We’ve had a busy morning and I’m struggling to get clear in time to be round at Emma’s to help her change clothes. I need to change my self so dash up stairs and remove my shop clothes. I’ve come to love dressing smartly all of the time and just couldn’t go back to the tarty way I used to present my self. The image of my self in the mirror in my very firm long line bra and tight girdle finished with some nice tan stockings with the seams up the back is very pleasing. I sit before the mirror and check my hair the perms holding very well and naturally dried as it is at the moment looks very soft and as it’s grown out quit a bit looks almost fluffy, the new growth has removed some of the severity it first had after the hair dresser and John had finished with me.
A nice pleated skirt and white blouse finish the look its warm today so I won’t need a jacket. Time to get round to Emma’s.
Emma opens the door to me her hairs down and brushed out and looks lovely.
“Sorry to put you out Paul’s just come home early so he’s taken them both off for the afternoon I was just about to phone you, so you don’t need to come all though I could do with the moral support”
“No problem I’ll still come with you” secretly I want to see this.
“Well then I’ll have a last brush of my long mop” she informs me.
“Well it certainly looks shiny today, are you sure that you’re ready to loose all of your lovely long hair, and that a tight perm is it what you really want”
“Yes, the more I think about this the more I want to be rid of this hair, it’s like a part of my past I’ve always had hair this length and I sometimes feel people don’t take me seriously, they just see this mass of hair and not the woman hidden under it”
After that statement there is nothing more to say, she knows what she wants.
I pass her the bag of clothes that I bought with me.
“You may feel you fit in better at the hairdressers wearing a more classic style, try these on and see what you think”
We go up stairs Emma slips off her tee shirt and jeans, she’s defiantly got her figure back and seeing her in her small panties and lacy bra is quite a contrast to the foundations that I’m wearing.
There is a light dress or skirt and blouse to choose from, she slips the dress over her head its just below her knees and flares out quite fully it has a plain round neck and short sleeves, she pulls her hair out and it falls all around her and the blonde tresses look lovely against the light blue fabric. I zip the back up for her and she goes over to her mirror.
“Wow don’t I look smart this is a lovely dress I’ve never thought of wearing this sort of thing, before I would have dismissed it as something my mum or gran would wear but it looks really classy, now I only wish I had your figure to really pull the look off” said Emma with a big grin on her face.
“You have a lovely figure and that colour really suits you in fact the dress makes you look a classic beauty, it’s just too really pull this look off I get a little help from the right underwear”
“Right when we’ve more time after my hairs cut you can help me out; if underwear can give me a figure like yours then I need to try it out”
Times getting on so Emma pulls out a pair of flat black court shoes that go great with the dress. Just one last thing to do and as we are about to leave I pull out Aunts camera, Emma giggles as she throws her hair around for her final long haired pictures before it all comes off. Were soon on our way in Emma’s car luckily I can remember the way.
We pull up in the street and Emma looks a little confused,
“The salons just over there, now this is a very traditional ladies hairdresser not the trendy salons your used to, and were I had mine cut very short last time, are you sure this is what you really want as there’s no changing your mind once she starts cutting, and make no mistake if you go in there you are going to get a short tightly permed hair style that could be called old fashioned”
Emma looks long and hard at the salon, she doesn’t look quite so confident now, but she takes a deep breath and composes her nerves.
“I’m sure, what you described is exactly what I need”
We leave the car.
Emma crosses the road and her hair moves up and down with each step and a slight breeze makes it catch the light and shine.
This place hasn’t changed at all since my last visit, didn’t for one minute think it would. I go first into the shop the wall of smell hits me just as it always does. There’s an old lady in the chair having the finishing touches done to a very tight set. We sit down on the wooden waiting chairs.
“I assume you are the young lady for a perm, well I’m sorry to disappoint you but I don’t do long hair here if it’s past the top of the shoulder you’ll have to go else were”
Edith briskly informs us.
There’s nervousness to her voice as Emma answers, “Well I want my hair to be cut short so will that be ok”
“So long as you under stand this is a hairdressers for ladies not trendy young girls, I will be with you presently”
We sit quietly Emma’s looking around taking it all in, I wonder if this is what she expected, her hands are together in her lap and I think they may be trembling.
