S&M Salon

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.

We are aware that the author of this story, Jennsen Smith, has shared it with another website as well. We have terminated our partnership and this story has been altered to differentiate with the original version that he has submitted to the other website. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Janice & The Express Salon (Chapter 2)

“Next!” the female barber called out towards the waiting bench. Janice appeared slightly startled by the prompt, but quickly knocked back to reality from her worry.

She was caught in a spot with Sam still not back from his comics. “Hell damn those comics Sam,” Janice thought exactly at that moment. With the ticket card still in hand, the nervousity made her slightly break out in cold sweat. The female barber looked on mysteriously as Janice continued to sit on the bench with her repeated prompting.

“Alright, I guess I could use a trim. Can’t let the money go to waste after all,” Janice supposed. She finally gathered her bravery to lift her almost jelly legs, and walked reluctantly over to take a seat at the female barber’s station.

Without question, the barber proceeded to pull out a piece of neck strip from a roll attached to a dispenser at the station. She wrapped the neck strip around Janice’s neck by the front, and lifted up Janice’s auburn locks so that it could be fastened in place. A neatly folded haircutting cape was then taken off the shelf, unfolded, and draped over Janice entirely. Similar to the previous lady, the cape was so huge that Janice’s silhouette was no longer obvious. All that could be seen of Janice was her head of long auburn locks, a gift of her mother’s good genes.

“So miss, what will it be for you?” the female barber began to question while tightening the cape around Janice’s neck. Well, that sure caught Janice in the spot, since this haircut wasn’t her original intent at all. With nothing in mind, Janice responded. “Umm, perhaps just a little off the top?” she meekly spoke.

“Alright, hopefully you won’t regret this,” the female barber retorted. Regret? Janice felt confused by her using that term since there was nothing regretful about getting a trim, or is there?

The female barber grabbed a pair of cordless hair clippers off the shelf, and retrieved a straight comb from her hairdressing pouch. Janice was not surprised by the usage of the hair clippers, since some of the stylists at the salon she frequented used them as well for trims, since the cut would be more even. But what was coming, Janice would never have thought of.

“Bend your head down for me please,” the female barber asked as she positioned herself behind Janice, ready to render her services. Janice bent down as instructed, but nonetheless was forcefully pushed down further with the female barber’s hand, so forward that her chin almost touched the cape.

The hair clippers then snapped alive with a thud, albeit much softer than that of the corded bad boys that the traditional barbers used. Janice was pretty calm, expecting nothing more than a few runs of the hair clippers over the split ends of her auburn locks. Instead, the female barbers parted her hair into several sections, with the top and crown area one section, and the sides and back another. This puzzled Janice, since that is the usual parting for short haircuts. What was the female barber up to?

All soon became clear. As soon as the female barber was done with the sectioning, she lifted Janice’s auburn locks by the back to reveal her neck line. The hair clippers were then pushed straight upwards from the neck line, only stopping short of the partition between the top and the back section! Janice was shocked by the unexpected sensation felt from the clippers, and was sure that certainly was not just a trim!

Clearly Janice was not the one surprised by the move, as the customers that arrived after her and still waiting by the bench, all briefly shifted attention to her as they watched the hair clippers sever her beautiful auburn locks from her scalp. What was left from that one push with the hair clippers were light brown stubble, so short that it probably can’t be combed.

Janice had a brief urge to speak up about that not being what she wanted, but she realised that the damage had already been done. She can only let the female barber finish the shearing. But beneath that obvious intent, Janice also enjoyed the touch of the hair clippers, which was a surprise to her as well. The vibration of the hair clippers while running through her locks was such a stimulating experience, Janice almost got wet below. She held it in nonetheless, with fear of being embarrassed in public.

The female barber pushed the hair clippers through Janice’s locks again, widening the path of brown stubble. Janice’s auburn locks coasted briefly in the air after being clipped, before landing lifelessly on the floor. Even with just two pushes, the floor was already littered with Janice’s clipped locks. The same motion was repeated throughout the backs and sides, bringing the hair in the section to shorter than even an inch, probably a quarter inch at most. Janice’s scalp was partially visible through all the brown stubble. So much hair had already been cut, the floor around Janice’s chair was covered in auburn, and the cape was enveloped with her cut hair as well. She almost sighed at the sight of her precious locks, which she grew so dearly, all chopped off in minutes.

