Bart - Phase 1 - Off the collar by Manny
Bart - Phase 1 - Off the collar
I had always admired his thick, shiny brown hair that flowed down to the bottom of his collar, almost in a single-length. Another inch or two and it would have been a true Jesus-style! Bart was a handsome fellow with deep green eyes whose smile was very infectious.
I was surprised to see him in the teachers' lounge in a jacket and tie. "What's the occasion, Bart? I hope we're not having parent conferences today!" I quipped.
"Nah, just felt like dressing up a bit," he said with a bit of a sullen tone. He ran his fingers back through his hair. I'd seen him do that many times before -- like a manipulator to comfort himself when he felt stressed. Then he sort of measured his hair a bit by grasping the length at the nape and seeing how far down towards his shoulders the lustrous mane hung.
"Getting rather long there, isn't it?" I noted casually.
"Yep, and Mr. Gray is on my case about it. Told me I wasn't looking very professional...." Bart mumbled.
"Ah, now I understand the coat and tie!" I laughed.
In a fit, Bart yanked off the tie. "There! I hate the way that feels," he exclaimed. "I told Mr. Gray I couldn't get a haircut before pay day. I'm flat out broke."
"Surprised he didn't advance you some money if he's that unhappy about it," I replied. After a few moments, I added tentatively, "I could trim it for you, if you'd like. I a pretty good amateur barber. I help Mike and James extend the time between their visits to the barbershop with a bit of trimming action."
Bart's face lit up, "Sure, why not?"
"Pop on over after school," I said, concealing my glee. I would finally have my chance to manipulate and cut Bart's beautiful, thick, long hair. Trim, not cut, that is! I would build confidence over time. I would flatter and praise his pretty locks until he was lulled into surrendering them to set of fast feed electric clippers! To think of Bart sitting in my kitchen with no shirt on, head bowed, while mounds of his shimmering brown hair piled up at my feet almost made me explode.
Bart showed up to my apartment very soon after school was over. He was quite cheerful. "Come on in, come in!" I said. "How about a beer before the barbershop gets into full swing?"
"Sure, why not?" laughed Bart. "I'm not one to turn down free beer."
"Or a free trim!" I added.
Bart pawed at his hair. "This is getting so long and heavy. I might need more than the tips taken off."
My heart beat more quickly. "An inch or two perhaps?"
"Oh, no! I was thinking more like a half to three quarters of an inch," he replied.
Ooooops. I reminded myself to take things slowly. "Of course, it's what the client wants," I purred, reassuringly.
After we finished a beer, I steered him over to the kitchen sink. "Take off your shirt and let me lean you over so that we can get your hair wet down for the trim."
Bart's well sculpted torso and muscular build reflected his profession of physical education teacher.
It felt wonderful guiding the heavy, flowing locks under the tepid stream from the faucet. "Wow, you have so much hair!" I exclaimed. "Is it clean or should I lather it up?"
"Well, it was pretty hot and windy out; I got a bit sweaty during recess duty. It would be great if you could wash it, Ned. I love the squeaky clean feel when I get it washed at the salon," he replied.
I took my time generated a thick, cleansing lather, working it thoroughly through the copious mane and delivering a vigorous scalp massage in the process.
"Oh, that feels great. Very relaxing. You might become my go-to barber, Ned," he murmured.
"Washing hair is one thing; cutting it is another. But I know you're going to love my skills as a barber." With that I turned off the water and began towel-drying the heavy mane of wet hair.
Bart took a seat in the middle of the kitchen and I began working a wide-tooth comb through the damp locks. His hair looked even longer wet. "Do you want a blunt, single length cut. Or should I layer it a bit at the ends to give it more of a professional style."
"What do you think?" Bart asked.
"Layered -- so it won't hang so heavy." I paused momentarily studying Bart's lovely, long hair. "I know you said, just a half inch, but I think a bit shorter would look and feel better," I replied.
"Two inches did you say?" Bart inquired.
"At least. Really, my preference would be to take it to off the collar in back," I said casually.
He sat frozen, non-responsive.
Then, I pressed my point, and said, "To here," pressing the outside blade of the shears right below the nape.
My heart beat quickly as I studied the full four inches of dangling dark hair that would fall to the floor if he gave his assent!
"Well, I don't know. Maybe. I mean with Mr. Gray harping about a more professional look, that might satisfy him and get me off his radar for a while. But....."
"I'll just trim it like we first planned," I interjected, strategically dialing back my initiative.
After a brief pause, Bart replied, "No, Ned! Take it clear off the collar in back. It's time I got a good pruning."
