The Regular- Part 8
By Tairish
It was with a strange mixture of anxiety and excitement that Kim drove to her appointment with Gail in preparation for New Year’s Eve that evening. The artwork of what she hoped her hair would resemble sat on the seat next to her, and she glanced at it every time she had to pause at a stoplight. She wondered how close Gail could actually come to reproducing the look.

Back at her apartment, her new, extremely sexy purple dress awaited. She was glad it was a dress she would have to step into, and not one that she would have to pull over her head. Otherwise she would have to be wearing it right now, knowing she wouldn’t be able to pull anything over her head once she was finished at the salon. She had almost forgotten to wear a blouse and light jacket instead of the T-shirt and sweater she had been wearing all day (they wouldn’t be able to go over her head either), remembering just as she was on her way out the door.

She had managed to keep her intentions secret from Michael despite his numerous, sometimes cunning efforts to find out what she was going to do with her hair that evening. He would never expect this. No one would ever expect this. Mostly because no one would think this possible. Not until Gail told her she could do it, at least in some form, did Kim even think it possible. If there was one thing that Kim had learned in the past year was to trust Gail. Thus she wasn’t stressed at all about what she was about to put her hair through. A year ago she would have been in tears already.

When she was finally sitting on the chair ready to get the process started, Gail studied the drawing one more time.

"So how close really do you think you can come to matching it?" Kim asked, expecting to be a bit disappointed.

"That depends. I’ll have to tease it heavier than usual, especially here on the top (she pointed to the picture). It won’t damage it of course, but it will take a good deal longer to untangle."

"That’s fine. You told me that last time."

"Also it will require a lot of spray. Mixed with the gel I’m going to use to get enough curl, it will feel quite…peculiar."

"You mean stiff?"

"Putting it nicely."

"I figured as much. That’s fine too." It was a true measure of how much she now trusted Gail that these two activities she had once considered taboo (teasing and spraying) she now was asking for to a degree she never thought possible. Gail could only smile at the complete metamorphosis in attitude of this young ‘Regular.’ She was also looking forward to this session. It would be a challenge to try to duplicate the drawing. A fun challenge, and a break from the usual, sometimes mundane styles she did each day.

It took a bit longer to roll all the hair in curlers as a setting gel needed to be applied first to the complete length of each section. Just like the picture, Kim would end up with a part on the right side which was obvious to her now by the setting pattern of the rollers. The fact they were of medium size instead of the usual large ones made her fit quite a bit easier under the hood of the dryer, making the next 45 minutes much more comfortable.

As she sat watching the other ladies in the shop get their special updos for the evening, she smiled that no one was asking for anything close to what she was getting. She would be the center of attention tonight. No doubt about it. She giggled in anticipation of Michael’s first glance at her tonight.

Then the curlers came out, were gently brushed through, and the real challenge for Gail began. Kim doubted she would be able to truly duplicate the style, only to marvel as she saw a near perfect match produced in the period of thirty minutes. Gail hadn’t lied as the top was teased much more than normal, and that heavy layers of spray were required leaving it extremely tacky to the touch. But the stylist had truly done it, and one would swear Kim had been the artist’s inspiration for his work in the first place.

When the robe came off and she stood up she wondered if this was perhaps way too much, but the overwhelming support she garnered by all in the salon told her she was nothing short of stunning.

It was difficult driving home as she was worried about damaging her new style, but as per all of Gail’s creations this one was well reinforced to battle the elements.

Once she was dressed in her gown, stockings, pumps, and finished what for her was very heavy makeup she took in her reflection. It almost took her breath away. She was a vision. There was no doubt about it. She delicately touched her mane, knowing it would take some time for her to get used to it this way, and glad she was ready early. She wanted to be in complete control when Michael arrived to pick her up.

Michael could hardly keep himself from running up the steps to Kim’s door. He knew she was having her hair done special for tonight, and was anxious to see what kind of updo she had chosen. He had the feeling it was going to be something besides one of her French Twist variations, especially considering for Halloween she had been so daring. He had actually been ready for the past two hours, just killing time watching bad television shows waiting to see his lady.

When Kim answered the door, the sight of her was one of total awe. Her very shapely body was very seductively (yet tastefully) wrapped in a purple dress tight in all the right places, cut fairly low in front and showing lots of leg. Her makeup was daring, with full wet lips and lots of eye makeup that absolutely made them pop. And then there was her hair.