I don’t think the floors been swept properly since I was last here, there is cut hair of various colours but mostly white and grey around the round metal base of her chair, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of it was mine.
The lady in the chair is talking to the hairdresser
“I remember when I had hair that long and when it went under the scissors for the first time it was the day before I started work and long hair wouldn’t do at all, a women near us used to do hair in her kitchen, she sat me on a stool and hacked it all off just left me with a bit round the top, I remember crying my self to sleep that night daft thing that I was”
“We used to get a lot of the younger ones in here when it was time for them to grow up and stop all that fashion nonsense, but now they go around with the most awful messes on their heads and that includes women old enough to know better. If I had my way they’d all be getting a good hard cut and perm that’d stop all that ladette carrying on that you read about in the papers, I blame there mothers for not teaching them a sense of modesty and allowing them to go round barely dressed”
During all this Edith has finished her hair and now she’s getting a thick coat of lacquer, she has nearly the same cut I had last time I was here but the top looks even shorter than mine was, she hasn’t quit enough left to form a full curl and it all blends together to for waves, until it comes to a high blunt stop about half an inch above her ears and continues round her head at the same level, below this is bare freshly shaven skin. This looks even more severe than the very short cut she gave me.
“Oh my, that’s short” whispers Emma as much to her self as to me.
The hairdresser lifts the pedal at the back of the chair and it lowers back to the floor.
The old lady stiffly gets up and walks round for her gown to be untied, she slips it off.
While she brushes her self down and sorts out her coat and hand bag, the hair dresser shakes out the gown, it looks the same faded slightly stained one I wore last time.
“Right then young lady short it is, let’s begin then”
Emma rises nervously and walks over and slips her arms into the gown.
“Pull that hair up and turn around”
Emma raises her hair up and the gown is fastened. She lets it fall and runs her fingers through for the last time.
She goes over and sits in the chair, I remember when I first sat in that shabby antique and put my feet up on the metal footrest just as Emma is now, she shakes her head, her hair falls around her like a shiny silken cloth.
She’s gripping the arms of the old chair and staring straight ahead into the mirror.
The hairdressers taking the old lady’s money now and booking her next appointment this takes a while but during it Emma doesn’t move a muscle she just sit ridged, probably terrified after seeing how little was left of the previous customers hair.
The hairdresser comes over and actually picks up a brush and clears the floor of all the old hair lying about.
“There a clean start” and picks up a wide tooth comb and a large pair of scissors.
“I’d like to keep my pony tail please” Emma’s nervous voice barely travels.
“Would you indeed and what did you have in mind for this cut and perm you want?
As I said before this is a ladies hairdressers and the work we do reflects that now you’ve said you want a short cut but are you prepared to have the cut that looking at all this you need”
“Well I want my hair to be a bit longer than my friends on top and not the shaven back and sides like hers”
“If you have this cut and perm I will need to remove the hair to show your ears and neck or it just looks a curly mess and I will not have people seeing my clients leavening here looking any thing less that smartly turned out, it’s up to you if I do this cut or not” the hairdresser seems very sharp today I don’t think we’ve upset her.
Emma pauses for a few seconds.
“Very well I would like you to cut my hair and perm it as you see fit”
This answer brings a smile to Edith’s face, and she goes and gets a rubber band from a draw near the till.
“Right we will begin”
The pedal is pumped four times and each time the chair bobs up to her working height
this really freaked me when I was in it. My hearts pounding and I’m only watching what must Emma be feeling with all that beautiful hair only moments away from being hacked from her head. She combs Emma’s hair back and holds it tightly at the back of her head and pushes Emma’s head forward, and then slips the rubber band over this long pony that’s hanging over the back of the chair. It’s lifted up now she’s shearing it its taking a lot of cuts and every one gives of a shrrr noise that sounds really loud in the silence of the salon, as she cuts through the outer parts of the pony hair starts to fall forward and lies at chin level at the front tapering sharply up towards the back. The ponies now removed and Emma’s head comes back up the back of her hair line looks hacked and she’s biting her lower lip to stop her self crying, the hairdresser hold the long thick tail up like a trophy and comes over and passes it to me. The hair’s surprisingly heavy and Emma must really feel the loss; I run it across my fingers it’s so soft and in really good condition. I hold it while Edith continues.
