Teenage boy's haircut fantasy by Scott
Original story by Snipped Sam
Adapted and added to by Scott
Looking back, my haircut fetish began for me big-time in my early teens; I had always secretly liked short hair. Unlike the majority of boys my age, being sent to the barbers was an exciting adventure for me. Despite the protests required of a teenage boy trying to be grown up, the instructions to go to a specific barber known for his short-back-and-sides policy was secretly music to my ears. This was back in the mid-1970s, long hair was fashionable and short hair was not, having reached the grand age of thirteen I had bowed to peer pressure and persuaded my parents that I could have my hair longer, provided it was kept tidy. Long hair was fashionable, I needed to be like everyone else, I had my brown hair over my collar and covering my ears.
I only knew one boy my age with short hair, my best friend John. His parents had always insisted on short-back-and-sides for their boy, father and son went to their barber every third Saturday morning without fail. Of course I secretly liked John’s short hair and looked forward to every third Monday when he would arrive at school freshly clipped and neatly Brylcreemed. Surprisingly, despite being the only boy in the class who didn’t have long hair, John wasn’t teased about his haircut, I guess all the boys knew his father insisted on it. I rarely ever mentioned John’s short haircut. I remembered asking him one time how he felt about it, he just shrugged and said "it’s no big deal, I sort of like it this way, long hair would feel gross! Anyway, girls have long hair, boys have short hair."
This aside, I used to make deliberate detours to walk past traditional barber shops whenever I could, hoping to catch a glimpse of a long-to-short haircut transformation through the shop window. I looked up barber shops in the telephone directory and if I went anywhere new, I would always be on the lookout for a barber shop. Anything and everything to do with barbers and short haircuts excited me. I fantasized about joining the army and getting a compulsory short-back-and-sides. My hair was now cut and styled by a young man called Sam, although I wished he made me call him Mr Smith and was a bit stricter with me, like my previous barbers had been when Dad used to take me for haircuts.
There was one barber’s shop that I was really fascinated by. I had never been there for a haircut, it was impossible to really see inside because there was a second door leading into the main barber’s shop which had opaque glass. My chance to go inside eventually came because I had a newspaper delivery round for evening papers after school. The lady who owned the newsagents one day asked me if I could do her a favour and drop off some magazines that had been overlooked that morning. I knew the barber was called Mr Miller from the name above the door. I felt quite excited when I got there and opened the second door to go in. Mr Miller looked at me and smiled and thanked me for bringing the magazines, he asked me to put them on the table where the wait to have your haircut chairs were. He was just putting the finishing touches to a haircut of a boy a bit younger than me, it was a very short haircut, he must have gone to a different school to me as I did not know him. Boy did I envy that kid! I remembered the days when I too went to the barbers for such a haircut. Mr Miller asked me to thank Mrs Jones for sending the magazines, we said goodbye and I left.
I was very unsettled having now been inside Mr Miller’s barber shop. The shop itself was very traditional, an antique looking barber’s chair, red vinyl-upholstered waiting chairs. I thought Mr Miller seemed very nice as well, an older man, very smartly dressed, he wore a white barbers jacket, his hair had receded and he wore spectacles.
My hair was due to be cut the following week and as usual I went to Sam. I left feeling disappointed because I wished deep down I’d had the courage to go to Mr Miller instead.
A few weeks later and I was purposely walking past his shop. It was very distinctive from the outside, there was a red and white pole beside the door, his name above the door and Gents Hairdresser over the window which had green and white check curtains. To my surprise, Mr Miller was standing outside talking to Mr Williams, my next-door neighbour, who looked like he had just had his hair cut. Mr Williams was about the same age as Mr Miller. He saw me and beckoned me over, and then introduced me to Mr Miller. He remembered me from when I’d brought over the magazines, but it was nice to be shaking his hand and being formally introduced.
Mr Williams remarked that it was a shame that I was only just meeting Mr Miller, he pointed to my hair and asked him what he would do with it. Mr Miller said that given the opportunity to give me the haircut he thought best he would cut my hair short.
