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John's stylist sends him packing by Manny

"Just a bit of a trim," John instructed the stylist who was surveying his rather lengthy raven locks with a bit of skepticism.

The stylist took his brush to the mane and began pulling it through the silken strands. "There is some noticeable thinning up here," the stylist deadpanned as the brush pulled the receding hairline straight back to reveal the unwelcome signs of aging.

"I've seen it too," John admitted reluctantly.

Then the stylist took the brush through the part nearer the nape that was still thick and healthy. The copious locks that dangled about his shoulders glimmered in the lights of the salon. The dark tresses contrasted sharply with the pale nylon cape.

"I say we take off all the length back here, at the nape. Give you a nice short cut," the stylist announced. "A man your age...."

"That much?" John gasped. "But....I've always...."

"I know it's hard to transition, but the thinning is only going to worsen. Let's update your look and get it over with quickly," the stylist smirked, enjoying the distress his announcement was causing the client who was desperate to cling to a youthful persona.

The stylist pushed John's head forward in an authoritative manner. John stared bleakly down at the cape.

"To be honest, a traditional short back and sides haircut is what you need. Tapered around the ears and up the back," the stylist pronounced.

He waited for the subdued John to respond, to object, to contradict. But John remained frozen, unable to express himself.

"Very well. I take it you agree with my professional assessment. Trust me, it’s the only real solution for men with thinning hair," the stylist remarked, snapping the shears open and shut a few times.

John tensed up and his stomach churned as he felt the barber shears at his nape.


The shriek of the shears heralded the demise of John's flowing locks. Clumps of cut hair slid down the cape as they fell away.

"Already a huge improvement. And with the clippers, things will be much better, much faster," the stylist noted. "In fact, I think a very short taper would suit you even best... Tapered aggressively short up the sides and back. A side-part and a bit of length on top to cover the thinning. You can pull off a standard business cut for a while. But, be prepared, the next phase will be cueball! The only way to totally eradicate the telltale signs of aging!" the stylist exclaimed.

John could not believe what was happening to him. He watched in shock, stunned to see the stylist snip deftly around his ear, send more of his once flowing hair to the cape.

"Couldn’t you leave it longer on top?" he whimpered.

"Absolutely not!" the stylist snapped. "The top is where it’s thinning most. Oh, and there are some wild gray strands here and there. Once they start appearing…. Well, a short butch is the best way to take care of that. How about we fast forward to the butch today? Save the chromedome for a few months from now?" the stylist prodded.

"A butch?" John gulped. "You don’t mean buzzed down to a single short length?"

"I certainly do!" the stylist replied haughtily as he reached for the clippers. "Well start with a #2 all over. It’ll be a simple style that will require virtually no care. That’ll be a huge bonus. I’m sure you are quite the busy man about town." He snapped on the machine. The chattering metal teeth were impatient to begin their work.

John fidgeted nervously in the chair. "I guess it’ll be best to do as you say…transition quickly. But I thought the thinning wasn’t as bad as…."

The stylist didn’t wait for the thought to finish. The clippers plunged John’s raven locks and torrents began to fall away. John’s stomach churned with intense commotion as he watched his precious hair come off. How had he gone from a ‘trim’ to a ‘tight butch’ in a few short minutes?

John watched in astonishment and fear as the stylist mowed off his pampered hair. Yes, it was thinning a bit, but this was a radical reaction! But, being totally at the mercy of the man with the clippers in his hand was strangely exciting. He was submissive and subservient in the chair. The cape was like a straightjacket, making him unable to resist any assault on his treasured locks. I mean, he had worn his hair to flowing lengths for so long he could not remember ever having the clippers taken to it.

"I’ve heard that shaving a person’s head helps the hair to regrow thicker. Is that true?" John asked the stylist.

"A shear fantasy! Your locks are thinning….accept your fate. I have my eye on that shaving cream there. Imagine walking out of here with a soft, silken scalp. No hair. Just virgin skin. A nice white scalp shimmering like neon, and contrasting with your handsome, tanned face," the stylist said.

"A chromedome, for me?!" John’s stammered.

"Sure, why not? In the shower each morning, shaving away the stubble. Or have your boyfriend do it!" the stylist exclaimed.

"Boyfriend! Please, I’m not one of those…." John objected.

"Oh, could’ve fooled me. My gay-dar is quite accurate," the stylist said in a flat tone. "So, are we agreed? Balding clippers followed by shaving cream and straight edge?"

John’s eyes widened with astonishment. "I guess so…."

The huge clippers were all over the short pelt within instants. The stylist was thoroughly energized as he mowed away the remaining snippets of John’s once flowing mane. The 0000 blade left nothing but a hint of stubble. "When I saw you prancing in here with that long hair, I thought ‘that mop needs to go.’ This hairless look is so much more appropriate for you. A man your age has no business even trying to pull off long hair."

John looked forlornly at the collection of cut hair on his lap. He mourned the loss of his youth and vitality. "How old do you think I am?" John finally blurted out, annoyed by all the insinuations.

"Oh, I don’t know, 50? 60?" the stylist replied.

"I am just 38! So, I happened to be thinning a bit….." he pouted, incensed by the cheeky stylist.

The stylist paid no attention to the mini-tantrum. A huge dollop of shaving cream was applied to the stubbled scalp. Then his strong hands started massaging it in.

"I could get used to this," John murmured.

"Just wait to you feel the razor scraping against the grain!" the stylist remarked.

John closed his eyes and enjoyed his new experience to the max. He felt like putty in the stylist’s hands. The decision made to transition him away suddenly and dramatically from long hair was beginning to grow on him.

"Many mature men are well served by the chromedome look," the stylist said.

"I’m only 38," John argued.

"Like I said, mature…." The stylist chuckled. "Mature and bald! There, I’ve scraped away all traces of this!" As he said that, the stylist reached into John’s lap and lifted up a massive handful of long, cut hair. "No more playboy look for you."

Then, the stylist placed warm, damp towels on John’s head and swabbed away the remains of the lather and shorn snippets of hair. I a stealth move, he splashed a generous amount of witch hazel and the sensitive denuded scalp.

"OUCH!" John jumped in the chair. "Talk about stinging!"

"That’s it, with you, John," the stylist said as he withdrew the cape. "From here on out, you take care of yourself in the shower with a razor and some shaving cream. No need coming back here. I want to reserve my appointments for clients who tip well!"

"But I always give you 15%," John stammered, examining himself in the mirror. Getting used to his new look would not be easy.

"Like I said, for clients who tip well. 15% is what one might give to a taxi driver " not a professional stylist! Good-bye, baldy. Enjoy your dotage."

John fished around in his pocket for some extra change. All he could find was a $100 bill. He might as well go out in style. "There you go, for all your trouble with me."

As John left the salon, he gently touched his sensitive scalp. It still smarted from the sting of witch hazel. He glanced back to see the stylist sweeping up the mound of his shorn hair from around the chair. He would never sport shoulder-length tresses again.

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