She’s combed Emma’s hair down straight now and starts cutting a high straight fringe the hairs falling straight into her lap and forms a pile.
A section on top is combed up and three cuts with the scissors leaves a short layer about and inch and a half long, as its dry the cut hair separates and spreads over her shoulder some falls in her lap and some slowly falls to the floor, the hairdressers working over the top of her head now and the sections are raised then quickly sheared off at the same length. Emma’s face doesn’t move it’s set in an expression some were between resigned and shocked. The left side is getting the treatment now the same length is cut down to the ear then the scissors are worked around leavening her petite ear partly exposed. A small tear is forming now but Emma’s managing to hold it back.
I can’t see what’s going on round the other side but I guess it’s the same as the first, the pile of hair around the chair is really growing considering I’m holding her pony tail there is still a lot of hair been cut off and scattered over the shabby worn lino.
And finally the back is taken short the uneven steps of the pony crop are replaced by the same uniform length as the rest. Now the first parts finished Emma looks so different the plain short haircut changes her from a very good looking young woman who could even be a model into a plain young woman who could pass you by in the street with out a second glance.
Edith’s brushing the cut hair from a shell shocked Emma then drapes a shabby grey towel around her shoulders,
“Lean over here please, we’ll get you washed now the bulks been removed I’m sure that must feel better”
This statement only makes me think that Edith will be returning to the scissors, I don’t think Emma will be aware of this she probably thinks there’s more than enough been cut off already.
Sitting here on this wooden chair reminds me of the fact this is were John sat and took great delight in seeing me given a severe cut and perm, gives me an idea I’ve been worried since the wedding that he may think that there’s still a small part of me still wanting to be like the girls I used to go around with, well this idea could show him that I’m very happy as the person I have become and have put all of that sort of thing behind me.
Emma’s soon shampooed and with her now short wet hair flat on her head turns and gives me a small almost sad smile.
Edith isn’t hanging about today and a trolley of rods and rollers is pulled up to the chair.
“As this is your first perm I will use a strong solution to make sure it the curl takes well, and along with a small rod will give you a presentable firm tight curl”
Emma doesn’t answer she just nods her head slightly and looks straight into the mirror.
The hairdressers working with remarkable speed the rods are going in and Emma’s got a row running from her forehead to her neck there quite close together and look very tight just like mine were last time, it doesn’t take long for the side by me to be covered with horizontal rows, the skin around her ear looks stretched the way the rods are pulling and her ear looks exposed and alone.
The hairdressers working the far side now and I can see her face; she has a look of real pleasure on her old face as if she likes nothing more than being given a head of beautiful long hair and cutting it all off then winding it really tight. Well she’s certainly doing that today.
Its time for the cotton wool roll, now Edith’s opening the perm solution and soaking Emma’s rods, I don’t think Emma was quite ready for the smell as she twitches her nose a little, a large plastic cap fitted over to finish off. The chair is now let down and I watch as Emma drops back down to floor level.
“That’s all gone very well so far now we need a little heat to help the process, over here please”
Edith’s gone over to one of her old hood dryers and is raising the visor and fiddling with the control.
Emma gets up and steps out of the chair she’s looking at all the blond hair scattered over the floor there’s loads of it.
Looking shocked she sits under the dryer and the visor is lowered.
This is it then if I’m going to do this it has to be now, my stomach’s full of butterflies as I rise up and manage to find my voice.
“Do you think you would be able to give me a good trim up while my friends processing”
“I may be able to do you a favour and squeeze you in but it will leave me very little time to get to the knitting wool shop before it closes, so we’ve not time to mess about, how much of a trim did you have in mind”
This is it my moment to show John, I cannot believe I’m about to say this.
