She started walking back and forth to school, as every penny counted and in California the weather was never too nasty to walk. With the cost of gasoline going up the savings would definitely help. One day she was strolling to school with her hair in a style she called '1/2 and 1/2'. It was gathered in a loose bun at the nape of her neck, but 1/2 the length was allowed to hang down her back, reaching just past her bottom. As she walked past a gas station she didn't notice the lady filling the tank of her white Lexus, but the lady was watching her. Soon the Lexus was following her until a parking space could be found. The middle aged lady got out and followed Anna, quickening her pace to catch up. She could see from behind her hair was as gorgeous as any she had ever seen, and she had seen a great deal. Finally at a stoplight the two were side by side.
"I couldn't help notice how pretty
your hair is."
Anna had heard that line numerous times, and smiled at the lady politely thinking nothing of it.
"When it's all down I bet it reaches to your knees."
"Actually it drags on the floor."
This really surprised the lady, and made her more excited. She handed a business card to Anna.
Glamour and Hair specialist
"I specialize in taking long hair
pictures. I have a number of clients who would pay good money for them.
I was wondering if you would be interested in being a model sometime. It
would only take an afternoon of your choosing, and you'd be compensated
for your trouble."
"What kind of pictures?" She imagined required nude shots or bondage or something. This was certainly not a venture she was interested in.
"Really simple actually. Pictures of you with your hair down, brushing it, braiding it, maybe taking it down from a bun. Nothing that you wouldn't normally do. Nothing sexual, nothing that involves cutting your hair or anything. You don't even have to show your face on any of the pictures. Call me if you're interested, my number is on the card. If I don't hear from you by the end of the week I'll figure you're not interested. You really do have wonderful hair."
With that she turned and walk away.
Anna pondered the idea for several days and checked up on Jean over the internet. She was pleasantly surprised to find the photographer was very well known and respected, and everything was legit. She even saw some of the photos and had to admit they were completely tasteful and beautiful. She called Jean and the two had a lunch appointment the next day to discuss the venture. It sounded too goo to be true, but the extra money made in one afternoon would really come in handy. The next day at lunch Jean had a complete portfolio to show Anna that was every bit as nice as she could ever hope for. Anna's hair was up in a bun, which Jean asked if she would take down so she could see it all. When it fell to the floor Jean was even more anxious to use this woman as her model. As Anna quickly put it back up, she was told the specifics. A session was 4 hours. She should bring 4 or 5 of her nicer outfits (nothing that would take away from her hair) or she could try on the complete wardrobe available at the studio. The first hour would be selecting wardrobe and doing makeup. Her hair should be clean and dry. No curls or anything, because all her pictures always showed the natural beauty of long hair. Besides positioning it for a picture, no one would touch Anna's hair except Anna. She had the right to refuse any pose, etc..., and would also have the right of refusal of any of the pictures. She shouldn't be wearing any make-up since that would be done prior to the shoot. She would get a complete set to keep herself at no cost, and be paid the flat amount of $250, as long as a complete series (20 or more photos) would come out of the session. Less than that and the payment would be less respectively.
"So I wouldn't have to do anything
with my hair I don't normally do, because I don't even use hairspray or
blow dry it or anything."
"Nothing you don't normally do."
Anna grilled Jean for the next hour with questions trying to find the catch, re-reading the contract line for line, and found everything to be straight up as told. They scheduled a Saturday afternoon in two weeks. The money would come in very handy. Jean talked about the kind of outfits she should bring, and soon everything was settled. Anna was actually looking forward to this new adventure.
She confidently strode into the studio that Saturday afternoon several minutes early, carrying two suitcases of clothes and accessories. The studio was small but very elegant, with numerous photos on display in the lobby. She hoped her pictures would come out this good. Jean, comfortably dressed in shorts and T-shirt came and greeted her, and soon they were in the back going through outfits until the entire session was planned. Then Jean had Anna sit down at a dressing table to do her makeup.
"The harsh lights and fickle camera required a little different amount and type of makeup for the perfect look. If you don't want to show your face that is OK, but we're doing this just in case you do."
Thirty minutes later her face was done, and the results were fabulous. It looked a little much, but she was assured it wouldn't seem like so much to the camera. Anna even learned some neat make-up tricks that she would use in the future. She changed into the first outfit, a very causal look, then brushed her hair gently but thoroughly, and went into the studio. Anna had never been shy about getting her picture taken. She first came to tolerate it and now was a natural in front of the camera. Jean was every bit the professional, and the session went off without a hitch. Most of the pictures didn't show her face at all, but some did. She could always choose not to let these be published. Every once in a while Jean would reposition her hair, but besides that Anna was in complete control of her mane. The session went exactly as it had been outlined. When it was done a happy Anna tied her hair up out of her way and changed back into her street clothes. That evening she could hardly sleep as she looked forward to the next day and seeing the proofs. She made the time pass by hitting her schoolbooks hard. She fell in love with her photos the moment she saw them. This photographer was wonderful and truly gifted. Not only did she end up with the minimum set of 20 approved photos, the finished set contained nearly 40. Jean was tremendously happy with the results, and told her so as she gave her the $250 check. It was the easiest and most enjoyable money Anna had ever made.
"If you ever want me to do this
again I would gladly do it."
Jean smiled at her. "Actually I only do one shoot of each woman, unless something happens later on like their hair grows a substantial bit more. So I don't think I'll be taking your picture again. But if you get to world record length I'd love to and I'd pay you twice the amount."
"I guess I'll see you then."
Anna was almost out the door when
an idea hit her.
"You don't know anyone else who does work like this do you? It was kind of fun and frankly, I could really use the money. My funding for school has run out and I need some extra cash flow."
"I don't know any other photographers,
but I do have a friend who shoots videos. Many of the girls I've done either
went to him or were referred to me by him. He shoots all kind of videos
but most center around long hair. He is also a total gentleman and a straight
shooter, so you don't have to worry about him. Here's his card. He is known
for doing numerous videos of the same girl so it could be possible for
you to have more than one session. You might want to at least give him
a call. Tell him I
sent you." She looked at the card.
Hairy Video Productions Lmt.
The next day she called Mr. Richards. She wasn't sure about being a video star and wondered who would want them, but if the money was descent for doing what she had done for Jean then she was crazy not to take advantage of it. 'John' (as he wished to be called) was very nice and respectful and anxious to meet Anna. He was always interested in getting more talent, and he was very excited about her length of hair, as most of his models had hair to their waist though some had it as far down as their knees. He then explained his business. He had several different websites selling videos worldwide. The fact was that long hair was a true passion of many and they would pay good money to see videos of it. He told her of one of the websites and invited her to check it out. The two set a breakfast appointment for the next morning. (it was the only time she could make it with her school schedule). Anna did check out the site and found it offered long hair and super long hair videos of over 50 women. Most of them were gorgeous but some were rather plain, but all had fabulous hair. Some of the videos showed just brushing and swinging of the hair, ponytails, and the girl walking around. Others did more, like shampoos or going into the pool and swimming around. Still others were more involved, as they showed the girl putting her hair up in different styles, blowdrying it, curling it, and some even went as far as lightly crimping or teasing their hair. None of the videos had any sexual connotations, nudity, or anything else. They simply went out to people who loved long hair or who had long hair fetishes. So while she wasn't willing to do anything that would damage her hair, she didn't see any harm in making a basic video. Breakfast the next morning was very nice, as John was every bit as professional as Jean had been. He was a former hairdresser who used to work with a movie studio which is where he learned production techniques, lighting, etc... He shot all the videos himself, plus did all the makeup, and any hairstyling needs that the girls couldn't do themselves, and whatever else was necessary.
"You said you had more than one
website, but only gave me one. Why?"
"Well, the others are a bit more specialized and I didn't want to scare you away. You see long hair appeals to all kinds of people, so I try to take advantage of it and reach all sectors of the marketplace. In fact my newest one just started and
is reaching a whole new type of audience."
"So tell me about them. What would scare me off?"
"Well, I have an X rated sight for one." Anna's eyes opened in shock.
"It's actually just the basic session but the girls aren't wearing any clothes, the makeup is sexier, the mood is sexier, and some of the options are different."
"I haven't even explained the way you get paid or anything have I?"
"No, but I'm interested."
"Well, the basic video is one hour long, and it usually takes about 6 hours to shoot. I do it all in one day unless the options don't allow that. It'll make more sense in a bit. The basic video is very much like what Jean does. I don't touch your hair except to position it once in a while, and you just brush it, etc... A basic video pays $100, which doesn't sound like much, but you also get royalties. That goes the same for all videos. Every time I sell one, you get fifty cents. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I've had one video already sell 1,000 copies, meaning she's already made $500 on it. Keep in mind I've only been in business for two years doing this, so it has no place to go but bigger as more people find out about it. And you'll get royalties for as long as the videos sell. That's why most of the girls try to spice up their videos to get the most customers. I just put them all out there and let the public decide."
It was quite an interesting enterprise and totally making sense.
"Do some girls make more than one
"Sure. In fact most do. Well, maybe not that many. I get to chose if they get to make another one based on how their first one sells, how they were to work with, etc...
Plus they don't do the same video twice. They might do a basic video, and then the next time do some options."
"So what are the options?"
"There's a bunch of them. On the sight you saw some girls shampoo their hair, or do all kinds of different buns and pony tails, some curl or tease their hair, some go swimming. Each option pays a bit more up front, and usually attracts more customers."
"How much more? I'm not being greedy or anything but I'm doing this to help pay for Medical School, so it is important."
"Wow, Medical School. Gorgeous, great hair, and super smart too."
Anna blushed at that remark. John was old enough to be her father. But this wasn't a dirty old man. He was just paying her an honest compliment.
"I have a complete list here you
can take home, plus a video sampler you can watch so you get the idea about
what the videos are like, but let me finish my little speech first. The
amount each option pays depends on what it involves. Shampooing your
hair takes more effort than putting it in a pony tail, so it thus pays
more. Curling hair as long as yours takes more work than a shampoo, so
it would pay more."
"I wouldn't even know how to curl my hair."
"In that case I would do it for you if you wish. It doesn't change how much you get paid if I do more work. Or you could bring in someone, at your expense, to do it. Sometimes girls go to their hairdresser and get something done, which is why sometimes it takes several days to finish a shoot."
"You could really curl hair as long as mine?"
"Sure. With all the cool products out these days I could curl it almost any way imaginable."
Anna had no intention of curling her hair, but was interested in how he did it. She had always been told hair her length couldn't be curled enough to make any difference.
"Keep in mind when I show you this list that some of the options are very extreme. Being filmed naked is a big commitment, so it naturally pays a good deal more. Right now I have three sites. There is the one you saw, which is basically aimed at the long hair loving public. Then there is the X-rated site I told you about. Finally I have a third site, aimed for people with kind of strange hair fetishes. They might like to see the entire process of a woman curling her hair. Teasing is real big on that sight. The more it's teased the better it sells."
Anna could only grimace at that thought. Most of these options she had already dismissed but had to applaud the man on his market savvy.
"Other big things on that sight are trims and haircuts. The drastic ones always sell for some reason though they aren't any fun personally for me to do. Headshaving videos sell real well. I usually get women who have to undergo kimotherapy come in and earn some extra money before their hair falls out anyway, but sometimes I get women who do it for seemingly no reason at all. One woman with waist length hair made a video that was five haircuts, each progressively shorter until the last one which was shaving her head bald. She enjoyed it because she said she always wanted to see what she would look like with each of the haircuts and now had it on video. Since her hair was all going to fall out anyway it was no big deal to her. That video has sold very well by the way. There are also dye jobs, bleaching hair, perms. If it has to do with hair it's probably on it. Again the more outrageous it is usually the more it sells."
Anna had never imagined such things and was sure she wanted nothing to do with such 'options.' They were simply no option to her.
"You mentioned you had a new site."
"Oh Yeah. It's so new sometimes I forget. It seems there is this whole new bunch out there craving hairstyles from the past. You know, those big beehives and bouffants. Seems they got tired of just the pictures and crave videos of the whole process, from start to finish. And they don't want to see wigs and hairpieces used, they want to see only the girl's real hair. The bigger and wilder they are, and the longer the hair to start with, the more they want them. It's actually been kind of fun trying to duplicate styles from all those years ago. That sight just opened last month and is already bringing in the orders. The beauty of the internet is it allows people to follow their fantasies in private so they don't have to worry what others think. It is the key to my business. So anyway, that's what I'm all about. Kind of strange I know, but I'm doing surprisingly well and love being my own boss. I'm like Jean, totally professional and am not someone to worry about. If that part scares you, then you can bring along a bodyguard, boyfriend, mother, policeman, whatever, to watch the shoot."
