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Aaron's Vacation Takes a Twist by Manny
"Now that we're on vacation and you have a little extra time, why don't you look for a place to get a decent haircut? Your hair is getting so long! How can you stand it in your eyes like that?" Helen chided.
The hen-pecked husband instantly flicked his long bangs back, away from his eyes. It was the type of nagging that Aaron hated! First, he didn't want a new wife telling him what to do. And, second, he quite liked his hair longish....especially the thick, voluminous forelock that he cultivated and admired. His plush, silken hair was his best asset and he wanted it on display!
But, Aaron knew that the issue would not go away. Better to resolve the matter sooner, rather than later, and enjoy a week of peace on holiday.
"Yes, you're right, Helen," he sighed.
"I saw a quaint barbershop on the corner," Helen noted. "Just the place to get a nice, clean cut look. My father always went to a barbershop that looked like that!"
That suggestion put Aaron further on edge. Helen's father wore his hair military-length. And now she wanted him to visit a barbershop! Boy, was she ever pushing the envelope! He was a salon-type guy....he needed a stylist fawning over his locks, not some geezer butchering them!
"I'll ask at the front desk if there isn't some establishment that's more to my liking than a traditional barber," Aaron replied.
"And pay through the nose? No, Aaron, we need to start taming our expenses. Our budget needs a haircut! A barber only costs $15 or so, not $75. Give it a chance," Helen urged. "Shall I walk over there with you now?"
"No, I can get there on my own!" he snapped.
Oh, boy! The last thing Aaron wanted was Helen marching him down to the barbershop and dictating the length of his hair.
In the lobby, Aaron paused to admire his pretty hair in the mirror. Too bad Helen wasn't keen on his longish, stylized look. It would make things so much easier. Aaron ran his fingers through his mane. Oh, such a delightful feeling....!
After preening in front of the lobby mirror for a few moments, Aaron decided to inquire about salons. He would stand up to Helen's nagging and do as he wanted -- not as she dictated! He approached the front desk.
"Could you tell me if there's a good salon in town where I can get a trim?" he asked the woman attending the front desk.
"I get my hair done at 'Lovely Locks' usually. But it's closed for remodeling this week. My stylist Cathy and her partner are taking the opportunity to vacation themselves. There is Sam's Barber Shop across the street and to the left. That's where my husband goes. The barber does a good job -- fellow retired from the Navy a few years ago and took over his uncle's business."
Aaron dawdled as he left the hotel. Sam's Barber Shop it would be. At least, he wouldn't have to endure Helen's rant when he explained why he once again shelled out big bucks at a sissified salon....
The barbershop was in a time warp. Only the barber looked like he'd been around less than 50 years. Aaron pushed the door open. The young man was clad in a barber tunic and jeans. His arms bulged with muscles and his hair was shorn down to regulation length.
Aaron's mouth felt very dry as he croaked out a greeting.
The barber quickly rose from the big chair he'd been relaxing in and motioned for Aaron to take his place on the red leather upholstery. The chair was actually quite comfortable, Aaron noted to himself.
"On vacation?" the barber asked as he cast a huge white cape that completely covered Aaron and the big barber chair.
"Yep, and with a little extra time for a haircut. I've been so busy of late," Aaron replied.
The barber looked intently at the mane of brown hair and began combing it. The thick forelock was combed straight down and totally covered Aaron's brown eyes.
"You certainly have let this go for way too long! You'll look like a new man when you leave here," the barber commented cheerfully. "Any special instructions?"
"Oh, not really, just tidy it up," came Aaron's mechanical answer.
"Off the ears?" the barber asked as he combed the plush pelt down so that half the ear was hidden beneath the soft locks.
"Yes, I suppose," said Aaron, hoping that didn't unleash the barber's desire to shear him like a sheep.
The barber began with shears and comb, lifting and snipping. First, small chunks of hair fell to the cape amid a drizzle of snippets. Aaron felt so relieved that the barber seemed timid and cautious in reducing the length!
Snip, snip, snip. The barber uncovered the ear, and then continued to shear down the length into a closer taper around the side. Despite the array of electric hair clippers hanging from the formica cabinet, the barber stuck to scissors. The haircut Aaron was getting seemed definitely shorter than his usual salon style, but still quite acceptable and nice.
Then the barber swiveled the chair a bit. Aaron could still see what was happening in the mirror, although at an awkward side glance. His heart beat picked up a bit as the barber nudge his head forward and began tackling the overgrowth at the nape.