“The lady who was in here when we arrived, with the very short hair, I’d like mine the same as hers” there it was said no backing out now.
“Very well” and she comes over and takes down a gown as grubby and faded as the one Emma’s wearing under the dryer, I slip it on and it’s fastened tightly.
Emma’s looking at me with a questioning look on her face; she probably hasn’t heard what has been said.
This time getting into Edith’s old chair has none of the terror it had last time in fact now I’m excited to be getting such a harsh haircut, this should set a side any fears John may have about my London past.
The waters running and its head forward into the bowl, her shampoo’s are still as vigorous as before, I’m sat back up with another of her tired grey towels around my head. She’s wasting no time.
A comb out leaves me looking at my head covered with all my little tight poodle curls
Wet they just reach the top of my ears and glisten slightly in the light.
She’s not picking up the scissors and in stead goes straight for a comb and her clippers.
They start with a loud pop and my head is pushed hard forward on to my chest, I can feel her placing the comb in my hair then the cold clippers at the bottom of my neck
The vibration feels strange but nice and there being pressed on quite hard which adds to the sensation, the last two times I’ve had clippers used on me I’ve gone into shock, and this time I’m going to enjoy it.
The noise changes and gets much louder as they enter the hair, I can’t see but can imagine the hair falling away and my pale white skin fully exposed, then as she hits the comb they move off.
This is repeated all around the back of my head and a few lumps of damp curls have fallen into my lap each clump a pass of the clippers.
Now she’s coming to the left side of my head and I can see what’s going on. My heads tipped slightly to the right and she positions her comb about half an inch above my ear, I feel and see
the clippers start just in front of my ear now, I can see the skin being revealed as they rise up to meet the comb the angle out, this is repeated until my side is smoothly clippered, while she moves round to the other side I have a quick fell of my neck and side, moving my hand down it feels so smooth and slightly cold but as I move my hand up I can feel tiny little bristles that make me shiver.
My right side soon receives the same treatment and she starts to comb the top lifting a section at the front up but instead of putting down the clippers as I was expecting she’s still got them switched on?
The section lifted up is now being clippered off as she runs them along the comb curls are falling past my face and there not small either and collecting in my lap, the section she just cut looks very short much shorter even than last time.
The hairdresser has a very satisfied look on her face as she continues around the rest of my curls clipping them all to the same brutally short length, considering how short my hair was when we came in there’s a surprisingly large amount of curls building up in my lap.
With the cutting completed, she puts down the clippers and comb. Next she picks up her razor she couldn’t let me leave with out a smooth clean neck, starting at my left ear I’m scraped with a straight razor all round this leaves me completely bald from a line half an inch above my ears down. It tingles were the razors been and I never like this part, I can’t say the same for Edith.
I’ve a chance to take in my new length while she goes to check on Emma, I can quite clearly see my scalp showing through between my damp curls, the hair on top is that short which is a bit worrying, I want this for John and if it’s to much that would spoil it all.
Before I’ve time to think too much she’s back
“You’re friends nearly done so we better get you sorted”
Out comes the plastic bottle and I know this smell well by now, setting lotion.
It doesn’t take that much to give my hair a soaking, and now I’m being wound if you can call it that as my hair can barely go around once onto small rods, I’m getting the straight up and down pattern again and it doesn’t take long to have them all in.
As Edith puts a net on me she comments
“I think I need to deal with you’re friend before we take you to the dryers”
“The chair is lowered and I rise and step out shaking the gown it’s a small shop but by now the floors nearly covered with a mix mostly of Emma’s silky blond long hair and my short curls. I go and sit back on the waiting chairs.
Edith fetches Emma from the dryer. She looks relived to be out from under there and slightly red faced.
“Back in the chair dear” comes Edith’s instruction.
Emma’s back in the chair with a towel put back round her shoulders, still wearing the plastic cap over her rods.
Edith turns the chair round and drops the back down so Emma’s heads in the sink.
There’s a lot of water splashing about and I can’t see what’s going on but I can tell when the neutraliser goes on by the smell.
Emma’s sat back up now with the towel around her head and looks over
But Edith straightens her head and gives her hair a rub then removes the towel.
