Meghan Markle's hair evolution: a rundown of her most iconic styles, from sleek ponytails and chic buns to that wedding look

Meghan Markle's hair always provides stylish inspiration, here's how to re-create some of her key looks at home according to the experts

a selection of meghan markles best hair styles from her wedding hair to chic buns and more
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle’s hair has rarely been out of the spotlight since she rose to stratospheric fame upon entering the Royal Family. 

And although we’re yet to see her try a pixie haircut or a bob hairstyle (there’s still time!), she’s a master when it comes to creating sophisticated updos, bangs hairstyles, and messy bun looks. 

There have been far too many styles over the years, both pre and post-Prince Harry to mention, but we’ve rounded up some of the best, including Meghan Markle’s wedding hair, her sleek updos, and cool ponytails.

The high ponytail

Meghan Markle's hair in sleek ponytail

(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Way back before she met Prince Harry, Meghan was a regular at glam red carpet events thanks to her leading role as Rachel in the US sitcom Suits. 

Attending an event for the hit show in 2012, Meghan opted for striking lilac eye makeup and a sleek high ponytail hairstyle. Her style and beauty look pre-Harry often ensured Meghan graced best-dressed lists with her choice of dramatic hairstyles and fun fashion choices. 

Jason Collier, celeb hairstylist, and Jerome Russell Bblonde Brand Educator reveals how to recreate the look at home, "An easy style for every day, prep the hair with heat protection to give a smooth and sleek finish, then use a blow-dry balm though the length." 

Jason recommends using a paddle brush with soft bristles to blow-dry your hair slightly away from your face. To get some slight volume he advisers backcombing the mid to top sections before, "pulling hair back into a tight ponytail just before the nape, leaving a piece of hair out to then wrap around the hair-tie. The key is to ensure the pulled hair is in line with your cheekbones, this will help to define your contours."


Jerome Russell Bstyled Blow Dry Balm

Protect from heat damage and keep hair moisturized. Apply to clean, towel-dried hair from the roots through to the ends. 

Ultra sleek and straight

Meghan Markle's hair straight and shiny

(Image credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Meghan sported ultra-shiny glass hair to attend a perfume launch party back in 2014. The layered style perfectly framed her face and she opted for a Karen Walker green zig-zag cashmere sweater over a crisp white shirt. 

To achieve a style like this at home a pair of the best ghd straighteners is essential, as is a good heat protection spray. Textured hair specialist and ghd ambassador Michelle Thompson (opens in new tab) tells woman&home how to recreate Meghan’s sleek style at home, “start off by spritzing the hair using a heat protection spray to help prevent the cuticles from lifting which means a longer-lasting sleek finish. Take diagonal sections from the front working into the back and smooth through from root to ends using the GHD max styler. Finish with a shine spray for a glass-like finish.”


ghd Max Straighteners
Featuring 70% larger plates with dual-zone technology the max straighteners give a smooth and sleek result, with no extreme heat.

The polished up-do

Meghan Markle's hair styled in a messy bun

(Image credit: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Attending the Women’s Empowerment reception a few months after announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan styled her hair in a polished up-do, leaving a few strands to frame her face—a style she continued to recreate throughout her engagement and well into married life to Harry.  

Chie Sato, Head of Education at Taylor Taylor London (opens in new tab) tells us how to achieve Meghan’s polished updo at home: 

  • Prep your hair, taking care to make sure your strands are super hydrated so that they look glossy and gorgeous when swept up into a casual bun.
  • Using a comb, section off two front pieces of hair and sweep the rest into a low twisted bun, using a brush to shape it how you like. You can pull out any wispy pieces around the front, it’s best not to be too precious as this look is best when it’s slightly undone.
  • Finish with a lightweight hairspray suitable for frizzy hair to secure.

Meghan teamed her chic do with a ‘Jackie O dress’ by LA brand Black Halo (opens in new tab), Aquazzura pumps, one of the best Gucci bags to invest in—the Dionysus suede super mini—and some dazzling 18-carat white gold diamond earrings by Birks.

Meghan Markle's wedding hair

Meghan Markle's hair on her wedding day

(Image credit: Gareth Fuller - WPA/Getty Images)

Created by Serge Normant (opens in new tab), Meghan’s wedding hair was the perfect mix of elegance and modernity, topped off with that stunning Queen Mary Bandeau tiara worth an estimated $9M/£7M. Inspiration came from the '60s and actors like Audrey Hepburn according to Serge who revealed all to Harper’s Bazaar (opens in new tab) back in 2018. "For me, I always think of icons I love, like Audrey Hepburn. I always have little '60s inspirations in my head but I didn't want to do anything set in a time frame. I didn't want too much volume. I wanted something very loose and easy which is why we chose a very loose bun." he revealed. 