With the sides and back all sheared close to the scalp, Janice was already feeling pretty light-headed. It has been quite long since Janice felt the feeling of having nothing to cover up her face, nothing to frame her facial features. But all this was restored momentarily as the top section was unpinned, letting her remaining long hair down, covering over the shaved sides and back. Janice reached out to touch the sheared back, and the stubbly touch was really such an exciting feeling. But Janice realised that this had to stop, or she would probably be heading home with a crew cut. In the current state, at least she could use the remaining locks in the top section to cover the sides and back, giving some time to grow back out some hair before deciding what she wants to do in the end.

As the barber was about to run the hair clippers over the top with a different guard, Janice quickly signaled for her to stop. The female barber stopped short of an irreversible process, as the clippers were just inches away from Janice’s frontal hairline.

“I think we can stop here,” Janice said again. The immersed crowd by the waiting bench looked almost disappointed upon hearing Janice’s decision, but quickly acted nonchalant to conceal their interest in Janice’s shearing. Fortunately for Janice, she had plenty of hair, enough from the top to cover up the shaved sides and back. The female barber, slightly upset by the fact that she couldn’t give Janice a complete buzz cut, unfastened the cape off Janice, and used the neck strip to wipe off any loose hairs on Janice’s face.

At this moment, Sam appeared around the corner of the express salon. His reflection was spotted by Janice through the reflection, prompting her to turn around and stare straight at Sam in the eyes. What will happen to Sam next, especially after his disappearance caused Janice to lose half her head of hair? Find out how the story continues in the available Chapter 3, or go backwards & check out Chapter 1 if you have not!


I was in a state of nervosity. Standing just opposite to the salon, I could barely make out which of the salon’s stylists were present today, and I wished to spot Eileen amongst them.

A month ago, I had daringly made the dive to switch hairdressers after the one I had stuck with for more than a year had left to join a neighbourhood salon on the other side of the island. I never really understood why, considering the current salon was pretty upscale and set in a mall.

With no other stylists in mind to turn to, I had decided to visit the previous salon my original stylist was situated at. I turned up appointment-free, hoping to get someone good for the job. At the reception counter, a demure lady greeted me and inquired whether I was here for a haircut. Momentarily mesmerised, I could barely make out an answer, but just nodded to her question.

I thought I had hit the jackpot. That she was going to be the one cutting my hair, as she smiled and led me to a chair in the almost full-house salon. She asked if I needed a drink graciously, and I humbly accepted the offer. After serving me a glass of iced water, she left to attend to another customer nearby. I was perplexed.

Everything became clear as a male stylist came behind me after some time, and began to ask how I would like my hair done. The remaining process was a bore, especially since I have absolutely no trust in male stylists after previous experiences.

Ever since that day, I prepared for my next haircut by searching up the Internet for that lady’s name. I searched repeatedly, but eventually to no avail. The salon brand had relatively few outlets and there were not many reviews available online.

One day, it worked out as the salon posted an image of her with a celebrity customer on their Facebook page. I was delighted to find out that her name was Eileen. She looked as beautiful in the picture as she was in real.

A month passed by then and my undercut had reasonably grown, a sign for another haircut. By now, I knew that Eileen was going to be the one to do it, but the question was how?

I baffled a couple of times over it, before coming up with a plot. I would walk in to the salon, with hopes that she would be working that day, and explain that I was recommended by a friend to Eileen. Short and sweet.

Back to the part where I stood opposite to the salon, I bucked up my courage and paced towards the salon entrance. As I entered, the same male stylist was the one who hooked up the conversation first. I certainly hoped he didn’t remember who I was.

It was fortunately that he didn’t seem to remember, as he asked if I was looking for any stylist in particular. I brought out the story that I had plotted, that I was recommended by a friend to Eileen, but did not mention specifically who the friend was, in fear that the plot would be exposed.

Fear loomed as he replied with an apologetic face that Eileen wasn’t working for that day. Reluctantly, I told him that any present stylist would do then. He led me to take a seat at one of the salon chairs, before going back to work on his existing customer.

When all hope seemed lost, he went to pick up a phone call at the reception counter briefly, before walking up to me. ‘Eileen will be here at about 2.30PM, would you like to wait for her?’ he said. I checked the clock on my phone, and it reads 1.47PM. Wonderful. I accepted his offer and made my way out to linger around the mall in the meantime.