He handed Anna a booklet that included a contract that went over everything in even more detail, including talking about wardrobe, etc... It gave a complete price list of the options, which was extremely long. For example, putting her hair in various buns, etc... (minimum 3 per video) added $10. Shampooing it added $20. Curling or teasing it varied depending on the amount, but doing a minimal amount started at $20. She was impressed by it all.
"So are you interested, because
I'd love to capture your hair on film.?"
"I'd like to read over this all first. I'll say right now I won't do anything that in anyway damages my hair, so you can forget about all the cutting and stuff."
"I don't blame you. You have gorgeous hair."
"That rules out the teasing and curling and spraying too."
"It might surprise you but a lot of that can be done without ever damaging your hair. It really depends who does it and what products they use."
"I didn't know that. I still wouldn't do it though. But I am interested in doing a similar shoot to what Jean did. I loved how those pictures came out."
"That would be great. Take your time and go through it all. Give it to your lawyer if you want. Then, if you're ready, give me a call and we'll make an appointment."
Anna went home thoroughly impressed with John and his product, and was anxious to watch the sample video when she returned home. It turned out just as he described it, though she cringed at the scenes that showed mild teasing, severe haircuts and headshaving. Even the naked clips were tastefully done. There was no sample of his newest venture with the big bouffants but she didn't care since she would never subject her hair to that torture anyway. Imagine, her hair in a beehive! She couldn't imagine how that was even possible. Anna decided on just a basic video, with the addition of some of her original updos. It would pay her $110, which wasn't bad for an afternoon of work. She figured on a second video, if she made one, she could add more of her updos, plus a shampoo, and might even be willing to do the swimming thing since she wasn't shy about being in a swimsuit. She checked out the other internet sites. The X-rated one was exactly what he said. The Hair Fetish site was incredible to see because she didn't realize there was such a market. By the size and number of hits it was obvious there was. She couldn't believe the number of girls willing to cut their hair for the money. He did seem like an excellent stylist because the finished looks seemed very good. She figured if a person was going to cut their hair anyway, why not get paid for it instead of paying someone else. The "Big Hair' site was obviously new but had a respectable number of hits in a short time. There were only a handful of videos currently offered, and all by women with hair about to their shoulders. That made sense. No one with hair her length would be crazy enough to even attempt such a style. She waited a week to make sure she wasn't rushing into anything, and even talked it over with her best friend back in Colorado. She too was at first suspicious but eventually had to agree it sounded fine, if she was willing to see herself splashed on the internet.
"I could walk outside tomorrow morning, have my picture secretly taken and find it splashed on the internet that night and there would be nothing I could do about it, so I'm not going to let that stop me," Anna said.
The next day she made an appointment
with John for a shoot. It would be the following Sunday afternoon. He seemed
a bit disappointed the only option would be the updos, but was understanding.
He did say she could add options if she wanted as late as the day of the
filming. Anna hoped she wasn't limiting her target audience too much. Those
royalties would be nice, though she wasn't counting on them. She busied
herself with wardrobe, opting for some of her nicer, sexier looks. That
help grab a prospective buyer. She also figured out which three updos she would do. She decided on her '1/2 and 1/2' (since it had grabbed Jean's attention that one day), her coiled bun, and her version of a french twist (which was very loose and partially hung down her back. Sort of a Victorian look almost. With the right clothes she figured that could be a real draw). She was surprised to find out how much she was looking forward to the entire event. The filming day came and it reminded her totally of her session with Jean. They outlined their schedule and wardrobe, and then she sat still for make-up for about 30 minutes. He was a superb make-up artist, and she was totally satisfied with her finished look. It was a bit heavy, but by now she understood that the camera needed it so she didn't come across washed out. The big difference of the event was how much movement was involved. Her swinging her hair around, brushing it, walking back and forth parading it around. John was very excited the whole time, saying hers was the longest and healthiest hair he had ever worked with. He loved the updos, especially the French
Twist mixed with a very old-fashioned dress for a classic look. He was also very happy with Anna's fun but professional manner. She was obviously very intelligent and quite easy to work with. When it was all done they sat down with a cup of coffee.
"I think this video will be as good
as any I have out there. You never worked as a model before?"
(Giggling) "No, never."
"Well you are a delight to work with. If this sells, and I think it will, I'd love to do another shoot with you if you're interested."
"I just might do that. When will this be finished?"
"I'll have teaser pictures and ordering info out on the web by tomorrow. The finished video will be done in about a week. It doesn't take me long these days. I've had lots of practice and there isn't a need for a great deal of editing in this one."
"Will I get a copy."
"Of course. I'll call you when it is ready and you can just pick one up."
With that John wrote her a check for $110 and Anna left, drained but totally happy with the day. It was several days later when Anna noted the first 'teaser pictures' of her on the website. Her real name wasn't used. Instead she was known as Jolene. She was featured as the woman with 'the longest hair on video,' and displayed prominently. The photos shown were wonderful. A week later she went and picked up her copy of her video, and ended up watching it many times over. She was very happy the final product. Now she just hoped it would sell. Royalty checks were paid every three months. She let it go and got back to her studies. The money had been pretty easy and came in very handy.
A week later she got an unexpected call from John. He was delighted to say that her video was selling as fast as he could make them, and faster than any he had ever had. People really wanted to see the woman with such long hair. They were already asking about a follow up before they even received the first tape.
"I'd like to shoot a second video of you, with some options, if you'd be interested. I'd like to do it fairly soon while the demand is hot."
Anna was excited that more money would be coming her way soon. She told John she'd be willing to do another tape, this time with a shampoo, more updos, and a swimming sequence. That last part surprised him and it was soon all set. A week later they shot their second video. She was just as easy to work with as the first, and when she came out of the dressing room in her bathing suit, John was stunned at how absolutely gorgeous she was. Her body was just as alluring as her hair. He'd love to take a naked session with her but was sure she would never go for that. It didn't fit her personality which was fine. He really liked Anna and wanted to continue working with her in the future. At the conclusion of the second video, they again chatted as Anna towel dried and untangled her hair.
"You are quickly becoming my favorite
model to work with. That session went fantastic. Thank you."
"Thank you," Anna said as she picked up her paycheck. "I appreciate your patience with me."
"So you're doing this to pay for Medical School?"
Anna told him about her father's injury and how her money needs had gone up drastically. He listened attentively without interruption. When she finished it was his turn.
"I think these videos could solve a lot of your financial problems. Especially since royalties will keep coming and coming it could be a nice little sum for you. I'd like to make some more videos of you for one or more of my other sites. I'm sure you'd be a hit since your hair is so much longer than everyone else's. Of course I wouldn't want to pressure you into anything, it's just I see a real opportunity here that I'd hate for either of us to pass up."
Anna was flattered by the idea, but sure the other sites weren't for her.
"There is no way I'd ever do one
naked. For starters my parents would kill me."
"I understand. I didn't think you would."
He was a little disappointed though, she was such a stunning girl.
"And that one site would involve
curling or teasing or cutting. I really don't want to ruin my hair."
"First off it doesn't have to be a real cut. It could just be getting the ends trimmed. An inch or so off. Next time you need a trim let me do it for free and film it instead of paying someone to do it. Then we can include that section onto a video."
That made sense to Anna.
"Yeah, but what about the rest of the video?"
"We're talking about curling or
teasing one time, not over and over until your hair falls out. I'm sure
you curl or tease your hair for certain events."
"Never. I've never even used hairspray."
"Wow, virgin hair! I've never come across that before."
Anna chuckled. It was pretty unusual she guessed, but her hair got to the point it was now because of it, and she didn't plan on changing what was obviously working.
"I'm not going to pressure you, but think about it. It seems we could both help each other here. I think you would be a hit on either the Fetish or Big Hair site."
Anna hadn't even thought about the Big Hair site.
"Don't plan on me being your next
"Big Hair Girl". I have no intentions of having short hair."
"I don't understand what you're talking about."
"All the girls on that site have shoulder length hair. I figured that was the requirement."
"Not at all. Remember it's a new site and I've only just started with the girls I had available. You wouldn't have to cut your hair at all."
"You could put all this hair up into a beehive! You're crazy."
He laughed. "I probably am, but it could be done. Of course that would be a very involved session, and next to headshaving it is my highest paying option."
Anna just laughed at the lunacy of the idea.
"Just give it some thought. You know how to reach me, and I'll probably ask again when you get your first royalty check."
Anna left sure she wouldn't work with John again. Well, pretty sure.
The Holiday Season was fast approaching, and that meant many things to Anna. Exams for the semester were coming, which meant a great deal of studying, but then also came a welcome long break. She would be going back home for the Holiday's (her friends chipped in and gave her air fare for a Christmas gift), but wondered where the money would come from for presents. She also would need more money for the next term in school. Dad was on the road to recovery but it would still be some time before any cash flow came her way. She soon started thinking about John and his offer. It scared her to do anything to her hair, but figured she could shoot several videos just after finals and before she went home. The money could solve many worries. She again looked at the options list on his pricing guide. If she was willing to torture her hair a couple of times, she could make some good money. She gave John a call, and he set up a meeting the next day at his studio to plan their strategy.
Anna couldn't believe she was doing this, but decided to do three different shoots spread out over a week. The money was just too good and easy to pass up. The first day would be for the traditional sight once again, the second for the Fetish site, and the third for the (did she really agree to this?) Big Hair site. The couple now had to decide what the videos would contain.
"About the only major thing I haven't
done for the traditional sight is tease my hair. Would that alone be enough
to fill up a video?"
"With all your hair, absolutely. I know it would be extremely popular too."
"Is that going to damage my hair very much."
"It shouldn't damage it at all. For that sight we really do it mildly since we're not aiming for anything more than big hair, plus the joy many experience watching the process. We like to call it 'making it big.' You just have to be careful combing it out, like you just got caught in a really bad windstorm."
Anna had already deliberated long and hard all the pros and cons of this venture. She figured it would come down to his answers, and they were what she wanted to hear thus far.
"OK, then let's plan to 'make it
big' on that video. That takes care of that session.
One down, two to go. I'm willing to let you trim off an inch for the Fetish video, but no more."
"That would be great. Any other ideas?"
"Were you serious that you could curl my hair?"
"Sure! Do you want to try that?"
"Well your price guide says everything depends on the amount of curling. I won't get a perm, so what are my options?"
"The low end might be just using a curling iron on the ends, or putting it in big rollers to get some waves."
"And what would the high end be?"
She wasn't sure she wanted to hear this but was intrigued at the notion of seeing herself with waves or curls. Her own hair had always been straight, even after sleeping in a wet braid.
"Actually, I've come up with my
own formula of a setting gel. It's actually not my own formula but my own
mix of several other products. You put it on the hair before you roll it
in curlers. Then you sit under a dryer until it all dries. In your case
that will be a good chunk of time, so bring a book or homework. I've used
it on a lot of people so far and had amazing results, but none had hair
longer than their waist. However I think, depending on how much you let
me use, we could do a really cool session."
"What will it do to my hair?"
"No long term damage I assure you. It just drys real stiff so your hair will feel very different until it's washed out, which it does pretty easily. The more I use the stiffer your hair, thus the better it will hold a curl."
The thought of stiff hair was awful, but the idea of seeing her huge mane curled was captivating.
"So if I let you use all you want,
how curly do you think my hair would be? Enough to be noticeable?"
John laughed. "Oh yeah! Quite honestly, if you let me go crazy with the gel, you could end up with curls from top to bottom so it hangs down only to your waist. That would be quite a site to behold."
That floored Anna. "No way, without cutting anything off?"
"Without cutting anything off. Just remember it would be super stiff though. I'd help you wash it out after the shoot."
He kept coming back to that point. If he considered it 'super stiff', she guessed it would feel pretty disgusting.
"How do you think that video would
Anna couldn't believe how daring she had become, and when she found out how much she would get paid for him curling her hair to it's maximum, she had another decision made. John was already enthused about it. He had never tried his gel out on someone with hair so long, plus he had full permission to use all he wanted (also another first). The potential difference between her before and after look was tremendously exciting. Anna was shaking now.
