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Classified Cuts, Part Two by haircoward
This is a story I really wasn't sure I wanted to share. I'm pretty ashamed of how I behaved during this time. I was manipulative, and let my "interests" take over. It had been a couple of months since my first "Classified Cut", where I received my unexpected layered cut with a "V Taper".
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I enjoyed having this very femme cut, it was the first time I'd actually had a "long" girly style. I've had a bob and even an A-Line bob in the past, but never super-long traditionally "girly" hair. For the first month or two of having this cut, it was like a dream. My ends were so light they bounced. My ponytail had this kind of ruffly texture to it toward the bottom. It was the sort of haircut I never would have asked for, and until I had it, never knew I would have wanted.
It was starting to grow out though. I'd never had long layered hair, and didn't realize how as it grew out (without proper maintenance), it could start to become quite tangly. Combing through my ends was becoming a painful experience... and would often result in what looked like an explosion of gnarly split ends.
That, along with the fact that I was getting "the itch" again meant it was time for a refresh. I reached out to the stylist who gave me the cut, but she was going to be out of town for the entire season visiting family.
I considered going the Beauty School route again, but felt embarrassed having to explain why I wore this very femme cut. I thought about doing the "pop-in" on a chain salon, but again, worried about having them see my choppy layered cut. In hindsight, I'm sure nobody would have said anything, or even noticed. At the time though, I found myself very self-conscious.
I decided to try my luck on Craigslist again. This time, though, I tried a different approach.
I don't know what came over me, or where I got the idea... but I'd respond to ads as the wife of a long-haired man, a man who needed a bit of encouragement to cut his hair. I felt gross doing this, but the fetish had started to take over. The fetish kicked back in as soon as I emailed my first stylist about trimming me up. By this point, it was fully in control.
I didn't like doing this, but part of me just couldn't stop. I shot off a half-dozen emails, each of them asking for a stylist to help "nudge" a long-haired man into cutting it all off. I thought, even if I didn't go through with the cut, it would still be fun to get some pressuring. To know that my stylist has been asked to take me short... knowing that they don't know that I know. My mind had become hyper-focused, and obsessed with having this experience.
The first reply I received expressed a bit of discomfort about the whole thing. Said they didn't feel right about it. My heart sunk, and I felt even grosser for having asked them to do it in the first place. I started to hate myself, hate my fetish... hate my hair, even. I thought about abandoning the entire thing. And, so I did. I didn't send any more emails, I gave up on it.
Then, a couple of days later, I received another reply.
This stylist, not only said she could do it... but, it was something she HAD done a few times before. Well, never with a long-haired man... but, she said she'd talked several young girls into cutting their hair short at their parents' direction. She all but guaranteed that, if I were to go in, it was a done deal.
Suddenly, all of my shame (temporarily) vanished, and the fetish took over again. I wrote back to inquire about her "methods". The reply I received brought back a bit of my shame. She said for some of these cuts, it was easy. She basically just told these girls how great their hair would look short... and how easy it would be to take care of... and, if it was the summertime, talk about how much cooler it would be.
For the more hesitant ones, she would... basically guilt-trip them into donating their ponytails. Badger them about what a good thing they'd be doing until they finally gave in. I started to feel sick. Sure, this stylist was only doing what the parents asked of her, but the entire situation, and how I was manipulating it, really made me uncomfortable. I wanted to pull the plug right there.
The fetish wouldn't let me though. I wrote back again to ask for her location, availability, and price. She replied very quickly, and explained that she had her own one-chair salon suite. If I were to go in, it would just be her and me. Her prices were reasonable, and her availability was wide-open.
I decided not to reply.
That night, however, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I couldn't sleep. I got up in the middle of the night to reread her email. I hit reply... and the fetish, once again, took over. I wrote about going the donation route... and how, the organization I'd wanted to donate to required ten-inches of hair in a braid... all but sealing my fate... and setting myself up for that braid-cutting experience I'd been aching for since I was in middle school. I sent it off, and was finally able to get a few hours rest.
That morning, I went right to the computer to see if there was a reply.
There wasn't one.
There wouldn't be any more contact from that stylist for the better part of a week. I assumed I'd pushed a little too hard. Maybe looked a little too eager. Being someone with a keen interest in hair, I can never tell how "normal" people talk about hair. Even today, I feel like I shouldn't know or use terms like "bob", "layers", or even "braid".
In any event, a few days later I finally got a reply. She apologized for not getting back to me for so long, and summed up her message with a "let's do this." I started to become wishy washy, and wrote back kind of meekly. Asking if she was sure she felt comfortable with this. How, I knew it was an odd request, and how I didn't want to cause her any inconvenience. I was almost begging her to pull out of the arrangement, or at least giving her an easy way to.
She wrote back that same afternoon, and was still very confident. She admitted that she was a bit uncomfortable at first, but thought it would be a fun challenge. She no longer guaranteed the "big" cut would happen, but assured me she would try. She told me she had an opening the following morning.
I took it.
The rest of the day, it was all I could think about. I barely got any sleep that night. I kept imagining how this appointment was going to go. I pictured myself being pressured... and squirming in the chair while I was told what was about to happen to me. I thought about how I should style my hair before I went in. Should I braid it? Would that be seen as an invitation? Just a ponytail? Wear it down? In a bun? I felt like I was being pulled in multiple directions at once.
