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The Reawakening by haircoward

This story takes place about six years after my "big" self-haircut. I had been in grow-out mode ever since, and my hair had reached a pretty ridiculous length. This was the first time I legitimately (without flat-ironing) reached "below the belt" length.

* * *

In the time after my big self-cut, I kind of put my hair fetish to the side. Or, at least I tried to. It was still there... it always will be... but, I managed to kind of "curb" it. It was as though I was sick of it... which I was. I felt like a slave to it... which I was. Every aspect of my life and appearance was tangled up in it. I grew to despise how I let it control me.

I started growing my hair back out immediately following my short-short cut. I didn’t have any length goals, or delusions of growing it only to chop it all off. I genuinely just wanted my long hair back. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it had become a real security blanket for me… and, at the risk of sounding very unmasculine, made me feel "pretty". When my hair is short, it’s stick-straight… when it’s longer, it becomes wavy… even curly (if I twist my ponytail enough).

And so, it grew.

And grew.

And grew.

It felt like it took ages for me to have long enough hair to pull back into a marshmallow-sized ponytail stub… but, once it reached that length, it was smooth sailing. I was able to tie it back everyday, and not really think about it. Not too long into the "grow out", my fiancée had become my wife… and while she pressured me to go short-short again for our wedding, she didn’t force the issue this time.

And so, it grew. For the first few years, I didn’t even submit to a trim. Not even a "dusting". My ends were horribly split and rough, but I just wouldn’t give up any of my length. I wanted to grow it as long as possible… as quickly as possible. My wife would play with it every now and again… but, really wasn’t very "into" it. I could usually count on her to braid me up before bed though.

I would visit long hair websites and forums, where people would post pictures of their hair, sometimes asking the question "Can I call this waist length?" I loved these posts, because it helped me gauge how I could refer to my own length. I was so proud the day I saw a woman post a picture with the same length of hair as mine, only to have the forum inform her that YES, she could call it "waist length". It was a milestone day for me.

Many pictures on those forums were of gorgeous, full, thick heads of hair… spilling down to shoulder length for some, and as far as down to the knees of others. Long hair (on other people) never really excited me, but I was definitely able to appreciate the beauty.

Some photos, however, were of… people like me. People who so desperately wanted to have that long, pretty hair... but, didn’t tend to it properly. Didn’t get regular trims, didn’t deep-condition, didn’t do anything with their hair besides tie it back in a ponytail. These photos featured damaged, frayed, and almost see-through ends. The hair would be "dented" up by the nape, making it clear that they always wore it in a ponytail. It really wasn’t attractive, or flattering… and often the community on the forum would suggest they get a "healthy trim".

These suggestions weren’t made in haste, either. These forums were fanatical about long hair, and were not into cutting it AT ALL. So, for this community to suggest a chop, was a pretty big deal. I looked at my own hair, and realized if I were to post a photo… they’d almost definitely recommend I part with at least 2-3 inches.

I never posted a photo, but I scoured the forums to see if I could find anyone there with hair comparable (in condition and length) to mine. It didn’t take me TOO long to find one.

The community was pretty split on her condition. Some thought it looked fine, while a few mentioned that she could do with a bit of a chop. One even suggested cutting upwards of four inches… which, I was an amount I was definitely NOT interest in losing.

This was an older archived post, so I was able to actually see how the discussion played out. She wound up leaning into the advice of the community, and cut around three inches. The pictures she shared post-cut were amazing. It was almost like a completely different head of hair. Her ends were blunt and thick, her ponytail looked healthy and fat. I looked at my own scraggly ends, and resigned myself to the fact that, I was finally going to have to submit to a trim.

The next day, I took the long way home from work. I took the scenic route circling the city, rather than going straight home. I knew I was salon-bound, but I felt weird about going to one near where I lived. Once I was far enough away from home, I pulled in to a parking spot in front of a chain salon. I noticed there were no customers inside, just two stylists. I mustered up my courage, and headed inside.

I was immediately seated and caped.

The girl asked what I was looking to have done… and I chickened out on the "healthy" trim. I asked for a quarter-inch off the ends. She kind of furrowed her brow, which made me very embarrassed. I stammered a bit about how I was growing it out to donate (which had become my "go-to" excuse anytime someone asked why my hair was so long), and I didn’t want to lose much length.

Twisting my ponytail around her hand, she told me it was more than long enough to donate right now, if I wanted. I declined the offer… and immediately regretted it.

This question, however, was enough to "wake" my fetish.

Less than five minutes later, she was done with my "micro-dusting". Nobody would’ve been able to tell it had been cut, and it certainly didn’t look any healthier. I paid and left.

Once I got back in the car, I felt the ends of my hair… and they still felt awful. Rough, ragged, split. The stylist’s voice echoed in my head… it was more than long enough to donate. She could have cut it right then. Maybe she would have even braided it first. Should I go back inside? The place was still empty… I could be back in her chair in, literally ten seconds. I was kind of shaking at this point. I had that strange "hungry" feeling again.

