Posted by: haircutsrevisited | October 13, 2005

K-Mart Haircut

K-Mart Haircut
By Tammy

Foreword: This story is very reminiscent of what my own mother was like, and what it was like at that age when I was trying to fit in at school. Over the years I’ve had clients share with me similar stories of a horrible haircut they got when they were young, I can relate.

I got into big trouble back when I was in Grade 8. I grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago, Illinois and attended a local catholic elementary school. It was the last year in elementary school before going on to a Catholic High School the next year. I was in grade 8 which meant we were the big kids in the school and it was our turn to rule the school.

That year we started paying a lot more attention to the guys in the class. I remember there were a couple of girls in my class that were starting to get involved with a group of boys. They were Tina and Michelle. The rumours were that Tina and Todd where involved and Michelle was involved with Brandon. I had a big crush on another boy named Chad who was friends with Todd and Brandon.

I remember as I started to hang out with Tina and Michelle so I could get closer with Chad. I started to secretly wear make-up and dress a little cooler at school while hiding this from my parents. My parents were very strict and wouldn’t allow me to dress this way or wear any make-up. They also forbade me to date until I turned 16, and that was in three years.

Well you know? What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them (I figured). I remember I hid some clothes I bought with my own money and I bought some make-up as well. I used to hide them in a few different places in my room where my mom couldn’t find them. I used to sneak an outfit out of the house in my school bag and would quickly change in the garage on the way out without my parents ever knowing.

On the way to school I would walk a few blocks over and hook up with Tina and Michelle before school. As I got to know those two better we had begun a morning ritual of applying eye-liner  a little eye shadow and lip-gloss as we walked to school. We would also decide how to wear our hair, either we would put it up in a scrunchie or we would leave it down. We all had very long hair, as that was the trend for the girls our age and the three of us were very light natural blonde lightened from the sun.

One morning we were talking and I told Tina and Michelle I liked Chad,

“Really,” Michelle said.

“For how long?” Tina asked.

“For a while I guess,” I told them.

“Why didn’t you say anything,” Tina asked.

“I don’t know, I wasn’t sure if he liked me,” I said.

“Oh my god, I have a great idea!” Michelle busted out. “At lunch lets sneak off school property with Brandon and Todd and let’s have them bring Chad.” She said.

“What would we do?” I asked.

“Oh my god you’re so funny,” Tina said and they both started laughing.

I was embarrassed so I kept quiet.

During class Tina and Michelle sent notes to Brandon and Todd. The told them to sneak off to the ravine and bring Chad with them. I was a little nervous and I was excited for lunch to come.

After eating lunch we were sent out for recess. I went with Tina and Michelle and we snuck off the property into the trees at the side of the property behind the portables where the teacher on yard duty couldn’t see us. We ran down the hill through the trees and stopped at the bottom at the ravine. The boys were already down there waiting for us, and they were smoking cigarettes.

Chad was there with Brandon and Todd but he wasn’t smoking. Michelle and Tina took cigarettes and started smoking too. I was kind of shocked as I never seen anyone I knew smoke before. They offered me one and I nodded no.

Tina and Todd walked off downstream together and Michelle and Brandon walked the other direction up-stream. They left Chad and I standing there and I was really shy and nervous.

“How did you do on the Science test?” Chad asked me.

I shrugged, “I don’t know,” I said, “Probably ok,” I told him.

“You always do well in school so you shouldn’t worry,” He told me.

I was quiet.

“Why are you all of a sudden hanging out with Tina and Michelle, and dressing like them?” He asked.

“I like them,” I told him. He just nodded.

“Do you like the way I dress?” I asked him.

“Its ok I guess,” He said. “I liked you already before you changed anyway.” He said and I smiled.

He reached for my hand and held it. I was so happy. We chatted for a while well listening to the water ruffle by over the rocks and I loved every moment of it. That was until I heard Mrs. Paterson.

“Todd what do you think you are doing?” We heard Mrs. Paterson yell off in the distance. We froze for a moment.

“You filthy boy you get your hands off that young girl.” We could here Mrs. Paterson yelling.