"Sorry, Scott, but that’s what I would do," he said in a kind but firm way. Part of me felt a bit self-conscious, but I was really liking this conversation! Mr Williams remarked that my hair looked so much better when I used to have it cut short. Mr Miller asked him how short I used to have it, and Mr Williams told him that as a younger boy, it was a proper short-back-and-sides, and I had always had the back cut very short with the clippers. Mr Miller remarked that that was his speciality and he had to agree with Mr Williams that a nice short haircut would really suit me. Mr Williams laughed and said that he was certain that I didn’t think that "short haircut" and "nice" belonged in the same sentence! I smiled. If only he knew what I was thinking right then!
Mr Williams looked at his watch and announced that he had to hurry or he would be late for an appointment. He said his goodbyes and left me standing with Mr Miller. My heart was pounding and I was nervous. Here I was talking to the barber who I had day-dreamed about having a really short haircut from. I wondered if he could tell what I was thinking..
"You look rather deep in thought, young Scott."
"I expect you are thinking about what Mr. Williams and I said about your hair." I nodded.
"We are of an older generation Scott; we have very different views to a lad your age, times are changing but of course Mr Williams and I don’t think everything is for the better."
"Probably not everything, Mr Miller. I agree with you though, boys should have short hair."
"Well Scott, I have been giving lads your age, very smart, short haircuts for nearly forty years and I am not going to change my views now!"
"I respect that, Mr Miller." We carried on chatting for a couple of minutes, then an elderly gentleman arrived to have his hair cut so I left them and carried on my way.
I ran into Mr Williams again a few days later. He asked me how I was, and if I was enjoying the school summer holidays? "Back to school next week," he remarked, and said that he remembered well taking his sons for back-to-school haircuts before the start of the new school year.
"I expect that you’ll be getting your hair cut soon then?" I replied that yes, I would be having my hair cut before the end of the week. He then mentioned Mr Miller and how he had seen him at the bowling club, Mr Miller had said what a nice lad I was and he felt perhaps I was a little unsure about the length of my hair. I admitted to Mr. Williams that maybe I was a bit unsure, that I did like having my hair cut short when I was younger, but also that I wanted to be like the other boys at school and have my hair longer now. He remarked that it was such a shame that I felt the need to grow my hair long.
I told him that I did sometimes miss being sent to the barbers. "Really," he said. That was all it took. "Where are you off to right now?" he asked. "Nowhere in particular," I replied. "I’ve got nothing planned this afternoon."
"You do now, Master Scott. You may have grown your hair long to be like the other boys at your school, and you’ve had it this length for a good while, but now the time has come for you to have a trip to a proper barbers. We are going to take a little stroll to see Mr Miller."
Music to my ears!
No time was wasted, as the little stroll became a rather brisk march to Mr. Millers barber shop. The first door was open and my heart was racing as I followed Mr Williams through the second door. Mr Miller was sitting reading a newspaper, which he folded and placed on the chair next to him. Mr Williams put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to worry.
I sat up in the big old barber chair, trembling with anticipation. This was really happening!
Mr Miller turned the barber chair around so I was facing away from the mirror. He explained that it was better that I not watch the haircut in the mirror, to keep me from being distracted during the haircut. I was rather excited by the idea of my hair being cut without me being able to see what was happening. Mr Williams sat in the chair directly opposite.
Mr Miller tore off a paper strip and wrapped it tightly around my neck, pulling my past-the-collar length hair out from under the strip. When he fitted the cape, it felt good, it was long and nearly went down to my feet. As he combed my long, dark thick locks, I hoped it was the last time I’d feel a comb pull against long hair.
"Now Scott, I think we all know what needs to be done, but since Mr Williams has been kind enough to bring you here, I think he should decide how short your hair should be," Mr Miller announced.
Yes! I thought. I know just what Mr Williams will choose for me, and if he’s the one who says it, there’s no chance for me to chicken out.
"Indeed, I have been looking forward to bringing young Scott to you for the haircut he needs, so, I think a good old-fashioned short-back-and-sides is called for. The best haircut for any young lad!"
My heart was nearly beating out of my chest. "Do you agree, young Scott?" asked Mr Miller.
I tried my best to keep my voice from quivering. "Yes sir, a short-back-and-sides please."
"All right then son, let’s make you look smart. I think a regular boy’s short-back-and-sides will suit you very well."
