Beheading is a staple of medieval punishment - it is usually quick, bloody, and over before you know it. Usually.
According to legend, in 15th century Hungary it was customary that if the executioner failed to... well, execute someone at the third try, the person would be allowed to live.
(What are the odds, right?)
Hunyadi László was the first son of legendary army general Hunyadi János, and the older brother of Hunyadi Mátyás who later became Hungary's most famous Renaissance king. After his father's death he was head of not only the family, but also a remarkable political force (the legal king at the time was László V., in his early teenage years) (not a very strong king, you see). In the midst of good old-fashioned medieval intrigue and political play that would put the Lannisters to shame, László made a mistake: Under unexplained circumstances he killed one of the most influential nobles loyal to the king.
At first, the king promised amnesty to the Hunyadi family, but that didn't last long - soon after both brothers (and their supporters) were thrown into prison, and László, as head of the family, was convicted for murder and high treason.
I remember filing this information away in case needed: Healthy hair can save your life one day.
(Provided you have a just king)
Interestingly, the connection between good hair and beheading is not unique to Hungarian folklore. If you venture over to my other blog on J day, you will read a very similar story from a Viking saga...
(The image you see above is a very famous 19th century painting by Benczúr Gyula, depicting Hunyadi's final goodbye)