"Vicky! Oh Vicky, what have you done to your hair?"
It's true that I had been suggesting that Vicky get her hair tidied a little, but she seemed to have got a little carried away. We have been good friends for many years and had shared the flat for the last two. However, sometimes I felt a little like a mother-hen - tidying up after her as well as helping her with her clothes and appearance.
This morning she had said she was going to have her hair trimmed a little. I had suggested more than a little to give it a little more style rather than always having me braid or style it for her. But here she was - the waist length hair all gone and replaced by what I would call a short back and sides. I'm not highly knowledgeable concerning current hairstyles - my own hair having been long throughout my adult life - but it was smooth, like a very short bob around the crown and cropped, almost shaved, at the back and sides.
"I've had it cut. Like you told me too. Do you like it?"
I was so shocked that I hadn't really had time to decide whether I liked it or not. There was no doubt it suited her.
"Well, it is rather short ..."
"Huh, I knew you wouldn't like it. I ..."
"Look Vicky I didn't say that did I?" She had always been sensitive about her hair - one never dared say the wrong thing. I quickly tried to recover ground before she went off in a sulk. "It really does suit you. I was just a little surprised. Let me have a closer look".
As she walked over my main thoughts were of sadness. Most mornings I had brushed and styled Vicky's hair for her. It was very unlikely that I would ever have the chance to do this again.
She stopped in front of me and I could see that the sides were, as I thought, almost shaved. The white of her scalp clearly visible against the dark, velvet like, shadow of hair. The longer cap of hair shone like silk - much like the yard of hair that only this morning streamed down her back.
I reached out and cradled the side of her head and allowed my hand to explore the rear of her head. The cropped areas felt so strange - like soft velvet when brushed down and like sharp bristles when rubbed against their natural growth. As I did this I noticed Vicky smiled broadly. "You have no idea how good that feels. So fresh. So light and cool".
I could certainly see she was enjoying the sensation. I must admit it felt rather good to me too! "Yes, but why so short. I thought you liked your long hair".
"I did but when I sat down to have my hair trimmed I felt I needed a change. I went to the barbers in the high street - they're a lot cheaper than the salon. I just mentioned how I felt to the barber and he decided that it would suit me much shorter and started cutting. It does suit me, doesn't it Mary?"
"Yes it does. But I can't imagine how you felt having all your hair cut off like that. I mean, there's no way I could do that". Without thinking I patted my own long hair, french braided as usual, and felt a shiver as I tried to imagine this being chopped off.
"It was really strange. Soon after I sat down, the barber brushed my hair out and as I looked in the mirror and saw all my hair surrounding my face, covering my shoulders and streaming down my back. This was like other times. And then I began wondering how I would look with it all gone. I had seen men, even another girl, have their already short hair clipped closer while I was waiting. I began thinking, for the first time, how it would look and feel. I knew I would never have it done, certainly not then, but I just mentioned how I felt to the barber. The look he gave me was a little strange. Head to one side, a little smile on his face - almost as if he knew something about how I felt deep inside. He then simply said he would be happy to style my hair if I wanted. I just nodded. He then said he would be cutting it much shorter if that was OK. I nodded again. He then picked up his scissors, gathered all my hair into a ponytail and started cutting. It seemed to take ages to cut through. I couldn't believe what was happening - I was sitting in a barber shop with this man chopping off my hair. Eventually it came free and he laid it out on the counter in front of me. Then I heard a strange buzzing which turned out to be hair clippers - men's hair clippers would you believe - shaving the back and then the sides. It felt really strange - sort of scary but exciting too. He then shaped the top and then took the back and sides even closer, particularly at the hairline, which again felt rather good. And that was it ... piece of cake, Mary!"
I had listened intently to Vicky's description. So graphic was her description - with the sound effects and actions that she included - that I could almost feel those scissors sawing through my own hair, those clippers exposing my own nape. I shivered, and Vicky noticed.
"It's OK Mary, don't worry. It didn't hurt!" She seemed genuinely concerned - I must have appeared more than a little worried!
"I know, Vicky. It just seems a little strange. A little final perhaps. After all, I won't be able to do your hair for you each morning, ever again."
"Yes I know, and I had thought of that. I really enjoyed you doing it for me. Now, when I had finished the barber asked if I would be interested in selling the cut hair. Naturally I said yes, although I didn't get a great deal really. She also said that I would need to return every two weeks to keep the cropped areas looking good. This seemed a little excessive to me. So, I took the cash on offer and I bought something which I think we will find useful".
She handed me a carrier bag containing a box, which, I saw to my astonishment, contained a set of hair clippers. "I don't want to keep going back to have my hair cut every two weeks so I thought you could keep it in shape for me Mary. Will you?"
"Well, uh, I don't know. I mean, I don't know how to use them".
"Oh it's easy. All the instructions are in there, even a video. But it's simple".
With that she opened the box, fiddled with some settings on the clippers, plugged them in and handed them to me. "Go on try now".
She pulled up a chair and eagerly sat down in front of me and put her head forward as she often did when she was waiting for her hair to be braided. Only now, there was no hair to braid - just a pure white nape. Without thinking I found a switch and turned them on. I was surprised by the noise - a sort of buzzing - which sent strange vibrations through my hand which I could feel throughout my body.
I slowly lowered the instrument until it touched Vicky's hairline and then gradually pushed it forward and upward. A fine spray of hairs showered off, leaving a clear path slightly shorter than the rest. I had no option but to take the remainder of the cropped hair to the same ultra-short length. This involved holding the heavy cap of hair away from the areas that required cropping. The contrast, both in feel and appearance between the glossy, heavy, smoothness of this longer hair with the clippered lengths elsewhere was quite breathtaking. I continued, much longer than really necessary as I was enjoying the sensation, as was Vicky. Eventually I switched off the clippers and laid them to one side.
