It was nearing the start of summer. I was 17 at that time and I was living in Chicago, Illinois. As it neared to the summer, the temperatures started to increase, getting hotter.
I had track and field training almost every week and it would be burning hot. All the other athletes would get their summer cuts, making it short and nice so that they won’t be so hot. I wouldn’t want to cut my hair. Even though I had short hair before (which I was comfortable with) I preferred my long hair. My hair was about mid-back length, touching my bra strap.
One day, my mother went to get her haircut. We usually got our haircuts at the local barber down the street because there wasn’t a salon in the suburb. The closest salon was an hour’s drive from here. Luckily for us, the barbershop had a barberette who did girl’s haircuts.
When my mother came back from the barber, she was wearing a short wedged haircut which was hanging around her ears, covering most of her ears. And her back was clipped to about half an inch. I wasn’t surprised to see this as she normally got short haircuts like this as it got close to summer.
My mother would normally try and persuade me to get a haircut like her so it would be easier for me to handle during the summers. I always refused as I would never cut my hair short. I loved it too much.
She would keep telling the positives of having such a short haircut, such as being able to feel the wind and also not needing to do my hair so much every morning. She would go on with this for a week or so and then she would give up, thinking it was no use.
I used to have that really short haircut in the fourth grade. My mom made me cut my hair just cos I my grades were dropping. Ever since that day, I didn’t want to drop a grade. My grades improved and I’m a straight A’s student. Ah, memories.
A week before summer, my mother soon suggested something.
“Hey, take a look at this picture of Natalie Portman. She looks so hot," she mentioned.
I took a look at the picture as I saw her. She had shoulder-length textured hair which looked really good on her.
“You should cut your hair like this. It would look really good on you. Plus, I think that barberette, Janie, would do really good on such a haircut," my mother suggested.
“Yea, it might look really good on me. You know what? I’ll go get it cut right now!" I told my mother.
My mother smiled at me as she followed me out of the house. It turned out that she wanted to follow me and watch me get my haircut! But I wondered why……
As we soon reached the barber, we looked into the window as we saw Janie who had just finished a customer. The customer walked out of the barber with an A-line bob. It looked so good on her as it showed her features very well.
My mother reached for the barber door as she walked in. I followed her in as I saw Janie with her regular summer cut; a chin-length bob.
“Hey Laura looking good! So Kelly, want to get your haircut today? Why don’t you take a seat and let’s see what I can do for you," Janie welcomed us.
I walked towards as the chair and sat in it, making myself comfortable. Janie soon flung a white cape over me as she removed my hair from under the cape and let it hang over my shoulders on the cape. My mother stood beside me as she looked into the mirror at my reflection.
“So what can I do for you Kelly? A nice summer cut? Or maybe just a trim?" she asked.
“She wants her hair cut just like Natalie Portman, you know the actress?" my immediately told Janie.
“Oh that haircut, it’s really popular nowadays, especially on you teens," Janie told me.
I soon felt comfortable as she told me that so at least I wouldn’t stand out from the other teens.
“Honey, I’m going to the grocery store for a while. I should be back in half an hour’s time," she told me as she walked out of the barber shop.
“So Kelly, you want me to give you about an inch shorter than how it’s supposed to be? I promise it’ll look really good on you," she assured me.
I nodded as I thought about how I would look like. I soon felt as Janie turned my chair around, making me back face the mirror. I could tell she didn’t want me to see the process of the haircut.
Suddenly, Sarah, a barberette of the barbershop, stepped into the salon.
“Hey Kelly, Hey Janie. Getting a haircut eh?" Sarah greeted us as she sat down on a chair behind a countertop.
Janie soon took out a pair of scissors, a comb and a spray bottle as she placed them on the dresser. She normally didn’t shampoo my hair as it was in good condition. She started spraying my hair with water as she combed my hair into different sections. She combed down my bangs as they were hanging below my nose, she combed down the hair on the sides and the nape as they reached my mid-body.
She soon picked up the scissors as she went to the right side of my head. I closed my eyes as I relaxed. I soon felt a tugging at the right side as I felt the cold steel of the scissors touch the area above my ears. Snip, Snip, Snip went the scissors as about 20 inches of my precious blonde hair cascaded down onto my lap on the cape
“OH MY GOD," I exclaimed in horror as I took out my hair from under the cape and felt a short bit of my hair which were hanging just above my ears.
“What?" Janie yelled out in shock as she backed away from me.
“I wanted it cut like Natalie Portman," I told her in a softer tone, trying to calm myself.
“Yes, and I am," Janie replied me.
“Her hair is at shoulder-length. This is barely even touching my ears," I told her.
“No, no. Her shoulder-length haircut was last year. She wears a wedge this year," Janie explained to me.
“Oh my god, I think my mom tricked me into getting this. Arrggh," I dreaded to myself.
Sarah giggled at what I said. I gave her a ‘what the hell’ look.
“Well there’s nothing we can do now except for continuing the cut. I’m sorry by the way. There’s nothing else we could do except to continue," she told me.
“Sigh, fine then. I mean, what do I have to lose?" I told her.
“Your hair?" she told me sarcastically. We both laughed.
She then combed down the hair on my right side as cut off the hair on the right, leaving about enough hair to barely touch my ears. I grasped tightly onto the barber chair as she made each snip.