Mr Miller began cutting my hair. He used very long steel scissors. The very first thing he did was cut off the hair that had covered my ears. The sound of the scissors snipping was very crisp and loud. Mr. Williams glanced at the front page of a newspaper, but looked up from it regularly to look at me in the barber’s chair. He was closely monitoring the progress of my haircut and keeping an eye on me. But I was on my best behaviour, being a polite young man and doing as I was told, like any boy should when he’s taken to the barbers. Although it would have been exciting to see how short my hair was becoming, it was also a thrill to know that I was going to be the last one to see my finished haircut. Mr Williams would be approving it first. I wondered what he would say.
Snip-snip-snip! Snip-snip-snip! Mr Miller’s scissors and comb flew over my head, and I could see piles of long, shiny brown hair falling to the cape. My head felt lighter and cooler already. Whilst I was watching the hair fall, almost mesmerised, Mr Miller suddenly stopped snipping and asked Mr Williams if he was happy with amount of hair left on the top of my head, or if he should take a little more off. "A little more off I think!" was the reply.
Mr Miller obliged. When he was satisfied with the top, his scissors worked their way down the back of my head, removing lots of weight and bulk. Snip-snip-snip! My hair hung over my collar no more. I was sure Mr Miller had already cut my hair short enough that most 1970’s boys would call it a short-back-and-sides. Not me though! I shivered with anticipation, waiting for what I hoped was coming next.
Although Mr Williams was my next-door neighbour, he now seemed to have dropped fully into the role of a father taking his son for a haircut. More and more hair fell to the cape. Mr Williams had a gleam in his eye, I could see that he approved of how the haircut was progressing. Soon I could hear Mr Miller moving about behind me and I knew by the sound he was changing the blade on the clippers.
"Right-o young Scott, it’s time for you to bend your head down for me." I bent my head down.
"I need it further down than that, Scott."
"Do as you are told Scott; get your head into position for Mr Miller," Mr Williams commanded. I dropped my chin as low as I could, exposing my nape for the hungry clippers to do their work.
"Now that’s much better, make sure your head stays still for me."
The clippers started with a clunk, and the familiar, exhilarating, comforting hum came close. I felt the cold metal teeth on the back of my head as they began their journey up towards my crown. It really was a electrifying feeling, the clippers gently purred as they clipped my hair really, really short. I knew that Mr Williams would be enjoying watching a master barber in action.
"Now we’re making progress", Mr Williams said. "Look at how much brown hair is on the floor! Who would believe that so much hair could come off the head of one boy?" He chuckled. "Next haircut, there won’t be nearly so much to come off. I hope we’ve seen the last of long-haired Scott! I still say all boys should wear a regular short-back-and-sides." Mr Miller agreed.
"It’s a big school year ahead of you, young Scott! I think very regular trips to the barbers for you, will make such a difference. And won’t your parents be happy when they see their neat, tidy and clean-cut son! I can’t imagine your father would let you grow your hair long again after he sees just how much better you’ll look."
Mr Miller had now moved his attention to the remaining hair above and round my ears. The clipping went on and on, with ever-shorter hairs wafting down. Mr Miller had a look of intense concentration as he clipped away, making sure every hair was just right. Eventually the clipping stopped, and the loose hairs were brushed away. "Hold your head very still now, son."
Time for the finishing touch – for the first time ever, I felt the scrape of a cut-throat razor as Mr Miller worked around the very edges of my new haircut. When he was done, he wiped a cool, tingly, sweet-smelling liquid over my freshly-shaved neck. The unmistakable smell of Bay Rum – a scent that can only mean, "I’ve just had my hair cut." I’ve loved that smell ever since that day.
"Head down again now Scott, so Mr Williams can check that he’s happy with this fine haircut." Mr Williams stepped forward to examine my haircut; Mr Miller asked him to have a look at the back and sides to see what he thought. I’d never before been inspected so closely, I felt like a soldier on parade!
"Yes, the back looks excellent, clipped up good and high, and I like how you have arched high above his ears. I see you allowed him some short neat sideboards too."
"That’s what I was going to ask you, what you thought?"
