Shorter than expected

It had been a while since she’d gotten her haircut, and she wanted to get it over with before summer began. Her hair was now long, very long, it hung thick and wavy a little above her belly button. But she was getting tired of it. It was difficult to maintain it and she just wanted to get rid of a little bit of the length for practical purposes.

So the next day, she made an appointment at her usual salon and waited. The lady at the reception asked her to wait near the chairs. While she was waiting, the receptionist glanced at her waist-length hair and asked her why she was getting it cut, especially since it looked so healthy and shiny. She looked at her reflection in one of the mirrors and realized that the receptionist was right. Her black, shiny hair was looking healthier than ever, the ends nice and thick and the waves falling beautifully. Should she still get it cut?

Before she could start rethinking her decision, the hairdresser walked over to her and guided her to a chair. The hairdresser looked very intimidating. A large, heavy-set lady, she briskly pulled out a white cape and wrapped it around her. She wanted to tell the hairdresser what she wanted before the hairdresser began cutting, but no one was paying attention to her. She opened her mouth to talk, but her throat was dry, no voice came out. She began to seriously wonder whether this was a good decision.

“What would you like?”, asked the hairdresser, finally. Her voice was brusque and authoritative. “Just want to reduce the length a little bit, and a few layers.”, she said, timidly. “Your ends look very spoilt”, the hairdresser scolded, “you must get rid of them”. She could say nothing in defense to that. “Just show me how much of the length you are taking off when you start cutting,” she suggested mildly.

The hairdresser took out a water spray and sprayed it all over her hair until it was wet. Then, running a comb down, it, she began to part it and section it, and tightly secure the sections in clips. She could only see the hair lying in front of her, she could not make out what the hairdresser would do to the section behind her back.

Slowly, the hairdresser ran a comb behind her hair, and then she felt the hairs below the nape of her neck pulling as scissors went through her hair. “Wait!”, she exclaimed, “I told you to show me how much you’re cutting before you start!”. Annoyed, the hairdresser dropped the hair she had just cut on the her lap. “See,” she said “It’s not much”. On her lap, lay a bunch of hair, measuring atleast seven inches of her length. The hairdresser had cut way more than she had asked for! “But I want my hair to still be long!”, she said, “this looks too short!”. “It will be fine, the hairdresser said, as she picked up the scissors again to continue cutting. It was too late to say anything now anyway.

The hairdresser finished cutting the hair’s baseline behind her back, and she felt the scissors a little below her collar-bone. Oh no, she thought. This was too short- she’d wanted it to just be a few inches shorter than above her waist. She didn’t want shoulder-length hair! Nevertheless, she sat there, motionless, unable to move as her hairdresser continued chopping. She still couldn’t see how much was being cut as everything was happening behind her back. Finally, the hairdresser began to work her way to the side sections. She would finally be able to see how short her hair is.

The hairdresser undid the section to the right of her hair, near her face. Her long, waist length section fell as the hairclip was removed. Quickly, the hairdresser combed through it, and chopped it to match the length of the newly cut hair behind her. It was now shoulder length, the ends of her hair looking choppy and thick. So this was it. She would now have shoulder length hair then.

Once the length was chopped, the hairdresser pushed all her newly cut hair in front of her so that she could see the length. When before, her hair would’ve fallen below her breasts, it now hung, bunched a little below her shoulders, thick and short. She looked at the floor and saw a mountain of wet hair in cut pieces lying all around her feet. Oh well.

Now the hairdresser water sprayed her hair again. More cutting? She quickly sectioned her hair again and began to cut, wildly, layers. “Don’t cut too much, it’s already so short”, she said. The hairdresser paid no heed, sectioning and cutting more and more. She pulled all front hair to the front of her face and chopped it near her nose. Around three inches of hair fell to her lap. What was going on?

It was over. The hairdresser blow dried her hair roughly, and then held up a mirror behind her. Her short hair, now in layers, was even shorter. She looked like a little girl. She then undid her cape and let her feel the hair. As she picked up her rubber-band to pull her hair into a ponytail, she realized it was too short for even that. As she held her hair behind her, the short layers fell around her face.

Confused and thoroughly baffled, she went to the reception, paid her fare and left. The receptionist glanced at her new hair and kept staring until she left.

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