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Mark by baldmax
It was a rainy morning in October, I was finally visiting Mark, the barber that I had been following on Instagram since June and was hopeful that he would give me the push that I need to get the cut that I had always wanted to get. I have known since I was younger that I had a thing for haircuts and wanted to try something extreme for years and years. I had always had shorter hair growing up but never a buzzcut or anything with visible skin on top. I had experimented with short length on the sides and had worked myself down to skin but I wanted more.
I was sporting a trendy disconnected sidepart haircut that had just been cut about a week or two before. When cut, I would get the sides shaved with a straight razor and buzzed to a 1 up to where my part is on the left side of my head. I also liked to get a hard part on that side to add even more edginess to my haircut. The other side just a normal fade. I had about 4 inches of length on top. I loved the way the disconnected look made my auburn hair look. I looked smart in the office, sporty in the gym and sleek when going out with friends for a night on the town. I loved the way the sides felt right after they were cut and for the next week or so after. I would often find myself rubbing my hand on the the buzzed portion where hair used to be to meet the rest of my hair to form the part on my head.
I longed to go all the way, to get a super short buzzcut. I had been to many shops where I planned to go for it but found myself needing an extra push from the barber to actually go for it. My hair is quite thick and has a little wave to it, barbers would never suggest buzzing it all off and I would walk out a little disappointed. I had found this barber on Instagram and had been planning to go see him for a long time. He had brown wavy hair that he typically wore in a nice low skin fade with the top scissor cut into about 3 or so inches.
One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw that Mark had posted something new on his story. I clicked and, to my gleeful surprise, I saw a video of him putting clippers with no guard on them at his forehead and pushing them back. I watched the video over and over again, dreaming of the day that I would be able to feel clippers making their voyage, for the first time, across the top of my head. The next photo was of a newly shorn Mark, cape still on, with hair in his lap and a big grin on his face. He had also posted a photo to show that the sides were shaved smooth and then faded into what appeared to be a 0 on top.
I immediately left his story and went to his profile to find out how to book an appointment with him. I found the link and, to my surprise, found that he had availability for an appointment that very afternoon. Before I could change my mind, I clicked confirm and booked the appointment. My hands became sweaty as I realized that I had likely just sealed my fate and would be finally getting the super short buzzcut that I had always wanted. I attempted to cancel the appointment and learned that I was unable to since it was so close to the appointment time, I had no choice, I was going to get a haircut.
The time until my appointment was very close so I jumped into the shower quickly so that I could get ready to leave my apartment. I began to shampoo my hair wondering if it would be the last time that I would feel the thick hair in my hands for a while. I conditioned my hair and rinsed it out and wrapped up my shower. I got out of the shower and stood on front of the mirror blow drying my hair and putting product in to style it. I was almost out of product and made a note to grab some from the store on my way home from the barbers.
I drove to the area of town that Mark’s shop is in and found a spot in the parking garage behind where the shop is located. I parked and turned off my car, glancing in the mirror at my hair for what would hopefully be the last time for a while. I was very attached to my hair and loved how it looked but deep down knew that I wanted something drastic to happen that day. I walked out of the garage and around the corner to the front where the shop entrance was located.
The shop was very modern with floor to ceiling glass windows all along the front. It was situated in a courtyard with a view of the street in front of it. I walked in and checked in with the receptionist. I spotted Mark and then he immediately came over to introduce himself. He had big, strong and warm hands. In fact, everything about him from his smile to his face to his body was big, strong and warm. I immediately noticed his freshly shorn head and how it accentuated his strong jawline and perfect nose. I followed him to his chair, watching as he rubbed the stubble that remained on top of his head. We arrived at his station and I sat down as he wrapped the black and white striped cape around me.
He put his hand on my shoulder and turned me around to face the mirror as he combed through my hair. "So, you have a really nice head of hair! What are we going to be doing for you today?", he asked as he continued to comb, surveying his canvas. I glanced up at him in the mirror and noticed his mischievous grin as I began to speak, "I am getting kind of tired of this current style so I wondered if you have any suggestions for me?".