Wow she has lovely tight curls, like an afro perm coming just above her collar and about just covering the top of her ears with a fringe not far above her eye brows the whole look is soft and natural and looks so soft, Emma seems very pleased.
“I will be back in a moment” announces Edith and leave’s the salon.
“You look fantastic I love those soft curls on you” I tell Emma.
“Thank you, I was a bit worried she was going to take me to short but this is great. What have you had done, did you really want you’re hair cut that short, she’s barely left you any, what will John say”
“Its John I’ve done this for I want to show him I’m committed to being the lady he wants me to be and if having very short hair is what it takes then so be it.”
“Well you’ve certainly got the very short hair now” Emma replies with a smile.
Edith had re-entered
“We wont be ready for you for a little wile yet, now as I did a favour for you fitting you in you could do one for me there’s a few items I need from the wool shop not to far away, its quite warm out so you wont catch cold with you’re hair still damp in the rollers, it’ll probably be nice and dry by the time you get back”
“But I can’t go out like this” I reply pointing to my netted rods.
“Of course you can we used to all the time years ago”
She goes into her draw and gets out a normal lighter black net like mine at Aunts
And unties the larger salon net I’m wearing at the moment then changes them over.
It looks as if I’m not going to win this augment but luckily I’ve still got a silk head scarf in my bag so get this out fold it and tie under my chin, checking in the mirror I can still see the net and rods round the edges but it will have to do.
She gives me directions a list and the order to tell the lady to put it on her account.
I don’t understand why she wants me to go as Emma’s all most finished she just need’s a blast with a hand dryer while I probably need to go under the hood dryer not for long admittedly with how little hair I have left but it will still probably take longer than Emma’s. Sensing there’s no point arguing I set off.
Walking along the streets in a scarf net and curlers makes me fell really visible a few older women I’ve passed have given me little grins some younger ones have stared in disbelief; one old lady even stopped me and told
“I haven’t seen that for years” that just made me redden up.
This shop is a longer distance than Edith made out and when I finally get there and go in there’s a group of three women all around Edith’s age, the conversation stops and they all look straight at me there’s a mirror behind the counter and I can see that my scarf has slipped back giving them a view of my netted rods, I start to adjust the scarf but it will not sit right.
“I’ve an order from Mrs Moray please” I say trying to divert there attention from my head and hand it to the lady behind the counter.
“I see wait there” she replies and eye’s me up and down and takes the list from me, she really makes me fell uneasy.
The other two unfriendly old women just stand looking at me.
All the messing with my scarf has only made it worse, I don’t want to take it off and give two a full view of my netted head but the scarf’s not going to stay on and I’ll end up giving the whole town a look if I don’t sort it now.
So here goes look straight into the mirror and ignore them, I untie the scarf and take it off now fully on show are my rods and net, the nets sitting above my freshly shaven ears so they really stand out, a quick refold and It’s back on with the scarf and secure it properly this time.
“Next time use a couple of clips it holds properly then, don’t they teach you youngsters any thing these day, here is Mrs Morays order tell her I’ve added it to her account” and the shop keeper hand me the package.
I’m on my heels and out of there before I get any more good advice.
I walk back quickly keep my head down and catch no ones eye, this quick errant of Edith’s has taken nearly an hour Emma must be fed up sat waiting for me she would only have been five more minutes in the chair.
I walk back into the salon expecting Emma to be sat in the waiting area. But she’s not theirs just her pony lying on a wooden chair.
“Ah good so you’re back then” Edith says as she’s approaching me and takes the package from me, I can see Emma’s feet still in the chair but I cant see Emma as Edith’s in the way.
“You’re friend is just finished, I’ll just go and put this away” and she turns and walks out the salon. Now I get my first look at the new Emma.
Oh my god what has she done to her.
Emma’s sat straight up right and starring straight ahead.
The soft tight not to short curls have been replaced by much shorter hard lacquered set curls in a old fashioned style, the neck curls that just came to collar length have been transformed into a curved curled under hair line than finishes a good inch higher than her natural hair line below this is clean freshly shaved skin. And her ears are now fully exposed and all of her side burns shaven off and the curls tapered down around the ear.