"Well, how was that for a first attempt?"
Vicky raised her head and looked at me, and then in the mirror. "Well not bad, not bad at all. Perhaps we should do it every few days, possibly even more often".
"Of course Vicky. My pleasure." I really felt as though I didn't want to wait even a day, such was the intense feeling generated by the activity... or perhaps the result. "Well, I better put these away for now, hadn't I?" I picked up the clippers and as I was about to place them in the box I saw the instructional video. "Shall we have a look at this. I might as well get properly trained if I'm to be your personal barber". Vicky nodded and went to open a bottle of wine while I set up the tape.
The video wasn't that interesting. Most styles were variations on fairly classic cuts for men. The alleged wife and/or mother of the men and boys used the clippers sparingly to trim some rather boring styles. A teenage girl had her lovely mid-back blonde hair chopped off at the shoulder by her "father" who then neatly, and very boringly, bobbed what was left. A similarly aged boy had his collar length waves, cropped into a style similar to Vicky's by the same "father". It was called a mushroom cut. Seeing the curls being clipped away to leave a nice fresh nape made me feel quite disappointed that I had missed Vicky's initial shearing.
The final style however had me fully entranced. A rather attractive guy, about our age, was awaiting his new style. He had long, layered dark hair reaching to his shoulders which looked really nice. His "wife" walked into view and was told, by the off camera instructional voice, that she was about to give Keith a brand new style. They smiled at each other as the woman placed the red and white striped cape about Keith's shoulders and began to follow the instructions. After about 20 minutes which seemed to fly by the instructor said " ... and Keith's new style is called a flattop for obvious reasons." Which was true. The cut was immaculate - back and sides even shorter than Vicky's, i.e. really shaved, with the top also rather short and standing up like a brush. The change in the model - Keith - from a normal sort of guy to drop dead gorgeous was also rather fascinating.
Despite being fully engrossed in the video I was aware of Vicky moving, or perhaps squirming would be a better description, next to me. As the clippers were used, I saw her caress her own cropped nape out of the corner of my eyes, and this made me feel more than a little warm.
Without saying anything, once this sequence was complete, Vicky wound it back to watch it once more. I wasn't going to object. Once again I was fully captivated, however my thoughts did stray to wondering how the "wife" - long blonde hair, permed and highlighted - would look if similarly styled. How I wished to use my clippers and my newly found skills!
I also felt Vicky moving closer to me, and one hand had undone my braid and was now slowly loosening each section. I knew the overall effect would be stunning - full and wavy. Once completed, and while we both continued to watch the video, she caressed my nape, my temple and ran her hand through the long hair at my crown. After a short while I realised these actions echoed those on screen, except my hair remained firmly attached. However it became very easy to imagine myself in that chair in place of Keith and Vicky wielding the clippers much as the "wife" was now doing.
As the video finished again, we drained our wine glasses and refilled them. Vicky and I stared at each other. She then rose and arranged a chair in front of the mirror. She removed the clippers from the box once again and plugged them in. She took the camcorder from the cupboard, placing it on a shelf pointing directly at the chair. She stood behind the chair, picked up the haircutting cape and once more stared at me. "Mary, I think you should come over here now".
Should I? I gulped my wine down and tried to think. It was clear that Vicky intended to do something with my hair. Or was it a joke? Yes, of course it was. Why, she liked my hair almost as much as her own. Ah ...
"Mary! Straight away, please".
I slowly got up and, not wishing to spoil Vicky's game lowered myself into the chair she had set up. She threw the cape over me and had some trouble fastening the cape until I lifted my hair. Once fastened, perhaps a little too tightly, I let my hair go and shook it so that it fell in a tousled fashion, in front of me, behind me, and with wispy tendrils around my face. A rather sexy look and one that I knew Vicky approved of.
I looked up provocatively from under the veil of hair and smiled. "Thank you Mary. Now perhaps we can start". She smiled back, perhaps a little coldly. A shiver ran down my spine and for a moment I felt she could be serious. She even picked up the clippers. She even turned them on.
"OK Mary, what's the first stage of a flattop?"
Almost parrot fashion I said, quoting from the video "You remove all the excess bulk".
"Well Mary, if you insist". And with that she thrust the clippers into the hair at my right temple and drove a path through to my nape. Before I could comprehend what she had done she repeated it.
"V...V...Vicky what are you doing?"
"Removing the excess bulk, of course. You are going to look so hot with a flattop".
And she was removing it with great speed until all the hair from my right side had gone. The clippers went silent and Vicky brushed through my still abundant hair but appeared to take great delight in running her hands over the near bald area. The contrast in lengths was quite breathtaking. I started to feel rather excited.
"But Vicky, must it be so short. I ..."
"Oh yes Mary, it must. All these lovely curls are to join their friends in your lap." I hadn't looked before and when I did I was astounded by the volume of hair already collected there. And then on popped the clippers, and more began to fall. And I shook to my soul!
After ten minutes the clippers stopped. All the long, sexy hair had gone completely and the crown hair was a couple of inches long. Soon Vicky had rather expertly fashioned the flattop and shaved away the remaining areas. Vicky held up a mirror behind and the reality of knowing that I was now virtually bald sent me into a little world of my own once more.
"So you like your new look do you Mary?" I nodded. "Well I'm afraid with it that short I'll have to shave it every day!"