Aaron concentrated on the crunching sound of the shears, hacking through his long, soft brown hair. He imagined clumps -- big clumps! -- falling away to the floor of the barber shop.
"How long has it been since your last haircut?" the barber asked. "Six months, would you say?"
The fact was that it had only been a month, if that! Aaron demurred with the answer, "I can't really remember. A while, though. My wife has been getting after me to get it cut....."
Aaron sensed the comb snagging hair closer to the scalp. Then, the snipping started going farther up the back, almost to the crown!
"Women want their husbands to be respectable and well groomed. I was in the navy for ten years myself and the regulation cut is perfect for me," the barber laughed.
"Were you a navy barber?" Aaron inquired.
"Nope, but my good friend was one. I hung out in the barbershop quite a bit when I was in the navy. Just like when I was a kid. My uncle had this place and I helped him in the summers and on weekends -- sweeping, taking care of the cash register, etc. He told me I could take over the shop when he retired. So, I went to barber college when I was discharged. Best decision I ever made. I like what I do," he said.
Then the barber's attention turned to the forelock. He combed it down, straight forward, one more time.
From beneath the veil of hair, Aaron saw the barber priming his shears, by pumping them open and shut for a bit.
Then, Aaron felt the blades slip under the tresses. His blood pressure skyrocketed instantly as he felt the shears dragged up to near the top of his forehead. He couldn't believe what was happening.....no, it was not possible that....OMG!!
CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH.
I mass of lovely brown hair measuring at least four inches felt right onto Aaron's lap!
He felt instantly nauseous, staring down at the forlorn, lifeless forelock! The barber had just chopped of his lush bangs! It was irreversible....
"There, that's much better," the barber murmured, congratulating himself on the lock-ectomy! "Now you 'll be able to see clearly."
The barber swiveled the chair back to face the mirror so that Aaron got a full view of just how short his bangs had been cut. There was almost nothing left of them! In fact, the tidy fringe could measure no more than 3/4 of an inch.
The barber tackled what remained with a set of thinning shears removing most of the bulk. A few wisps remained at the top of the vast white forehead.
Aaron stared at the mirror speechlessly.
Then, in a very aggressive, quick manner the barber began removing the rest of the length from the top. Snag and snip, snag and snip. Brown hair fell in torrents to the cape. Aaron watched helplessly and submissively as most of the length was taken off, very short. His brown hair quickly covered the cape.
"Plan to stay long out on the peninsula?" the barber asked casually as he continued chopping off the thatch and then switching over to the thinning shears. He was taking Aaron down to a very, very tidy look.
"Oh, only three days," Aaron replied as he stared down at the cauldron of cut hair which had collected on his lap.
After a very prolonged session with the thinning shears, the barber laid down his cutting instruments and continued his endeavors with a duster. He carefully folded down each ear and whisked away all snippets. Face, neck, forehead. Nothing escaped the soft bristles of the duster.
Then the barber held up a mirror to show off the back. "How is that?"
It was short! Very short! The bulk and length was all gone. Everything was shorn down to a very tidy length, like the top.
"If you'd like, I could taper it shorter with the clippers. I wasn't sure how short you usually go," the barber explained.
Aaron's eyes locked onto the clippers. A sudden dread and excitement seized him. He gripped the arms of the chair under the cape. Helen would finally get what she longed to see.....her Dad's crewcut on her husband.
"Actually, yes. Your talk of the navy and all. Would it be too much bother to ask you for a crewcut?" Aaron asked apologetically.
"Bother?!" exclaimed the barber. "Not at all! It would be a pleasure." He quickly reached for the largest machine that hung from the counter. "Shall I go easy on you? Or do you want it tight?!"
"Make it tight! Super tight!" Aaron exclaimed.
"You bet! One recruit coming up!" the young barber chirped as he snapped on the machine. It roared to life. In an instant he was running the clippers down the top of Aaron's head, obliterating the wispy fringe and carving out an extremely short swath. Aaron's stomach churned with excitement.
"Oh, my! How short is that?" Aaron asked.
"A sixteenth of an inch! How about a butch? Single length all over? A nice clipped pelt?" the barber suggest.
"Go for it!" squealed Aaron. "I'll make my father-in-law look like a hippy."
The result was amazing. Aaron smiled broadly at himself in the mirror.
The barber gave Aaron a thorough dusting, all over the clipped pate. Then the cape came off. "You're a new man."
"I sure am!" replied Aaron. He felt invigorated by his impulsive act. He would wear the pants in his family now. Not take orders, but give them.