The morning of the appointment, I started to get that sick feeling again. I was so ashamed of how I'd manipulated everything that brought me to this point. I really felt disgusting, just like I wanted this all "over with". I couldn't even enjoy it anymore. I gave myself a quick, loose, "rope" braid and headed to the salon suites mall. My braid now had a very long tassel due to all the heavy layering and splits I had at the bottom. It was almost equal parts tassel and braid.
I'd never been to a place like a salon suite mall before. Never even realized such places existed. It was like a maze of hallways and teeny tiny salons. After an almost embarrassingly long hunt, I managed to find my destination. I was invited inside by a kind of mean-looking older woman. She asked if I was who I was, and I nodded. She asked to get a look at me, and I turned around.
She was very blunt and matter of fact. She gave me a deadpan "Wow", and told me to have a seat in her chair. This suite was very different from any salon I'd ever been to. The chair was in the middle of the room, and the washbasin was built into her station.
She curtly asked if I wanted a shampoo. I began feeling even more uncomfortable. I shook my head, really just wanting to get out of there. I couldn't believe the awkward situation I'd put myself in. Put both of us in. I hated this. I hated myself.
She walked over to a small cabinet and asked what we were doing that day. As I was about to answer, she opened the cabinet, revealing two long ponytails and two shorter braids. As I stared, she took them out and brought them over to her station, where she had a large manila envelope. She took her time stuffing them inside... almost certainly making sure I saw exactly what she was holding and what she was doing.
She noticed how intently I was staring, and nonchalantly said that she'd been holding on to this hair for awhile, and was going to send it in to the donation organization later that day. I kind of nodded. She finished stuffing the ponies and braids, and came around behind me. I was sure this was where she was really going to start pressing me to cut it. She grabbed my braid, running her hand down it... but then, removed my elastic. She ran her fingers from my nape to the ends, undoing my braid, unzipping the loose rope I'd wound it into. When she reached the bottom, her fingers got caught up in my split ends.
I winced a little bit, and she apologized. She then told me that my ends were badly split, and it'd be best if she cut them. Wondering if this was "part of the plan", I decided to go with the flow. I nodded. She asked if I was growing out my layers... which made me feel incredibly embarrassed and self-conscious. I was hoping she wouldn't NOTICE my layers. Actually, I was hoping she was going to snip my braid off before she COULD notice.
I'm sure I visibly blushed here, as this hardened stylist suddenly became a lot warmer toward me. She told me how nice my hair was, and how it just needed to be tidied up. I nervously nodded... wondering if THIS was part of the plan. What does "tidied up" mean? Was I going to lose a lot here?
I swallowed, and finally got up the courage to ask what she had in mind. I realized how much control I was giving up, just asking her. Appealing to her professional opinion. I knew that, whatever she said next, was what was GOING to happen. Did I just invite a recommendation for a short cut? Was this the end?
She told me, quite matter of fact, that my taper of my hair was too severe and didn't look good on me. She recommended, if I wanted to keep the taper, that it should be more of a "U" shape. It would have a thicker hemline, and would grow out less tangly. She also said I needed to grow out the layers in the front. She actually jokingly said I needed to grow them out, or just cut in bangs. Just hearing that caused my heart to skip a beat. I never really considered bangs, but in that moment, I kind of wanted them.
I laughed and nodded. Not committing to anything, but also giving her the "okay" to begin.
She sprayed me down, and actually sat on the floor to take care of my ends. I'd never had a stylist do this, but had seen plenty of pictures like it online. After the first smattering of snips, she stood up to show me how much she cut. It was around three inches, from the very tip of my "V" taper. She spent the next several minutes turning that "V" into a "U" before standing back up.
She then gave me the scare of my life, when she grabbed a lock of my hair in the front, wrapped it around her finger, and brought the scissors up to it. For a split second, I thought this crazy woman was actually going to cut in bangs. Should I say something? Should I just let it happen? I closed my eyes and held my breath waiting to hear the next big snip. There wasn't one... well, not one big snip anyway. What she did was run her fingers down the length of my hair, snipping off tiny split ends as they popped out of the lock. She continued all the way around my head, taking off every split she saw. I'd never had such a meticulous trim, I almost got lost in it.
Once she was done, she dabbed some oil in her hands, rubbed them together, and ran them down my entire length. She told me I was done, and asked me to stand. She stood me sideways in front of the mirror, and told me to tilt my head back a bit. Checking myself out in the mirror, I saw my hair at perhaps its most perfect. It now hung down to a couple of inches above my waist, in a perfect, thick "sheet". My hemline was rounded, and blended almost perfectly into my formerly-face-framing front layers. For the first time ever, there were no "flyaways" or noticeable split ends. It didn't even look like my own hair.
I caught my breath and told her it looked amazing, and thanked her. She never once mentioned that she had been instructed to give me a short cut. When I got home after my appointment, there was an email from her to my "Classified Cuts" account, where she apologized about not taking me short, but hoped that the cut she did give me was good enough for now. I never responded back... and I never revisited this stylist, but the cut I received that day has stuck with me ever since.