"Tell me what I'd have to do for the Big Hair site."
John pulled out some books of pictures from the period, and showed her some truly huge and unbelievable styles he had in mind for her length of hair. Anna had never seen such hairdos, and couldn't imagine seeing herself in one. They were giant towers of hair that dwarfed the model in comparison.
"These are the kinds of things they
are craving. The problem is these are all wigs. People didn't do these
styles with their own hair either because they didn't have enough or weren't
willing to suffer through the sessions, and mostly because it was just
plain easier to buy a wig. I won't kid you, it will take a long time and
it will be bad for your hair."
"Will it damage it?"
"It will at least cause some breakage here or there. I'll be as gentle as possible, though it won't appear that way. You'll probably accuse me of being absolutely brutal with it. Of course you can have someone else do it for you instead if you wish."
Anna had no idea who else would even try.
"No, I have no one else in mind.What
exactly would you have to do?"
"We'd start by curling it again, though not like the one shoot. I'd use a setting spray so that you got a fair amount of body without any stiffness. If it's too stiff I won't be able to tease it without destroying your hair. That's why I wouldn't use my gel. But any extra body or curl we can get from the rollers will definitely help. Again you're looking at a couple of hours under a dryer."
A couple of hours! All that heat was going to do a fry number on her hair, especially twice in the same week. She made a note to buy some deep conditioning treatments.
"Then I'd have to tease it. A lot. I mean much more than any other video, or any other style I've ever done since you have so much hair."
That statement alone made Anna turn pale. She imagined he had done a lot of teasing over the years.
"Remember we're not just aiming
to make it big, but to make it sturdy and full enough to produce these
styles. Actually most of them would be quicker and easier to make with
less teasing and strategically placing pony tails and hair ties, but that's
not what the viewers want. Seeing a thorough ratting job is most of the
thrill for these people, and the styling is an extra bonus. It won't be
fun at all for you, especially since you're going to have to be an actress
on camera and act like you're enjoying it, or at
least tolerating it. We can't have you groaning and crying on camera."
This was sounding worse all the time. The use of the word 'ratting' really concerned her. Would it be so harsh she truly wanted to cry? Probably, she was almost crying just thinking about it.
"So it's not just the top that would
"I'm afraid not. It would be all of it. Every last inch."
He certainly was being up front with her. She was ready to turn this idea down.
"That will obviously take some time. Then to put it up is going to take a mixture of my talent, some luck, lots of patience, lots of hairpins, and tons of very strong hairspray. The finished style will most likely feel like an army helmet."
Anna shut her eyes cringing at the thought. Every single aspect of this session frightened her. Then she remembered how much she would get paid for it, which was substantial. It was no wonder considering what it involved.
"So tell me again. How much damage
will it do?"
"You are going to experience some breakage all over. There's no escaping it. I can't tell you how much because everyone's hair reacts differently. Since yours is in such great shape you have a better chance of coming through relatively unscathed. But worse case scenario the damage might be clearly visible, and in your case many years to totally recover from. It's not going to be a simple thing that produces some split ends that get fixed up with a slight trim. In fact the ends should be fine. But as you well know, these styles go totally against what your hair is designed to do, and with your length even more so. I would understand if you back down. In fact I'm amazed you're even considering it. I wish I could give you a more definite answer but I can't."
"How do I undo it?"
"A lot more time, patience, and conditioner. That also won't be fun. If you rush that then you really run the risk of doing damage to your hair. You'll probably even run into a bunch of knots that have to be cut out because of their severity."
This all sounded absolutely awful.
Breakage all over. Cutting out knots. He wasn't hiding the peril involved.
She had no idea why she was still even considering the venture. Yes she
"Isn't it hard for you to do this when you know how bad it is for a person's hair?"
"I was a hairdresser, remember? You can't imagine how many times I had to do something I didn't want to do. But I'm just doing what the client wants, which in the end is my job. Doing this to your hair will be really hard for me, especially if it ends up doing a great deal of damage, but if it is what you tell me to do and what the consumer wants to buy then who am I to say no?"
"And how do you think that video
"I can't imagine anyone on the site passing it by. It should be my top seller by far. There is nothing out there, anywhere, on the market that would compare. People with hair like yours just don't come along very often, much less one willing to do this."
"Is there anything less severe for the site I could do?"
"With your length probably not. These people seem to be only interested in things taken to the absolute extreme. Such styles are only going to be accomplished using similar methods. Just the final styling will be different. Now if you wanted to cut it then there are more options depending on how short you go. Obviously the ladies with shoulder length hair have many possibilities."
"I won't cut my hair."
"I don't want you to either. Your drawing card is your length. Let's keep it that way."
Anna was silent in thought, and John didn't press at all, just gave her some space. He had not pulled any punches, and thus was willing to accept whatever decision she made. He totally expected her to say no. If the roles were reversed he would say no, but he didn't fully understand her financial situation either. This was something she definitely did not want to do, but the amount of money was substantial and there for the taking.
"I must be insane but I'm going
to do it."
"Are you absolutely sure? I've tried to make all the drawbacks very clear."
"You've made them perfectly clear. I'm only doing this for the money."
John made out the contracts and put them in front of Anna. As she signed her name to all three she shook her head.
"I can't believe I'm doing this!"
"I can't believe it either. But since we are let's not think about the negatives and get prepared to make the best videos we can."
That was a good way to look at it, and Anna left shaking but happy that at least her finances were now in order. The Big Hair style they chose was the most extreme and elaborate thing she had ever seen. She had no idea how John would accomplish it, but knew pretty soon she would find out firsthand. She hoped this wouldn't be a decision she would live to regret.
Fortunately school almost totally occupied her mind for the next several weeks, since during the few moments she had to think about her upcoming filming sessions she became visibly shaken and almost nauseous. Finals came and went, and then her schedule was free to Christmas shop, relax, and prepare for her sessions with John. By the eve of her first session she was no longer nervous, just anxious to get it done. She had her wardrobe all laid out and ironed, then washed her hair and combed it out so it was in the best condition possible for the week ahead. She then went to bed early, hoping to get at least some sleep.
As she drove to the studio that Monday afternoon, a suitcase full of clothes and accessories and her hair in a bun, she couldn't believe what she was about to do. She was about to have her hair teased all over for who knows how long, and that was going to be the least severe of the three sessions. This week would make up for all those years of treating her hair so well. She hoped it, and that she herself, were strong enough to make it through.
She was a bit surprised there was a third person in the studio, a lovely lady named Jessica who would operate the camera when John was working with her. Like John, she was totally professional and after a polite introduction left the two of them to double check all the equipment in the studio. As he worked on her make-up, John noted that he liked the bun Anna presently wore, and asked that she keep it up for the start of the shoot. Then the first part would be her taking down the bun and brushing her hair out, before John moved in to "make it big."
"How will you know when you've made
"I've done a lot of teasing in my life. You'll have to trust me on this one."
"But won't all the length prohibit it from standing up?"
"First off it's not going to stand up. You're right in that it's too long. It will start going out more than up. Just think 'BIG.' So that means I'm not just teasing it, but using a fair amount of Freeze Hairspray too. It's great stuff and washes right out."
So now Anna was not only in for knotted hair, but knotted sticky hair. This would be a stretch of her ability to smile in a crisis. Today's practice would come in useful for the rest of the week where she would really need it.
"What am I supposed to do while
all this is going on?"
"Hopefully smile, or at least try to look relaxed."
"You'll be fine."
"I'm sure I will, but will my hair."
"It's in great shape and will come through just fine too."
John did a terrific job with her makeup, and the two marched out to the set. Jessica switched the bright studio lights on, and Anna's favorite radio station was tuned in as background noise. As she watched him position the brushes, picks and hairspray canister, Anna momentarily froze, and asked if they would give her 5 minutes on the set alone to collect herself. They did as she asked and went outside. Anna started shaking excessively the instant he left the room. She went over and inspected the Freeze Spray, and shot a little in the air to note the scent. The spray came out with surprising power. She inspected the pick he would use to back-comb her hair. Just holding it in her hand and touching it to her hair made her nervous as she thought about what was to come. Then she sat down in the styling chair center stage, whirling it around getting used to the feel. She noticed that the chair was positioned so she could watch everything perfectly clearly in the several mirrors positioned around the studio when seated, and familiarized herself with the placement of all 3 cameras. Then she got up and paced the room for several minutes, giving herself a pep talk like she did before any exam. The last minute of the peptalk was filled with clenching her fists and deep breaths. She finished by clenching everything and letting out one big scream inside. Then she took one last big breath and opened her eyes. She was ready. She told John it was time to start.
The first part of the shoot was
easy. Anna walked on to the set, turned her back to the camera, and ever
so slowly took her hair down from the bun. She carefully unraveled it down
her back and shook it a bit. Then she turned to face the camera, brought
it over one shoulder, then gave it a thorough, loving brushing. Thinking
of what she was about to do made this scene totally honest and tender,
and John didn't have to give any directions. The brushing sequence went
on for quite a bit longer than
planned. It would be great foreplay for the viewer who bought the video. Finally all her hair was magnificently smoothed out and there could be no more stalling. It was time for John to 'make her big." She nodded to John and she walked to the chair and sat down facing the camera as planned, then threw her hair behind her so it hung down to the floor. She crossed her legs, smiled, and shook her perfectly smooth, shiny locks for the camera. They took a brief pause here, and John came onto the set turning over the camera to Jessica, who stood mouth agape at the fabulous mane in front of her. John made sure his star was ready.
"Are you OK?"
Anna was filled with adrenalin and now the consummate pro.
"Ready whenever you are. Let's make this the best video yet."
John smiled at her energy. If it was an act she deserved an Oscar.
"If I hurt you let me know, and if you ever want to back out just tell me to stop and I will. This will take some time. On someone with half your amount of hair it takes at least 15 minutes, and that's rushing it. This will probably take a good thirty to forty-five minutes. That won't be too much to bear will it?"
She took him firmly by the hand and looked into his eyes with absolute determination.
"First off, I wouldn't have walked in the door if I was going to back out. Secondly, I don't like doing anything halfway. So don't worry about me. Do this the way it should be done, so we produce a video everyone will want. That means don't hold back. Don't just make me 'Big', make me 'Huge.' Leave them speechless. If that means more teasing or more spray or more time than usual, then so be it."
He could tell these weren't just words. She was dead serious, and he was energized by her. This would be his best teasing video ever. He had been so worried about this girl. But she was an incredible trooper. He once again was grateful she walked through his door.
"OK, Jessica, let's turn all the camera's on and do this."
The red lights came to life, and John stepped behind Anna and started redistributing her hair so some fell forward of her shoulders, some down the sides of the chair, and the rest down the back. She had so much hair it looked like a giant cape. He ran a brush directly over her center part pulling it backward. He was stunned to find it didn't fight him but allowed the part to vanish, and just lay straight back.
"Wow, I didn't expect that. It's
not insisting on a center part. How did that happen?"
"I part it in a different place every day so I don't have a dominant part. My hair likes it that way," she said proudly.
The speech she had given John had
been no act. She was no longer nervous, still a bit scared as her rapid
heartbeat verified, but very much ready. She was interested in how this
was all done and just how 'Big' she could become. Her eyes focused on the
mirror just above camera one. She wet her lips as she saw John reach for
the can of spray. Now she knew what was coming first. She didn't know what
to expect of the hairspray. How could she? She had never used any in all
her life. She could feel it fall against her hair as John lightly misted
it all from the waist up but other than that noticed nothing unusual. He
probably hadn't put on enough to make any difference, she thought. But
it had to do something, or why even bother? John put the can down and took
the pick in hand. She wondered if it was obvious to the camera how frightened
she was of what he was about to do. She put on her best 'poker face' and
forced a confident smile. He walked to her left side and gathered a good
size potion of the front, lifting it away from her head several inches.
