Princess Victoria woke early in the morning with her hair in a mess around her as she usually did. A breeze blew the curtains, and a mist covered the grey stone floor. She scurried to the window and drew the curtains. Her handmaiden Vanessa rushed into her chambers.
“Mornin Princess…sorry about the curtains, I know you like to listen to the rain in the mornings. I’ll clean the rain off the floor at once” Vanessa blushed as she apologized.
“No worries…the floor will dry…” the Princess said as she set about untangling her long black tresses. She ran her fingers thru her hair, trying to loosen the knots from her night’s slumber. Every morning was a struggle against her raven mane, which ran all the way down to the small of her back.
“Let me help you, Victoria.” Vanessa picked a brush from the bedside table and stood behind her, taking her mane in her hands and began to brush out her locks. The tangles were thick, and the Princess squirmed each time Vanessa pulled on them. The upkeep of her hair had become an unruly chore, and though everyone in the River Kingdom marveled at the beauty of it, the Princess felt that it often outshone her, becoming the only thing people would notice. She had begun to fantasize about cutting it all off, forcing people to see her for her true beauty.
“Vanessa, what would you think if I cut all my hair off?” Victoria inquired to her friend. She knew that Vanessa was the only person in the Kingdom who would give her honest opinion of her schemes, and take her seriously without treating her as a rebellious child. They were close in age, the Princess being 19 and her handmaiden being just 1 year older, which led no doubt to the ease they became friends, and more than just servant and master.
“Cut your hair? But how short? I know it’s a chore to brush, but everyone does love it so.” Vanessa asked as she pulled out a knot off the top of the Princess’ head. Victoria struggled against the brush.
“I don’t just want to cut it short…I want to get rid of it. I can’t stand the thought of brushing it out even one more day. I want to be bald. Completely bald.” The Princess smiled and spun around to see the reaction of her friend.
“That’s a rather dramatic reaction, isn’t it?” Vanessa asked, “I mean, I don’t see why you would want to be bald?” She put her hands to her own head and ran them through her blonde hair, as if she was imagining feeling what it would be like to be bald.
“If I was bald, I wouldn’t have to brush my hair…I can sleep later, which leaves more time for fun things like trips to the tavern, and it’ll get Father off my back about meeting with Prince Paul from the Highlands. I want get rid of this mess and just be appreciated for myself and not just for my hair. And I’m truly thrilled to see how it looks and it feels. I’ve seen many Knights from the Western Kingdoms who have shaved all the hair from their heads, and it is a rather striking look. I think I could wear it well. And further more, I mean to do it today.” The Princess stood up and walked to the mirror in the corner of her chambers. She pulled her hair into a tight ponytail and looked at her reflection in the mirror, adjusted her head from side to side and examining herself.
“What, today? Now? I know you mean it, so I won’t try to talk you out of it. But how will you shave it? I think we have a spare hand razor, if you will wait for me to go to the servant’s chambers? Shall I fetch one of the barbers as well” Vanessa knew better than to change the Princess’ mind once her mind was made up. If Victoria wanted to be bald, Vanessa knew she would find a way to do it, even if she had to pluck out each hair individually. The best thing she felt, was to support her friend.
“I have a better idea than that. I went to the Alchemist’s shop yesterday before I went to the tavern, and I picked up this,” With a wicked smile, Victoria revealed a small glass bottle full of blue liquid in her hands. “This liquid will remove my hair at the roots, more like dissolve it I guess, but it’s safe enough it won’t harm skin. I asked the Alchemist himself, made sure to go on a day when the Apprentice was off so I got the real answer. He said if I rub this into my scalp, all my hair will fall away as if it were never there, leaving smooth skin behind. He was real honest too, he also said that it’s possible that it may not grow back, but I figure that’s a chance worth taking. I can live with being bald forever easier than I can deal with this mess.”
Victoria emptied some of the liquid into her hands, and began to run her hands through her hair. Vanessa, began to help her, dumping a small amount of the blue liquid in her hands, and running it through the Princess’ long black hair. As the liquid soaked into her hair, it began to soften and feel like silk, the tangles now smoothing out. Victoria placed her hands at her hairline and began to massage her fingers into her scalp. And then, her beautiful raven hair began to come out and melt away in her hands. She shrieked with joy and smiled at Vanessa, “It’s working, my hair is falling out. I can feel it thinning. I can feel my scalp!”
Vanessa smiled back at the Princess, “It is working, I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it myself. I’ll let you take over, I know you are enjoying this. Make sure you get it all in the back!”
Victoria started to pull at the remaining strands of hair, and they began to melt away. She ran her hands from her forehead to her neck, and she removed all the hair that was remaining in her wake, leaving a bare path of smooth scalp. She lifted up her left ear, and then her right, and she ran her hands along the sides of her skull, feeling the smooth scalp where there had been mounds of midnight hair only moments before. She ran her hands along her neckline, removing the last few strands back there, and she moaned with joy, “I should have done this long ago! I love being bald!”
Vanessa leaned forward to wipe away a strand of hair from her friend’s forehead, and then one more on the back of her head. “I must say, it does suit you so. I can see your beautiful brown eyes better than ever now. All you need is a nice pair of Diamond earrings. I think you are nearly perfect now, just let me wipe your head off with this cloth.” Vanessa picked up a cloth from the stand near the mirror and began to wipe away the last few strands of hair from the Princess’ bald head. Victoria giggled as the cloth wiped away the last bits of the mane that had held her back for so long.
Victoria put a small amount of the blue liquid into her hands and looked in the mirror as she massaged it into her scalp. “I think I could get used to this all the time. I love the way it shines in the sunlight as well. And it’s so smooth, there’s not a trace of hair. I hope the Alchemist was right and it is permanent. I don’t think I even want hair again! I do want to put on my finest gown and stroll about the town to see the people’s reactions though!” she smiled as she ran her hands across her bare scalp, stopping occasionally to admire herself. “And I still have half a bottle left if you’re interested in going bald forever as well Vanessa…Vanessa?” She looked to the stand for the bottle of liquid, but it was gone. She looked at Vanessa. She had emptied some of the liquid in her hands and was running it through her shoulder length blonde hair. She smiled back at Princess Victoria with a knowing look, and seated herself in front of the mirror and began massaging her fingers into her scalp, allowing the liquid to seep into her hair follicles and begin the work of dissolving them away.
“I think I could get used to being bald too Victoria.” Vanessa smiled as she ran her fingers across the top of her head starting at her widows peak, leaving smooth scalp behind as her hand passed. “I think the two of us will make quite an impression on the ladies in court and about town. If we can get enough ladies to follow suit, the Alchemy shop might even be willing to give us enough of that liquid to last us a lifetime.” She was nearly bald by now, her pale white scalp gleaming in the sunlight that now shined through the window.
Victoria emerged from her wardrobe carrying a red gown “Well it looks like it might be a beautiful day finally, so I think it’s time we showed this town what true beauty looks like…help yourself to anything from the closet.” She admired her friends bald head, her smooth scalp shining bright, and then looked at her own smooth head in the mirror and ran her hand from forehead to neck. The Alchemist told no lies. There was not a trace of hair left, as if it had never even been there. She sighed in pleasure and smiled at the beautiful Princess looking back at her. For the first time she truly loved admired her own beauty. She had freed herself from the bonds of her hair her own way. And they would come from all around to marvel at the beauty of the bald, beautiful Princess Victoria.