“Busted.” Chad said very quietly.

“Shhhh.” I told him.

“I heard that, who else is in here.” Mrs. Paterson yelled towards us.

“Shit.” Chad said and we both ducked down and tried to hide.

“I see you two over there, you get up and come over here immediately.” She yelled at us.

I got up and walked over and Chad followed.

“Did he touch you Christina?” She asked me as I walked over and I nodded no.

“Did you touch her Chad?” He asked him and he said no.

“Is there anyone else in here I need to know about.” She asked us and we all said no.

“Tina where is your friend Michelle right now?” She asked.

“I don’t know.” Tina said.

“Michelle you come out to, I know you’re down here as well so no games.” Mrs. Paterson yelled out. “I’m not fooling you, show your face immediately.” She yelled again.

“Who is she with?” Mrs. Paterson asked me directly.

I was so scared. “I don’t know who she is with,” I said.

“But you do know she is down here, I can tell,” she told me, “You better tell me where,” She said to me.

I nodded my head upstream.

“You bitch!” Tina told me right away. “You bitch, you’re going to pay.”

“Not a sound out of you.” Mrs. Patterson told Tina. “Michelle I know you’re up there so you come out right now.” She yelled upstream.

Michelle came out with Brandon following.

Mrs. Paterson just shook her head at them.

“I suppose you where smoking those cigarettes butts on the ground to.” She said.

“No Mrs. Paterson I could never do such a thing.” Tina responded.

Mrs. Paterson laughed and reached for Todd’s pocket and pulled out the pack of cigarettes.

“Come with me,” she said and we followed her out of the woods to the schools office.

In the office we were separated. They kept the boys in the office area and Tina, Michelle and I were told to wait in the Nurses room.

We sat in their waiting and Tina started in on me.

“You rat, you rated Michelle out you little bitch, who the fuck do you think you are.” She told me.

“How could you do that to me,” Michelle yelled at me.

“Girls you shut-up in their.” Mrs. Dartmouth our Vice Principal yelled at us. Christina you come in here to my office right now.

I got up and entered her office and she closed the door.

“What has gotten in to you?” She asked me.

“I didn’t do anything.” I told her.

“You left school property with a boy.” She said. “I understand you saying you didn’t do anything and I want to believe you but you were found with a boy off school property.” She said. “Are you absolutely sure nothing happened?” she asked me.

“I promise you nothing happened,” I said. “We just talked.”

She picked up the phone in front of me and called my mother. I was freaking out inside. If she saw me dressed this way and my make-up she would kill me. Mrs. Dartmouth told her I left the property with some other kids and I was found alone in the woods with a boy. She asked my mom to come and get me as I was receiving a one-week suspension from school for this incident.

My mom came into the office and just about passed out from seeing how I was dressed. She didn’t say anything to me at all. She just thanked Mrs. Dartmouth and we left.

She didn’t say anything to me the entire way home. When we got home I went straight to my room and she followed me in.

“First of all, did anything happen,” She asked.

“No,” I said.

“Ok, Second of all where did you get those clothes,” She asked.

“I bought them with my money,” I told her.

“Ok, get out of them and I want any other clothes you might have like them and put them on the floor right now.”

She left the room and I changed into one of my old outfits and through the clothes on the floor. She came back in.

“Now is that all of the clothes or are you still hiding.” She asked.

I nodded yes.

She started looking through everything in my room and found another outfit under my mattress.

“I want all of these outfits out on the floor right now.” She told me.

I complied and removed my secret outfits from all of their hiding places and put them on the floor.

“Ok, now third of all, where did you get the make-up?” she asked.

“I bought that too,” I told her.

Ok, put all of it in your trash bin,” she said pointing to my trash bin next to my desk.

I opened my desk drawer and pulled out some make-up and through it in the trash bin.

“Come with me,” She said grabbing the trash bin and collecting the outfits off of the floor. We went downstairs and she emptied my trash-bin into the garbage in the garage. She got a large black plastic bag and placed all my outfits into it. I followed her out to the car and we into it.

She drove to the local plaza where there was a K-Mart. She drove up to a charity collection box in the parking lot and through all of my outfits into it. She parked the car in front of the K-Mart and we got out and walked into the store.