He had to be careful not to step on her hair which was dragging several
feet on the floor. Anna watched in the mirror wondering how he would even
start. She would no longer have 'Virgin Hair' after today. Certainly not
by the end of the week. John's touch was almost casual. He just slid the
pick in her hair about shoulder level and back-combed it three times, gently
pushing back only about 4 inches. It was almost anti-climatic to Anna who
was ready for a prolonged, brutal run down the length of her hair. Then
he removed the pick and released the hair, seeing what, if anything, his
tiny effort had done. Anna could see in her reflection that a small area
seemed a little mussed, but otherwise no effect at all. The whole process
had taken no more than 10 seconds. If she hadn't been looking she probably
wouldn't have even noticed it. John picked up another section and repeated
the motion, this time teasing it four times, all gently, all with limited
range like before. Then he dropped this section too. This time she felt
the teasing action, but it didn't hurt or tug, and didn't feel like it
was doing any more damage to her hair than a gust of wind. She was now
breathing easier. His touch was ever so gentle, like he was placing the
hairs rather than forcing them. She wondered if this behavior would be
repeated for her 'Big Hair' session. She was pretty sure that was going
to be a different story. Oh well, no use worrying about that now. John
continued this random method on the left side of her head, never going
lower than about waist level. She wasn't sure if he planned on going any
lower, but figured she'd find out soon enough. He was clearly taking his
time, keeping the pace deliberately slow, and kept her guessing where he
would strike next. One second he would be working on the hair closest to
the scalp, and the next he was working on an area several feet down the
length. The only thing consistent was he kept to the left side. She
noticed in the mirror that the entire side was now looking mussed. It didn't look big, but it was still very early. She remembered it was OK to talk.
"So will I get big?"
"Actually I'm pleasantly surprised. Your hair is very easy to work with and very receptive."
"If you mean it tangles easy I could have told you that."
(She was even telling jokes at a time like this. She was truly amazing)
"I didn't mean it that way," he said with a smile on his face. "It's almost like it is letting me do what I wish, like it is helping me. Does that sound stupid?"
Anna had often felt her hair had
a mind of it's own, so it didn't sound stupid.
"Just be glad it likes you. By the end of the week it might try to reach out and strangle you."
A loud laugh. "I'll make sure I keep my distance then."
"I'm still waiting for an answer. Will it get big?"
"Give me a little time and then you be the judge."
She was amazed how calm she was, almost like she wasn't aware how tangled her hair was becoming. This was just so new and outrageous she felt more like a viewer than a participant, and since he wasn't really yanking on her hair it was easy to just let it happen. After about five minutes he shifted his attention to the right side, repeating the same random behavior. Never did he back-comb any section more than five times, and never was it pushed back more than 4 inches. The left side was noticeably fluffier now, but not really standing away from her body like she expected, nor did it look knotted. He hadn't touched any hairs below her waist. While she expected there was more to come, this was not nearly as bad as she anticipated. Five minutes later the right side matched the left. She was ready for him to walk behind her, but instead he picked up the hairspray and stood directly in front of her. He used the pick to lift straight up the very front center of the top about 6 inches, then gave it a good blast of spray. He followed that up by teasing those 6 inches, a little more aggressively than she expected, but not enough to cause any discomfort. He was blocking her view of the mirror so all she could do is rely on her sense of feel. She knew the side camera would be recording all of this 'action'. She figured he was trying to give her some height. With her length she was confident this would be a futile effort but said nothing. After all, he was the expert. He threw this strand to her left, then repeated this action with the section directly behind the first, again being quite liberal with the spray (she could actually feel it's moisture) and firmer with his teasing. A third section, the top of her crown, was given similar treatment. After he was done he gathered the three sections in hand and threw them all back behind her. Then he put down his spray can and walked behind her. She could now see what he had done to the top of her hair. She hadn't expected to notice anything and was amazed that it actually was showing a little bit of 'poof' on top.
"Wow, that must be some strong hairspray. I didn't expect you to get it to poof up on top."
"Yeah, not bad for starters."
He started in behind her out of
sight. She could tell he was treating this section exactly the same as
"Did you say for starters? You mean it's going to be poofier on top?"
"I'm planning on it."
Anna would have to see that to believe it.
"This is way different than I expected. I thought you'd just start at the top with each section and work all the way down."
"Not for this video. Remember we just want 'big', and getting there is most of the fun."
"No, we just want 'HUGE', remember."
"I stand corrected. 'HUGE'."
As he worked on the back she noticed that the top already looked higher, as the strands that were hanging down the back were back-combed a bit thus allowing them to hold on to the other hairs instead of pulling everything down. Now she was the one corrected, and wondered how 'poofy' it would be by the end of the session. The slow steady rhythm John worked at was very relaxing, and Anna closed her eyes and enjoyed the massage type feel of his work. She was now totally impervious to what was happening to her hair. She trusted John and knew if he messed up today the next two sessions would never happen, so both of them had a vested interest. She wasn't the only person who would be making money if this video did well. She almost fell asleep but then the picking stopped. She kept her eyes closed until she felt the chair being pumped higher and higher. She opened them just as he stopped it at it's highest mark. He was trying to get all her length off the floor but it was too much, and a good 12 inches still lay sprawled on the white tile. What she did notice is that the top half hadn't changed at all despite the added weight of her hair from this new perch. Maybe he had done more than was at first obvious. He talked to his camera-woman.
"How are we doing thus far Jessica?"
"This is amazing! I think I'll buy a copy."
Everyone giggled, and John used his hairspray for another quick coat, this time on the bottom half of her hair. It was now clear to her all of it was going to be teased. Such was the price of being 'HUGE'. Anna readjusted herself in the chair and crossed her other leg on top. She was totally at ease and ready for more. The next 15 minutes were an exact duplicate of the ritual done on the top of half of her hair. The pattern was random covering the entire length, starting with the left, then the right, then the back. Except for looking mussed like the top half, it didn't really seem that different. She laughed at him a bit as he had to pick up the last foot from the floor to work on it. He should just be glad it's not at the world record length she was aiming for. He would have to put her on a stepladder for that. Finally he was done. She didn't look or feel 'HUGE'. She didn't even feel 'BIG'. But he had just teased her hair for thirty minutes so she figured he was done. She hoped he wasn't disappointed with the result. John walked around in front of her and asked her to bend forward and stay there, so all of her hair could be pulled forward and he could work on the underneath section of her hair. She obliged him, and soon everything went black as her hair was tossed over her blocking out the light. Obviously he wasn't done yet. She guessed he was half way done if he still had to do the underneath section. If it took this long to tease it, how long would it take to un-tease? She figured she had her work cut out for the rest of the day. John put down the layer of spray and repeated the same random, gentle back-combing action on the underside of her hair. It took a while since it wasn't separated into three smaller section, but was one big section. She could definitely smell the hairspray in the strands that surrounded her face. Ten minutes later her neck and back were starting to ache from this stooped position when she felt John stop and heard his voice.
"OK, now throw it all back in one
powerful motion as you sit up."
She obliged and tossed the giant mane backwards, then settled in as he arranged it back to the three sections (left and right sides and the middle). Anna smiled when she saw herself as the difference was definitely noticeable. The top seemed poofier still, and all around it looked like she had big waves running the length of her hair. It still didn't look knotted or tangled, it just looked.....'Big.' Now she understood why they used that term. Then she noticed something that made her eyes shoot open. Her hair was just barely touching the floor. In the last 20 minutes it had been coaxed to appear 6 inches shorter!
She wondered how much total length had been "teased up". She smiled and shook her head. John came in view and told of his progress.
"We're pretty close to the 'big'
stage. Were you serious or just kidding about going 'huge'?"
"You mean you can still do more?"
"With teasing you can almost always do more. But if you want to stop right here we will. It already is a terrific video. Of course if you want me to do more we will, and you'll be compensated accordingly."
A month ago Anna would have been
out the door screaming. Now she stayed put. What a difference in her attitude!
While she really didn't want any more teasing done to her hair, she could
think of three good reasons to stay. First, she had told him she wanted
to go for 'HUGE', and didn't want to be one who went back on her word.
Secondly, the longer she was in this chair the more money she would make,
and every dollar would be useful. But it was the third reason that was
the most compelling and
unexpected. She wanted to know exactly what John's vision of 'HUGE' was, and what she would look like when finished. The words rolled off her tongue so easy they stunned her.
"Let's go for Huge."
Jessica was also stunned at the response. This was one unusual woman. John just smiled. This was going to be great.
"OK, if that's what you want. Are
we talking your basic 'Huge' or.....?"
"Just make it is big as you can. BIG, HUGE, GIANT, BEHEMOTH, whatever you want to call it. Knock yourself out."
Anna wondered who said that, but
realized the words came from her mouth. All three of them were momentarily
Jessica looked at John. "I guess I better put some new videotapes in the cameras," she said.
"Good thinking, this is going to be a long video."
He turned back to Anna. "This is probably a good point for a 5 minute break if you need a drink, restroom, whatever."
Anna carefully stood up from the
chair, careful not to step on her hair or get any caught. It was the first
time she had touched it since the teasing had started. It didn't feel like
a big stiff tangle as she expected. It definitely did feel different, and
didn't move as freely. It was more fluffy than anything, and the hairspray
was hardly noticeable. She touched the slightly poofy top. This was a little
stiffer from the additional spray. It was odd since she had never used
hairspray before. She didn't like the feel but today didn't mind it. It
was all so appropriate. She tried running her fingers through a section
and quickly hit her first tangle. She played with it a bit and found she
could easily get the teasing out with little effort. Now that was a relief!
She knew her finished look would not be quite so easy to remove. She drew
all her hair around the front of her left shoulder so she wouldn't drag
it on the floor as she went to get a drink of water. As she returned, she
looked down and noted that it just barely touched the floor now. That meant
it was already appearing a foot shorter! A disbelieving smile shot across
her face. She wondered how short the final look would be. Part of her was
telling her stop now. That was the part that made her heart start racing
as Jessica and John returned to their positions. But part of her, a part
kept contained all her life until now, wanted things pushed to the limits.
And today this part was the boss. Anna returned to her seat, still set
on the highest setting, this time letting John reposition her hair, and
the cameras started recording again. Anna started shaking a bit, but was
ready to become HUGE. John picked up the spray can and again returned to
her left side. However this time he didn't just spray a thin layer. Instead
he selected various sections and lifted them several feet high, then hit
them with a liberal amount, holding them there for a moment
while the 'Freeze Spray' instantly dried. Again the pattern seemed random, and this time he did it up and down the entire length instead of just the top half. She now knew her hair was going to be sticky but didn't care. It would wash out. What was of interest to her was that the left side of her hair was no longer touching the floor. This hairspray, with no added teasing, had just lifted it several inches higher. There was a clear difference between the left and right sides now, and as she saw John again grab the pick, expected that difference was about to be even more obvious. As he had with the spray, John lifted the sections high and away from the rest before he started teasing this time. He still used his gentle slow pushing technique as before, and continued his random approach. However this time the sections of hair seemed smaller, and his range of motion was increased resulting in a much more pronounced result. As he let go of each finished section, it didn't fall back and blend in with the main mass. Instead it hovered several inches above the rest. Now Anna noted that her hair was no longer just looking fluffy. Now it was looking 'teased'. The honeymoon was over because this was going to take some work to undo. Her defensive nature fought to take control as she watched him do more and more, from top to bottom. He was very thorough and hitting every spot. At the roots he was slightly more aggressive and seemed to spend extra time. It was time well spent though because, despite it's great length and weight, the side of her head was clearly much fuller and fluffier. It took a terrific effort to act calm and collected for the camera, because she was watching every single new snarl he was producing, and there were many. In fairness to John she had lifted all restrictions, and he was just taking her at her word. She was dead serious when she said it. She wondered if that was a mistake now. He spent almost 15 minutes on this side, and Anna could feel she was shaking and her chest felt tight. Finally he stopped to start in on the right side and Anna relaxed a bit and took in the amazing site. He had easily tripled the volume of even the first phase of teasing. She looked down and saw the length had shrunk another six inches at least. Anna closed her eyes and did some stress relieving exercises as John started using the spray on her right side. It would be pointless to stop now, so she had to start using her head to get her emotions in check. If she lost it now it would ruin the whole video. Fifteen minutes later the right side matched the left. The ends of both sides were now clear of the floor with room to spare. Next he stepped in front of her again, ready to make the top even higher. She could feel an extremely generous amount of spray being used, and then a prolonged period of back-combing the top hairs. Again he moved from front to back. When he moved around to work on the back, what he had just done captivated her. The hair on top was rising a good 4 inches above her scalp, and it seemed even higher at the crown. Over the next 15 minutes it was pushed up further still as he worked on the back. Now none of her hair was touching the floor.It was blackout time again as she bent forward and her hair was again tossed forward so he could get to the underneath sections. The smell of the spray already in her hair was overwhelming, and she noted that it no longer felt like the silky tresses she had always known. She could feel him lifting and spraying once again, just as thoroughly as before. But she was now past her panic stage, once more wondering what the finished look would be like. There was no reason to be upset about this situation since it had all been by her choice. She had to admit that, when she didn't think about it or watch it, the sensation of having her hair teased by John was very pleasant. Lying against her knees she started relaxing again. She could feel her hair growing in mass. It felt kind of... fun actually, especially since she didn't have to look at it now. Twenty minutes later John stopped teasing. "Finally," thought Anna as she waited his instructions to lift her head and throw her hair back, only she didn't hear anything. Then she heard the familiar spray bottle again, and once more he was lifting her hair with his hands or with the pick just prior to giving it a long blast. This time he also lifted and scrunched her hair prior to spraying it, anything to give it more mass and volume. This process went on and on. She wondered if there would be any spray left in the huge can. Her hair was going to be more heavily teased and far stiffer than originally planned, but both at her request. Then John asked her to throw her head back and sit up. She was anxious to see what she would look like now. How much shorter would it seem? This time was tougher than the first, since her hair was so much fuller, but one huge toss got it all back.
