Walking out of the hairdressers and seeing the faces on the young women passing underlined how big a shock this experience has been, we get into John's car and I just sit in shock, my ears feel so exposed as I run my fingers around them and feel the taper of tiny bristles rising up the side, John reaches over to stroke my neck, I push his hand away, I need time to get used to this.
I've a silk scarf in my hand bag I get it out and put it over my head and tie it under my chin I need to come to terms with this before I show my self to the world looking like I do.
We drive back to John's cottage I don't feel like talking yet.
When we arrive back I go in and go up to the bathroom there's hair in my dresses neck and it itches on my freshly shaven neck, I take the dress off and shake it out there's a ring of small cut off hairs at the bottom of my neck were the collar was.
I can see my self in the big mirror my very short hair looking ginger after the perm solution lightened it, how long after a perm will I have to wait before I can have it dyed back. The colours almost as big a shock as the length I always loved my auburn hair and have never even had high lights before. And as for the length my poor shaven ears look like they stick out there so exposed, I touch the curls there rock hard and the waves look really old fashioned my whole head feels strange and light, what have they done to me.
John's at the door with concern in his voice, "Can I come in".
I let him in he stands looking at me taking it all in from my blue stockings my black corselet up to my very short new hairstyle.
"You look so beautiful; your hair is perfect, thank you for doing this for me. It's a shock I know having the hairdresser and me taking control over how you look and giving you such an extremely short traditional style, but you carry it off perfectly and although it's so short, it looks so feminine and sweet that it's every thing I hoped for. In the end although you weren't sure about the salon it was the perfect place for this type of look".
John seems so pleased and at the same time concerned for how I feel after this change, I terms off loss it doesn't compare to having all my long hair cut off but it's still very severe and a shock, we've got the wedding in three days and what will my friends think of me looking so old fashioned. John holds me and rubs my smooth neck which makes me feel better, well its done now I'd just better get used to it.
I'm just entering Aunts the shops open and I go in the front way.
"Oh my" comes Aunts reaction, "she's took you rather short this time, but I must say it really suits you, how do you like it"
"Well it was a shock going even shorter than last time, but John loves it so I think I can get used to my new look".
I go up stairs into my bedroom to change into my shop clothes, I sit for a wile looking into the mirror then get out the photos Aunt took last time before my big cut, its hard to believe the attractive girl with the flowing long hair is the same person as the prim young woman with the severe perm and shaven back and sides sat looking in the mirror, I cant stop tears from coming.
Two days later
Were leaving now travelling in John's car to London we've a hotel booked as there's no room for us both at my mum's flat, the journeys quit pleasant and we arrive mid afternoon we're both dressed smartly John in one of his nice suits open collar today no dog collar. I'm dressed in a calf length beige skirt some tan stockings and a cream wool twin set with my pearls, my hairs hard with extra lacquer to see me through the next couple of days, the tight short set has been turning a few heads on people not used to seeing such a short neat style on a young lady, I'm not sure if I like the attention I'm getting.
We check in at the hotel, park in there car park and take our bags up the receptionist looked surprised that two old fashioned prim respectable people like us weren't Mr and Mrs. We drop the bags off then set off to walk to my Mums it's not that far away.
Walking arm in arm through the streets were I lived and grew up until recently seems strange as if the old me and the new me are different people I suppose in a way they are. Walking along the high street near to my old school I spot some were I hadn't though about in years. There is the Eve Telis hair salon, an old traditional lace curtain place. I've never been in there, but girls at school with bad haircuts were all ways teased that they had been. When I was in my last year of sixth form my best friend Carol was taken there by her mum, one day she went home with waist length honey blond hair then next morning she turned up with her beautiful long hair butchered, she had a high straight fringe and a blunt basin cut that just covered the top half of her ears with a close clipped neck, she was upset for weeks after and some girls were really cruel to her. Thinking of that makes me wonder what reception I'll get with my new style.
My heart pounds with nerves as we knock on my mum's door, she's not even seen a picture of my new hair, I did mention on the phone that I'd had a cut but not gone into any detail.
The door opens and for a split second I think my mum didn't recognise me, and then a look of surprise crosses her face followed by a big smile.
"Oh my look at my Girl, a real lady what has Eileen done to you, come in both of you"
We go in.
"Mum this is John" I say
"Pleased to meet you" john says with I friendly smile "And don't blame Eileen for the major haircut the idea was mine"
Mum comes up and feels round my shaven ear and pats my hard perm.