“It’s time to teach you how to have a more respectable appearance.”

She took me to the girls clothing section and started to pull out the most awful clothes ever. She had ugly pastel coloured pants and ugly little shirts with floral patterns. I didn’t like anything she was picking out.

”Go try these on,” she told me. I tried to refuse and she smacked me in the back of the head. “Don’t you dare test me today young lady,” She told me.

I went into the change room and tried on a few outfits. I came out and she said they would do just fine and to keep the outfit on that I was wearing. They were tacky pink coloured trousers with a white blouse with little poodles on the collar. It looked incredibly stupid on me.

She ripped the tags off the outfit and went to pay for it as well as a bunch of other outfits she picked out. It was so embarrassing to be in public like this.

When she paid she started walking towards the back of the store again and told me to follow her. We were walking though the aisles and I was wondering where we were going, why we weren’t leaving already. I followed her and I could see down the end of the aisle that sign that said ‘Family Haircutting.’

No, I thought, she wouldn’t. I continued to follow her and she reached back to me and grabbed me by the hand and walked me straight into that salon. I was petrified.

We stopped in the waiting area and waited for the barberette. The salon was small with three styling chairs. It had orange-coloured shelves and fixtures in front of the brown coloured stylist chairs and their was mirrors above the shelf. There were orange and brown stripes across the back wall with pictures of haircuts in frames along the walls.

The lady came over and said, “Can I help you?”

She was a black woman, must have been in her 50’s, slightly overweight and wearing a polyester brown and orange trimmed dress and wearing thick black cat-eyed framed glasses from out of the 60’s. She made me very nervous looking at her.

”She needs a good haircut,” My mom told her.

“Ok, come and take a seat right here dear,” she said stepping over to the first chair in the salon.

My mom pushed my shoulder and nudged me over to it. I nervously stepped up into the chair. It was empty in that salon, just the three of us and I was grateful. I looked at myself in the mirror and I was sitting there wearing that stupid blouse. My hair looked amazing on me, it was so long and blonde and I loved it. I was freaking out about cutting it.

“What are we going to do today Ma’am,” she asked my mom.

“This one has gotten herself into a lot of trouble with a boy at school today,” she told her. “I want you to cut her hair so short that a boy will not even think about looking at her again for a very long time.”

“No mom,” I told her.

“Don’t you start with me Christina, you are very lucky I’ve been letting you off as soft as I have so far.” She told me. “So you better keep your mouth shut.” I kept quiet.

The barberette picked up a red cape and flung it over me. I was shivering sitting there. She pulled my hair out from under the cape and it fell over the front of my shoulders. She fastened the cape around my neck.

She came around me and grabbed a comb and scissors. She came back behind me and started combing my hair out. She pulled at it and tugged hard, “Ouch” I yelled out.

“Relax now dear,” she said, “This won’t hurt one bit.”

She combed a lock of hair at my forehead straight up and held it between her fingers close to my scalp. My eyes popped as I watched her dive in with the scissors and chop my hair off right at her fingers leaving maybe 2” of hair on my head. Schnip, Schnip, Schnip. I watched over 30” of blond locks fall from my head and into my lap.

I sat their as she continued to shorn all of the hair off of the top of my head. She sheared my hair down to about 2” in length and all of my hair was falling off to my shoulders and into my lap. I was stunned at what was happening. I glanced over to my mother who was now in the waiting area sitting with a big smile on her face.

The barberette twisted my head forward again with her hand on my head and continued. She started now on my right side combing out section after section and holding it between her fingers and cutting all of the length off to 2” short. She worked all the way around my right side and across my back.

I stared at myself as all the hair on the top, sides and back was now shorn to 2” in length and the all the hair on my left side remained, and laid down my left shoulder. I watched as she came around to my left side and held another section. Schnip, Schnip, Schnip, all of the hair remaining on my left side was raining down my shoulder and into my lap.

I couldn’t look at my reflection, as the image was not of me. I couldn’t accept what had just happened to me. It didn’t feel right at all. I tried to look at myself and it all seemed so unreal. 