"Oh Wow!," exclaimed Jessica, unable
to control herself.
Anna couldn't believe what she was seeing, as now her hair looked like it had doubled over in volume once again. It was.... HUGE. She started laughing out loud. But John still wasn't done. Just as he had underneath, he was applying a heavy final layer of hairspray, lifting and scrunching as he did. He was trying to coax every last inch from her hair, and it was working. Now the top was towering a good six inches above her scalp, and the sides stretched out at least a foot in either direction. As it got closer to the ends, where less weight was fighting it, the mass was even bigger. The ends weren't even close to the floor now. Fully satisfied, John put down his pick and can of spray. His arms were tired but he knew he just made the greatest hair video ever. He took Anna by the hand and had her stand. As he quickly moved the chair so she could stand center stage she looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was unrecognizable. Now it struggled to reach mid-thigh, meaning it had shrunk up well over two feet.. But what it lacked in length it more than made up for in volume. She looked like she had 10 times more hair. That might even be an understatement. As she returned in front of the camera she felt her hair. It didn't feel real. It felt more like the synthetic hair of a Barbie Doll since it was so thoroughly coated with spray. All she could do is smile as she modeled this bizarre look. She was totally speechless, but she also knew this would be a video for the ages.
"That's a wrap," exclaimed John, and both he and Jessica gave Anna a long standing ovation. Jessica had to come over and touch the huge creation, shaking her head in disbelief. Anna obliged, and looked at John as she did.
"Wow, when you're told to go for
something you don't mess around do you?!"
"I must admit this was special to me. We just created something great! You were awesome. I didn't hurt you did I?"
"No, but you killed my hair." Reality hit her now. "How am I ever going to get this back to normal?"
"I have a sink in the back. If you'd let me help I'd like to gently wash it just a bit, and then use a ton of this great conditioner I've found. Then I'll send you home wrapped in a long towel to keep the conditioner in. Then it's just a matter of patience, starting with the ends and working your way back up. I really didn't tease it hard so hopefully it will come out fairly easily."
He didn't tease it hard? If this wasn't hard what was? She figured she would learn later that week, during her Big Hair session. Now she was really getting concerned about that one. He had warned her already her hair would suffer damage that day. She probably would have backed out then and there, except the contracts were already signed, and the amount of money and potential money she could earn were significant and badly needed. Washing this creation was a project, since it was too big to all fit in the sink and had to be done in four separate stages. But finally it was mildly cleaned and smothered in deep conditioner. his would protect the hair and also make it slicker so the tangles would hopefully slide apart. John demonstrated how to do it on a section and true to his word the hair slowly returned to normal. He suggested she wait about an hour so the conditioner would have time to soak in and really help. Anna was relieved to see him remove the tangles so uneventfully.
"I can't imagine Friday's teasing
will be much worse than this."
John offered no reply, but clearly heard the statement. He just didn't want to worry her with a response. It didn't work though. She was worried.
"How much worse will it be?"
His reply made her almost numb. He was brutally honest with her.
"This is nothing compared to what I have to do Friday."
Anna went home exhausted. Her adrenaline had been going for so long it totally drained her. While fearful for the health of her hair, inside she was proud of the production she just made possible. She enjoyed being the star. She was not looking forward to the rest of the day detangling her long tresses. Plus she still had two more videos to make, on Wednesday and Friday. The Wednesday one really didn't worry her too much. Besides the one inch trim she would just end up with real stiff curls. Nothing that one shampoo wouldn't remedy. At least there wasn't going to be any back-combing or damage. However the Friday session now scared her to death.
It wasn't until four hours later that Anna could run the wide toothed comb smoothly through her hair again. Not that she worked on it all that time. The process required great concentration and every time she felt herself rushing or tugging she took a break. Thus it was more like two hours of effort to undo. She was very pleased with herself that she was able to get through every tangle. Just as instructed she started at the ends and worked her way up. The first foot or so was easy, but the higher up she went the more time it took to unsnarl. From what she could see her hair had made it through the day undamaged. She took a shower, washed her hair once again with plenty of conditioner, and then fell asleep in record time. The next morning she carefully inspected her now dry hair. The amount left in the bathtub drain seemed a little more than usual but nothing to be alarmed about, and she brushed it out cautious for any tangles she might have missed with the comb. When finished it looked absolutely fine. She breathed a sigh of relief. Later that day John called to find out if she was OK and if she was able to get her hair back into normal condition. He seemed as happy as she that all was well. He said he had been working on her video all night and it was outstanding. Teaser photos were already on the internet and over a dozen orders had been placed, all in less than 24 hours. He took the liberty of listing the video on both the traditional and fetish sights, thinking it would appeal to both groups of customers.
"You haven't changed your mind about
tomorrow have you?" he asked her cautiously.
"Not at all. I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I've never seen myself in curls before."
"I understand if you're not so anxious about Friday."
"That's good, because I'm really questioning my judgment. Were you serious that the teasing is going to be much more severe than the other day?"
"Yes, I was serious."
"I don't suppose I could back out of my contract?"
"If you don't want to do it we won't. Just say so and I'll tear up the contract. I don't want to come across as some kind of jerk."
"I am so glad you feel that way, because I really just......can't do it. It would kill me to sit there and smile as my hair is damaged."
"I understand completely. Those contracts are really more for your protection then mine. Just give me a definite by tomorrows shoot so I have time to set something else up that day."
He was totally serious too. What a great guy! She was worried that she had signed her soul away. Anna wouldn't have to destroy her hair after all.
With that huge load off her shoulders
she cleaned up her tiny apartment, then went a retrieved the mail. One
of the items was from the medical school. A bill, right on time as always.
She tore it open only to find the school announcing a 10% tuition hike
to cover cost increases. She cursed her luck as she read through the note
and saw how much more everything would be. She had not planned for this,
and on such short notice. She closed her eyes tight knowing what must be
done. She still had to do the
Anna woke early that Wednesday morning and took a quick shower to get her hair wet. It didn't need a shampoo, but would have to be wet for her trim. It would be many hours before it was dry so that was no factor. After a leisurely breakfast she got her wardrobe together, brushed her teeth and then headed off to the studio for that day's adventure: having her hair trimmed and curled. She was actually very relaxed and even anxious to get started. She wondered what she would look like in curls, and if John could actually curl the entire length like he said. Now that would be worth paying to see.
John was there to meet her with coffee and donuts. Jessica had called saying she was going to be about 15 minutes late (car troubles). That wouldn't be a problem since Anna still needed to comb out her hair and do make-up, a combination which would take at least one hour. The two chatted as she started smoothing her hair.
"We're still planning to start with
a trim, right?"
"Yes, but only an inch. I just had a trim a little over a month ago so I'm just doing this for the sake of the video."
"An inch will be plenty."
"Do me a favor."
Anna handed him the end of the section she just smoothed.
"Show me your definition of an inch."
He took the hair and showed her how much he would be cutting. The amount met with her approval.
"Sorry, but sometimes a person says an inch and cuts off four. I had to ask."
"Not a problem. You did say you would give me a definite today about Friday. Are we on or off?"
Anna had lost a fair amount of sleep over this issue. She needed that money to cover the tuition increase. Her hair would have to forgive her.
"I'm still going to do it." John was stunned as he fully expected her to back out.
"I really don't want to do it, and I'm going to be screaming inside the whole time, but I really need the money."
John started to say something, but Anna cut him off.
"Let me finish this or I may never
get it out. I don't want you to feel sorry for me or take pity on me because
of my predicament. This is totally my choice and I know what I'm in for.
So today I told you to curl my hair to the max and I expect nothing less.
You can literally use as much gel and spray and stuff as you need. I want
this to be as good as, or better than, Monday's session. And then on Friday
you do what you need to do to put my hair into that style. If that means
'ratting' the hell out of it so it ends up totally damaged and broken and
I have to cut a ton of it off then you do that. If that means using so
much hairspray it ends up hard as a rock you do that too. The only thing
that will bother me more than ruining my hair is if I go through all this
trouble and we don't make the best videos we can. Now that will really
....piss me off!!! OK, I've got that off my chest. What were you about
"Do you want another donut?"
The two laughed for quite some time over that one. John was also all the more impressed with this woman. He planned to grant her wish too, and not hold back so that the videos would be the best possible.
"So show me this miracle gel. What
does it look like?"
John brought over a gallon drum of what looked like Vaseline petroleum jelly. It was very thick. Anna put a little on her finger and rubbed it on her hand.
"Ooh, yuck. And I suppose you'll need all of this for me?"
"I hope not, but you do have a lot of hair." (She couldn't tell if he was serious or joking. She couldn't imagine all that on her hair. Actually she couldn't imagine any of it on her hair.)
"So with these women with hair to their waist, how curly did they get?"
"Pretty curly, but I didn't use
much. For those videos we'd curl the hair and then put it up in pony tails
and things, because just curling it wasn't enough. It was kind of no big
deal. Therefore I couldn't have it too stiff to work with. Now for your
video, creating curls is the big deal, so I'm not worried about other styles.
I just want to create as much curl as possible. That's why I'm going to
use much more of this 'magic' gel."
"You have used similar amounts on someone before, right? What happened with their hair? How curly did it get?"
"Actually you're going to be the first in this category. You're kind of the guinea-pig."
"Oh, great. You promised this stuff will wash right out!"
Anna was getting a little tense now where before she had been totally relaxed.
"Yes, it will be fine. And it causes absolutely no damage either, especially since we're washing it out so soon. It's just going to take a long time under the dryer, and when the curls come out they are going to feel awful to you, but there should be a lot of them."
"So then what. I parade around a bit, maybe toss my head around, and we're done?"
"Exactly. You must have read the script."
This didn't sound too bad at all. The long time under the dryer wouldn't be a problem. She brought a new book from the library she was anxious to read. Today and Friday would certainly give her a good head start.
When Jessica arrived Anna had finished combing out her wet hair and John was just finishing with her make-up. The look was a little different today, a little more daring, to match what would hopefully be a full head of long curls. Jessica was surprised to learn that Anna was again the model, as John had forgot to mention it. She was then filled in on the day's activities, plus what was going to happen on Friday.
"Girl, you are either really brave,
desperate, or crazy."
"Probably equal parts of all three, plus a fair measure of stupid."
When John finished her makeup Anna checked her look in the mirror and beamed a smile. It was a very daring yet classy. She looked very different but loved what he had done, especially how bright, full, and shiny her lips looked. They were ready for the filming, and Jessica turned up the lights and got everything ready while John helped Anna step up onto the table center stage and face the back of the room. Since her hair was longer than her height he had to get her up off the floor. The cameras started rolling and John began combing her hair straight down behind her, getting it in position for her trim. He couldn't get over how full it was at the ends, and so healthy. It was obvious it didn't need a trim and all, and this was just for show.
"Now remember, just an inch," Anna
"I know, just relax."
Anna hated the first time a new person trimmed her hair, always afraid they would go scissor-happy. She closed her eyes as she heard the scissors clipping. They kept going and going. She wondered if he was making more than one pass because this was taking way too long. Finally she could take it no more.
"What's going on back there?"
