LOS ANGELES - Britney Spears appeared in a tattoo parlor in the San Fernando Valley with her head shaved completely bald.
Video on KABC-TV showed the newly shorn Spears with tiny tattoos on the back of her neck as she sits Friday night for a new tattoo — a pair of red and pink lips.
"She just wanted something real small on her wrist, something dainty," Max Gott, the tattoo artist at Body and Soul in Sherman Oaks, told the TV station. "She got some cute little lips on her wrist."
Derrik Snell, who works at the tattoo parlor, said Spears showed up without notice and stayed for about 90 minutes as about 60 fans, photographers and gawkers gathered outside.
"She seemed fine," Snell said. "I didn't really notice (the hairdo) at first, she had a hood on when she showed up."
The appearance came the same day as reports on TV and Web sites that Spears, who has drawn criticism for her recent partying and sloppy behavior, had briefly checked into rehab.
Larry Rudolph, Spears' manager, couldn't be reached for comment.
Syndicated entertainment TV show "Extra" first reported that Spears had entered a treatment facility. Celebrity Web site TMZ.com then said the singer had entered a treatment center but had checked out one day later. Neither revealed their sources.
People magazine's Web site, citing "a source," said Spears had gone in and out of rehab, and identified the facility as Eric Clapton's Crossroads center in Antigua, in the Caribbean.
"Access Hollywood" then said the reports weren't true, but didn't cite a source.
A woman who answered the phone at Crossroads told The Associated Press that she couldn't confirm or deny anyone's presence at the facility.
Angelique Uram, a Spears fan who stood on the tattoo parlor's sidewalk for Friday night's spectacle, was aghast at the singer's new look.
"We could see her in the mirror, and her head is completely shaved," she told KABC. "It looks terrible."
Police arrived to control the crowd and helped Spears' bodyguards guide her into a waiting SUV, her head covered by a hooded sweatshirt.
Safe to say she woun't be entering into the WITH competition anytime soon
Amid conflicting reports of a 24-hour stint in rehab earlier in the week, Britney Spears returned to L.A. Friday on an American Airlines flight from Miami, surprising fellow passengers by sitting in the last row of coach class.
And within hours after landing, the peripatetic mother-of-two managed once again to shock onlookers. This time by shaving her head and getting two tattoos at a seedy parlor in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.
Usmagazine.com was there as Britney left her Malibu home Friday evening and paid a visit to a Tarzana salon for her brief stint in, uh, hair-hab.
A source at the salon says, "Britney came in and said she wanted them to shave her head." According to the source, when the hairdresser refused, "Britney grabbed the hair clipper and started doing it herself."
But Britney's night of self-defiling had only just begun.
We were there again when at about 8:30 p.m. Britney arrived at Body & Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks.
Store employee Emily Wynne-Hughes tells Usmagazine.com that Britney arrived at the parlor agitated and, when asked why she shaved her head, replied, "I don't want anyone touching me. I'm tired of everybody touching me."
Hughes adds, "She wasn't making sense at all and you could tell she's not in a good place at all, and that she is totally freaking out."
Hughes tells us Britney then got a black-white-and-pink cross tattooed on her lower hip and red-and-pink lips on her wrist. The price: $80.
Britney was not an ideal subject, however. "She was a nightmare to deal with," says Hughes. "She was screaming and flipping out from the pain and wiggling her body all around." Hughes, who was somewhere between appalled and concerned by what she saw, adds, "After she left the shop we all just looked around and said to each other, 'We just saw a huge celebrity on the verge of a nervous breakdown.'"