Every time I looked up at myself in the mirror all I could see was my hair cropped to 2” in length all over. I would look down to avoid looking into the mirror and I would look into my lap where mounds of my shorn hair had gathered. I wanted to flick it all off of the cape in my lap and onto the floor but I was way to numb to move.

I felt as the barberette was spraying my hair down with a spray bottle and combing through it. She put the spray-bottle down and came behind me with her scissors and comb. She tilted my head straight down and started combing out the back. I heard the scissors start to open and close very fast back there, as she was combing upwards and cutting my hair off, I was petrified from this.

I couldn’t tell what she was doing and I just wanted her to stop. I kept looking up into the mirror to see and her hands were moving very fast as she combed and cut away at my hair. She tilted my head over to the left and moved around my right combing and cutting over my right ear and all of the way up my right side. The length was being cut much shorter in the sides then before.

She moved over to my left side and cut the left side the same as the right. She then stepped in front of me and started combing my hair straightforward onto my forehead. The scissors sled high up across my forehead and cut a little fringe straight across my forehead very high up and straight across and down the sides.

I was left with a very short boyish crop. My hair was still wet and she blow-dried it straight with her fingers giving it a slight part to the right. I felt sick from looking at it in the mirror. She finished drying it and cleaned up my nape and around my ears with edging clippers. She dusted off the hairs and removed the cape and I was finished to face the world with my new look. I was petrified of going out looking like this and I didn’t know what to do.

I got up fast and walked out of the salon and waited down the aisle for my mother. I felt my hair with my hands and it felt bizarre. It didn’t feel right to me, and my clothes made me look stupid. I just wanted to leave.

That was a hard week for me being suspended as my mom made me volunteer my week at the local Hospice where they put me to work in the Laundry and help cleaning the kitchen. My mom picked up my school work from school and we did that in the evenings together so I wouldn’t fall behind

I finally went back to school the week later and that was very hard. My mom made sure I dressed appropriately wearing what she deemed respectable. She put me in a white Kmart dress with puffy sleeves and black leather t-strap shoes. My hair was short and I still felt uncomfortable with it.

My mom drove me to school and dropped me off. I went around the back of the school and tried to be discreet until the school bell rang. Other kids saw me and where a bit reactive I could tell.

Tina and Michelle came running over and laughed.

“What the fuck happened to you.” Tina asked me. I was so embarrassed I just shrugged.

“That will teach you for being a rat.” Tina said.

“Ya, now you look like a stupid dyke,” Michelle started in. “No one will like you now.”

They were relentless with teasing me for the rest of the day.

The bell rang and we went to class for the first time. I hated sitting there in front of everyone looking like this. Chad was in class and he looked at me. He didn’t say anything but I felt sick from him seeing me like this.

I asked Mr. Todd if I could be excused and I bolted for the bathroom. I ran into one of the stalls and threw up. I waited in the bathroom for about 10 minutes until I found the strength to go back to class.

I came out the bathroom door and Chad was standing there. I was startled.

“Are you OK,” He asked me.

“It’s been a hard week,” I told him, “ I’ll be ok.” I said

“You cut your hair.” He said to me.

“My mom made me do it,” I told him.

“I like it a lot,” He said to me, I was startled. “It looks really pretty on you and it shows your face and neck off very well.” He said.

I was astounded by his comments. It made me feel awkward. I couldn’t accept a complement feeling the way I felt about myself. We went back to class and I caught him staring at me a lot. It made me smile when he stared at me. I liked it when he looked at me actually. It gave my butterflies.

We went out at recess and he told me he liked me a lot. He told me my haircut looked amazing and he made me feel comfortable with my haircut and I started to like it too. We eventually started dating secretly and he became my first love. He loved my haircut short and would complain when it started to grow in. He talked me into keeping it short and even paid for my haircuts too. He would take me to a nice salon in the mall and tell them how to cut my hair for me. I loved the attention he gave me and I liked wearing it short for him too.

I kept my hair short for him and he would always come to watch me get it cut. He loved that and I loved him for it too.

Thanks for reading,

Tammy

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