Ivory & Co Vintage Lace Freshwater Pearl and Cubic Zirconia Pave Tiara

Have your own Meghan Markle moment with this floral accented tiara. The floral segments are set with iridescent freshwater pearls and small cubic zirconia.

Relaxed loose waves

Meghan Markle's hair in long waves

(Image credit: STEVE CHRISTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Post-wedding, Meghan returned to her signature LA style and was often spotted wearing her hair in relaxed loose waves as seen during her first public outing since announcing she was pregnant with Archie. 

As part of her and Harry’s Australian tour, she chose to wear a bright white shift dress by local designer Karen Gee, as well as honoring her late mother-in-law by wearing Diana’s delicate gold bracelet and yellow gold butterfly earrings. 

Her hair was a modern take on old Hollywood waves created by George Northwood who's famed for creating perfect relaxed waves on a whole host of celebrities—from Rachel Weisz to Alicia Vikander—as well as Meghan. 

George says the most common mistake when creating waves is making the curl too tight but he's shared his simple steps with woman&home so you can recreate Meghan’s wavy hairstyle style at home:

  1. Prep the hair by using a deep cleansing shampoo to get rid of product build-up.
  2. Symmetry around the face is important, and you can do this by tonging the hair away from your face in different directions. Take a small section of hair and lightly spray it with a holding spray then place the curling tong underneath the hair and wrap the hair around the barrel so the wave sets away from your face. Repeat on the other side but in the opposite direction by placing the tong on top of the hair and twisting away from the face.
  3. When your hair cools it will begin to set, so once you’ve completed your tonging pull the wave straight so that it sets as a looser wave. Leave the root and the end of your hair out of the tong—this gives a more natural wave. Don’t worry too much about your hair being uniform at the back, tong in different directions for a relaxed feel as though you’ve just rolled out of bed.

Undone by George Northwood Unpolluted Shampoo
This weekly-use detox shampoo gently strips out build-up and creates a protective film on the hair that acts as a barrier against atmospheric and UV pollution.

Low ponytail

Meghan Markle's hair in low ponytail

(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Meghan opted for a sleek low ponytail hairstyle as she continued her tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand and as Adam Reed, UK Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel notes, “this style really elevates any look.” Her outfit centered around a gray checked blazer by Serena Williams, black jeans, J.Crew boots, and another Meghan Markle staple, a crisp white shirt from Maison Kitsune, one of the best shirts for women

Adam tells us how to easily recreate her cool low ponytail at home:

  • Section your hair into a middle parting then comb both sides of your hair back, keeping it as smooth as possible and then simply tie into a low ponytail with a hair tie. 
  • Using a small section of hair within the ponytail, wrap your hair around the hair tie and secure using a hair grip placed underneath the ponytail to hide. 
  • Smooth down any flyaways and add extra shine with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Liss Control Plus.

L'Oreal Tecni Art Liss Control Serum
Ideal for styling curls or for taming thick frizzy hair this serum also protects against humidity and UV rays. 


Ballerina bun

Meghan Markle's hair in a ballerina bun

(Image credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)

Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards in 2018 to present a special award to her wedding dress designer Clare Waight Keller. Heavily pregnant at the time, Meghan kept her hair and makeup simple with a chic ballerina-style bun that’s easy to replicate with some of the best hair styling products

Ellenora Dean, owner at London salon Fry + Dean (opens in new tab) tells us how it's done:

  • Create a good base by applying a heat-activated style spray and blow-drying hair into a center parting and directing it away from the face. 
  • Then apply hairspray to a dense bristle brush and pull the hair into a low ponytail. 
  • Next twist hair into a bun shape and secure it with Kirby grips. 
  • Finish by smoothing over with a small amount of oil L'Oreal Mythic Oil and hairspray.

L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil
Providing heat protection up to 230°C this oil helps to detangle strands after washing and smoothens the cuticle to combat frizz. 

Volumnized 60s bun

Meghan Markle's hair in a bun

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Another day, another bun hairstyle for Meghan but this time she opted for a slightly more volumized style and even incorporated side-swept bangs into the look. Giving a nod to the 60s with both her hairstyle and outfit, she attended London's Natural History Museum wearing a white Calvin Klein roll-neck dress and matching Amanda Wakely coat. 

The good news? This hairstyle suits pretty much any face shape, KMS Ambassador shares how it's done, “to achieve look at home, spritz KMS Conscious Style Multi-Benefit spray from roots to tips and blow-dry in to create texture and volume."

Next up Sam advises backcombing roots before creating a low side parting by sweeping the hair across the face and behind the ears, then "using a finishing brush gently smooth the top layer of hair keeping maximum volume around the crown and secure everything into a low ponytail, before twisting the ponytail around itself and securing with pins." 

A final spritz of hairspray will secure the style.


KMS Conscious Style Multi-Benefit Spray
A multi-tasking hair spray offering heat protection, lightweight hold, and hydration.

