My name is Connie, and I am 22 years old. I have always been peculiar about my hair, never colouring or layering it, and I have never gotten more than one inch of my hair cut at any one time. My hair is a light, gorgeous shade of brown and hangs as far back as my bra strap. Until today, I have always went to the same salon to get my hair washed, trimmed and dried. The salon is a short walk away from my apartment and I had an appointment at 9AM as usual with Jennifer, a female stylist whom always did my hair. Jennifer was however, sick today and the salon apologised for the late notification as they only opened at 9AM and I was always earlier by 5 to 10 minutes. They however, lost my business when the receptionist did not suggest rebooking my appointment with Jennifer, but to have Jackson, another stylist to do it for me. I politely rejected because I have at times seen Jackson get scissors-happy with his female clients even when they have specified their desired hairstyles. After several minutes of heated debate with the receptionist over not letting me rebook with Jennifer, I stormed out the door and walked down the sidewalk, strolling so long that my feet began to hurt and I sat down on a nearby bench.
While resting, I noticed that I had walked all the way to a Chinatown district within the city. The weather was hot and humid, making me sweat profusely and if my hair had not been tied up previously, it would already have been a tangled mess. Just then, I spotted a modest shophouse across the street labelled as “S&M Salon”, with a silver pair of scissors painted on its entrance. I supposed it was a hair salon and felt that it was some sort of fate to see another hair salon down here at this district, and figured S&M probably represented the names of the owners. Hence, I decided to cross over and check the place out, seeing if there was a person at the salon who might make a good hairstylist. I crossed the road promptly and made my way into the salon.
The interior was totally out of my expectations, with just a waiting room filled with simple, padded armchairs that were complemented with silver studs. The walls were painted true black and the ground resembled black marble tiles. No signs of a receptionist nor a front desk could be seen either, but there was a button on the nearby wall beside the door, which labelled “Push For Service”. Another door was present on the far side of the room, with an Asian symbol pointed on as well as a number keypad.
While nervous, I decided to press at the button, which resulted in a chime being rang on the other side of the door. The salon was pleasantly cool in the waiting area, so I decided to take a seat in one of the chairs to chill from the outdoor heat, planning to leave in a few minutes if nobody shows up to acknowledge my presence. Just then, a relatively young Asian woman walked through the mysterious door, an attractive lady in her thirties at most. She was dressed in silver, knee-length boots, and donned a black latex dress that stretched down till her knees, completely covering her chest all the way up to her neck. She was however, no doubt in good shape. Her outfit was complete with an odd necklace that resembled a wire cage around her neck, and her hair was held back in a tight bun with silver sticks stuck into it. No loose hair could be seen protruding from her neckline as one usually sees when a girl buns her hair up.
“Hello there,” the lady spoke briskly. “I am Amiko, and this is my salon. How may I be of service today?”, she continued. Her sudden question threw me slightly off guard, and I was still a little bit blunted with a dry throat. “Speak up and tell me what you want, I have customers coming in later and don’t have all day to chat with you,” Amiko further probed. With a husky voice, I responded that I was hoping I could get a quick trim, and introduced myself as Connie.
“Haircuts are $75, and payment is made before we begin, I assume that will be fine for you?”, Connie said.
I meekly replied with a nod and Amiko asked if I had any preference in hairstylists. I was so intrigued by her appearance that I asked if she could do it herself, but she said that there would be an additional $10 surcharge for her services. Nonetheless, I accepted her offer and paid her $85 fully in cash.
Upon payment, she printed out a receipt-like document and asked for my signature on it. Amiko further reassured that it was simply a waiver form to prove that I had voluntarily asked for their services. Assuming there was no fraud or anything similar involved, I paid no further attention to detail and simply signed on it. She then brought me through the door with the number keypad, which led into a hallway that was dimly lit.
“Last door on the right, and I’ll be there in a moment,” Amiko prompted. I entered and the room was relatively small, but still felt spacious enough, especially for a private salon room. The walls were a dark shade of red with the same black marble tiles. It was however, very old-fashioned with a refurbished barber chair that used black leather and chrome metal for its armrests. Strangely, a lever was also present on the side of the chair, but I paid no attention to it. There was also a counter behind the chair in black, which was probably the sink to wash clients’ hair during haircuts or chemical treatments. I sat down on the barber chair, and was surprised by its comfort, not knowing what was to come next.