Emma turns to me her face is completely exposed all the hair curled off her face and the sweet curly fringe she had when I left has been completely removed.
Emma looks at me and just burst out in tears not for the first time this afternoon I think.
“Emma what’s happened I thought you were happy as it was”
“I was but that woman wouldn’t stop there she said I’m not leavening her shop with half a hair style then she cut lots more off even though I asked her to stop she even used the same electric clippers on me she did on you, then put lots of rollers in my hair and made me go back under that dryer, now she’s just covered me in thick spray my hair feels solid”
“Yes it will that’s traditional lacquer, I must say though I know this is a big shock but you do look so sweet, now wipe you’re eyes she’s coming back”
“Now let’s have a look at you” and Edith walks over and removes my scarf
“You’ll only need a few minutes to finish you off, over here then”
I follow Edith to the dryers she puts a gown back on me and two ear pads over my ears then I’m under the dryer it’s still warm from Emma’s set, Edith’s gone back over to Emma and is telling her something but I can’t hear a word under here, Edith’s picked up the hand mirror now and is showing her the back and sides, Emma’s biting her bottom lip as Edith points out her neck line and the razor smooth nape skin below, I think she holding back the tears but only just, especially now as she’s feeling the newly exposed skin, I remember how strange it felt the first time Mrs hood gave me a neck shave and I asked for it, Emma didn’t plan for this at all. I cannot get over the change in Emma all her beautiful long hair has gone and now she doesn’t look like the same women at all the exposed ears and shaven neck look very precise and with her hair being such a light blond the difference between hair and skin is not so noticeable so her neck shave looks even higher than it actually is.
All of the surprise with Emma’s traditional restyle I’ve almost forgotten what a severe hair cut and shaving I have received I just hope John likes it as this is my shortest yet, it would be nice to show that London lot that my last haircut wasn’t a one off although the length I am now may be.
Emma’s getting out the chair now and having the gown untied what a change from when she put it on, she looks lovely now that the light blue dress is on show, again her neck looks so long from the classic round neck past the bare exposed ears up to the tight old fashioned lacquered curls on top, her totally exposed forehead really changes her face and if I must be honest she isn’t quit the beauty she was before, her nose is much more of a focus than before and her mouth looks a fair bit bigger.
She goes and sits on the waiting chair and picks up her two foot long pony that was sheared from her head what must be going through her head now.
Before I can think any more I’m taken from the dryer to the chair Emma’s just left.
“Right then lets see how you’ve turned out then, with you’re length now you will not be having a full curl instead a nice neat wave will look lovely and be quit easy for you to keep up you’re self, it is nice to see young ladies having respectable hair again”
During all this she’s removed all the rods and I’ve very small curls running into each other luckily you can’t see my scalp in-between as my early worries are resolved, Edith prises out the curls with the long end of a tail comb it still looks extremely short on top but the curls have formed into tight little waves that look very old-fashioned but also slightly glamorous.
Two generous coats of lacquer seal it all together and I’m finished, I’m a little excited about seeing the back in the hand mirror last time I received a clippering but this time she’s really gone to town.
The view in the mirror doesn’t disappoint the back of my head has really been shaven. My ears are exposed surrounded by white clean skin and they set the level for the back, this is exactly the same as the old lady’s, and exactly what I asked for, I just hope I haven’t gone to far for John it will certainly be a surprise for him, but probably not as big as the one Emma’s going to give Paul, how he reacts is yet to be seen.
The chair comes down and I get out Edith unties my gown and I go over to Emma, she’s holding her pony in one hand and feeling her bald neck with the other.
“How do you feel now, it’s been a real shock to you hasn’t it” I ask Emma
“I’m coming around a little it isn’t what I had in mind but I needed a change”
“Come on then let’s go and show the village the new respectable lady you’ve become with out all of that girlish hair”
We both pay and thank Edith she seems very pleased with her afternoon’s work.
It’s time to face John and Paul, I’m a little nervous, Emma must be terrified.
To Be Continued.
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