"Well I think it was a good one, I've always wanted my hair proud girl to one day become a respectable young lady, and be rid of all excessively fussy vain long hair she always clung onto. If you're responsible for the lady she become then you can be proud of your self"
"I can't take all the credit, Eileen needs some to as she introduced her to classis dress style, and your daughter deserves some to for having the courage to have all that long hair cut off in the first place and also for re enforcing her commitment by recently having a second more severe cut and perm"
With all this praise I'm blushing.
The rest of the afternoon and the dinner Mum cooked for us was a delight, Mum and John got on very well much to my relief, and later as we leave I'm very happy.
Back at the hotel and I'm a little nervous with John's position in the church and Aunt being of the older generation I've never stopped over at Johns, he's seen me in a net and rollers at the hairdressers but how will he feel about sleeping with a women in netted rollers, I'm about to find out.
John's lying on the bed as I remove my skirt and twin set and he gets the full big knickers, long line bra, girdle and stockings to take in.
I sit at the dressing table and take out Aunts small plastic rollers and start to put one in my hair to preserve the set for tomorrow.
"I'd love to do that for you let me help" says John
And he winds in all the small rollers then puts the net over them all.
This seems to excite him and rather than my feared turn off its having the opposite effect.
We wake early next morning dress and ready to go down to Breakfast, but I'm having a big problem I've taken the rollers out but there's so much lacquer in my hair already that it wont go right, parts are sticking out and I'm making more of a mess trying to sort it out. I start to cry we've the wedding this afternoon and I don't want to turn up in a state.
"Now don't panic I've an idea" John tells me, and disappears out of the room.
Thirty minutes later he returns.
"Every things sorted, now go in the shower and wash you're lacquer out then we'll have breakfast and you've a 10:30 appointment at that salon you told me about yesterday for a set so you're sorted now"
This comes as a surprise but seems a good idea so I step into the shower and give my self a good shampoo with the pack the hotel provides.
I dry my self down then wrap the towel round my hair, I'll get ready now as we haven't that much time, so its on with a silky pair of large knickers they come up over my navel and the ends of the legs come a little way down my thighs. I'll be wearing my suit that I bought for the parish meeting today so it's the full cup cross your heart brassier next this finishes just were my very tight girdle starts so it's on with this next.
John's sat watching all this so I give him a real treat next some dark black fitted stockings with heels toes and a seam up the back these always feel special as I pull them up and attach three suspender straps to each, I really must thank Aunt for introducing me to the pleasure of stockings, Johns eye are wide open now, a silk full slip finishes off. I sit at the dressing table and remove the towel this is quit a surprise my curls have tightened up on them selves left to there own devices and now I've a head of really tight severely short poodle curls.
Johns behind me now running his fingers throe them and I can see the curls pull
out what little bit they can then spring back into place as his fingers run throe.
"I so love you for having these beautiful curls for me" John whispers.
Looking at my reflection takes some getting used to but if it makes him so happy then maybe I'll have to cope with future visits to be cropped and curled by Edith Moray.
Dressing in my suit with the matching scarf cold on my still smooth shaven neck makes me feel special \and my one inch heel shoes finish it all off.
Breakfast went by quickly and strangely I feel a little nervous about visiting the salon, that gave Carol such a harsh haircut, but it's only a set today and I should be used to them by now.
We reach the salon and John tells me he's a matter to deal with and to phone him as soon as I'm ready.
"Now tell the hairdresser you need a very formal old fashioned firm set, and I'll see you in awhile"
With this John departs and I've nothing left to do but go in.
I can't see any thing of the inside as the nets are thick there's a dummies head in the window with a wig on it with tight tradition curls so my request should be within there scope.
Entering mean passing into the now familiar wall of smells that hair salons generate
The shop inside is quite large with a row of six hood dryers against one wall and four chairs opposite, its quite busy with three old ladies under the dryers and two more in the styling chairs, there are three hairdressers at work and I must be the only person here under sixty.
One of the hairdressers comes over she's a short plump women with a large slightly blue bouffant and a starched white dress just like the one's worn by the other two hairdressers.
"Hello my dear you must be my 10:30 set, come in I'm nearly ready for you, my we haven't much hair to work with have we although I must say it's very refreshing to see a young lady like you with such lovely tight curls"
"Thank you" is all I can say, and reach up and touch the soft tight curls on top of my head.