I decided to head home. I didn’t have to decide anything right now.

As I drove, however, I found myself drawn into another parking lot. I pulled in right in front of another empty chain salon. It was as though I was on autopilot. Even though I’d only just left a stylist’s chair, I was aching to be in another. I decided I’d "go with the flow" this time. If the stylist suggested I donate or take a certain amount of length off, I HAD to say yes.

I psyched myself up… and went inside. Again, I was immediately seated.

She undid my ponytail and started combing through. Before I could even say anything, she asked "just the ends?" Almost heartbroken, I nodded.

I feel like I was in that salon less than three minutes. She gave me the micro-est of micro-dustings… and I left with ends that looked just as rough as when I entered. She cut so little hair that she didn’t even need to sweep up after I’d left her chair.

Back in the car, I checked out my ends again. Still had a few inches of almost "see through" hair. I was so disappointed.

I started to drive again, and a handful of miles down the way I was almost magnetically pulled into a third parking lot. It was like I was becoming addicted again. It was (almost literally) back in the driver’s seat. This strip mall had both a chain salon and a barber shop. I noticed the barber shop first, but ultimately opted for the salon. I’ve never been into barber shops. I probably haven’t been to one since I was a very young child. My deal here was the same as the last shop. I was going to "go with the flow".

I entered the shop, and while it wasn’t empty like the first two, it definitely wasn’t busy either. I didn’t even get a chance to sit down in the waiting area before I was invited over to a chair. The stylist caped me and asked if I wanted a shampoo first. It had been YEARS since the last time I had someone else shampoo my hair. I eagerly agreed and was led over to the basin. Even if there was no cut coming at all, this experience would have made it all worthwhile. Shampooing is, for me, the one thing that can happen in a hair salon that doesn’t scare me. There’s no big change, no drastic measures… it’s just a wonderful, tingly, sweet-smelling head massage, and if I’m lucky, some hair-related small talk. It’s the only place in a hair salon where I can (almost) relax.

Once I was shampooed and combed out, the stylist informed me that I could do with a "healthy trim". I’m not sure if that was the actual term she used, but that was the gist. I agreed, and she got started.

In almost no time she was done, and was onto blowdrying my still wet hair. While she brushed me out, my mind was racing… I didn’t know how much length she’d removed. I wasn’t sure what she considered a "trim". For some stylists, a trim is less than a quarter inch… for others, it’s anything less than six inches. Just how short was my hair right now?

Once I was uncaped and out of her chair, I looked down at the floor, expecting to see somewhat sizable wet locks scattered about. My heart sank when I realized she’d MAYBE cut off half an inch. I thanked her, paid, and left.

Once back in the car, I checked out my ends again. They weren’t quite as ragged and see through, but they still didn’t have the thick bluntness I was hoping for. I didn’t know what my next move ought to be. For a moment, I considered walking across the parking lot to that barber shop to try my luck there. I did drive past it slowly to take a peek inside, see if there was a barberette working there, but there wasn’t. Just an older man, and that didn’t really jive with what I was hoping to experience.

So, on the road again. By now, it was getting a bit late. I’d have to be getting home. And so, off I went.

Just about a mile from my house, I knew there was yet another small salon. Not a chain place, but a small cozy place right around the corner from the supermarket I shopped at. Anytime I went shopping, I’d purposely park on the other side of this little salon, so I’d have to walk past it to get to and from the market. It was a tiny shop, with a lot of plants and wood paneling. I’d usually only see older women walking in and out of it, and so I never dared check it out myself.

Today though, I was in a weird place. I decided to test my luck one last time. I parked the car, and messed my hair up a bit, and tied it into a horrendously crooked braid… hopeful that maybe it’d look "dirty" and I’d get a second shampoo. I went inside, and there was one stylist working… and three older ladies waiting. I signed in as a "walk in" and sat down in the waiting area.

One of the ladies told me how much she liked my braid. This caught the attention of the stylist who was busily blowdrying her current client. She hadn’t yet noticed I’d come in.

When she saw me, she shouted for me to turn around. When she saw the full length of my braid, she laughed and told me she could definitely "take care of that", but it’d probably be an hour’s wait. It was really getting late, and I didn’t have an hour to wait. I had to get home.

I apologized, and was told that if I changed my mind, she was open until 8pm. The whole ride home I kicked myself. I wished I’d skipped the "scenic route" and went directly to that tiny salon. I wished I hadn’t spent upwards of $100 for three haircuts that didn’t look any different than how I looked that morning. I wished I’d just accepted that first stylist’s offer of donating some of my length.

I got home, and my wife didn’t even realize I’d gotten it cut. Not that I necessarily wanted her to in this instance. But, it added a bit to my disappointment. That night, I found myself in the same position I’d been several years earlier… in that weird headspace, where I wanted to both have my long hair… and to experience chopping it all off. I couldn’t believe I was thinking these thoughts again. I was, once again, a slave to the fetish.

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