Kim wasn’t wearing an updo.

Instead her hair was a huge sea of giant curls and waves, extending the full length of each shaft. It had been parted on the right side. Not only had it been curled, but it had been teased and coaxed to astounding dimensions. The top rose a good 4 to 6 inches above her scalp in a huge wave of hair. The sides had been coaxed out with a mixture of spray and teasing to achieve intense volume, mass and width. It now hardly reached to her waist, a good foot of length seemingly lost by all the curls and backcombing. She looked like a dream come true. She looked like a Goddess.

He reached out to touch it, to touch her. Her hair was very stiff and sticky. Despite its huge size, it was still one solid mass thanks to all the spray and teasing. Yet he found it totally arousing, and couldn’t wait for the evening to be done so he could take her.

"Do you like?" she said, knowing very well what his answer would be.

"Oh Yeah!! Very much so!"

And with that the two headed out for their New Year’s celebration.

To say that Kim was the star of the evening was an understatement. Friends were left speechless, and strangers stopped in their tracks, sure they were in the presence of royalty or, at least, an important celebrity. Her voluminous mane was the subject of conversations in every nook and cranny of the nightclub.

It also made for an exciting evening in the bedroom that was long and passionate. Afterwards, completely spent, Michael gently played with her still intact ‘do. She just let him, enjoying being the center of his attentions.

"I can’t believe you had this done," he said.

"It’s OK that I did, isn’t it."

"Absolutely! It’s just so… different for you. It’s something I never thought you would do."

"To tell you the truth I didn’t think this was even possible."

"How did you even come up with this idea?"

"When I was younger I never dated, but that didn’t mean I didn’t think about it. Sometimes on Saturday nights I would just sit at home and draw this dream girl, or so I considered her. She went through all kinds of changes but eventually she ended up looking like this."

She showed him the drawing she had taken to Gail. The similarity in their hairstyles was obvious.

"I’ve always wondered if I could look like her, and just decided to give it a shot. Of course I never anticipated Gail could really duplicate her look. It obviously took a lot of teasing and spray to do so (she touched her crisp hair). I hope you don’t find it too awful to touch."

He played with it more aggressively this time.

"Actually I quite love it."

"It’s not too… big, is it?" The width all around of the ‘do had concerned Kim a bit as it was difficult for someone to just stand close to her without being enveloped in the strands. She hadn’t thought about the practicality of the style until she left ‘The Bella Donna’ sporting the huge dimensional style. All night she had to be very careful where she walked and felt like she was moving in slow motion. Life was definitely easier when her hair was up in her weekly Twists.

"No, it’s not too big. I find it absolutely arousing, but then I’d hope you could tell by the last couple of hours if nothing else."

She smiled. The sex had been terrific. She figured that since he was so excited just seeing the aftermath of the teasing on ‘Take Down’ nights, he’d adore all the volume tonight. She wasn’t disappointed in the least. Tonight he especially enjoyed looking up at her as they made love. He said she looked a bit like a lioness the way her hair poofed out. It made her wonder if her hair could be further coaxed to truly resemble a lion’s massive mane.

The winter months went pretty routine, with Kim alternating between her three variations of the French Twist, although she had Gail start making some subtle changes with each. For the side parted style, she made it a little less reminiscent of the straight back style by arching the hair forward a bit more towards one eye. It seemed sexier to her, but was not met with anything but compliments, including from Dawn, nor did it negatively affect her job. If anything she felt looking a bit sexier might have helped with a few clients.

For the straight back style, she had Gail raise the location in back of the Twist a bit. She felt it made this style seem a bit more regal. Again, nothing but compliments.

For the center part, she had it arch down a little lower on the sides so the top part of her ears were covered. This too was met favorably.

Now all three of her styles were clearly different, and each week was a new adventure as she emerged from the salon with a style that was just a bit different than any she had worn before. She was loving the variety, as was Michael. While Kim still checked for damage each week, it was only out of force of habit as she didn’t expect to find any, and she never did. The couple had never been happier.

Dawn had spent the past hour going over the potential lucrative assignment with Kim. At first Kim couldn’t concentrate as she noted something different about her boss. Then she figured it out. It was her hair. She had visited her barber (Or so she assumed. Her cuts never looked like the work of a stylist.) and had her hair buzzed down short again on the sides and back. It just seemed that this time she hadn’t taken anything off the top as it clearly looked different. Was her boss changing her look, or was she just imagining things?