I needed no further encouragement. I quickly slipped the open blade of the sharp barber shears through the damp mass, right at the nape level. My hands trembled. I was preparing to take off a good five inches, more than I originally intended. I should ease back, not over do it, proceed with......
CHOP! CHOP CHOP!! CHOP CHOP CHOP!!
I was quick and merciless. Huge wet clumps fell to the floor in rapid succession. I watched the show with contained glee. Bart's long hair had been cut off right at the nape. The kitchen floor was carpeted with shorn, damp locks. My hands shook nervously and my heart beat wildly. Now I fretted he would react negatively.
Bart looked to the side and saw the hair on the floor. "Wow....." he stammered. "That's a lot of hair down there."
I deflected his attention, "There's still way more up here," I assured him as I combed the hair thoroughly several times and snipped off some stray strands that had escaped the first assault on the Jesus look.
Bart fidgeted nervously in the chair. "Sure getting my money's worth," he joked awkwardly.
"Since the haircut is free, that's right," I replied, joining in the joke.
"I'm going to thin your hair a bit so it lays better. Layer the length a bit at the ends too. It's going to come out very nice, I'm certain of it," I said as I reached for the thinning shears.
What I really wanted to do was to thin the life out of his thick lustrous mane -- leave it wispy and limp. But, of course, I didn't do that. Well, not so radically. But, I did unleash the thinning shears and took off a considerable amount of bulk. Then I rounded it off a bit on the sides, bringing the length to just below the ears, and feathered it just a bit over the ears.
Once the haircut was over, I took a blow dryer to the new shorter do and did a great job styling it into a masculine look. Bart looked like the old Bruce Jenner circa 1972 -- Olympic athlete on the Wheaties box with gorgeous hair rippling dramatically in the breeze of victory.
"What do you think?" I asked as I held up a hand mirror.
"Ned! This looks fantastic! You're hired," he laughed. Bart felt his hair in back with his hand. It was so much shorter! He put on his shirt and then studied himself in the mirror again. "Wow, you took it off the collar in back -- like way off it. But it feels fantastic. It just feels lighter and more manageable."
"I hope it's not too short," I murmured.
"Not at all, I feel great. Your instinct was much better than my idea of 'just a trim', Ned!" Bart glanced at the kitchen floor and saw the evidence of how much hair I had taken off.
"Oh, I forgot to clean up your neck. Pull off your shirt again. This will just take a minute," I instructed. Bart complied. I had him back in the barber chair again. His clean, stylized hair shimmered in the neon light of the kitchen. Then I pulled out a set of electric hair clippers from my kit.
"What's that for?" he asked nervously.
"I told you, I was going to tidy up your neck. Just sit still," I instructed as I snapped on the machine. I nudged his head forward and his thick locks dangled enticingly in the harsh light of the kitchen. I brought the naked metal teeth of the clippers to his neck. What a thrill it would be to move them quickly straight up the back of his head! Shave off all the beautiful brown hair! Leave poor Bart bald. I let my mind wonder momentarily and then jerked back into reality. I held up his hair as I tidied his neck. On slip of the hand would effect a dramatic change..... But, I resisted. One day, Bart would bow his head before the clippers. One day I would move them purposely up through the beautiful brown hair and watch it fall to my feet! One day I would hold the mirror up to his disbelieving eyes and all dear Bart would see would be stubble!
Once I'd tided him up and he was ready to leave, Bart again told me. "Thanks so much for the haircut, Ned. I really like this new look! If there's anything I can do for you...."
Then he gave me a mischievous look and quickly tussled my neatly combed business cut. "If you ever need your hair washed, let me know. I'd offer to trim it, but I'm not sure what I might do to it with those clippers!"
"LOL," I replied nervously, smoothing my hair back into place. "So glad you like your new style so much."
I hoped that Bart would feel the same way about phases 2 & 3 of his transformation!
The next day at school Bart was the center of attention. The shorter haircut got lots of raves, and he passed on the credit to me. I happened to be with him when our principal, Mr. Gray, noticed his new look.
"That's quite an improvement, Bart. Did someone lend you the money?" Mr. Gray asked.
"Nope, this is the result of Ned's handiwork. He did it for free!" Bart replied.
"Well done, Ned. But next time, how about giving him a tidy 'short back and sides' look? More like your own haircut. That's my idea of a professional image for teachers," the principal grumped before moving on down the hall.
"He's never satisfied," Bart whined. "If you had cut my hair that short, he would have lamented I didn't get a buzzcut!"
"We can review your options in a month, let's say, when you'll be ready for a tidy-up. With shorter hair, the trims need to happen more regularly," I noted.