“Stay still now, someone will be in here soon to help me keep you comfortable,” Amiko said before she closed the door. Whispers in a foreign language could then be heard through the door, before two girls dressed similar to Amiko appeared through that same door. They said nothing and simply walked behind the chair I sat on.
Out of the sudden, a V-shaped leather strap was then placed over the top of my head, and fastened at my stomach to the chair. “What the…”, I said as I struggled to remove the strap, but quickly felt a pair of hands grab each of my wrists, and forcing them onto the armrests. The other then instantly pulled up leather straps that were seamlessly attached to the armrests, and tied my hands to it. A small leather belt was then pulled out as well, and fastened tightly around my wrists, preventing any chane of moving my hands. They then grabbed hold of my legs, and used similar straps to tie them to the footrest. I was now completely immobilised. Noticing that the V-strap at my stomach area may not be sufficient, one of the girls added another strap over my head, this time fastening it by my neck. My vision was now restricted to facing forward, which was an empty wall. They uttered no words throughout the whole process, and left the room.
I screamed for help, asking to be released, but was futile. Sounds of heels rubbing against the tiles could then be heard, which followed by Amiko’s appearance from the doorway, with a snake-like smile on her face.
“Amiko, let me out of here, this is creepy and I’ll sue you if you do not release me!”, I shouted angrily at her. She said nothing, only brandishing the waiver that I had previously signed in my face. On it wrote a clause that negates all my rights while undergoing Amiko’s services. What have I signed up for?
Amiko then forced open my mouth, and stuffed an object in, which felt kind of big and had a small tube attached. She then blew through the other end of the tube, inflating the object, and my mouth swelled so badly that my mouth was forced open. I could hardly make out any noise now with the object in place, and Amiko stuffed the other end of the tube with a cap, keeping it inflated.
She then walked behind the barber chair I sat on, and I heard the sounds of a drawer being opened. A tower was then wrapped around my shoulders, before Amiko walked back in front of me with a humongous cape that was of the same latex material as her dress. She held both ends of the cape, and stretched her arms apart, letting the cape unfold itself. She then leaned forward, pushing the cape over me until I felt it by my neck in the front, before she walked behind me with the cape still in hand. Amiko then pulled the two ends together and tightened it with the snaps attached to the cape. The latex material made me feel trapped and took away my form entirely in the chair, all the way down to my ankles. I almost felt like a sheep waiting to be shorn, entirely at the mercy of Amiko the shepherd.
“Now, lets get started, shall we darling?” Amiko said as she undid my bun. I felt my brown locks becoming undone in her hands, and gradually tumbling down to rest against the back of the barber chair. Her nails could then be felt going through the back of my head as she stroked through my hair with her bare fingers. My eyes began to water as I feared what would Amiko do to my precious locks, but knew that I was helpless, not being able to move or stop her in any way. She then pulled on the lever attached to the seat, and I felt myself beginning to rotate, until I no faced a giant mirror, where I could finally see my reflection. I looked so weird to see nothing but my head and hair protruding from a sea of black latex. Amiko then gathered my hair together in the back and tied it into a ponytail. She fastened it tightly with a band several inches from the scalp at the back of my head, and I heard sounds of a metallic tool being picked off he drawer. It was most likely a pair of haircutting scissors. She smiled again in the mirror as she opened the blades of the scissors and placed the ponytail between. The blades were then forcefully pressed together by Amiko, and snipping sounds could be heard as the scissor blades struggled to cut through my thick locks of hair. Tears began to flow down my face, and my emotions could not be suppressed when I heard the scrunching sounds which sounded shockingly horrible to me. While it was heart wrenching for me, Amiko was probably enjoying this moment.
She started chuckling softly as she manipulated the blades open and shut. After a short moment, I could feel the ponytail being severed as strands of my cut hair began to fall off the ponytail and started framing around my face, about an inch above the shoulders. Amiko continued until the entire ponytail hanged from her hand, which she held in front of me and shook it such that the hair brushed against my face while tears drenched my face.