Eventually though, she focused on what was being presented to her. The idea was novel, trying to make a certain area of town attractive to a group of senior citizens whose present living community was being torn down. It could mean the sale of literally 100 homes or plots of land, which obviously would be a pot of gold for the firm.

Kim had been given the mission, mostly because Dawn admitted to herself she didn’t deal with the elderly very well. Kim, on the other hand, said she felt very comfortable around them, mostly from her experiences for the past year in ‘The Bella Donna.’ It was logic Dawn couldn’t argue with, and could think of no one better for the job. By now she realized what a gem she had in Kim, and she was entirely comfortable handing over the project.

It would require Kim to be out of town for a week of important meetings, gatherings, and presentations. Fortunately she had a month to prepare, which included getting input from her friends at the salon as to the best way to approach this group.

One invaluable tip unanimously echoed by all was the concern these people had concerning money, especially since most were on limited budgets. They were much more comfortable trusting people more their own age as opposed to a young person who couldn’t possibly relate to their dilemma. Kim was glad her weekly updos made her look a good 5-10 years older than she truly was. She figured with the right clothes and makeup she could possibly be mistaken for being in her mid to late 30’s. She talked with Gail about which version of her twist she should wear that week with the goal of appearing as ‘matronly’ as possible. She was thinking of the no parted version, the top possibly teased up a bit more than normal.

"What about trying something totally different that might make you look even older?"

It was a notion she had never considered before. "I….. don’t know."

"If you truly want to come across looking older, then there are countless options much more fitting than a French Twist."

"Like what? I don’t want to dye it gray or anything?"

Gail laughed. "That’s not what I was thinking. And I don’t plan on cutting it or damaging it, so put that worry out of your mind." (Gail knew Kim would ask those questions, as she always did every time even the slightest variation was pondered.)

"Then I’m not sure what you are suggesting."

"Well, think of some of the styles you see here each day. They just wouldn’t seem right on a younger woman. Take Diane, for example. Some days she looks much older than others simply based on her hairstyle."

She was right. She remembered thinking Diane was a good 10-15 years older than she was at first, simply because of the updo she was wearing that particular day (plus the way she carried herself while wearing it). "So you think there’s a style that could have them thinking I’m on the backside of 30?"

"How about the backside of 40?"

"Really?!" The thought of looking that much older was almost scary. It was also, thanks to her love of events like Halloween, very enticing. Too enticing. The only thing holding her back was her fear of doing something that would jeopardize her success. But then all the other ‘Regulars’ put in their two cents, and it was unanimous that she ought to give the charade a try. She knew she may not like the way she would end up looking, but agreed it might be the best course of action. And so the appointment was set for the next Monday before she headed out of town. The rest of the week found her often looking in the mirror, wondering what Gail possibly had up her sleeve that would make such a dramatic difference, and wondering how she would handle looking at a reflection so… old."

She wasn’t leaving it all up to the hairstyle. She borrowed clothes from friends and made a small shopping spree to some Thrift stores ending up with a week’s worth of looks that, while they didn’t really flatter her by any stretch of the imagination, managed to look practical and fitting for a person of her supposed age and position. Nothing remotely sexual or cutting age fashion. Shoes had to be flatter and opt more for comfort. Some select pieces of jewelry completed the list.

For makeup, she consulted one of her friends who volunteered part-time with local theatre productions. She taught her some tricks, and with a little practice became quite proficient at adding a few years to her face while not looking fake at all. One evening the week before her big assignment, with her hair in a center parted Twist, she tried on the whole ensemble. It was staggering as she easily could have passed for 40. She wondered what Gail had in store for her, and how much of a difference it would make from the way she looked at that moment. She already was a bit uncomfortable looking at her odd, older reflection. She couldn’t imagine how she would feel on Monday.

Kim nervously walked into the shop that Monday. She was already in her toned down work clothes, the flat, practical shoes, and her makeup had been done. Mixed with her long hair flowing down she looked almost comical, and was kidded a bit by the other ‘Regulars’ who were by now all aware of Kim’s scheme, and looking forward to how it would turn out.

As she lie back having her hair washed, she even considered backing out and opting for one of her usual looks, thinking the clothes and makeup were enough.

Gail was enjoying this, and wouldn’t share with her client what she had in mind.

"You’re not going to do anything too bizarre, are you?"

"Just relax. It will be perfect. Just be prepared to see a much different reflection."