"Yes, I think he can keep them, but don’t get too used to them Scott, I shall very likely have them removed on your next visit."
"Would you like anything on his hair, perhaps a little hair cream or some spray?"
"Perhaps some hair spray."
My head was lifted up and my hair was lightly sprayed, immaculately parted, neatly combed, and then my neck was dusted with powder, Mr Williams remained by the chair, as the cape was removed and I was told to step down. Mr Miller brushed me down with the clothes brush and Mr Williams then paid for my haircut. I was told to stand where I was and had still not seen the new me!
Finally, my heart pounding wildly, I turned to face the big mirror.
Wow! I was sporting a perfect boys short-back-and-sides, just as I had imagined for so long. My ears and neck were fully exposed for the first time in years. The sides were expertly tapered, clipped close to my head and arched high above my ears, edged crisply with perfectly clipped lines.
The hair left on top was beautifully trimmed to perhaps an inch and a half at the longest, and lay perfectly close to my head, with a ruler-straight left part and the slightest hint of comb ridges where Mr Miller had combed everything in to place. At the front, the slightest hint of a quiff finished the style neatly but just a little playfully. A quiff – my short-back-and-sides had a little quiff!
Not a single hair was out of place. Mr Miller was certainly a perfectionist. My new short-back-and-sides was so perfect, it was nearly overwhelming. I’d dreamed of this day, but I’d never thought it could actually happen!
Mr Miller watched me discover my new, short-haired look with a smile on his face. He gently placed his hand on my shoulder. "I think he likes it! Do you like the new you, young Scott?"
"Oh, yes!" I exclaimed. "It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted! A classic boy’s short-back-and-sides like I used to get as a little kid. Why did I ever let my hair grow long? This is the haircut for me!"
Mr Miller laughed. "It suits you really well, Scott," he announced.
I realised that I hadn’t seen the back yet. "Could you show me the back please?"
"Of course! That’s my finest work!" He held his hand-mirror up so I could see the back of my head.
I was stunned at how expertly he’d tapered my nape. I’d suspected that he’d clippered the back extra short, and I’d hoped that he had, but the reality was even shorter than I’d imagined. "Wow, that’s short! I love it!" The hairs were clipped perfectly from zero length at the hairline, to perhaps a number 2 halfway up the back of my head, and the taper continued smoothly all the way to the crown. I could definitely see skin through the short, short hairs around the bottom of my neck, and I admired the way there was just a hint of skin showing through around to the sides and above my ears.
I’d never had a haircut this short, even when Dad used to take me to the barbers when I was 4 or 5. I pressed my thumb to the base of my neck, and rubbed it up over the short, prickly hairs. The prickles felt amazing!
A scary but super-exciting thought ashed through my mind. One of my dreams had come true – without a doubt, I now had the shortest haircut of any boy in my class, probably the shortest haircut in the whole school! Even better, after secretly admiring my best friend John’s regular short-back-and-sides for two years or more, now my haircut was even shorter than his! I couldn’t wait to show him next week. The short-back-and-sides club was a reality!
Mr Williams announced proudly that he had promised my father, he could get my hair short again, and that it was agreed, if he succeeded he would oversee my haircuts from now on, "I have indeed succeeded with the help of a first-class barber!", he said, really pleased with himself. If he only knew, I would have jumped at the chance to get my hair cut short by a barber any time he’d told me to! He opened his diary and pencilled something in.
"I have made a note in my diary, for three weeks from today, it says: taking Scott to the barbers, after school, so Scott make sure you don’t get detention that day!"
I laughed. "Don’t worry about that, I’ll be here with bells on – every three weeks from now on! Maybe I’ll start a trend, short-back-and-sides for all the boys!"
A new dawn had begun, he took on his new role with enthusiasm and I have had my hair short ever since. John and I became known as the "short-back-and-sides boys" to everyone at school. The trend didn’t really catch on, it was the 1970s after all – but several times, a long-haired boy’s parents would see John and I in our perfect short barber haircuts and insist that their son get the same cut. I kept up the haircuts every three weeks throughout high school, usually at Mr Miller’s shop, but every now and then, as a special treat, I’d go to John’s barbers with him on a Saturday morning so we could get our short-back-and-sides touched up together.