Soft curls with side parting

Meghan Markle's hair with a side parting

(Image credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images)

For a three-day trip to Morocco Meghan continued with her deep side parting but allowed her hair to fall loose in large, soft waves. Elleanora Dean from Fry + Dean salon says this style is best created using a mixed bristle brush to help blowdry hair with tension. Next, she says, "in large sections start towards the root area and use a large tong like ghd's soft curl tong (opens in new tab) to wrap each section of hair through and slide it down to the ends."

Her pro tip is to "go slower for more curl and bounce and go faster for softer waves and loose textures. Finish by pulling through two pumps of oil to polish, separate, and define."


Color Wow Dream Smooth Paddle Brush Mini
Nylon bristles detangle hair and massage the scalp while the boar bristles simultaneously spread and hold hair sections for faster, more even drying. 

Classic blow-out

Meghan Markle's hair in a classic blowout

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Just five months after giving birth to Archie, Meghan's hair looked better than ever as she returned to work to launch her charity clothing collection for Smart Works. Choosing a classic blowout, Meghan looked elegant and confident, and luckily it's one of the easiest styles to style at home.

Adam Reed, UK Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel recommends towel drying wet hair and combing through before applying a styling spray like L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Pli, which is heat-activated and locks in essential moisture.

Here are his three tips for recreating Meghan's classic blow dry hair with volume at home:

  • Take small sections and blow-dry your hair with a round brush to create volume and movement, lifting the hair at the root. When focusing on the top of your head, comb a neat middle parting, and continue to blow-dry your hair.
  • Take the front pieces of the hair and wrap them loosely around the curling wand for just under 20 seconds.
  • Once you have lightly curled the front sections of the hair, grab L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Volume Lift Mousse and rub two pumps into the hands and lightly tousle through the waves.

L'Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Volume Lift Mousse
Use the thin applicator to give a volumized effect where your hair needs it most.

Sleek shiny waves

Meghan Markle's hair in a long wavy style

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

In 2019 Meghan and Harry embarked on another royal tour, this time heading to South Africa. For the majority of the tour, Meghan opted for unfussy up-dos or relaxed waves, teaming her styles with more affordable clothing like this double-breasted trench dress from Banana Republic. 

To get Meghan’s sleek and shiny waves, a nourishing and hydrating shampoo and conditioner will help achieve a glossy, healthy end result. 

Chie Sato, Head of Education at Taylor Taylor London (opens in new tab) advises it’s essential to get the right cut at your salon. She says, “go for shorter face-framing pieces around the front of the head and a few gentle layers towards the ends to add some movement."

She says "if you have naturally curly hair like Meghan’s, you'll need to add extra moisture to your strands to avoid them from drying out, as the natural oils that keep your strands hydrated have a harder time reaching the ends. Nourishing your hair with one of the best hair masks such as LØRE Originals Legend Intensive Hair Mask is a great way to hydrate your hair and keep it healthy whilst heat styling.”

Chie’s tips for achieving Meghan’s shiny waves at home:

  • After washing, spritz a heat protection spray onto your strands to form a protective layer, which seals in moisture and stops it from drying out. 
  • Blow-dry your hair straight using a round brush to add slight volume at the root, angling the hair drier down to seal the cuticle for added shine. If you have curly or dry hair, you can add a serum to the ends for extra hydration.
  • Use a large barrelled curling wand to loosely wrap your hair around the barrel, curling away from the face to create a soft, subtle, natural wave. While the hair is still warm, brush through gently to create larger waves, and finish off with a good hairspray to keep it in place.

Legend Intensive Hair Treatment Mask
This vegan formula helps rebuild hair by penetrating deep into the cuticle to repair and condition from within, while also protecting the hair shaft from breakage and improving strength and shine.

Tousled up-do

Meghan Markle's hair in a 70s updo

(Image credit: JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Going for a glam up do with serious 70s vibes, Meghan chose to wear her hair in this edgy style for an engagement at Windsor Castle alongside Prince Harry. 

Adam Reed, UK Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel reveals how to do it:

  • For this up do spray L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Volumetry Spray into towel-dried hair. 
  • Blow-dry your hair using small sections and create great volume by lifting the hair at the roots with a round brush. 
  • Create a middle parting using a comb and leave some pieces of hair at the front then brush the rest of the hair back with a paddle brush into a high ponytail using a hair tie loosely.

L'Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Volumetry Root Spray
Enriched with Salicylic Acid this spray will help lift your roots without leaving a greasy residue.

To finish off the look Adam recommends getting your best curling iron to lightly curl the front pieces of the hair before securing the style with hairspray.

Lydia is woman&home’s Lifestyle News Editor and is also a freelance travel writer. Day-to-day she manages an international team of nine news writers and oversees all news content on woman&home.com. Her travel writing has been published in BBC Good Food, Oh magazine, Harper's Bazaar UK, Town&Country, ELLE UK, MailOnline, Woman, and woman&home.