I walked repetitively around the modestly sized mall, checking for the time often to know how much longer it was going to take before 2.30PM. I situated myself a floor above, and just observed the salon from afar. 2.17PM was the breaking moment as I saw Eileen emerge from a lift nearby to the salon, and walked in. This was it.

I didn’t want to look desperate, so I waited until 2.28PM near to the salon, before strolling over. As I entered, Eileen was already sitting by the counter with a fellow stylist. I acted as if I didn’t know she was Eileen, since the story was that she was recommended by my friend. I told her so and she politely led me to a chair.

She placed a towel around my neck, and secured it in place with a large clip. A female assistant then came in and led me to wash my hair at the back area.

After a good rinse and wash by the assistant, I was led back to the chair, where the assistant threw a large, plain white cape over me, and fastened it loosely around my neck. It was something different, because the salon usually used product-branded capes that were smaller in size. The cape used by the assistant was much larger, and covered all the way till my ankles, exposing only my feet.

After wiping my hair slightly to remove any excess moisture, she excused herself as I saw Eileen push a cart full of tools towards the chair I sat on. Seeing that the cape was quite loose, she refastened it, but tighter this time.

She looked to be quite silent, but certainly friendly still. This was not to mention that her hairdressing skills were top-notch, as she managed to make out the hairstyle I sported before even making out a single word. I had originally wanted to chemically straighten my hair as I had naturally mixed hair textures, inclusive of kinky hair. She advised otherwise that it could last one or two more cuts. I took her advice.

‘So, would you like to keep your current hairstyle?’ she asked as she continued to analyse my hair. I nodded and she recommended me to touch-up on my hair colour as well, since the previous dye was too bright and my whites were appearing. I politely rejected so that I could use it as an excuse for a follow-up appointment.

With that said, Eileen got straight to work. She reached from the cart several long hairpins, which she used to section my top and crown area away from the sides and back. One more hairpin was also used to pin up my long fringe that reached as far as my nose if pulled straight down.

The shearing followed. What amazed me here about Eileen was her impressive skill in haircutting. She comfortably handled a trimmer and a pair of scissors on one hand, whereas the comb lied in the other. With a regular pair of haircutting scissors, she quickly used the scissors-over-comb technique to trim hair on my left side as short as possible. The trimmer followed as she ran it over the clippers for a uniform cut.

I observed carefully as this was my first time with Eileen. She was meticulous, as she took probably over ten minutes just to finish up one side. My left side was gently tapered, which gradually lengthened to about one-fourth of an inch.

I normally left a V-section at the crown area close to my back, so Eileen worked her way below the section, connecting the length from the left side. She then sectioned again the parting between the top and the right side, ensuring that the section is clean. The scissors appeared again as she rapidly sheared off the excess length, and went it over with the trimmer.

As she unpinned the long hairpins, I reached out of the cape to touch the stubble around the sides and back. It was shorter than how I normally had it, but it felt great to caress.

Without the long hairpins in place, the top and crown sections of hair laid down once again. It had grown unruly over the months, and reached as far as my nose straight down. Eileen drew out vertical sections and trimmed off a couple of inches with the shears, sending a continuous rain of loose hairs right in front of my face. As she completed all the sections, she reached from the cart a pair of thinning scissors.

After several combs through the top, she lifted out section by section, each time plunging the thinning scissors in, and cutting off multiple times. I was shocked by how much hair she was taking off. When she was done with thinning out the top and combed through to get rid of the cut hair, a huge pile of locks that were around my actual hair length cascaded off the comb, onto the cape.

It was a total disaster. I had multiple different hair textures, and it included curly and kinky textures. As the thinning shears had taken off a reasonable amount of length and weight from the top, these curly and kinky strands could no longer lay down flat to blend in with the rest of the hair. They looked awkward, standing up stubbornly against the rest of my hair, which were mostly straight.

Despite the fact that Eileen had tried to salvage the situation by making use of some hair clay with strong hold to weigh the strands down, the effect was minimal, and the look wasn’t satisfactory. Unknowingly, she unfastened the cape, and brought me to the counter for payment before greeting me farewell.

Whilst I wasn’t elated to see that the haircut turned out quite terribly, Eileen had been an eyecandy, and I look forward to my next appointment with her.

Beautiful Mistake

The lift door opened, and I paced towards the apartment’s door. As I reached for my keys within my skinny’s left pocket, the phone vibrated. I lose grip of the keys temporarily and checked the phone.