"I'm only cutting a few hairs at a time to milk this for all it's worth. These people love seeing these things and feel gypped if it's over in 10 seconds."
When he was finished, John once again yelled "CUT, That's a wrap."
Anna quickly turned around and was relieved to see only a tiny pile of clippings. She inspected them and saw they were even shorter than an inch. He had been good to his word. She felt bad for doubting him. Anna stood to the side as the table was moved slightly and the styling chair was brought to center stage. John used the table to hold all his tools, including a huge bin of plastic rollers, a big box of hairpins, and the big drum of gel. Anna wondered just how much of the drum was going to be necessary. It also seemed like there were far too many rollers in the bin.
"Don't you think you've gone a little
overboard with the number of curlers? I may have a lot of hair but my head
is only so big."
"Your hair is so long a small number of strands will totally fill up a roller. So I'm going to double stack you, which means there will be two layers of rollers. It will look pretty impressive. It will also double the number of curls we have when finished."
"OK, You're the boss."
Anna took her seat, again facing forward. She crossed her legs and made herself comfortable. She had no idea how long this would take. She noticed the chair was all the way down so her head was very easy for him to reach. She made sure she could see what was happening in the mirror. The camera lights blinked on, and he pulled her hair behind her and combed it a bit, ready to be curled for the first time ever. As he was placing a salon cape over her so as not to get her clothes wet or covered with gel, a horrible thought hit Anna. Since it had never been curled, she had no idea how it would respond. What if her hair didn't curl well, or not at all? This whole session would be a huge waste of time. She decided not to voice her concern, trusting that his secret concoction would do the trick.
"Remember, use as much of that gel
as you want."
"I remember, but thank you for reminding me."
John continued to comb her hair all straight back for quite some time until he was confident all the tangles were out. Then he walked around in front of her and separated out a small section right at the very top, front and center. It didn't seem like much hair at all. Then he dipped his left hand into the gel and took out a palm sized wad. Anna knew he planned to use a good amount, but this was far more than she expected. He ran the strand between the fingers on his left hand, starting at the scalp and working his way all the way down. The entire piece was well coated in gel, and Anna noted that by the time he had reached the end the wad in his hand had disappeared. Just that one section used a whole handful. He might end up using the whole tub of gel after all! She watched as he expertly wound the hair around a roller, which was no small trick since the section was over six feet long. But it went on smoothly and firmly, with absolutely no tugging or discomfort. By the time it was against her scalp the roller was full of hair. He quickly pinned it in place. Anna relaxed even more now. This was a far easier session for her than the one on Monday. She'd take it, since the session on Friday was going to be awful. A second section directly behind the first was coated with gel, again using a handful to coat the length, and was soon wrapped on a roller. This one wasn't rolled all the way to the top though, but left dangling down several inches. A third section, from behind the second, was done. It was wrapped all the way to the scalp, and it touched tight against the first roller. Once it was pinned in place John finished winding the second section until the roller was tight against the top of the first and third roller. He pinned it in place. So this was how double stacking was accomplished! John continued this pattern straight back all the way down to her neck, until she had a double-stacked series of rollers that almost looked like a huge Mohawk, with the remainder of her hair divided into two sections; the left and right sides. It took him a good fifteen minutes to accomplish this, and never once did he cause any discomfort to Anna. She was now totally relaxed, but astonished at how much of the gel was already on her hair. He might need a second drum at this rate.
"Do you have more of that stuff
in case you run out?"
"Actually, I've got three more drums in the storeroom. That might be enough."
At first she thought he was serious, but then smiled at the joke. She still couldn't get over how easy this session was for her. It did mean she had to put up with stiff hair for a bit, but John had to do all the work. She just had to sit there, smile, and collect her paycheck. What could be easier than that? He put two more rows of curlers parallel to the first row, double stacked, flanking either side. By the time these were done about two-thirds of her hair had been rolled, and almost all of the gel from the drum had been used. He would clearly need more to finish. As he went back to get another drum Anna checked her look in the mirror. She looked like some character from the original Star Trek series, where the woman always had such bizarre hairdos. The rollers were shiny from all the gel. She wondered how long it would take to dry. Two more parallel rows were added flanking the outside. These were also double stacked. The huge bin of rollers was almost empty now. About 90% of her hair was now up, and only the hair at her temples and just behind her ears was left to go. Minutes later it was done, and she was ready for the dryer. John stopped to talk to her. He was sweating from the stage lights and all his efforts.
"So far so good my dear. Now comes
the long boring part. This stuff dries real slow. I'm going to use a very
low heat so it doesn't hurt you, because you're going to be under this
dryer for probably three hours."
"Three hours! The other day you said two."
"That was for Friday. We're not using the gel, remember?"
"You're right. Sorry. Isn't all that time going to cook my hair real bad."
"Not really. Remember that gel is full of conditioners and protectants too. But if you need the restroom or want to go get your book now is the time. Here's a water bottle you can put on the table."
Anna went to the restroom and filled the water bottle. She couldn't get over how top-heavy her head felt with all the rollers, and how strange her reflection in the mirror. The thick coating of gel on each strand was clearly visible in the mirror. He had once again taken her words to heart. She had to be careful what she said around him. She remembered what she told him about Friday and again started dreading that session. It was now less than 48 hours away. She found her book and then returned to the set. John positioned the hairdryer behind the styling chair. It had a huge flexible bonnet that would fit over all the rollers and hug them tight, thus circulating the air all around. After Anna returned to her chair, John fitted the bonnet perfectly.
"If there's something you need just
tell us. If it gets too hot or you have to stop for some reason the off
button is right here."
"How do you think this is going so far?"
"I can't get over how much gel you used."
"I can't get over how much hair you have."
"Do you think it will really curl all the way up? It's never been curled before so I have no idea how well it takes."
"With the amount of gel I used I think we'll do just fine. Let's get this thing turned on and then we'll find out together in a bit won't we?"
He turned on the dryer and soon a steady stream of luke-warm air surrounded her head. Anna made herself comfortable and dove into her book. Today had been an easy day and paid good money.
An hour later the noise of the dryer was getting monotonous, and even though the book was good she was bored. But she couldn't carry on a conversation with anyone since the hood covered her ears. An hour later she was truly bored and tried to sleep, but she was so top-heavy every time she started to snooze she nearly fell over. Jessica brought her a couple of magazines to look at. John checked her hair at the 2 1/2 hour mark. It was coming along nicely but the great length and vast quantities of gel required more time. She was looking at close to another hour. Anna was brought a lunch to keep her busy. She couldn't wait to see her final look. All the suspense was killing her. She hoped it wouldn't disappoint anyone. Imagine spending all this time and energy to end up with a few little waves or such. No one would buy that video. For this to sell the final look better be something amazing. John checked her again and switched the dryer to a cool setting.
"That's to lock the curls in place."
It certainly felt better on her head. She didn't realize how much she had been sweating, and during this time John touched up her make-up. Finally, after more than 3 hours under the bonnet, Anna was deemed ready to unroll. She looked in the mirror alarmed that her hair still looked glossy from the gel.
"It doesn't look dry."
"Go ahead and touch it if you want."
Nothing could have prepared her for the strange feel of her hair. She knew it was going to be 'real stiff', but this was outrageous. Her hair literally felt like plastic. She was afraid to move it.
"It feels like it's going to break
off it's so hard."
John just smiled. "Pretty amazing stuff huh? Too bad I'll never be able to patent it."
"Because it's just a mix of other people's products. None of it is mine. But that won't stop me from using it here."
He put the dryer away and the stage lights came back on. It was time to see just what the gel did. Everyone was very anxious to see the outcome. John started on the lowest curler in the back. He slid out the pin and gently unwound the strand. The roller fell out, and he returned it to the bin.
"Oh, wow!" said John.
"That's amazing!" exclaimed Jessica.
Anna had no idea what was happening since she couldn't see behind her. She felt her hair falling a bit down her back but couldn't tell how far.
"So how did we do? Is it curly?"
"Oh, Yeah," he said. Wait until you see this. I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it myself. I still don't."
He continued to take down the curlers in the back, and Anna could see in the reflection of the mirror he was very happy, and Jessica was speechless, but couldn't see her hair. It wasn't until he took down one from the left side of her head that she could see the result. Her eyes opened very wide. Her own mouth went from incredulous to a beaming smile. They had been hoping for a curl that fell no lower than her waist, and reached from top to bottom. Amazingly they had done even better. If Anna had ever wanted to see her self in short curly hair she now had the chance, because the curl started at her scalp and fell no further then the middle of her back. What's more is they looked perfectly natural, even if they felt totally unnatural.
"I didn't think this was possible,"
"Neither did I, but it happened."
The result was the same with each
roller. Each curl was a tightly packed roll about one foot in length. Thus
the upper curls reached only as far as shoulder level. Her finished look
was going to be an amazing metamorphosis. This video would be another classic.
About 10 minutes later John was taking down the final curls. They were
the first rollers he had put in. When they finally came tumbling down,
Anna felt like a king-sized version of Shirley Temple. She couldn't believe
it all, and was totally psyched. John removed the salon robe and Anna stood
up. The curls bounced around her, smacking her in the face. She cautiously
touched them, still afraid they make break off at any moment. She couldn't
get over how...hard her hair was. It didn't feel like hair. Right now she
didn't mind at all. She was having too much fun looking so very different.
It was so strange not
having her hair around her arms, bottom, legs, and feet, yet not having the sensation of it all drawn up into a bun. From the corner of her eyes all she could see is curls everywhere. It was a really unique but enjoyable sensation. She paraded around for the camera, touching her hair and turning.
"Cut! We are done folks," exclaimed John. Again he and Jessica applauded Anna, and Jessica nearly ran over to touch the mound of curls. She was taken aback at their feel, but marveled at their length, or lack of length.
"I'm sorry I used so much gel. I
just got carried away. This was definitely over-kill," John said apologetically.
"Don't even start. You did exactly what I wanted. I think this is so totally cool!"
She shook her head side to side again, enjoying the sensation and sight of curls bouncing around her.
"Are you ready for that shampoo?"
"Already! They just got here." She started touching a curl, playing with it like a giant Slinky.
"I would think you'd want to get your hair back to normal as quick as possible."
"I probably should, but give me a little time. It took me long enough to get these suckers. Tell me, are you always so successful with everything you do?"
"I wish! With you I've just been real lucky."
"I don't believe that. This is the work of a very talented person."
The trio sat around, telling jokes and enjoying each other's company or a while. All of them constantly looked at the head of curls, taking turns touching them and playing with them.
"You weren't kidding I'd have stiff hair. Stiff isn't the right word. It's almost feels like uncooked spaghetti."
Anna didn't want to see her curls go, and asked if she could wear them home and clean them herself. John explained that it would take a bit to wash all the gel out and he'd feel better if he did it himself. This session went far too well for Anna to complain, and soon it was back to the sink. She touched and marveled at her curls one last time, and then allowed John to wash them out. She would always have the video to remember the event, but was already missing the feel as she heard the water being tested for temperature. Anna found her thoughts once again returning to the dreaded Friday appointment. John started spraying her hair with water. Her curls quickly vanished.
"How curly do you plan it to be
"Nothing close to this. If I can just get some waves in it I would be happy. Anything to help with the final style. I'm just going to be spraying some setting gel that doesn't get sticky in it prior to rolling, so it won't even compare."
"Are you going to set it the same way, double stacked and all?"
"Yes. It obviously worked."
John was very focused on a thorough but gentle washing. Anna kept thinking of the final, outrageous look they were going for on Friday. She knew her hair was going to take a beating. She remembered what he said about expecting breakage all over, and needing to cut tangles out. Considering how long it would take set, then sit under the dryer, plus the time it took to tease it, and then finally to style it, she figured she was looking at a very lengthy session.
"Friday is going to be a long day
"If you mean longer than these two sessions yes. There's a lot more to it."
Anna enjoyed feeling the warm water
against her temples. "Is it all washing out all right?"
"Just fine, though it will take a good amount of shampoo and conditioner."
She couldn't get Friday out of her mind. She remembered what she told him early, about not holding back. He didn't hold back today and the result was amazing but even he admitted it was 'over-kill'. Could her hair afford such enthusiasm on Friday?
"Remember how I said I don't want
you holding back today or Friday."
"Yes. I didn't either did I? The final product sure came out great as a result."