This salon is traditional but light and clean unlike the last one I was in.
I'm soon gowned and washed and led to her chair.
There's a large round mirror in front of me the same as the other stations and trolleys of rollers by each chair, I'm feeling relaxed with this friendly hairdresser and look forward to a relaxing time under the dryer.
"Now I think your perms been quite recently done hasn't it and the curls took very well, I suspect they have use a very strong solution to get this tight a result"
"Yes it was done about 3 days ago I would have left it longer before being set again but it was very dishevelled this morning and were going to a wedding so wanted my hair at its best. The solution was strong and it's took a lot of my colour away, it was Auburn but now looks ginger I'll be glad when I can have it dyed".
"As its been three days since your perm I could do it now for you before I set you if you would like me to" the hairdresser helpfully replies.
I consider this for a moment and think why not.
"Thank you that would be lovely if you could" she scurries of to the rear of the shop.
The hairdresser returns with a colour chart
"Now I know you said you were Auburn but just consider this for a moment"
She shows me a very dark brunette sample, it's much darker than anything I would have considered but the colour looks so rich that feeling in a daring mood I answer,
"That looks lovely; yes I will have that one"
She's gone off to fetch it and I don't feel so brave now what is John going to say about this surprise.
My hairs soon covered and as the hairdresser takes off her plastic gloves, she looks straight at my face.
"What you need to finish the look if you don't mind me saying is those brows sorting out, full brows are all right on a young woman but a lady like you really could do with them properly shaping especially with a hair style that shows a full forehead like you have, while the dyes taking shall I do them for you"
In for a penny in for a pound, I think to my self.
I feel I'm being swept along here but before I've even thought about the shape reply
She's turned the chair round and I can't see the mirror now and I'm being plucked with tweezers it's quit painful I don't know what she's doing but hope it's finished quickly.
"There what do you think of those" she quit proudly announces.
I'm just glad it's finished.
Then I have my first look. Instead of the full brows now I have very thin arched brows that almost look as if I've just been surprised. They make me look so different, not the young girl any more now a prim looking lady a lot more mature and sensible.
I should be used to changes in image by now, and speaking of changes it time to wash the dye out.
Returning to the chair after the sink I haven't seen the colour yet as the towels still round my head.
"Are we ready then" and with that statement off comes the towel, it looks very dark almost black but I try to withhold judgement as it's very wet still.
Being dark gives a greater contrast between the white skin round my exposed shaven ear and the now dark bristles and curls.
"Now how would you like this set" she asks.
Remembering John's words "I'd like a traditional, old fashioned formal set please"
"Very well for hair cut as short as yours has been, a set using a large perm rod instead of a roller gives a very nice result"
And that's what I get a head covered in rods running in a line from forehead to neck then vertically around the sides.
A blue net follows with two foam ear covers to finish off.
I'm led over and sat under the dryer and soon relax with the warm air circulating around my head.
I'm sat in the middle of the dryers with an old lady on either side of me, I can see us in the mirrors my self and me ladies all in the same gowns with the same hairnets showing under the dryers probably getting very similar hair styles.
As I sit here I wonder which chair carol was sat in and what her reaction was when her lovely long hair was all cut off and replaced with the high fringed severe bob in this very salon. I wonder what she'd think if she could see me now sat between these ladies with an even more extreme cut and style than hers was.
My time under the dryers soon over and it's back for a comb out.
It doesn't take the hairdresser long to remove the net and rods, and I've now very small barrels all over my head.
Expert work with a tail comb soon softens these into a head of extremely neat very dark curls my face is so exposed with my hair curled back all along my forehead and my new brows have taken away any youthfulness that may have shone thru.
A hand mirror shows what a contrast this new colour has made to my smooth shaven neck, the hair line looks like it's been taken even higher even though she's cut none off.
Two coats of lacquer finish the job and the hairdresser looks on very pleased with her work.
The new colour and brows seems to have taken away the last of my girlishness and left behind a sensible prim lady.
I thank the hairdresser and get up and have the gown removed. All the old ladies are looking at me with approving expressions on there faces.
One lady comes up to me,
"I've three granddaughters about your age and I just wish I could bring them here and have them made to look as good as you do now"
This statement of approval takes me aback a little I thank her then pay and leave.
Out in the street I see my full reflection in a window with my stockings suit and scarf . I look and feel very special and smart the dark hair only seems to add to it
Time to see what John thinks
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