‘Hey babe, will be flying in early morning tomorrow to meet you. See you.’ The message reads. The first thought that came to mind was oh my god. My man was flying in to meet me, and tomorrow morning at that?

It took me moments to ease my shock, but excitement soon followed. It’s been months since we had met. I had been living as an expat in this country since I graduated last year, as I didn’t qualify for a local university back home.

Speaking of meeting him, I should make myself presentable for the occasion tomorrow. After all, it was going to be a rare opportunity to be able to meet him at this time of the year.

I went into the apartment, and headed for my room. Sitting down in front of the dressing table, I pondered over what to wear for tomorrow. As I inspected each dress, nothing seemed to match well. Have I matured too much to fit in these dresses? I wondered.

It was then I noticed how much I have neglected my tresses. It was long, very long at that. Halfway down my back, it bore a darkish brown colour naturally and was quite straight. However, months of mistreatment due to school has led to my hair becoming unkempt and ruffled. I combed through from root to tip, and pulled several times at tangles. Ouch.

Realisation sat in. I had to do something about my hair. I checked the mini clock placed beside the dressing table. 7.30PM. It was already reasonably dark outside.

I grabbed my purse and headed out. Strolling along the shop houses lain across the apartments, I bore hopes that a salon was still open to accommodate me.

As I walked along the pavements, checking the shops for an open salon, it seemed as if all hopes were lost. Almost all the shops had closed for the day, and the earliest they would have opened again was tomorrow morning.

Miraculously, as I was about to make a turn and head back to the apartment, drowned in disappointment, I spotted dim lights emerging from one of the shop windows not far ahead. I prayed it was a hair salon. It had to be one.

My prayers were answered. Well, partially. As I reached the shop entrance, I realised it was one of the traditional hair salons, usually owned by the older generations. They serve primarily the seniors, and I wasn’t exactly sure it fitted my description of a hair salon.

I made another time-check at my watch. 8.00PM. ‘It’s all or nothing girl,’ I thought to myself. I wandered around the entrance briefly, trying to shrug off the nervousness. Eventually, I bucked up enough courage and made a push at the salon door. It shrieked slightly as I pushed.

Traditional Hair Salon

Once inside, I felt almost perplexed by the scene. There were two females working on their clients’ hair. Simple black chairs face wide mirrors covering both sides of the salon. On one side, an elderly woman was getting her hair trimmed by one of the female hairdressers. The other client was strangely a young lady getting a haircut on the other side, served by the other hairdresser.

I was pretty native to the looks of the salon equipment used here, as they looked like they were from the last era, so much that I could hardly decipher the modern equivalent. I decided not to pay too much attention, and took a seat at one of the chairs beside the young lady, unofficially branding it the ‘younger zone’.

Before long, the elderly woman was done and off after making payment. The plump hairdresser turned over and exchanged looks with me through the mirror. The barrier of language immediately hindered the conversation. With my modest grasp of chinese, I took out my phone, pulled out a photo of Anne Hathaway with gorgeous soft curls, and explained what I wanted. She smiled, as if understanding what I was going for. I certainly hoped so.

She pushed a salon trolley loaded with equipment and solutions over to my side, and reached for a hairdressing cape. The cape was draped over me, and fastened snuggly around my neck. She even reached forward to pull the cape over to cover my legs completey. For a moment, it felt like the experience was going to be a great one.

Rollers were then instantly used on my locks, and were all rolled up close to my head after tying a perm paper onto each roller. She worked quickly as the work was done in less than fifteen minutes, or perhaps I had too little hair. I worried as I did not remember having rollers placed so close to my scalp for loose curls. Nevertheless, I realised it was too late to turn back, and went ahead with the perm. She added the perm solution between the rollers, and excused herself briefly while it worked its magic.

With nothing on hand to read or such, I took to observing the haircut going on beside me discreetly. The female snipped off a couple of inches across, and was slowly building into a sleek pixie cut. Perhaps I had been mistaken in judging these hairdressers too early. After all, don’t the older generations have more experience?

All these thoughts were fully withdrawn, the moment I saw the mess the hairdresser had made of my hair. After she removed the rollers and brought me for a shampoo to rinse off the solution, I saw how tight the curls were! They looked just short of corkscrew curls, and I stared in disbelief at the monstrosity I had become. My waist-length hair was now reduced to a bunch of curls that barely touched my shoulders, many thanks to the hairdresser’s work.