"This isn’t going to da…"

"No, no damage. You know that."

Smaller curlers went in using a different setting pattern than normal. It gave Kim no clue where the part would be, or if she would even have a part. When they came out nearly an hour later and were brushed through they did little but produce a bit off body all over. Her center part vanished again, but that wasn’t hard to do any more. Her hair was up so often now that it really no longer had a ‘natural’ part. So when it was down she could part it wherever she wanted (and she mixed it up quite often, including playing with the trendy zigzag parts). Then Gail proceeded to do her standard teasing job. So far this wasn’t anything too new, but Gail was quite good at keeping the secret of what she was planning to herself.

Once the teasing was done, she turned the chair 180 degrees so it faced the dryers instead of the mirror. Now Kim wouldn’t even be able to watch.

"Hey! I want to watch."

"Oh honey! This will be more fun. The next time you see your reflection it will be like you went through some kind of time warp."

It took a bit but Kim reluctantly agreed. All eyes in the shop were constantly looking over at Gail to see what was up. Even the other ‘Regulars’ had their chairs turned so they could watch the action, rather than watching their own hair being styled.

Kim nervously sat trying to feel what Gail was doing. The back clearly wasn’t a version of the Twist, but seemed a bit more like the ‘Gibson Girl’ she wore two Halloweens ago. Yet it didn’t feel that big. The front was similarly confusing, as it felt like it was being parted on one side, then the other, and then felt like it was all being brushed straight back. Some hair was covering the top portion of both ears just as her center parted Twist did these days. Once that was sprayed firmly, Gail worked on the back again, this time up by the crown. First Kim could feel the main mass be positioned, folded and pinned, but then she felt separate strands being maneuvered in place. The chorus of ‘Oohs’ and "Aahs’ around the room, along with various comments of approval, told her she was nearly done. She was now anxious to see what had been done. A heavy final layer of spray went down, and then the chair was turned so Kim could see her new, ‘older’ looking, self.

Kim was speechless for a while, as if looking at a photo of the person you were to become. For looking back at her in the mirror was a woman who easily could pass for 50. It was quite a jolt. Now she knew what movie stars felt like their first time in make-up for a new, image altering, role. But after the initial shock wore off she grinned, knowing she was truly ready for her assignment that week.

"I got this idea watching an old Andy Griffith show rerun. I guess I can call this the ‘Aunt Bea’," Gail proudly announced. Kim studied it slowly, noting the resemblance. What first struck her was the front. The top was teased so it rose a couple of inches higher than normal (though nothing close to her New Year’s curls) and went straight back into the bulk at the back of her head, but on either side rolled down a bit almost like the break of an ocean wave to arch over the top part of her ears and then in with the rest. The back and sides had a bit of ‘Gibson Girl’ poof, though not nearly as much, all eventually ending up in a huge, slightly flattened bun probably 8 inches in diameter on her crown. All along the circumference of the bun was a row of big shell curls.

It was not a flattering look for the recently turned 29-year old realtor, but quite stunning for a woman in her 40’s, or older. Gail had done it again! She had given her a look that was both totally professional looking yet perfect for her ambitions this week. When she touched it she discovered, as she figured, it was every bit as stiff as her ‘usual’ styles, if not more. Of course that no longer bothered her in the slightest, and she rather expected it, and even desired the sturdiness of it. A layer of spray each morning and evening and she was good for a week. She was just thankful she would be out of town and her friends and co-workers, not to mention Michael, wouldn’t see her like this.

Kim never did get used to her reflection in the mirror, even when the makeup and outfits were off. This hairstyle just wasn’t her in any way, though it certainly was proving effective for this occasion. One evening after work she even tried putting on her ‘real’ clothes, and did a sexy make-up job just to see if it changed her opinion of the hairstyle. It didn’t. This was a style she had no plans on requesting again. But the weeklong mission went extremely well. Thanks to her yearlong status (had it really been a year?!) as a ‘Regular’ she was quite comfortable around this age group. She knew how to handle herself around them, what they liked to talk about, how to make them laugh. She was quite adept at dodging any questions as to her age. (She noted women in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s never gave such information, while women 70 and older were more than willing, and women over 80 volunteered it without being asked.) Nightly phone calls to Dawn on her progress were easy to make, and by the end of the week the paperwork was nearly completed, the key signatures in place. She got home late Friday night, and although she was tired spent the time taking down her ‘Aunt Bea’ style. She was more than ready to look her age (or younger) again. It came down every bit as easy as her other styles, with her hair no worse off as a result. While she had no intentions of ever wearing the look again, this had taught her a valuable lesson. Her hair could be a valuable tool to help achieve both her professional, and personal goals.