"Well, you know I'm still really scared about Friday. I still wish I didn't have to do it."
"No, I have to. It's just...... I don't know how I'm going to handle sitting there watching my hair get destroyed. I don't know how I'll be able to contain my emotions. It's going to be pretty bad isn't it?"
"Hopefully not as bad as you're making it out to be."
It was a safe answer. There was no way to get around it. Friday would be a real hard day for both her hair and her psyche. It was going to be tough for him too, because he really liked Anna and loved her hair. He didn't want to see her hurt. She felt almost like a daughter to him now. He hoped they would stay in touch after Friday, and she wouldn't just be another name who he mailed royalty checks to. Twenty minutes later John was done and was towel drying Anna's hair. He used a strong leave-in conditioner, and was happy to report it was now back to normal no worse for the experience. She looked a bit sorry to see it all hanging to the floor again. It had been so fun to see herself in curls. She even considered buying some wigs just for escapist entertainment. Of course that would have to be down the road when finances weren't so much of a concern.
Anna returned home, gently combed through her hair, pleased to find it looking just fine. Then she again started thinking about Friday and how she wouldn't be able to look at her hair without seeing damage. It almost worried her that her hair was becoming more important to her than her education, or her future. She wondered, if the only way to finish Medical School meant cutting her hair, would she do it? It angered her that she didn't know the answer. After all it was only hair. It would grow back. It wasn't like being injured or sick or crippled. That's when her attitude shifted once more about Friday. This would be sort of liberating for her, putting her needs and her future first. She was more than just a woman with long hair, and by willingly subjecting herself to this session, with the risk that she might even have to cut her hair when it was done, she was making that statement for the entire world to hear. Even though she was shaking, she could feel the adrenaline surge through her veins. She was actually looking forward to it now, and proud of that speech she gave today. She'd have to remind John again that she wanted him to really 'go for it'. She wondered if there was an even bigger, more bizarre style they could shoot for. John called the next day to check in on her. He was happy to learn her hair had come through without incident. He was very worried about the next day, and how she would handle it.
"Am I still going to see you tomorrow
He was unprepared for her chipper response. "Absolutely. I'm gathering all my clothes and accessories now. You did say you wanted a very movie-star glamorous look. Would a full length, silver sequined dress do the trick? I borrowed it from a friend. It's tight around the legs with a slit up the side, and low cut both front and back. Kind of something Ginger Grant would have worn on Gilligan's Island."
"That sounds stunning. Bring it." (She was actually enthused!)
"Something always bothered me about that show. If it was only a three hour tour, how come they all brought luggage? And if the Howell's were so rich, why didn't they just go out on one of their own boats?"
"I have no idea. One of the mysteries of life I guess." (He didn't expect her to be like this at all. He expected her to be a bundle of nerves.)
"Are you all right?"
(Laughing) "Sure, I'm fine. Why?"
"I just didn't expect to find you in such high spirits considering what we're going to do tomorrow."
"Oh, about tomorrow. Do you think you could find an even more outrageous style
we could aim for? I'm feeling very daring."
"More outrageous? I believe the one we picked was the wildest on file!"
"OK, so we'll keep with the original plan, but if you want to alter it at all, like make it even bigger, let's go for it."
"But that would even do more damage to your hair!"
"Don't worry about it. I want you to totally kick ass tomorrow! Let's make a world record hairdo that will never be beaten."
"Are you drunk?"
(Really laughing now) "No, I'm just..... happy with myself."
"So you're totally serious?! You want me to max it out?!"
"And then some! Show me how good you are. I can hardly wait. I'll see you in the morning."
She hung up the phone. John had to check to see if he had imagined the whole conversation. Then he sat down with a smile. She was certainly a unique person. If she truly wanted him to 'kick ass', he would try not to disappoint her.
John had Anna start the shoot with dry hair, and wearing only a simple blouse and jeans. Her make-up was done very sparingly. He wanted the transformation of this video to be as substantial as possible, so he figured he would have her change into her gown before taking out the curlers. Hidden by the salon robe no one would notice. He would also redo her make-up while she was under the dryer. Today's look was going to be total glamour. As he was doing her initial make-up job, the two chatted.
"Any second thoughts since we last
talked?" he asked her.
"No. I'm a little nervous now, but my feelings haven't changed."
"Still want to 'kick ass'?"
"Absolutely. I really meant everything I said."
"Even if it does damage to your hair?"
"If it gets damaged, I'll take care of it. Your only concern should be making me Queen of Big Hair."
John had been fearing this day almost as much as Anna, as he truly didn't want to risk her fabulous mane. But her drive and positive attitude had worn off on him, and now he was ready for his most ambitious undertaking ever: turning this long-haired woman into a Big Haired Goddess. The camera's filmed Anna brushing her hair out. She really took her time, enjoying it's look and feel. After today it wouldn't look this good. She didn't know what it would end up looking like, so she just treasured her last tender moments with it. Next John was filmed washing and combing it, until he was prepared to put it up in rollers. He brought out the same roller set-up from the Wednesday shoot, but used a spray on setting gel to encourage hold this time.
"Tell me again why we're not using
your gel. I thought more curls would help."
"Well first off we don't need that much curl. But mostly we don't want sticky right now. That will actually make it harder for me to tease your hair. Believe me the finished style will be plenty sticky without adding more at the beginning."
"OK, but if you do need to use more, feel free."
She was constantly reminding him
he had no restrictions. How different this day was already turning out
to be. Anna was totally calm about this part of the day. She had already
survived the gel from hell, so this would be even easier than Wednesday,
which had itself been remarkably simple. She relaxed and smiled as John
again separated out a section, this time sprayed it all along the length
with the gel, and then rolled it up. The finished set was again the double
stacked rollers in the identical pattern of two days earlier. Again the
setting went smoothly and relatively quickly. She experienced absolutely
no discomfort or pain.
When the time came for her to sit under the dryer again, the cameras were halted and she went back to change. When she reappeared in the tight, silver gown, hose, and high heels, even Jessica was impressed with her dazzling beauty. John couldn't take his eyes off of her. It was the perfect outfit. He placed the salon robe back around her, making sure it was long enough so that the camera couldn't tell she had changed outfits. Only her makeup would look different, and that would wait until the rollers were dry and it was time to take down her hair. Anna started reading again, then reached for her water on the table. She noticed a paper on the table. It was a picture of the final style they were aiming for, plus notes and diagrams John made for himself to help him accomplish the look. Anna shook her head again at the style, still disbelieving it could actually be done with her long mane. She tried to figure out all the diagrams, so she would have some idea what was to come. She was amazed how involved it was. It would truly be a work of art. It would almost be a shame to take it down so soon, but she had no plans of being seen in public with that tower of hair. Being seen on video was enough. The whole experience of the transformation would really be something to see. Now she was starting to understand the attraction of these tapes to their target audience.
Without the thick gel her hair dried much quicker this time. Soon she was free of the bonnet and in makeup again, getting another new look from John, this time sheer Hollywood glamour. She couldn't believe how different she looked. Like an entirely different person. She truly felt like a star now, and was even looking forward to the great unveiling at the end of the video, with this face, the great sequined silver dress, and the huge bouffant. It would be quite a moment for everyone.
When John took out the first roller, the results were nothing like Anna had expected, although John didn't seem surprised in the least. Only the lowest two feet had any real curl to it, and as it got closer to the scalp it went from faint curl to wave to straight. The length still touched the ground. Anna was concerned that this would all have to be repeated.
"This isn't curly enough is it?!"
John was relaxed. "This is exactly what I expected, just a little bit of wave and body. Just something to help me out."
"So this is what you wanted? It seems kind of disappointing."
"Only because you did the Wednesday video. Now you can understand why I think that video will sell so well."
It was all making sense now. John took out all the rollers and brushed through them just a bit. Her long mane now had some nice waves and bounce and body going through it, but no curl. It seemed every bit as long as before. Anna was confused.
"I really don't understand why we didn't skip over this whole part. It doesn't look like these waves will really help accomplish that."
She pointed to the picture. "They
will help a little, but the other reason is 'Tradition".
Remember we're trying to duplicate something from the past, and part of that charm was women in curlers sitting under the dryer all afternoon. Video purchasers expect it."
"So a lot of it was just for show?"
"You could say that."
Anna knew the answer, but asked the question anyway. "So now what?"
"Now comes the teasing. If you need a restroom break I'd do it now, because from here on out I'm going to need you in the chair."
Anna went to the restroom but just to prepare herself mentally. She paced a bit, trying to get her nervous energy out. She played her wonderful tresses, enjoying the feel of the waves. She looked at herself again in the mirror, swinging her hair from side to side, and then took a few big breaths before returning to the set. One month ago she would never have even considered having her hair tortured. Now she was voluntarily about to experience it.
As Anna sat down John again talked
"If I hurt you let me know. If you want to call it off this is the time to say so."
The thought did cross her mind,
but her education and future had to come first. She took in a big breath
to attempt to calm her rapidly increasing heartbeat. "Tease away." The
camera's were rolling, and John walked behind his model and separated a
fair amount from the top center. He held it straight up a good foot
over her head, fairly taught, and picked up a comb. It had more, smaller
teeth than the pick, but fewer than a standard comb, and it wasn't the
traditional teasing comb one bought in the store. John started right at
the scalp, and began back-combing. This time he was doing stroke after
stroke, deliberately packing it towards the scalp, It wasn't until the
scalp was so packed in it couldn't take any more that he started working
his way out, but no further than necessary. It was obvious to Anna he was
trying to tease it as tight as possible. That was a key ingredient for
this style, a very large and sturdy
foundation. He didn't let up at all as he worked his way down the strand, and it was clear already that the Monday session, as severe as it was, was at best minimal to what was going on now. She couldn't believe how many huge knots had already been produced, and then stuffed into one another. She couldn't see him now but could feel him working down the full length, standing several feet away from her in order to keep the section away from the rest. He had not lied to her. It did appear as if he was being "brutal" with her locks. When he finished with the strand, he used both hands to toss it forward away from the main mass. It looped over and hung down about a foot from Anna's eyes. Now she could see it up close and was alarmed how intensely it had been done. The base was so large already that the hair actually stood straight up for a bit before gravity won and made it return towards earth. It's length had been severly shortened as a result, and Anna guessed it hung no further than her knees. No sooner did he discard the one section the he had already started separating out another, this time from the front left side. It would receive the exact same treatment, and Anna figured this would be the norm for the day. It was soon draped forward joining the first, and Anna honestly wondered how she'd ever get the tangles out with anything but scissors. He was teasing the lower left front sections now, just as mercilessly. Anna could barely follow the progress now as her finished sections (At least she hoped they were finished. What if more was to come?) were blocking her view and would soon totally put her in the dark. There were several bright sides to this. She wouldn't have to continue watching John inflict the damage, nor would she have to keep smiling since the camera wouldn't see her face much longer. Finally, if she did start crying, the camera wouldn't see that either. About five minutes later the entire front hairline had been done and was hanging forward. While some light peaked through Anna couldn't see what was happening anymore but had to keep smiling. John told her the camera could still just make out her facial features. He began on the hair just behind the first section. The plan was to go front to back, with the hair at the nape of her neck getting the honor of being abused last. As she felt the comb again dig in, she closed her eyes and started to actually relax. As bad as this was, and it was horrible, she knew worrying served no purpose.
"Are you finished with these sections,
or is there more to come?"
"You want me to tease it more?"
"No, but Monday you teased it all, and then went back and did it all again."
"I should hope this would be enough. I have no plans to do more."
That was good news, kind of. She
could tell he was very selective with his wording. He hadn't closed the
door on the possibility of more. How her hair could be teased any
more was unimaginable! This was already far worse than she expected, and
she had spent a lot of time trying to envision, and prepare for, the worst.
Minutes later the world went black for Anna as enough hair had been thrown
forward to shut out all light. She wiped the smile off her face and bit
her lip. This was really hard to sit through. She could actually HEAR the
knots being formed. 'Ratting' was a very descriptive term for this. 'Teasing'
seemed much too mild, too kind. When John had finished the top and sides,
he tilted her head forward and shook out his tired arms, returning normal
circulation. It was hard holding his arms up for so long. Then he began
on the back. He had no idea if she would ever get all the teasing out,
and imagined her giving up and cutting off most of her length in frustration.