His face lit up and, at that moment, I knew I was in trouble. "Well, you could go for something like mine!", he teased as he continued to speak, "To be honest, the way that you have had your haircut limits you a bit in moving to other styles. You do have a few choices though. You could grow the top out including the part and disconnected portion here up top, we could buzz it down to the disconnected length or we could just buzz it way down to say no guard up top and start fresh like mine!", he grinned as he pointed at the pile of hair I hadn’t noticed in the corner of his station. "I just cut mine before I left for my lunch, this is a half which means no guard but not the shortest setting on top and then I used an electric shaver on the sides to get them nice and smooth, you are my first customer back with my fresh new buzz." He reached up to rub his bristly head. How I longed to feel that for myself but his head and the same feeling on mine.
I could feel myself breaking down, finally receiving that external push I had always wanted to finally get the extreme haircut that I always desired. I didn’t feel quite ready to go for the length that he had on top and I was getting nervous for a buzzcut in general but seeing him looking back at me in the mirror was so comforting. All of a sudden, as if I had no control of my mouth or body, I blurted out "Alright! Let’s buzz it down to meet the disconnected portion on top and can we do the shaved sides like yours?". His face lit up as he said, "Sure! Let’s go for it!".
He spun me around to face the street. He reached behind me to grab his clippers. "This looks like it has grown out to a #3 so let’s start with a #2 to make it all nice and even and leave you with something up top.", he said as he grabbed the #2 guard and attached them to his clippers. I grabbed the arms on the chair, bracing myself for what was sure to be an adventure. "I am going to start where your hair meets the disconnected portion so that we can see if the length is going to work.", he said as he turned the clippers on and brought them up to my head. I heard the familiar hum of the clippers as he brought them up to my head and then the familiar sound of the clippers working through my thick hair as he pushed the clippers back. I felt as hair tumbled onto my shoulder as he made the first pass back to my crown.
"Well, we have a problem.", he said as pushed a larger than expected clump of hair off my shoulder and into my lap. He placed his hand on my shoulder to turn me back around to face the chair. I was surprised to see a half inch wide strip of buzzed hair on the other side of my hard part for the first time. "The #2 is just barely cutting it here which is fine but the issue is your hard part that you have shaved in, the line would still be there for a bit so you could leave it and have it grow out and just have me cut it to match the next time or we could go even shorter to match where your hard part has grown into now. Basically, it would be the same length as mine on top." I hadn’t noticed that he had placed his clippers down on his station and was now rubbing his head, he leaned down to where his head was right beside me and said, "Come on! Feel mine! Don’t you want to rock this too?" I reached up to feel his sandpapery bristles, the ones that I was so familiar with from only the sides of my own head. I opened my mouth and was again met with the apparent inability to control what was coming out. "Let’s do it!" I said.
In what seemed like slow motion and in a smooth motion, his hand moved back to my shoulder to turn me back around with his other hand reaching to the station to grab his clippers. His hand left my shoulder as he grabbed the clippers, removed the guard, adjusted the lever and turned the clippers on. He brought them to my forehead as he said, "Time for us to be twins!". I felt the cool blades as they touched down on my forehead, right in the middle. He pushed them back sending even larger clumps than the first time to my shoulder and to my lap. "No turning back now!", he chuckled as he continued his work on the top. He completed the first pass and rubbed the stubbly path with his fingers before continuing his work on top of my head.
He continued working on the top of my head moving to the left of the path that he had just made. I tried to imagine what I must have looked like at that time as I watched the traffic pass in front of the shop. His hands proved to be strong indeed as he dug the clippers, not uncomfortably but firmly, into my head. I knew that he was getting every last hair and I realized I was finally getting the extreme cut that I had always wanted. He continued buzzing the top, moving to the left towards the trendy disconnected portion of my haircut. His clippers met the portion that just minutes before he had buzzed down to a #2 and completely removing any evidence of attempts to salvage hair on top of my head.
He continued, now on the right side of my newly shorn scalp, liberating it from my head and sending it to my shoulders, the cape and the floor. I was in ecstasy imagining what I would look like when he was done transforming me. I was also a little shocked that I had actually gone through with it and nervous knowing that when it was all over that I would have a whole looknew look. He turned off the clippers and placed them on his station counter. He rubbed his warm hands all over the top of my head, feeling his warm hands meeting my skin for the first time drove me absolutely WILD.
