lap. I took the clippers and placed them on her forehead and with four quick passes reduced her hair on top to 3/4″. I again turned off the clippers and placed them back on the counter and took out the scissors.
“So how do you want the front, parted on which side or bangs?”
“Well, hmmmm let’s see,” she said as she got up and walked over. “I think bangs short and straight across here.” She raised her fingers to about 1/2″ from the hairline in front.
I took the comb and spray bottle and got the top of her hair wet and combed the bangs down in front. I placed the scissors to the right side and snip, snip, snipped straight across. I combed the top some, lifting it up between my fingers and making sure it was blending in everywhere. I put the comb and scissors away and took out the smallest clippers and comb and started again in the back cutting out the hairline and trimming around the ears, bending them down and back, trimming the sideburns in a small V almost even with the top of the ears. I went over the back again and again, checking the taper to make sure there was a smooth transition between the bottom and top. I turned off the clippers and returned them to the counter. I took out some hairspray and coated the top nicely and the bangs to lay flat to the forehead.
“Okay, how is that? Is that short enough?” I said as I turned the chair around so that Tina was now facing the mirror.
Tina still sat motionless and just stared into the mirror. “Jackie, do you like it, is this okay?” she said.
Jackie got up from the barber chair and walked over to Tina and stood behind her. “Oh, yes. This is exactly the way I wanted it.” She took her hand and rubbed the back from the neck up to the crown. “And the back is perfect! Here, feel it Tina.”
Tina reached up from underneath the cape and touched the back. “Oh my god, is there any hair back there at all?” I stepped in and handed Tina a mirror and spun the chair around and she was rubbing her head all over. “Well, Jackie, what do you think?”
“Tina, I love it, it looks so great on you. Betty will be so jealous now.”
I put talc on the duster and dusted off Tina around the ears and face and in the back. I took out the small clippers and cut the stray hairs off the neck below the hairline and undid the cape and pulled the cape off Tina. I noticed that Tina’s khaki shorts where now dark brown in the crotch and her zipper was half undone, no wonder she was so quiet and still.
“Thank you for coming here, and please feel free to come again,” I said as I helped Tina out of the chair. Jackie walked over and paid me the $10.
“Keep the change. Don’t worry, we will be back and we’ll tell some of our friends.”
I still work there and have more female customers all the time, and Tina and Jackie still come by every 4 to 6 weeks and now both Tina and Jackie have the same haircut.