But this was not the time for blame. I had to do something to salvage the situation. With my terrible chinese, I blurted out broken messages of ‘No! Wash away!’ to her. She looked confused at what I was trying to get at, but somehow got part of my message. She brought me back to the washing basin, and shampooed my hair twice to try and rinse out the tightness of the curls since the perm solution had just taken effect not long ago. There might still be hope.

After an excessive dosage of shampoo to my pre-damaged tresses, the salvaging session concluded as she wiped dry my hair, and led me back to the chair. Fortunately and unfortunately, the curls were no longer as tight, but were no longer its previous glory as well. It However, it looked nowhere near presentable. Furthermore, the perm solution had done its toll to my hair. Coupled with the multiple rinses of shampoo, the ends of my hair looked fried, and rough to the touch.

I pointed out the damaged area to her, but she simply shaked her head, as if meaning that it was a gone case. Looks like the length has to go.

She reached for a pair of haircutting scissors off the front table, and detangled the gentler curls with her comb. Upon the last comb, snipping sounds were heard. And it was done. In a matter of seconds, the years I painstakingly took to grow out my hair were wasted.

The hairdresser unfastened the cape off me, and looked upset as she seemed to realise that the curls were not to my expectations. I figured that it wouldn’t be right to blame her solely for the mistake, and thus paid her for the services, which she accepted humbly.

I left the salon, and the emotions started to set in. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I come to terms with the fact that my hair was now nothing but ruined. Out of the blue, my phone rang.

I checked the caller, and realised it was my roommate, Sandy. I wiped my eyes dry quickly and held in the tears, before getting to the call. ‘Hey Sandy, what’s up?’ I said in a teary tone.

With the many years of friendship between Sandy and I, nothing could be hidden well enough to be undetected by her. As she probed about what had happened, I came clean on the entire story. She consoled me and offered to call one of her friends, who was a hairdresser living here as an expat. I initially rejected Sandy’s offer for fears of another screw-up, but reluctantly agreed to meet the friend after much persuasion.

Sandy had arranged for the friend, Jane to meet at our apartment in thirty minutes, and so made my way back to the apartment as fast as possible. By the time I reached, Jane was already there with Sandy. She was a beautiful woman, with strawberry blonde hair tied up in a loose ponytail, and dressed casually in a pale pink tee.

We skipped the pleasantries, knowing how dire my situation was. Jane told me to sit in front of the dressing table, and began to consult me on the possible options. ‘Well, we are quite limited in options here. The perm solution has damaged your hair too much, so it is not possible to straighten it back right now. We could take it to a chin-length bob, but it wouldn’t be the prime solution. Another option is to take it all off, perhaps with a #4 blade on the clippers. That would be best.’ Jane advised.

Chin-length bob of curls or shear it all off down to half an inch. Both sounded pretty extreme to me. But if I had to make a choice, then certainly the buzzcut. I knew the curls had to come off today, by hook or by crook. With my mind set, I was ready for it. ‘Take it all off then.’ I answered Jane.

Certainly, Jane obliged. She reached for her hairdressing kit, and took out a hairdressing cape. It was cute and funky with a scissors pattern, something one does not usually see at the hair salons. As part of standard procedure, the cape was thrown over me, and tightened around my neck. Jane made sure it was firm enough so that the shorn locks wouldn’t slip through onto my clothes.

The clippers were plugged into the socket by the table, and turned on with a thud. Jane gave the unguarded blades a few swipes from a brush and offed it briefly to attach the #4 blade.

It roared alive once again, this time the sound closer to my ears. Jane combed out the curls at my back briefly, before making the first move. The clippers changed tunes as it plunged into the thick curls, and stopped short of the crown. Jane repeated the motion several times, dislodging all the curls at my nape up to the crown section, sending them falling to the floor.

Female Buzzcut

Jane then shifted the shearing gradually, directing the motion towards my right. She pulled down my ear gently so that the clipper blade can reach the areas covered behind the ear. The clippers then ran up my side, past the temple area, all the way up to the parietal ridge. The shorn locks cascaded down the cape, and gathered on my lap. I tried not to pay too much attention to it.

She then subsequently switched sides, and let the clippers sever off the curls on my left. All that was left now was the crown section. Jane combed back the tresses from the front so that she could see my hairline. Placing the clippers at my hairline, she pushed it back straight, sending a huge pile of my hair down to the floor. I looked hilarious, as if a lawn mower had just ran past the centre of my head. Jane made quick work of the remaining curls, shaving them down to half an inch with her trusty clippers.