Using the lever again, the chair was adjusted until my neck laid in the rim of the sink. The water was on and she began to wet my hair with a surprisingly gentle touch. My hair was then lathered with shampoo for several minutes, with a relaxing head massage that I could hardly enjoy due to what had just dramatically occurred earlier. But the washing experience was so gentle and good I actually started to forget that this woman was the same one that had just sheared off most of my beautiful hair. After conditioning my hair, she roughly squeezed off excess moisture and adjusted me back into an upright position.
Amiko began combing through my remaining length and without a word, combed out a section near my right temple, and snipped it off close to the scalp. Another section was then drawn out and snipped off quickly. This was done repeatedly until she finished off at the left temple. Expecting that she would began cutting the length off the top now, Amiko instead used a hairdryer to dry my hair. “We can’t have wet hair now can we, because we are about to begin your final cut, and it’s going to be real short,” Amiko exclaimed calmly.
I could not understand her intention as she had already chopped off so much of my hair. She rummaged through the drawer behind me once again, and with sounds of a tool being plugged in, Amiko gripped my head tightly this time. The tool snapped alive with a thud, which sounded unfamiliar, and was pushed up the right side of my head. The tool, presumably a pair of clippers, changed tune as it ran through my locks of hair. What was already terribly short was now buzzed close to stubble. I could feel more locks of hair began to tumble down the cape with each stroke from the clippers. Amiko then forcefully pushed my head forward so much that my chin almost touched my chest. The clippers then went up the back of my head, sending more hair cascading down the cape. I could not see how much hair was left, but I could feel the sensation and the cut hair that fell into my lap from my shoulders. The light brown locks looked foreign against the black latex cape and my tears were so abundant right now that it dripped onto the hair amidst the cape.
My head was then tilted towards my right shoulder so that Amiko could buzz off what was left on the left side. The clippers were then finally turned off, but I could heave no sigh of relief. A smaller set was immediately fired up, but had a different tune, which sounded more like a buzz than a whir. She flicked them around the edges of my hairline, as if tapering the edges.
The smaller clippers were then turned off subsequently, when Amiko began spraying the top of my hair with a squirt bottle, since the hair had gotten a bit dry while cutting. The hair on top felt much longer than I had thought as she ran her fingers through it. Amiko combed the entire top section forward, until it hung in my face and even covered my eyes. A section in the very front where a fringe usually lay, was combed up and with a few quick snips, was gone and I could only see more brown, wet locks littering the cape. She repeated the gesture evenly throughout the top,.
“Now now, that is soooo much better, isn’t it Connie?” Amiko rhetorically asked. She rubbed her hands through my hair and snipped as she wanted, before picking up a brush and began to dry my hair. She used the lever once again to rotate me back to face the giant mirror. My eyes opened wide at how short my hair was. The top was so short, the hair almost stood up on its own without any help from hairstyling products. The sides and back were shaved so short my scalp was clearly visible. I wanted to question her intention behind this, but the stuffing in my mouth prevented me from doing so.
Amiko smirked as she watched my emotions unfold, almost knowingly that my thoughts were about to change. As if the haircut had changed my mindset, I began to feel that the haircut, whilst super short, suited me well. Amiko seemed to share the same thoughts as well. As if learning of my acceptance, Amiko gestured a nod of satisfaction. “I knew you would love your hair short, you just didn’t have the guts to do it,” she said. The gag in my mouth was removed, and placed into the sink. She then unfastened the cape, which was so heavy my body was already beginning to ache.
I thanked Amiko for the haircut, as she began to undo the straps and belts restraining me to the chair. It was much better than I would have expected. “You will call me Mistress Amiko from now on, my dear,” Amiko said she she unfastened. I nodded meekly as she gave me a silver card while I stood up from the chair. I took the card and walked through the door into the waiting room again. “Call me in eight weeks for a haircut appointment, or I will find you and shave you personally,” said Mistress Amiko as she walked me to the front door. I smiled and walked out into the sidewalk.
As if I just went through a hell of a journey, I ran my fingers through my hair, or what was left of it. It felt so great, the stubbly feeling by the sides and back, and so did the top which felt like short spikes. I turned back to look at the door again, and finally understood what did S&M really meant, and it certainly wasn’t the names of the owners.
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