Turner Family Comes to Town By Fidgety In The Chair
It was a hot and humid Saturday in August and just about quitting time. I was hanging out until 3:00 with the other barbers in the shop. I was the only female with four men barbers in this nice new unisex shop, in a small strip mall off the bypass of town. We had been pretty busy in the morning and steady since about 10:00. It had been a tiring day, with our share of screaming kids. School was about to start back and the crowd was there to get the back-to-school haircuts. I didn’t have any women in the shop today, which was unusual for a Saturday. Usually we’ll get 2 or 3 every weekend. About 20 minutes till closing time an old beat up truck pulled up out front of the shop. The door opened and a whole family entered the shop. The father was the first one to enter followed by two young boys about 6 and 7 years old and a daughter that looked to be about 9 and then the mother. The two young boys walked over to the first couple of chairs and took a seat in the chairs. The daughter came over and sat in Bill’s chair next to mine and in my chair the mother was walking over and took a seat. I heard Jack say, “Whose chair is on the other side of me? Oh crap it is Ed Turner and family!” under his breath.
The mother sat down in my chair. She had bleached blonde hair that was in terrible condition. Then she had at least 3/4″ of dark roots showing at the scalp. Her bleached blonde hair reached almost to her shoulders and was parted in the middle and hanging down on either side of her face, flat and lifeless. She didn’t say a word. I combed through her hair and pulled it all up and pinned it up on her head. I took out the cape and shook it and put around her shoulders, and then went to the counter where I took a tissue and wrapped it around her neck before fastening the cape with a metal clip around her neck. The husband was at the other end of the shop giving instructions, or barking them out is more like it, on how he wanted both boys almost shaved but leave a little on top like a marine haircut. I undid the clip and started combing her hair out again. “So, how did you want it cut, honey?”
She didn’t say a word as her husband looked at me and said, “I will be there in a minute, okay.” I just kept on combing through her hair. The husband made his way to the daughter’s and told Bill to cut it a very short bob. “Leave her with really short bangs,” he said as he took his fingers and pointed almost to her hairline in front, “and then go as short as you can in the back, buzzing it up pretty high in the back,” pointing to the occipital area. The daughter’s eyes were tearing up and getting red as her father was giving Bill instructions.
He now was standing in front of my chair. “Hmmmm, well for my wife, Susan, here, I want all the bleached hair cut off, it has to go. I hate and told her not to do it, it is so damaged anyway. Just cut it off really short.”
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I told him that we could do some hot oil treatments and add some color to get it back to her natural color and maybe get it back in better condition. She turned around and looked at me.
“No, please just do what he said.”
He walked back over and said, “Yes now I want it really short and tapered up close in the back and around the ears too, just part the top on the side here,” pointing to the left side. He walked over and finally took a seat in the chair next to me and told Jack to give him G.I. haircut and take his almost collar-length hair off very short.
I stopped and looked around for a moment before starting: the young boys were down on the end and almost completely bald as they were just finishing up on them. Next to me the young daughter’s head was leaned forward and Bill was clipping the daughter’s hair in the back, and on the other side Jack had his clippers roaring down the middle of the father’s head. I turned around and took the clippers off the hook and put on a 3/4″ guard and turned on the clippers as well. I walked over to the right side of Susan and placed the clippers in front of her right ear and quickly raised them through her hair. I flicked my wrist at the top to release the bleached hair that had just been cut. It tumbled and found its way into her lap. Again the clippers took another swipe and more of the bleached blonde hair was dumped into her lap.
She pulled her hands out from underneath the cape and started to play with the cut hair in her lap. I took another pass and went slowly around her right ear and more blonde hair was put into her lap. I was purposely making sure the hair I was cutting was ending up in her lap. I had just completed the right side when I took my left hand and pushed her head forward and took the clippers up in the back of the right side as I worked my way around. With her head bent over like this I would still be able to put the cut lengths of bleached hair into her lap with each pass of the clippers. The hair that was left behind was now 3/4″ all over and was a very dark brown and thick. It looked much better than the bleached hair that was being cut.
I was quickly reducing the back to the 3/4″ and flicking my wrist to have the hair fall into Susan’s lap. I finished the back and moved behind the left ear. Buzzzzzz as the clippers roared around her ear putting more of the damaged blonde hair in her lap. The left side was done now and I took the clippers and placed them on her forehead and quickly took five passes over the top and cut the top to match the sides. The hair off the top was pushed to the back and went behind her onto the floor, as she was still playing with the cut hair in her lap. I went back to the counter and took another look around, the freshly clipped boys were now sitting in the waiting chairs with their white shining heads. The daughter’s back was clipped and tapered very short and the sides were cut short as well just showing her earlobes, as he had just spun the chair to show her the cut, her bangs were now almost gone as they were cut to about 1/2″ below the hairline. I looked over and the father had shaving cream spread on his neck and around his ears as he was now with a shiny head as well. I looked around at Susan as I spun her chair so that she could see the cut. She just stared into the mirror.
“Is that what you wanted” I asked.
Her husband turned and looked. “No that is not! I want the back and sides cut a lot shorter, taper them up close! I told you that!”
I turned the chair back around and was so ticked off I took out the clippers and took off the guard and grabbed a comb from the counter. I turned them on and pushed her head forward. I then started on what was still today one of the closest and best taper cuts that I have ever done. I was so mad at her husband and they way she was just sitting there and taking it. I took the hairline down to nothing tapering it up to meet the top at 3/4″. I buzzed around each ear and took the sideburns completely off as I was tapering it as short as I could go around the hairline. The ears I was bending and pulling as to make sure that no hair anywhere was touching them. Susan still was not saying a word as the clippers continued to roar around each ear and scalp was showing through about 1″ above each ear and half way up the back. I turned off the clippers and took out the small rechargeable ones and started again around the hairline going over and over as small hairs were coming off with the clippers. The sides and back now were so short that you could not comb through them as the white scalp was showing through and the red flush skin showing the clippers’ last path. I turned the clippers off and put them back on the charger. I was totally ignoring what was going on around me. I took some shaving cream and spread it over the back of her head and around her ears. She still was giving me no reaction to this at all. I took out a disposable razor and started to shave away, making her a new hairline. I was tugging on her ears so hard they became very red as I shaved around each ear to her hairline. I finished and put a towel around her head and removed the shaving cream and rubbed around her ears and neckline with the towel. I removed the towel and placed it back on the counter. I took the duster and filled it with talc powder and dusted off around the neckline and around each ear and her face as well. I then took out a comb and ran it under the water in the sink and combed the top and parted in on the left side as requested. I did not even turn her around to see the cut, I removed the cape and let her out of the chair. She immediately took both hands and started rubbing her head, and I watched as she walked over to the mirror and then to her husband. Her eyes too started to tear up like the daughter’s. Her husband waited in the waiting chairs and quickly rubbed her neck and gave her a kiss.
He looked at me and said, “That is the best haircut she has ever gotten anywhere.” He had already paid and just walked out the door.
She stared back at me and just rubbed the back of her head and around her ears, when her husband got completely outside and in the truck she said, “Damn you! Did you have to take it so short? I didn’t want it this short!” as she walked out the door.
The other barbers razzed me about that for a year until the Turners came back into town almost a year to the day. That is when Susan was escorted directly to my chair by her husband and told to sit down and for me to cut it just like I did last time by her husband, as she gave me the meanest look you have ever seen. Needless to say she again walked away with one of my prize tapered haircuts that was taken a little shorter this time, and shaved the sides up a little farther on the sides and back. They still come around every year and now I do both the daughter and mother, the same haircut.