Full Circle by Raldo (recovered)
All through my childhood I suffered frequent and extremely short haircuts. My Dad would take me to the barbers I’d get in the chair and without a word the clippers were run up the back and sides of my head right down to the skin from the hairline almost to the crown, then the remaining hair on top was cropped off leaving just enough to part and comb back
I always had it short but some visits it was extra short. I hated the way it looked but secretly loved the way it felt. It was not so bad having it short since all my friends had the same cut and just as soon as I got out of the chair my Dad got in and his was cropped just as short as mine.
I loved the whole event of the haircut - being part of something that was exclusively male but not having any control of the outcome.
I loved the build up to going to the barbers, the anticipation of the cold steel clippers touching my sensitive skin leaving it naked and cropped with short prickly hairs itching under my collar.
I loved the feel of the wind of the wind on the back of my head when we left the barbers and the way the clippered skin tingled when anything touched it. The whole event of made me feel grown up - my first recollections of a sort of male bonding experience and leaving the barber shop smelling just the same as my Dad and all the other man after my remaining hair had been sprayed with hair tonic and plastered down with a neat side parting. This all had a lasting effect on me right through my life but at the first opportunity I rebelled and grew it out longer just to be like everyone else at school.
My parents hated it and were forever on at me to get it cut – I always secretly wanted to be dragged off to the barbers and have it cropped off - I really missed the nakedness and tingling feeling I’d always enjoyed after a haircut but there was no way I’d suffer the ridicule of such a short crop in my teens.
My hair got longer over the next couple of years and even my Dad’s haircut softened a little as longer hair became more fashionable – he still had it short but not as brutally short as he used to, which surprised me because I never thought he would let it grow even slightly.
By the time I hit my twenties long hair was boring me and the urge to cut it short had never gone away. It took months of dithering before I made a snap decision and walked into a salon and had 15 inches of hair chopped off to 3 inch. It was a relief to be rid of it but at the same time a major regret that I hadn’t just gone to the barbers and had it done properly, it just didn’t give me the buzz I was expecting – but the reaction of everyone to it was incredible.
I waited a few weeks and the urge got stronger and stronger so I finally gave in and decided to go to the old barber near my home – at least there I knew it would be a proper haircut and not a hairstyle.
I walked through the door and it was like steeping back in time the smell was wonderful and the atmosphere overwhelming. It was an incredible feeling settling in the old worn leather chair and having barber cape tightened around my neck.
It was clear from the minute I sat down that he was in charge and whatever cut I asked for he would do it the way he wanted – which was fine by me. I sat back with my pulse racing and heart pounding watching in the mirror as the buzzing clippers touched my neck and moved upwards leaving a tingling trail of white naked skin. This haircut was not going to be a disappointment.
In no time at all the back and sides were shaved bare from the hairline to just short of the crown. I was in shock but enjoying every moment of it. He cropped lots off the top but leaving enough to comb, he lathered and shaved around the edge and sprayed the top with hair tonic and combed it neatly into place.
All I could see in the mirror was an older version of the kid I used to be. I felt sort of sick and incredibly happy at the same time. I tried to imagine what sort of reaction I would get from family and friends – but what did it matter it was too late now so I paid, said thank you for a great haircut and made my way home –of course touching the back of my neck all the way and enjoying the feel of the wind on the shaved sides of my now very lightweight head.
When I got home and checked myself out in the mirror the shock was beginning to wear off and I was thinking how good it looked in a strange and new sort of way.
I had a job interview later in the week so I thought I’d check out my Dad’s reaction – I got dressed in my suit, shirt and tie and went to visit him – I thought I looked pretty good and the whole new image would create a good impression for the interview.
My Dad was bowled over and couldn’t believe how different I looked, he was more impressed than I would have ever guessed and I got a big buzz out of telling him he needed a haircut – which was a first. He asked if it was just a one off experiment or was I planning on keeping it this short – I said I had no plans to ever let it grow again, I had forgotten just how good it feels to have it so short – the nakedness and tingling after a haircut are incredible and addictive, I can’t wait to be back in that leather chair feeling cold steel on my head again.
I could see he was fascinated by my new look and I was thinking maybe I would work on him before my next haircut. I tried a couple of times but got no joy so I let it ride for a while.
My job interview was a success and everyone I know thought my new look was fantastic, so I kept up the bi-weekly haircuts and enjoyed them more and more.
On a whim during one haircut I asked the barber to take more off the top – I only wanted it trimming a little shorter, I should have known better, I ended up with a short flattop with less than half an inch of hair at the front. It was not a haircut that I would have asked for but I very quickly decided it was the best haircut I’ve had and should have had it ages ago.
Two weeks after this change of haircut when it was just about ready to be freshened up I was visiting my Dad, as usual he was checking out my hair, still fascinated by the dramatic change in my appearance. He told me he was going to the barbers later that day so I jumped in and said he may as well come with me I need a haircut too.
He said ok - this was an ideal opportunity to get him sorted out with a proper haircut like he used to have and get rid of the sloppy hairstyle he’d had for the last few years.
I wasted no time in getting him in the car and away to my barber before he could think anything about it. When we arrived at the barber shop no-one was waiting which was good. I introduced my dad to the barber and I got in the chair and relaxed while the barber got on with freshening up my new flattop. I enjoy the experience so much, the cold metal on my skin and the buzzing and the chance it might just be a little shorter – not that it could be that much. I’d happily sit in the chair every day.
My Dad watched for a while and looked like he was enjoying it, then he started reading a newspaper which was my opportunity the barber was finishing off my haircut so I told him my Dad had come with me because he was so impressed with my haircut that he wanted to try his the same. I got out of the chair and paid for both of us and said to my Dad as he got into the chair – this one’s on me.
My Dad was in for a big shock – he was caped and combed in no time. I watched with eager anticipation – I wished it was me about to be stripped bare again. The clippers were turned on and in seconds the back of his head was shaved clean from the hairline to the crown, he continued quickly around the sides leaving shaved white skin. There was a look of shock on my Dads face but I was enjoying every moment of it - just as much as if it were me there in the chair.
He usually has the hair on top of his head long and combed back but the barber quickly reduced the 5 inch of hair to half an inch and then finished off the cut like mine with lather and a razor and showed him the finished job with the mirrors. Like with me this was the shortest my Dad has ever had his hair cut but also like my haircut I think his has never looked so good and like it or not just like he did to me when I was a kid, I’ll be bringing him back every two weeks to get it cleaned up.
When we got in the car he said he wasn’t happy about the way I’d tricked him but when he got over the shock he realized what he’d been missing all the years.
I love the way my hair is cut – the shorter the better, it looks great and so does my Dads and that’s the way we’re both staying. We just have to sort out my brother with a decent haircut – we’re working on it right now – watch this space.