The shearing process was officially ended, as I greeted my super short hair via the small mirror by the table. I reached up to caress my new buzzcut. While it was very short, it felt soft and nice to touch. Both Sandy and Jane commended me for taking it all off and that it accentuated my facial features better now. I not only felt beautiful, I thought I looked beautiful.

The next day arrived quickly, and I met him at the airport. He couldn’t recognise me. As I shouted for his name and we exchanged gazes, he looked surprised, but quickly smiled brightly upon noticing my awesome hair makeover. He lifted my up on his arm, and caressed my hair in the other. He must have loved seeing me in super short hair. We had a great night that day, bringing the dramatic story about my hair disaster to its end.

Liz Gets A Sidecut

The cold wind blew against Liz’s cheeks, and brought cold chills running down her spine. The freezing temperatures this winter was almost intolerable for anyone to even leave their houses, but Liz just had to. It was almost Christmas, and she had to get some necessaries for the occasion. This was especially the case since it is the first Christmas that she will be spending with Mark after they got married last summer.

As she scampered along the streets, trying to find shelter to avoid the chilly winds, she passed by a barbershop. It looked pretty old-fashioned, or rather quite vintage. This made Liz thought momentarily about the latest trend; sidecuts.

She reached up to caress her long tresses, and realised she had neglected them for so long, they looked dull and unattractive. ‘Perhaps a sidecut is just what I need to spice up the night with Mark.’ Liz thought.

Without a second thought, she entered the barbershop. Once inside, she noticed there was a middle-aged man on the chair, served by a barberette. She looked considerably young, but dressed modestly in a sweater and trousers. She had super short hair as well.

The man having his haircut looked hysterically at Liz through the mirror, probably wondering what is a lady like Liz doing in a barbershop. Liz however, took no notice and made herself comfortable on a bench opposite of the barber chair.

Before long, the man was done, and got up from the chair. He gave Liz one quick look before leaving the barbershop. ‘Next!’ the barberette exclaimed as she brushed the chair of the loose hairs.

As Liz got up, the barberette turned the chair to face Liz, as if welcoming her to take a seat. She followed. As she sat, it felt unusually large as compared to salon chairs, and had this metallic feeling to it.

The barberette grabbed a roll of neck strips, tore off a piece and wrapped it around Liz’s neck. Liz thought it was strange since salons usually used a towel instead, but did not probe further as to why a strip was placed.

She then took a red striped cape off a shelf, tossed it over Liz, and fastened it snuggly around her neck as well. Following that, she folded the neck strip down, over the cape.

‘So, is it going to be just a trim, miss?’ the barberette asked. Liz shook her head in rejection. ‘I would like to get a sidecut.’ Liz said.

The barberette nodded at Liz’s reply, and spoke no longer. She sectioned off Liz’s hair on her left, all the way up to the temple area, and used long hair pins to pin them over her head.

Sidecut 1

Liz sat there nervously as the barberette sectioned the hair, and then disappeared around her back. She heard a couple of footsteps, before hearing a thud sound, followed by a continuous mechanical noise. It wasn’t very loud, but Liz felt uncomfortable hearing it.

The berberette walked back up, and stood on Liz’s left once again. She grabbed hold of a few stray hairs that refused to stay in the hair pins’ grasp, and held them up against her head. She then turned on the pair of clippers in her hand, which gave birth to the thud sound which she heard earlier.

Sidecut 2

She placed the clippers’ blades at her nape, and pushed it up along the section. Liz’s long locks were dislodged by the blades, and cascaded down, gathering on the cape. More hair rained down in front of her eyes as the barberette made a few more passes with the clippers.

Sidecut 3

The cold blades then touched her side, and she felt a tingly sensation as the clippers were pushed up to the temple, connecting the shaved areas. A couple more passes were made as well to ensure the sectioned area was shaved evenly to a #2.

The barberette removed the hair pins, and Liz’s remaining locks were let loose again. With her left side all shaved off, there was no longer any hair to frame her face on that side. However, Liz thought it was great to have gotten the sidecut, as the shaving off of the sectioned hair allowed her facial features to be more accentuated.

Liz reached up to touch the shaved area. It felt grainy to touch, and Liz was aroused by the touch, strangely. Satisfied with the sidecut, she smiled at the barberette, and the cape was unfastened from her neck.