She then moved on to my nape where she combed my hair down, tugging it slightly as she started snipping at around nape area. Snip, snip, snip went the scissors as they opened and closed around my nape area. She rubbed it with her hands as there were only about 2 inches of hair left on my nape. This was much shorter than fourth grade.
She then moved on to my left side as she did the same for it like the right side.
“So, have you had short hair before?" she asked me as she snipped locks of my hair above my ears.
“Yeah, it was back when I was in fourth grade. My mom got it cut to a wedge just because my grades were dropping as some of them failed. I was actually comfortable with it, but I really loved my long hair much better," I replied to her
She nodded as she snipped the last section of hair left on my left side as the hair slid down onto my left shoulder. I nudged my shoulder a little, making the hair drop onto my lap.
She went over to the top of my head as she combed it. She combs up my hair about 3 inches above my head as she started snipping about 20 inches of my hair. Tresses of my hair fell cascaded onto my lap on the cape.
This continued on for like an eternity as I was dreading how it would look like. It was definitely shorter than the wedge I had in fourth grade as she was going to cut it an inch shorter. The breeze of the air-conditioning of the barber shop blew my sides as I could feel much cooler. My mom was actually right about the breeze part.
Suddenly, the barbershop door opened and a tall and slim figure entered the shop. I was surprised to see my best friend, Stella, walk in the shop as she swept her blonde, shoulder-length hair to her back. I didn’t want her to see me like this.
“Hello Stella," Janie and Sarah greeted me as Janie went to the dresser and picked up a spray bottle as she started to spray my hair with water. Drops of water sprinkled on my face.
“Hey guys, how you…… Oh my god, Kelly, is that you?!" she exclaimed at the sight of me getting a wedge haircut.
“Hey Stella, getting a haircut," I uttered to her as Janie continued cutting the hair on the top of my hair to about 3 inches long.
“I thought you said you never wanted to get it short?" she pointed out.
“It’s a long story. My mom tricked me," I replied as hair got snipped off the top of my head.
She laughed out loud as Sarah invited her into her barber chair. Sarah turned the chair to back face the mirror as Stella sat on the chair as she made herself comfortable. Sarah got out a white cape as she flung over Stella’s body as she tied a cotton strip behind her neck.
“So how do you want it cut today? The regular summer cut?" Sarah asked. Stella nodded. I knew her summer haircut was. She always wore the same one every year.
At this time, Janie had finished cutting the hair on top of my hair as she moved on to my bangs. She combed my blonde hair down as the hair reached my chin. This was one of the terrifying parts as I didn’t like getting bangs. She slowly snipped the locks of hair which curtained my eyes. My vision soon cleared up as I felt bangs touching my eyebrows.
“Now you won’t have to waste your time sweeping your bangs to the side," Janie told me.
I peeped over to Stella’s side as I saw Sarah fixing guards on to a big pair of clippers which were about an inch long. POP, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz went the clippers as they buzzed to life. Sarah slowly pushed the clippers from her forehead towards the crown of Stella’s head as tresses of her blonde hair started rolling down onto the floor. A path of an inch of hair was left behind like a freshly mowed path of a lawn.
This continued on for a while as Janie tilted my head forward. POP zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, a sound came from behind me. Janie tilted my head straightforward as I felt a humming cold steel touch my neck. They moved up towards my nape area as I felt the sound of hair clashing with clippers. I tingled as I felt locks of my hair sliding past my neck and on to the floor. All I could do was to stare at the mass of hair on my lap on the cape as Janie forced my head down.
This went on for a long time when Janie tilted my head up as she rubbed my nape. ‘Oh my god’ I thought to myself, knowing my nape was clipped. I took my hand out from under my cape and felt my nape. It was clipped to a number 2. My mom never got my nape clipped when I got my wedge in the fourth grade. It felt really good and fuzzy.
Janie then took out a dusting brush as she dusted the short clippings of my hair off my head. My head felt so much lighter than before.
“The nape’s not the best part. Try swinging your head," Janie suggested.
I tried shaking my head and it felt so cool feeling the hair so short. Janie turned me around to face the mirror as I examined myself. It was like fourth grade all over again when the barberette who did my hair showed how I looked like, only that I’m older now and the wedge was slightly shorter.
I turned to look at Stella who was sitting in the chair beside me as she was shutting her eyes. I saw as Sarah moved the clippers up Stella’s nape. Tresses of her long hair were flying around as Stella remained silent.
Janie uncapped me as she dusted off the hair off the cape. I looked at the ground as I saw tresses of my hair cover the floor. My mother soon walked into the barbershop carrying a back of groceries in her hand.
“Gotcha," my mom said.
“I might keep this haircut for a while mom. I really like it," I told her.
“I’m glad you do honey," my mom replied.
Stella was soon uncapped as Sarah dusted her cape. Stella was wearing her regular summer haircut, a pixie cut which was an inch everywhere. She walked up to me as she rubbed my hair, swinging my hair back and forth.
“Nice haircut Kelly. To be honest, you look much better like this, rather than that mess of hair you used to have," Stella told me.
I chuckled as we walked out of the barbershop together with my mom.
And just because of my mom’s trick, it made me love this wedge so much that I wore it for the rest of high school and even till the end of my college years.
Thanks for reading,
Jared (I wrote my story in the perspective of a girl BUT IM A BOY)
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