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My "untidy ways of before" by Thebarbered1

(This is a true story, that did happen to me) . After three years of being at boarding school, where there was a comparatively strict haircut code, I left at the age of 17, and moved back home with my mom and brother. Despite being fairly relaxed about the length of our hair before I started at the school when I was 13, my mom decided that she didn't want me to return to my.... what she called "untidy ways of before”, and while under her roof, wanted me to go and have regular haircuts to keep it "smart”. I was a bit surprised by this as I was 17 now, and despite him being 2 years younger than me, she remained fairly relaxed with my brother about his hair. She was with me before I'd started at that school, but for some reason now though, she was taking a completely different view of it.

I did go to a barber for a trim from time to time to keep it tidy. I liked my hair, and what I had was it sort of half covering my ears and just touching my collar, but not unruly. However, after a few months, she was still making comments that it was untidy all the time and looked a mess, and that I looked so much better when I was at school. These comments continued, until eventually one day, she finally looked at me sharply and said "When are you getting a proper haircut?”. Not really knowing what to say, I replied that I liked it as it is, but I'll go soon, I'll get it cut. She retorted "You'd better, a friend of mine is a barber, she does her kid's hair – I can get her to come over here, and she knows how to do a proper haircut”. I thought to myself "I'm 17 now for goodness sake!”

A couple of days later, and after a few more comments, I thought to myself, I'm not sitting there in my own home, with my brother there, under a cape and having someone cut all my hair off, so I suppose when I'm out tomorrow, I'd better find somewhere and get some sort of haircut. If it's not too short, it'll soon grow back and that would hopefully put an end to all this.

The next day, when out, I was in a different part of town to where I usually go – and on the car park, next to the railway station, I saw this barbers. It looked fairly harmless. There were three chairs in there, although there was only a single barber. He was using the chair on the far left, near the front window. He was near to finishing a customer, and there was another one waiting, for whom he was having a conversation with. I hesitated and thought for a moment, and then walked in and sat down. As I waited, I didn't want bits of hair going down the back of my neck and itching so did up the top button of my shirt. After a few minutes, the man having just had his haircut, got up from the chair, paid and left. There was a pause as I assumed the next customer would then step up. Instead however, he looked at me and said "It's alright, you're next, we're just talking”. Caught a bit by surprise, I hesitantly got up, and walked worriedly, past the other two chairs, towards the chair the barber was standing next to, and directing me towards,.

I sat down, and as they continued their discussion, the barber picked up the blue cape he'd just used on his previous customer, shook it, and shrouded it over me. He then pulled a sheet from the neck paper dispenser beside him, and fitted it snugly around my neck, before snapping closed the cape behind me. He turned to his table to check everything while continuing his conversation with the other person. He then picked up a comb, turned back to me and ran it through my hair a few times.

At this point, I would have expected the conversation to stop for a moment, and him ask me how I wanted it, but, this isn't what happened. He instead put his hand out and tilted my head right forward. I felt my chin touch the top of the cape. I couldn't speak, and just kept my head bowed down. I could see in the corner of my eyes, him picking up, and plugging in the clippers, complete with attachment. As his conversation continued, it suddenly sprung into life with a loud buzzing, and I just froze completely. The next thing, I felt him run the clippers from my nape up the back of my head. Moving across, he repeated this a couple of times before turning the machine off again. As he went to pick up the scissors and a comb, the conversation ended, the other person he was talking with left and the barber and I were on our own. Whistling to himself, but without speaking, he repositioned my head forward slightly and started cutting hair from the top and down the front of my head. In a matter of seconds, my fringe was gone. I knew that by this stage, it wasn't worth me saying anything, and I just resigned myself to just seeing how for this would go. At this point, I saw a woman walk in with her two teenage sons and go and sit in the waiting area.

He tilted my head to one side, the buzz of the clippers resumed, and now he was going up the side of my head, blending it in with my hair on top. After that, he removed the attachment, and doing each side in turn, and with one hand holding my ear down, he used the clippers to trim around it. I could see in the mirror in front of me that it was now very short at the sides and completely clear of my ears. Also in the mirror, I could also see the two teenage boys watching me intently.

In what then seemed to be the finishing touches, he then tilted my head forward again, and I could feel the metal of the clippers going around my neckline, trimming it for what I imagined was to be a nice clean cut. He then unsnapped the back of the cape, and removed the neck paper tissue. I thought that this was it, but then, he got another neck issue, fitted it back around my neck, and once again snapped closed the cape behind me.

He then tilted my head forward, so once again, my chin was touching the top of the cape. Wondering what was going to happen next, I could see those two teenage boys in the mirror, still watching. A few seconds later, I could feel him spreading shaving cream across my neck below the hairline where he'd just trimmed.. With my head still bowed forward, he left it there a minute or two, before, with a cut throat razor, starting to shave and clean up the back of my neck. After he had finished, he towelled it off, and added some lotion. I could feel iit tingling slightly on my bare neck.

Once again, he unsnapped the back of the cape, and removed the neck paper tissue. Before entirely removing the cape, and speaking to me for the first time, he produced a mirror and held it up so that I could see myself from the back, saying to me in a friendly voice "How's that for you?”. It was very short, and I didn't recognise who I was seeing. However, beginning to like it, I nodded approval and said "yes, it's good. thank you.”. He looked really pleased and said "looks much tidier doesn't it?” to which I replied, "yes it does”. He removed the cape, and brushed me down. I paid and thanked him and he replied "That's OK, hope to see you again soon”. As I left, and as one of the teenagers was getting in the chair, I noticed him point at me, and overheard him say to the barber "can you do mine like his?”. "When I first went in, I didn't get the chance to say what I wanted” I thought, but I found it consolation that there was another wanting the same thing.

As I got outside, I could feel the breeze around my ears and neck, and was getting to really like it. My next thought however was to wonder how my brother and mom would react to my new look. In the meantime however, I was curious about those 2 teenagers that had gone in to that barbers. I found a bench nearby, and decided to sit down and wait. After a little while, they came out. The younger of the them looked as if he hadn't had anything done at all, but the other one was sporting a sparkling new haircut, very similar to mine, and looking very pleased with himself.

As I got home, I walked in, worried but smiling. My mom looked shocked, and there was a loud chuckle from my brother. "What bought this on then?” they asked. I explained what had happened, and at the end said "It's OK though, I'm fine about it now”. I was expecting her to say "I told you so” and the crowthng to start, but instead, I got a "Good for you, looks great. Are you going back soon and are you keeping it like that?”. I found myself replying with "Thanks, yeah, I will”. She smiled with approval, and also, I could sense a thought crossing her mind.

About 6 weeks or so later, my hair was beginning to grow out a bit. It was nowhere near the length it was before my last cut, but I said to my mom I wanted to go back to that barber for another cut. She was pleased, and glancing towards my brother, said "You can take someone else along with you this time can't you? He'd look a lot better”. A look of horror spread across his face. I knew now, what that thought was that crossed her mind those few weeks earlier after that first cut.

Later that day, we entered the barbers. He recognised me instantly and looking pleased to see me, asked "Same again?”. I replied, this time without hesitation, "Yes please” – then added "and my brother needs the same too”. While the barber did me, we chatted this time, this as my brother looked on, contemplating what he was about to have. Afterwards, we both walked out of there - me smiling, and him looking stunned.

After that, my brother only ever went back when he had to, but I went on to become a regular customer there, liking the shorter hairstyle, and liked going and being quite happy walking in there.
The days of my "untidy ways of before" were gone

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