She stood up, paid the barberette for the work, and handed her a hefty tip as well. Liz headed for the door, and exited out to the streets again. The weather had warmed up a little then, and that lightened up Liz’s mood. Looks like it is going to be a good Christmas for Liz and perhaps even Mark!

No More Tangles

Jane had taken a bath, and now sat in front of her dressing table, combing through her wet long tresses. As she attempted to comb out the tangles, she accidentally pulled on a few tangled strands too harshly.

‘Ouch!’ Jane exclaimed upon the pull. She glanced at her comb, and saw the few pulled strands stuck onto the comb teeth. That brought thoughts to Jane’s mind. If she had short hair, she could be relieved of having to comb out tangles whenever she washes her hair. Furthermore, short hair is the trend for girls these days. That put Jane’s thoughts into motion.

She headed for her mum’s room, and asked, ‘Hey mum, can you drop me by the salon tomorrow morning?’ Her mum thought good of her initiative to visit the salon so as to look more presentation, and welcomed her request.

Next morning, she was all buckled up and her mum drove her to the salon downtown. Her mum said she would come get her in an hour or so, before Jane went into the salon.

Upon entrance, Wendy was just by the door, drinking some water off the dispenser. ‘Hey Jane, here to get a trim?’ Wendy asked Jane.

‘Well, not really. I was thinking of getting a pixie haircut.’ Jane replied calmly.

Salon Pixie Cut 1

‘What, are you serious? You have such beautiful, long locks…’ Wendy mourned, knowing that her efforts in keeping Jane’s hair long and healthy is about to become futile.

Salon Pixie Cut 2

Seeing that Jane is convinced she needs a pixie haircut, Wendy did not ask further, and guided her to a salon chair. Wendy brought out a Redken hairdressing cape, and draped it around Jane, tightening it snuggly around her neck.

Salon Pixie Cut 3

‘Alright, let’s take the ponytail off, before we cut the rest of the length.’ Wendy told Jane. She tied Jane’s hair firmly into a ponytail as close to her head as possible, and placed it between her shear’s jaws. ‘You ready?’ Wendy asked Jane once more, hoping that she would change her mind. Jane gave a steady nod, and Wendy knew the verdict had been given. ‘Schnick, schnick, schnick!’ sounds can be heard as Wendy’s shears sliced through Jane’s ponytail.

Salon Pixie Cut 4

Before long, the entire ponytail had been cut off, and Wendy placed it on the table. Jane’s remaining hair now cascaded around her chin area.

Wendy brought Jane to the back to wash her up, before sending her back to the chair. She combed out Jane’s locks neatly, so that the cut will be even.

Salon Pixie Cut 7

Salon Pixie Cut 8

There was no delay as Wendy got down straight to work. She made an inverted V-section at the back of Jane’s head, and worked her way to the front. Each time she segmented out pieces of hair, and snipped it about an inch from the scalp. It gradually got longer as she worked her way to the front.

Salon Pixie Cut 9

Salon Pixie Cut 11

Wendy then proceeded to connect the length on top with the sides, so that the hairstyle looks blended and clean on Jane. Jane’s loose hairs had already littered the entire cape, as Wendy continued with the cut.

Salon Pixie Cut 10

Midway, Jane had commented that the fringe was quite long, and got into her eyes. With that said Wendy came forward, sectioned out Jane’s fringe, and snipped off half the length! She combed the cut fringe to the side, and only barely reached her temple. The fringe can now barely touch even Jane’s eyebrows.

Salon Pixie Cut 12

To finish up the haircut, Wendy brought out a hair trimmer, and shaved away the loose hairs that are visible since Jane’s hair is now so short. As the trimmer shaved away the hairs, the vibration sent chills down Jane’s spine as she was unfamiliar with the cold touch.

Salon Pixie Cut 13

Wendy then completed the look with some hairspray, just to lock the shape in further. The cut already looked great on its own. She unfastened the cape, and Jane paid her at the counter. It was then her mum had come in via the front entrance.

Salon Pixie Cut 14

‘Oh my gosh! You look great, honey!’ her mum exclaimed upon sight of Jane. Jane reached up to caress her freshly cropped pixie, and loved the touch. Jane felt amazing sporting the pixie haircut, and instantly booked Wendy next month for a trim. Looks like Jane isn’t growing her hair back anytime soon.

