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New Look by Hagen

For as long as I can remember I've had a fascination with getting my haircut. When I was about 12 I HATED it. I remember one time when my father was going to take me to the barber's I ran off to escape the humiliation of having to sit in that chair. I don't know why I hated it so much but I did. Then, when I hit puberty, my feelings of revulsion at having my haircut became subtler. Since I was 15 I've had a strong interest in fantasizing about having my hair cut really short. Pretty weird huh? But I guess you know what I mean.

I had had the same style since I was a kid but when I was 20 I decided that it was time for a change; I had very dark hair, about 5 inches on top, tapered at the back and combed in a part on the left-hand side. Once the idea of actually getting a short haircut was in my head I couldn't get rid of it. It was like an obsession. All I knew was that I HAD to have something new and radical and often wondered what it would feel like to have those clippers running all over my head.

I don't know why, but one day I woke and decided that enough was enough and I was going to rid myself of this obsession once and for all. There was a real old-fashioned barbershop in my neighborhood, which had been a source of interest for me for a long time. It was a weird place, on the first floor of a retail outlet. The only thing was that you actually had to go upstairs into it before you could see how busy it was. Anyway, after sitting outside for a few minutes trying to pluck up courage I took the plunge and went up the stairs.

There were five chairs but it wasn't too busy, mostly old guys getting their regular trim. Fortunately for me a younger guy, about 25, who asked me to come across, manned the one free chair. My heart was beating like a steam train as he put the cape around my neck and asked me what I wanted done. Suddenly I was tongued-tied. I mumbled something about having it cut shorter but said that I wasn't sure. Then, throwing caution to the wind I told him that I was sick of having long hair and to 'cut it however he wanted'. This was my idea of not having to make the decision myself! But it left open the possibility of having a really short cut. He said 'any way I want to?' and I nodded. 'OK' he said.... and took a deep breath.

That should've warned me that something drastic was coming my way. First he combed my hair straight down on all sides. The fringe practically touched my mouth; it was so long. Then he parted it exactly in the middle. I heard him move behind me and then heard a 'click' followed by the whirr of the clippers. 'Oh boy' I thought, 'I'm going to really get it now' but I was shocked to see the clippers in the reflection of the mirror. There was just glistening steel! No attachment at all!

Before I could really register this he brought the clippers down onto my forehead and pushed them all the way through my hair, right back to the crown. I felt the hair fall past my face and into my lap. I winced as my hair fell off the top of my head and looking in the mirror I could see the white of my scalp showing through the remaining stubble. The barber carried on, over and back, until the top of my head was practically bald! This wasn't EXACTLY what I was expecting but I suddenly found myself 'enjoying' the experience. He carried on with the clippers, removing my long dark hair lock by lock, each pass of the clippers producing a cascade of hair that was gathering on my shoulders and in my lap.

He finished off with a couple more passes all over my newly shorn head. I looked totally transformed. I gulped as he turned the clippers off and made to get up but the guy pushed me down in the chair saying: 'I've not finished with you yet. Remember, you said I could do anything I wanted to'. I already had an "Induction" cut. What else could he have in mind? I soon found out when the barber came back to chair and smeared shaving foam all over the newly cut stubble. I couldn't believe this was happening! A crew cut was one thing, but a bald, shaven head was something entirely different. I had no choice but to sit there as my entire head was completely shaved bald.

All vestiges of my dark hair were gone! Once he had shaved a strip up the center of my head the barber slowly shaved the rest and then, to add insult to injury, he re-lathered my head and shaved it again. After he had finished he wiped the last traces of shaving foam off my head with a towel. I looked in the mirror and hardly recognized the guy I saw! I was TOTALLY bald.... except for a slight 'five o' clock shadow'. The barber asked me what I thought but I was too stunned to speak. There I was...bald! and having walked in a few minutes earlier with a full head of long hair.

The barber then said to me 'do you want me to finish it off'?' I had no idea what he meant but vaguely nodded. He went into the back room and came back with a blue jar. He opened it and proceeded to coat my head with a thick white cream. I asked him what he was doing and he said that this would 'get rid of that dark stubble'. After applying the hair removal cream the barber covered my hair with a towel and I was left to sit and ponder my predicament while the cream dissolved what little hair I had left. Ten minutes later the guy came back and removed the towel, along with the cream.

I could NOT believe my eyes! Except for my eyebrows, my head was completely devoid of any hair. The skin, where before there had been 5 inches of hair, was now plain white without even a hint of stubble. The scalp shone brilliantly in the overhead lights, the intensity of which was only increased when he massaged some sort of moisturizing oil onto my head. I slowly reached up and smoothed my hand over my newly denuded head. It felt odd, but very sensitive. The barber removed the cape and the hair in my lap mixed with that already on the floor. The other customers who had arrived behind me look as shocked as I felt as I paid the barber and made my way down the stairs. But as I walked out into the sunlight I felt like a new man. I caught sight of my reflection in a passing window and realized that being bald suited me.

I knew then that, rather than getting rid of my obsession, I had only increased it and I would NEVER go back to growing my hair again. I was just looking forward to the moment when I could shave my head myself.

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