But he also knew he was doing only what was required and necessary. It
was also what he had been asked to do by Anna herself. His conscience
was clear. Anna could tell the end of this torture was near as she could
feel him working lower and lower down the back of her head. Hopefully any
potential damage was now done. The last strands were thrown forward, and
the teasing was complete. It hadn't taken as long as Monday, although Anna
would have gladly have traded Monday's session with today's. She knew how
to restore her hair from the Monday ordeal. She wasn't looking forward
to tackling this huge mess at all. John had her return her head to normal.
Then he reached forward and under it all and threw it back behind her.
Finally Anna was able to see what had been done. She wished she hadn't.
While the total look was awe-inspiring, with volume everywhere and
the four inches closest to the scalp standing tall, all Anna could see was knots of extreme magnitude. Jessica was the first to break the silence.
"Oh my God, you are so unbelievably
John was next. "Anna, I'd like to have you stand up and catwalk a little for the camera. This is one picture we should milk for all it's worth. These people will never see this sight again."
When Anna stood up she was amazed at how little movement her hair had. But more astounding was how short it now looked. It now fell barely past her waist, meaning it had lost almost half of it's length. She reached out and touched it. She had expected it to be sticky, but remembered that John hadn't even touched the hairspray, yet. He said the end result would feel like a helmet, so obviously there was plenty of that in store. Her hair actually didn't feel bad at all. She tried putting her fingers into it to see how easily the tangles would come out this time. She quickly stopped, alarmed that the tangle wouldn't budge. This just might be impossible to undo. For the first time ever she seriously considered cutting her hair. She wondered how short she'd be willing to go, or if she would even have a choice? If she did have to cut it short, would she have the patience to grow it out again, or would this be the end? She sat down and looked up at John. He could tell she was really hurting inside, but doing her best not to show it. There was nothing he could say to take away the pain, so he stayed quiet.
"So what's the plan of attack?"
"First I start with the base in the back and sides, and then I do the front. That will get it all headed in the right direction, and then I just work my way up."
She looked at the picture imagining
it all. She studied the base. With many of the other styles it was obvious
the model just put her hair into a tight bun on top of her head, and then
the wig or hairpieces were placed over the top of it. Thus the look started
sleek and tight to the model's head. But her style would be far from that,
as the base 'poofed' out all around in a Victorian type look. Only it was
not a soft look but a very solid, strong looking 'poof'. That was why John
had been so aggressive with the
back-combing near the scalp. The front was a similar type of look. Anna would have no part in her hair, but a huge solid roll in front that rose up extremely high and then rolled back into the huge bouffant. This roll was twice as pronounced as the side and back, and she wondered how her hair would be coaxed into this tidal wave. All this teasing hadn't given it near enough height. Her hair right now was rising perhaps 4 inches above her scalp. The front would need to rise at least 6 inches, and the finished look would easily tower over a foot above her. Would more teasing be needed? She wondered if John planned to follow her earlier suggestions and go even bigger and higher than originally planned. She returned the paper to his table.
"You might as well get started."
The camera's blinked on, and Anna was again in the dark as all the hair was thrown forward once more giving him a clear view of the back. Then he swiveled the chair 180 degrees to give the cameras a better view. He pulled back the lower hairline sections and let them hang down, and started working with the hair just above it. She couldn't tell exactly what he was doing except she felt hairpins being slid into place, and for the first time that day heard the blast of hairspray. Her tresses were all being directed up, and this huge base would already tower as high as the top of her crown. She lost count of the number of hairpins, but was sure she would set off any airport metal detector. And so much hairspray had been used she could literally feel it. Then John tilted Anna's head forward and tossed the neckline strands up and over his work. He used his brush to start smoothing these hairs out. The intensely teased hair fought back, and Anna could actually hear the ripping, the breaking, as the hair was forced against it's will. Anna started trembling at the realization that all the damage had not been done yet. Even worse, this was all taking place in the first two feet of so of her hair. Would she end up needing to cut her hair to her shoulders, or shorter, before the weekend was over? Now she was truly worried that the worst was happening. This styling part was proving even more detrimental than the brutal teasing. She grimaced as she listened to the continual sound of her tresses being destroyed. She could stay quiet no longer.
"Oh God, that sounds horrible!"
"I know. I'm being as gentle as I can, but this is the bad part."
He had just confirmed that her ears had not deceived her. She was just glad she couldn't see it. Although within minutes John had placed the last pin, it seemed like much longer to Anna who held her breath with each stroke of the brush. John finished this with a tremendously long blast of spray. She was on her way to 'helmet head'. John moved over to the left side, basically repeating the procedure. When the now familiar ripping of the brush began, magnified even more since it was just above her ear, Anna knew it would be a long time before her hair fully recovered from this day. After another healthy blast of hairspray locking that side in place, he started in on the right side. When the brush started again, Anna had to speak up.
"Is the rest going to be this bad?
I can hear the damage."
"There is a fair amount still to come, otherwise the finished look doesn't look smooth. I think the sound is worse than the reality."
Her left side was soon done and coated with hairspray, and she was anxious to see if it was looking anything like it should. She'd be very upset if all this was for nothing. As her head was returned to level and it was all thrown back, she was amazed and pleasantly surprised that it matched the picture almost exactly. It might even be a little bigger. But it looked very smooth and .... Victorian. She couldn't imagine living back in a day where it was the norm to tease your long hair daily. Their hair must have been in dreadful shape. She could see what John was doing now as he worked on the front. The hair just behind the hairline was pinned in such a way that it built a support structure, then sprayed so no movement would loosen it. Once that structure was done, the outer layer was brushed over it and smoothed in place, then finally pinned and sprayed. The brush started in again, and the awful tearing sound seemed even more pronounced. The front was ending up higher than she expected, raising at least 8 inches above her scalp. Thus it had more area of hair to smooth (and damage!). She got to see how much hairspray was being used. It was enough to make the hair look wet, but it dried fairly quickly. But now the base was done. There was a ton of hair still hanging down every which way, but John was definitely well on his way. The mass of hair was slowly directed into a counter-clockwise spiral which reached up and up. It was almost a foot in width, and her head starting looking smaller every second. Unfortunately this also had to be smoothed in place, and now Anna had to be an actress for the camera and smile as her fabulous mane was further stretched and broken. She had to admit some 20 minutes later that it was looking very much like the picture, and she no longer doubted that John was actually going to succeed in replicating the style. She watched a long stream of hairspray applied to it all. It was shiny and wet with lacquer. To think that just four days ago she had 'virgin hair'. Not any more! The majority of hair was out of the way now, and only the final two feet or so were left to deal with. This was separated into little sections, the hair fighting this procees reluctantly, then smoothed slightly (the dreaded brush again) and rolled to form huge, decorative curls which were then pinned all over the huge funnel of hair. After another healthy blast of spray, Anna thought she was done, but didn't realize there was still several feet sticking out behind her starting near the top. John brought out a curling iron and his gel (a little jar this time). He took this section by section, smoothed it with the brush (more damage?) and then coated it in a thin coat of gel and wrapped it in the curling iron. He held it in, getting cooked, for what seemed an eternity, and when he let it out the hair had been transformed to a full sausage curl. About 10 minutes later the back had six matching sausage curls next to each other. All the hair was now in place. John picked up the spray can, had her close her eyes, and gave the entire style a thorough final coat of spray. When the mist cleared Anna took in the sight. The style was magnifiscent but truly odd to see on her head. It was unbelievable that he had actually done it. With her makeup it really went together, but the salon robe was very much out of place. John solved that problem by removing it revealing the stunning silver dress. She added two tasteful earings and the look was complete. When she saw herself in the mirror she smiled, as she really looked like a star from years ago ready for the Oscars. As she walked around for the camera, she thought she'd have to balance it or see it fall to the floor, but it was soon apparent it wasn't going anywhere. The teasing and spray would make sure of that. Minutes later, the camera's were shut off. She was done! She reached up to touch the creation. It was totally shellacked with spray, yet still flexible enough to push in and watch it return to form like a Nerf Ball. It didn't feel anything like her hair. It actually didn't feel as stiff as she expected, especially compared to the curls on Wednesday, which had been far stiffer. He had done a tremendous job and she was sure the video would be the hit they hoped. Jessica came to her side, touching the hair also.
"I know the look is really strange
but you really look terrific all dressed up like that."
John sat and rested his back. "You do look awesome. It will be a shame to take it down so soon."
Anna checked her look in the mirror again. "It is quite a picture isn't it. I really didn't believe this possible. Now the only thing I question is if I'll ever get all the tangles out."
Jessica said nothing and looked away. She didn't know how she would even begin. John volunteered to again lightly wash her hair and apply the strong conditioner he had on Monday. Then he said the rest was up to her.
"You're going to have to be extremely
patient if you want it back like it was. I hope I didn't damage it too
"You did your job, and did it very well I might add."
She again touched the 'do, and compared it to the picture. It was identical if not a little bit bigger.
"I don't want you losing sleep over this. Just get that video done and out there so we can make some money. I'll worry about my hair."
Forty five minutes later it was carefully taken down (had she heard even more breakage?) and gently washed, then drenched with conditioner and wrapped in a towel around her head. She would drive home like this, giving the conditioner plenty of time to penetrate and protect each shaft. Next would come the long, arduous task of unteasing.
When Anna finally got home she was emotionally drained, but still had enough energy for a long cry. She was afraid for her hair and sure she would have to cut it. She loved her identity with long hair and wasn't ready to part with it. Still there was some good about it all. The money was definitely needed, and since the video turned out well she figured she would make some descent royalties which would come in handy down the road. The adventure of the past week had been amazing, and she saw herself in looks she never dreamed possible. She had to admit she even liked the sight of her today in the massive creation. She was actually sorry big bouffants were out of style, because she would have liked to have gone out to an elegant dinner looking like she did today. If it wasn't so bad on her hair she could even imagine getting it done in other styles just for the fun of it. She had also loved seeing herself with the head of curls on Wednesday, and the HUGE look on Monday. She was anxious to get a copy of all the tapes and watch them from start to finish to see everything, especially the parts she couldn't see (or wouldn't watch) when filming them. She couldn't put it off any more, and she unwrapped her hair and took her wide-toothed comb in hand. It was strange to feel it only fall to her bottom. When she looked at it she could only frown. It seemed even more tangled. She started in at the ends as instructed, and stunned to discover that the tangles slid out fairly easily, even though they were much more teased than they had been on Monday. The last foot of her hair was quickly restored. The next foot proved tougher though, and by the time she was on the third foot, she needed to rest often and knew it wasn't going to get any easier. She put on a big cup of coffee because it would be a late night, and she had no plans to of going to bed until she was done. Eventually the lower half was done. It was reaching again to her knees at least, but the worst, especially at the roots, was still to come.
At midnight she knew the rest would have to wait until morning. She couldn't keep her eyes open and still had 1/3, the most heavily teased part, to go. Reluctantly she went to bed. At least thus far she hadn't used her scissors even once. Luckily she brought home some of the conditioner John used, and in the morning wet her hair again and smothered it with an ample amount. One hour later she resumed her efforts. Eventually all that was left was the 12 inches closest to her scalp. This is where she found the worst knots. She was so close to being done, but now hit a dead end. She looked at the scissors on her table, contemplating cutting the knot out. It meant cutting over 5 feet of hair too, even if it was just a tiny section. She made herself a cup of tea and decided to wait a bit. Later, more relaxed, she tackled the problem again, and this time she worked it out. Thirty minutes later it was done. She had removed every tangle without cutting off a thing. She couldn't believe it and ran the comb through her hair all over, not finding a single tangle. She took another shower, washing off the excess conditioner and putting on her favorite products. She was waiting to see a huge amount of broken strands by the sink drain, but found no more than usual. That evening, when her hair was finally dry, she inspected it closely and found basically no sign of the damage she had predicted. It looked and felt just fine. She started laughing out loud.. The next day John called her to ask how she was and tell her all three videos were ready to be picked up. He was extremely happy and amazed that there had been no negatives from all he had inflicted upon it.
"Great! So when do we do it again?"
"I think not!"
"I'm just kidding, but I hope you keep in touch besides just to collect your checks."
The two chatted a bit longer, and then Anna lifted her hair from the floor and went
to bed for the best night's sleep she could remember.
Did you like this story? Should
it have a sequel? If so, do
you have any ideas of what should happen? I welcome your
thoughts, comments, criticisms, etc...