Deceptive Alice: Forced Buzzcut

I strode along the streets, looking for my destination. Alice had told me it was a 100 year old warehouse building, so it must look pretty antique. Nevertheless, the street was filled with century-old buildings and it took some effort before finding the correct one.

Salon Scene

I walked through the entrance and entered the salon. There was no reception counter, but a long row of stools lay along one side of the salon. There seemed to be a long queue as many people sat on these stools, seemingly waiting for their haircut. The other side was filled with salon chairs, mostly with clients on them. What sent a shiver down my neck were the unusual looks most of the stylists sported. Nevertheless, since Alice personally introduced it, I tried not to let it get to me.

I took a seat at the end of the queue on the stools, and waited patiently for my turn. Unpredictably, the queue actually cleared up pretty quickly as there were quite a few stylists working and they were pretty efficient in their work. Each client only took approximately ten minutes to finish before they are up and gone.

Not long after, I was already on the stool at the very front of the queue, meaning I was next. Not far off at the corner, I saw a lady dressed in a purple top and jeans finishing up her client. Chances are I’m going to get my haircut by her. While she was dressed appropriately, her bob had a purple streak dyed in and it reflected on her negatively.

As she brushed the loose hairs off her client and unfastened the cape, I prepared myself, breathing in and out continuously. Changing stylists are never easy for girls.

Thereafter, the client got up, paid the stylist and left. The stylist then turned and exchanged looks with me. She smiled and gestured for me to take a seat. I stood up and went over to take a seat.

As I sat down, I spoke up to her. ‘Hi, I’m introduced by Alice?’ I said.

‘Ah, I see you’re a friend of Alice. Don’t worry, you’ll be in good hands!’ she replied.

She dialogued further, ‘I’m Sheila, nice to meet you. Just to clarify, the norm here is that the stylists give their clients the cut they think best suits them. The client has no say here, and that’s what makes us unique. You don’t know what you’re going to look like until the stylist finishes the cut!’

‘What?’ I thought. Now that really got me. Alice didn’t mention this part to me! I can’t get to choose how I want my haircut? That affected me greatly, so much I momentarily wanted to stand up and leave.

However, just as I wanted to stand up, Sheila pinned me down by the shoulders, forcing me back on the chair. ‘Come on, you’ll look great!’ she exclaimed. I stared in disbelief as she covered my neck firmly with a neck strip, and draped a large white hairdressing cape over me, fastening it tightly around my neck. ‘Too late now,’ I guessed.

Before commencing the cut, Sheila placed an oversized haircutting collar around my shoulders, and it weighed down on me. ‘It’s to help keep the client sitting up and straight,’ Sheila explained.

I clenched my fists tightly onto the arms of the salon chair, horrified at the thought of not knowing how Sheila is going to cut my hair. Sheila was then picking up a pair of electric clippers, and that really brought me to the extremity, almost breaking down in tears for fear of losing my long locks.

Sheila attached a long blade to the clippers, and then repositioned herself on my right. The clippers turned on with a thud, and as the clippers came close to my scalp, I closed my eyes as the machine changed tunes while shearing through my blonde locks. My eyes got wet as I thought, ‘Alright, a pixie cut for me. That’s not too bad,’ consoling myself psychologically.

Sheila continued pushing the clippers from front to back, starting from the sideburn area. As the clippers severed off my tresses, a small, thin sideburn was left in place. Things turned bad when I noticed Sheila wasn’t working around my back and sides, but over the top! She continued combing down sections from the top of my head and shaving it off with the clippers!

Half Buzzed

As she reached the centre point of my head, I stared in horror at my reflection in the mirror. I looked like a freak! One side was still full of my long luscious hair, whereas the other side was shaved down to less than in inch. Sheila reached for a brush to clean off any loose hairs around my face.

Full Buzzcut by Irina 1

She then moved to my left, and started from the sideburn area again. The clippers tore through my hair, and the sheared locks slid down the large cape, resting in my lap above the cape or on the salon floor. More and more locks tumbled down the cape as she worked her way up the head, depriving me of all my long locks soon after.

Full Buzzcut by Irina 2

Tears slid down my face as I saw the last lock shorn off my head, and all I was left in place was super-short hair all over. Sheila tried to console me that it looked great and accentuated my features, but to no avail. I was convinced it looked terrible, and told myself I will never return to Sheila again.


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