It was soon back to her normal routine of the French Twists. Kim breathed a sigh of relief as her reflection was once again one she was familiar and comfortable with after her week of being ‘Aunt Bea’. She never did tell anyone about that updo, and was glad there were no photos taken of her that week.

The months rolled by into summer with one notable change. Dawn was clearly growing her hair longer. Each visit from her barber/stylist found her keeping her length on top, and just trimming the back and sides neatly. The top was now a good 3-4 inches long, as opposed to the inch or less she had worn for all these years.

Over lunch one day Kim finally asked her about it. She confirmed that she was making an effort to grow it out, unsure of how long she would let it grow (or be able to stand after all these years of short hair). She was concerned about the ‘ugly phase’ of growing out short hair, where no matter how it is brushed or styled it still looks messy.

"What prompted you to grow it out again?"

"Oh, a couple of things actually. Dave (her husband) would really like to see it longer. He keeps dropping hints about it, and is sore for weeks after I get it cut again. But to tell you the truth…" She hesitated, not sure if she should unveil this information. Finally she conceded and let it out.

"To tell you the truth you’ve motivated me." Kim looked shocked. It was the last thing she would have thought of.

"You’re kidding? How?"

"By having all that beautiful hair of yours and still looking so professional each day. However you still come across as absolutely feminine."

Kim just smiled at the compliment, not sure of what else to say.

Dawn continued, letting it all out now. "I’m tired of being called a dyke. Maybe, though it’ll probably drive me crazy long before then, I can grow mine long enough where it can be worn up someday too."

"Well when it is, I know the stylist you need to go see."

Dawn cracked a smile. It had obviously been hard for her to bare this part of her soul. "Just don’t hold your breath. I’ve had it short for so long the urge to cut it is firmly embedded. It’ll be a miracle if I can hold out even through the summer."

Kim gave her boss all the support she could, and as the summer was passing Dawn hadn’t yet succumbed to her urges to cut it. Kim was thankful she never had hair so short, as it would clearly take a long time before Dawn could even entertain the notion of putting it up.

Summer meant it was time to see Jill again for her usual trim. She had no fears of extensive damage this time, and once more Jill noted that the complete length was in fabulous shape. The ends were now were touching the top of her thigh, and again only the last ½ inch needed to be trimmed off.

This positive report started Kim thinking about other styles to add to her repertoire of work looks, though admitted that the type worn by Diane and Jeannette were certainly too much. Though she said nothing about it to Gail, she watched each week in the salon for a look she might want to adopt. That was when Gail arrived wearing her hair up in the same curly, swirl of a bun she had so long ago that Kim had admired. It captivated her instantly once again, and she just stared at it as her hair was washed.

As Gail prepared the rollers, she confirmed what was to happen that day with her client.

"Center part this week, right?"

Kim hesitated a bit (her natural tendency when pondering doing something unfamiliar) but couldn’t deny her urge to try something new. "Actually, I’d like to try duplicating the way your hair is right now, if possible."

Gail grinned a bit knowingly. It made Kim wonder if she had put her hair up just so she’d ask to match it. Then she dismissed the idea as ridiculous. But then again?

The curlers went in, a slightly different setting pattern the result of the request. As Kim sat under the dryer she studied the style she was requesting. It sure looked wonderful, but then the larger dimensions of the style concerned her that it might be inappropriate for her work environment. This concern was almost strong enough for her to change her mind. Almost. But her urge to experience the style won out, and she said nothing as the curlers came out, the curls transformed into waves, and the teasing began.

The amount of teasing, especially on top, was a bit more pronounced than usual. Even so watching the ritual didn’t bother her at all any more, and she laughed a bit whenever she recalled how frightened she used to be of the simple use of hairspray. She recalled her first visit to ‘The Bella Donna’, and how paranoid she was. Gail had been so nice that time, despite the fact she had acted like a complete dork. Now this weekly appointment was one of her favorite parts of the week, and she never worried at all if she was hurting her hair or not by the simple act of ‘teasing.’ Sometimes she even found herself wondering how high her hair could be coaxed if she requested it be ‘as big as possible.’ Maybe one day she would find out.

The End of Part 8

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