"Alright let’s get started on the sides and back, I am going to take the skin up to your crown in the back and around to your temples on the side. Just like mine! What do you think?" I was putty in his hands and he knew it. I replied with a nod, barely able to speak, thinking only of how I was going to look exactly like him.
He grabbed his clippers again and brought them up to my right sideburn, I noticed how pronounced the veins in his arms were as he worked around me. He pushed the now warm clippers up the side of my head as a sprinkling of hair fell down. This time there were short bits mixed with longer hair as he moved swiftly up and around the side of my hide. He continued this process around to the back of my head making quick work of the trendy haircut that I had come in with. His hand was on top of my head, holding it with a firm grip. The other hand was, just as firmly as the top, being used to pilot the clippers over the back of my head.
He continued around to the left side of my head continuing to remove hair from my head. Soon he announced that he was done. "I am going to move now to using foil shavers to get this stubble down to skin, then I like to follow that up with a straight razor. Once we are done with that, I will blend it all in and then we will be done!", he explained with a look of excitement on his face and continued by saying, "You are looking great though. I can’t wait for you to see the final result!"
The sound of the foil shavers was one that I was familiar with and especially enjoyed. I loved hearing the stubble meeting the the foil shaver, imaging said stubble being decimated by the blades inside. Mark worked quickly and still, to my delight, firmly digging the shaver into my skin a bit to make sure he got everything nice and smooth. He continued this process all the way around my head, rubbing his hands on my smooth skin as he worked. I heard the whir of the lather machine as he rubbed warm lather on my denuded skin. Up next was a hot towel that enveloped my now shorn and partially smooth skull. He began massaging my head through the hot towel and then removed the towel.
I could hear him behind me as he began loading a fresh new blade in his straight razor. He applied more lather to the sides of my head and began scraping whatever hair dared to remain off. The combination of the experience of a handsome man encouraging the dramatic change that I always desired, combined with the straight razor element that I always enjoyed with haircuts was euphoric and he skillfully moved around my head. He soon finished his task and applied aftershave and a cold towel to my head.
He then produced a smaller pair of clippers and he began using them to blend the smooth skin in with the very short sides that he had just finished making smooth. He worked quickly skillfully and methodically using this smaller pair of clippers to finish his masterpiece.
"Alright, we are almost done!", he announced, as he moved to complete the right side of my head. He got another cold towel and began using it to wipe off loose hairs from my head. He then brushed hair off my shoulders and into my lap. Once he was done, he placed his hand on my shoulder in preparation to turn me around to finally see the new me. He begun turning me towards the mirror as he moved around to be behind me and facing me in the mirror like he was at the beginning. My mouth dropped as I saw, for the first time, myself with the closest buzzcut I could have ever imagined.
He rubbed the top playfully as he asked, "So, what do you think? I think it looks awesome.". I reached my hand up to feel that velvety stubble feeling that I had always felt on the sides of my head but desired to feel on the top of my head. "I love it!" I exclaimed as I continued to rub my head. "I think this really suits you, but if you want to try something different next time I am always happy to help you figure out what style will suit you best.", he said as he rubbed the top of my head one last time.
He unbuttoned the cape from my neck and shook the hair out to join his on the ground. He swept up around the chair and made a neat pile and then he turned the chair so I could get down from it. I looked down at my feet and saw what just 30 minutes before had been on top of my head. The combination of my red hair with his brown hair is something I will never forget.
The rest was pretty standard. I went to the cash register, paid and brought him back a tip. He then handed me his business card and advised me that I would want to come back pretty frequently to keep my haircut looking fresh. He also pointed out that he had written his cellphone number on the back of the card, "I don’t usually do this", he said as he pointed at the back of his card, "but I would love to take you out for a drink sometime so I can get to know you better. You’re really handsome in this new haircut." I replied that I would love that and we made plans for the following week.
I walked out of the shop and into the cool fall afternoon. I walked past the window in front of his station, we both rubbed our heads and grinned at each other and then I kept walking. On my journey back to my car, I walked past the store that I usually get my hair product from. I remembered that I needed to go in to get more product to style my hair and immediately realized I didn’t need it anymore. I chuckled as I walked past, enjoying my new buzzcut and hoping that I would like it enough to never need styling product again.