I asked Sylvie if she’d like a haircut before we left. She went a bit shy, a bit red, and didn’t really know how to answer. She asked if I thought she needed one.
She didn’t, but I thought it was a nice gesture to ask. I was indifferent either way, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d be in the mood to do it anyway. After a day, she said, in slightly broken English, that she thought it would be nice. On our final night, the four of us enjoyed a meal, and some wine, and when our little ones were in bed, she went to wash her hair.
I took my tool belt, picked out my favourite pair of scissors and a comb, gowned her up, and began.
The wide tooth on my comb carves a neat line through her wet hair, from her crown, over her occipital bone, to her nape.
It is a feeling I love. The cleanness of the section, and the ease with which I do it makes me happy.
She has nice hair to cut, and a good head and face to work with. We hardly speak whilst she has her cut, and, under no pressure, I find myself enjoying the freedom to create a new shape for her.
I know she was nervous before, she said she doesn’t like getting her hair cut. It’s a complement that halfway through she says she feels relaxed; though she needn’t tell me, I already know. She sits with her eyes closed and head slightly bowed, and I can feel the calm in us both.
As I finish with my scissors, I scrutinise my work. It’s nice, opening up around the eye socket has lifted her face, and the texture is looser and more playful. It suits her spirit.
I was a good hairdresser.