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Haircuts at the Barns by CountryBoy
Going to college is one of the best opportunities a person can have in life. It is a time when you can grow as a person, try new things, and learn about the world. It is also a great time to have some fun and do things your parents would never let you do. For me, that was shaving my head. I had never had the guts to just go ahead and do it while I was in high school but college was my opportunity and I took it.
Growing up on a farm in a small town, I learned what it was like to work. Every day, I would be bucking hay bales, milking cows and fixing machinery. I guess I was what you would call a farm kid. Cowboy boots, torn jeans, and a cutoff shirt were my favorite clothes and it suited me to work on the farm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit of a brain too and really enjoy school. Most of the other kids in my high school were farm kids too. They would roll into the school parking lot with their jacked up trucks and their cans of dip that we all knew they weren’t supposed to have. I envied their total lack of caring what everybody thought of them and their decisions. They would get rowdy and joke around in the hallways and make fun of each other on their way to class and that was just all there was to it.
They also wore their hair the way they wanted it: buzzed. Any farm kid knows that frilly haircuts aren’t worth the cost if you are just going to cover it up with your baseball cap anyways. And, nobody wants a mop of hair getting in your face and tickling the back of your neck. Most of them cut their hair themselves. All it took was to pop the #1 guard on and run it all over your head. They weren’t that smart but they could figure out how to do that. Sometimes, they would pull out the clippers and get to joking around in the locker room which would eventually end in somebody getting shaved down to the scalp. But, who cared. It was just hair and it would grow back. Besides, most of them were on the wrestling team and it was cool to have a shaved head: it made you look tougher...not that any of them needed it...farm kids already are pretty tough.
But, as I said, I was jealous of their ability to not care what everyone else thought. Me on the other hand, I was a pleaser. I always took the opinions of others as the gospel and always tried not to disappoint anybody. So, when my parents wanted me to not get rowdy and go crazy with my buds, I didn’t. And when they wanted me to be the good kid that always got straight A’s in school, I was. And when they wanted me to have longer hair that was trimmed off the collar and off of my ears but never too short, I did.
But, by the time I was a senior in high school, I wanted to break out a bit and have some fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a partier and I don’t get into illegal crap. Heck, I don’t even smoke or chew. But, it was time to loosen up and have some fun. So, it was with that mentality that I went to college. I did very well in college. I got good grades and made lots of friends and had a lot of fun. But, I never lost that urge to really break free and loosen up. One night, I was feeling extra brave and hopped onto Amazon and bought a nice set of clippers and thought to myself, "when these get here, I will finally break loose and shave my head." But, when the clippers showed up, I couldn’t make myself pull them out and actually do it. So, I packed them up and forgot about them.
I got eventually got to the point where I decided I needed to work to get some money. And, being a farm kid, working at the university dairy barns sounded right up my ally. I love dairy cows and working with my hands is not a new thing for me. So, I was hired on at the barns and was offered a spot in the dorms to live there while I worked. I had 3 roommates: John, Randy, and Mike. They were a great group of guys that I loved working with.
One afternoon, I was sitting on the couch working on some homework when John walked through and said, "I gotta go get a f***ing haircut." (John has quite the vocabulary.) John was in the Army reserves and always needed to have a haircut that met regulations: short. He often got a high and tight skin fade that fit the bill, wasn’t too shaggy at work, and wasn’t a lot to fuss with. And, all of a sudden, the thought of the clippers I had bought popped into my head. I said, "do you want me to give you a haircut? I don’t know if I can do as good as a barber but I can give you a high and tight if you need it. It will at least save you a couple bucks." He said, "hell ya! I’m always about saving a couple bucks!" So, we grabbed a chair, threw on our barn boots and went down by the barns so we wouldn’t get hair all over the dorms. He sat down, and said "have at it!" I flicked the clippers on and started on his back and sides with no guard. It was pretty slick how those buggers sliced if his blonde hair off like butter. After a while, John said, "ya’ know what, you might as well just shave it off. It’s too d**n hot out for this s**t anyway." I said, "are you sure?" And he replied, "heck, it’s only hair! Do it!" So, I shaved him bald! When I was done, he reached up and felt my work with a grin on his face. This haircut would definitely meet regulations and was definitely cooler while doing farm work.
After that, he said, "what do I owe ya?" This was my chance. My opportunity to let loose and live my life without caring what everyone thought. So I took it. I said, "you do the same thing for me." He was dumbfounded. I took my ball cap off and sat in the chair as he stared at me in amazement. He took the clippers from me and said, "are you sure? That is a big f***ing change!" I said, "hell ya! Do it before I change my mind." He gulped and flicked the clippers on. He started with a strip right down the middle of my head. I’m glad he did that because otherwise, I probably would have chickened out. But, as I was watching my 4 inch or so hair blow away in the wind, I was glad I didn’t. I could feel my head getting lighter and could feel my cares for what other people thought slipping away.
After a couple of minutes, Randy walked by. He had long brown hair cut into a mullet and was the cowboy of us guys. He grew up in west Texas and had the belt buckle and twang to prove it. He pulled his cowboy hat (Who knows why he wore a cowboy hat on a dairy farm. Everybody knows a baseball cap is so much more useful.) off and said, "dang it’s hot out! And, why are you guys leaving me out of haircuts!? I’m next!" I couldn’t believe it! Here I was getting shaved down bald and he wanted in too. I wasn’t even sure if I liked it yet.
After a couple of minutes, John said, "all done! See what you think." I reached up and felt my head. It felt like a scrap of sandpaper. I loved it! I couldn’t believe I had waited this long. No more pushing my bangs out of my face or dealing with it in my ears! I was free and I didn’t give a rip what anyone thought. I couldn’t stop feeling my newly shaved head.
Randy quickly took my place and asked me to do the honors. I threw my baseball cap back on (it was too big now) and shaved that nasty mullet off of his head. Who knows why people ever want that haircut. It was so nice to see those brown locks tall on the ground next to mine and John’s.
Just as I was finishing Randy, Mike walked by and asked if he could have the same cut as the rest of us. He had always had a #5ish buzz cut which was, until now, the shortest of the 4 of us. I said, "sure as soon as I finish Randy." I finished up with Randy’s shave and he reached up and felt his newly exposed scalp with a big Texas grin and let out a "boy howdy! Thank you sir!" I tossed him his hat and he threw it on his head and went back to work. I got started taking Mikes hair down to nothing and in no time, the farm had 4 new baldies running around.
I can’t tell you how great that haircut made me feel. I was finally free. And, I found out some nice side effects: I no longer needed shampoo, a barber, or hair gel. All I needed were my clippers and my college buddies to keep my hair in tip top shape. We kept each other all clipped up until graduation. Now, I have figured out how to shave my own head and I’ll tell you what, it’s sure nice to walk around in work boots, worn out jeans, a greasy work shirt, baseball cap and a bald head underneath.