"Are you sure you want to do this, honey?"

Lana looked back at the hairdresser through the mirror in which she'd been studying her pink-smocked reflection in thoughtful silence.

Did she want to do this? It was a question she'd asked herself all the way to the beauty parlor that morning. In the back of her mind, she heard Nell telling her never to cut it off. "Leave it long, Lana," she'd said. "Your hair is your crowning glory." Whitney'd always echoed the sentiment, telling her he liked it long as he petted it like she were a dog instead of his girlfriend. Clark liked it long, too. But Clark was gone and Lana was tired of the petting and the sniffing and the fawning over her hair.

Long meant hard to maintain, hours in front of the mirror every morning, and having to pull it back when she worked.

Long was "princess hair." Lana was tired of the princess. Princess Lana was too perfect and too untouchable. Too unreal. She wanted to be a real person for once in her life.

It was time for a change.

"I'm sure," came her steady reply, but her eyes shut when the scissors sliced through the first strand of her hair. She felt thick strands of it fall on the smock--black against pink--and the fear of losing a part of herself seized her. She could tell Candy to stop, but she knew once it was started, she had to finish it.

And, in the end, she wanted to.

And judging from the way Pete's jaw dropped and Chloe's coffee cup shattered when it hit floor as she walked into the Talon looking like Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease--only with dark hair--she'd made the right decision.