By Fiona McKim
We take a look at how the Duchess of Cambridge’s much admired hair has changed over the years.
- Duchess Catherine has some of the most famous hair around the world
- Her most recognisable style is easily her signature bouncy blow dry
- In other royal news, the Duchess of Cambridge has shared her first ever royal selfie
The Duchess of Cambridge isn't short of enviable attributes, but we reckon the top spot on the list has to belong to Kate Middleton's hair.
Her trademark 'do gets nearly as much attention as the Duchess herself, which means a fair amount of effort is required to actually achieve this look.
Here, we look at how Kate Middleton's hair has changed over the years, plus how you can copy her look...
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- The best hair dryers for a professional blowout every time
- The best hair straighteners to smooth, style, and care for your hair
- Fringe hairstyles: get inspired by these celebrity bangs for every hair type
Before becoming a royal
The fascination with Kate’s hair seemingly began at a charity fashion show way back in 2002, when she took to the catwalk in tight ringlets and a very noughties-style hair braid with Prince William sat in the front row. However, she wasn’t one to experiment on the day of their graduation from St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, opting for her classic signature bouncy blow for the occasion. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Kate Middleton's wedding hair
When announcing her engagement to William, she introduced a more polished version of her bouncy blow out with a slight curtain fringe and curled ends. While on her wedding day in 2011, she went for relaxed half up, half down do, worn under a tiara and veil. Revealing her decision behind the style, royal reporter Ashley Pearson said, "Kate had her heart set on wearing her hair down with long flowing curls, which is her favourite way to wear it and actually William’s favourite as well."
Duchess Catherine's holiday hair
Kate ditched products in favour of natural tresses while on a Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012, where she and William represented the Queen in Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands. Her hair, which she wore longer at the time, perfectly matched the laid-back theme of the event and showed off her natural curls.
Duchess Catherine's darker hair
The Duchess has made plenty of subtle changes to her brunette colour over the years, from caramel to honey-tinged highlights. She showed off her darker locks in 2013 – just four months after giving birth to Prince George – at the Sports Aid Ball. The significantly darker colour and gloss process was reported to have cost Kate up to £700 with famed hairstylist Rossano Ferretti.
Kate Middleton's fringe
Everybody has experimented with a fringe at some point, and the Duchess of Cambridge is no exception. Celebrity stylist James Johnson said, "Something like this cut – a long bob – is very on trend right now.’ This wasn't the only time she sported a fringe; in the early days of her pregnancy with Prince George, she drew attention away from her bump by sporting a slight fringe and longer locks.
Duchess Catherine's short hair
Kate went for a curly shoulder length do, not long before the arrival of her youngest son, Prince Louis. She was said to have sent the chopped locks anonymously to the Little Princess Trust – a charity that helps make wigs for children going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A source revealed at the time, ‘It was sent using someone else’s name, so that the trust didn’t know it was from a royal source – they just thought it was from a female donor in the Kensington area.’ How sweet!
Kate Middleton's lockdown hair
A photo posted by on
While we're used to seeing her with a big, bouncy blow dry, the Duchess of Cambridge has been seen sporting a much straighter 'do for her Zoom calls. She also revealed that she's been cutting George, Louis and Charlotte's hair: "I've become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children's horror," she said during a virtual discussion with fellow parents in January.
How to get Kate Middleton's blow dry at home
Of course, a professional blow dry is the best way to achieve a volume-packed style (Kate loves Chelsea's Richard Ward). But for those of us sadly without a weekly blow dry budget, a few clever tips and smart styling tools can help you achieve her style too. Read on to discover everything you need to care for, style and cover your greys like Kate.
- Apply a small amount of volumising mousse to damp hair and brush evenly through.
- Begin to rough dry the hair using your best hair dryer, lifting and heating roots with your fingers.
- Use a medium-size round bristle brush to blow dry the hair smooth and using a medium-sized tong, take sections of hair and wrap around the barrel, away from your face.
- Hold in place for a few seconds and release. 5. Finish off by lightly brushing through the locks.
What products does Kate Middleton use on her hair?
Rumour has it that the duchess's favourite shampoo and conditioner are by high-end brand Kérastase, specifically the Nutritive Bain Oleo Relax Smoothing Shampoo – which makes perfect sense given her thick locks may have a tendency to frizz. The importance of using the right shampoo should never be underestimated when styling your hair at home.
A good salon brand like Kérastase will totally clean your hair, removing all build-up to encourage shine without stripping it of the natural oils that help it hold a style, as well as providing natural gloss. Plus, this one smells divine.
Duchess Catherine's styling trick
Kate is known for her refreshingly hands-on approach to her beauty regime, famously doing her own make-up for her wedding to Prince William.
Former Vogue Editor-In-Chief Alex Schulman revealed that the Duchess drove up on the day of her photoshoot for the magazine's centenary issue with rollers in her hair. As well as displaying her down-to-earth attitude to grooming, Kate's roller trick is a savvy styling move too. Hair that as been heat styled only sets into place when cooled completely, so leaving rollers in for as long as possible ensures those bouncy curls will stay put far longer.
Rollers may not be as trendy as styling irons, but they are just the thing for glamorous waves, and cost next to nothing. Superdrug's Large Self Grip Rollers will do the job nicely. Simply separate newly dried hair into sections, wind in, blast with heat again and leave to cool entirely.
Then, slowly unwind each section, shaking out with your fingers and misting with hairspray. If you can get away with keeping them in for a few hours, so much the better!
Duchess Catherine's hair colour secrets
Kate Middleton's hair colour is a perfect, natural mix of tones. It has a healthy chestnut base, with a bit of interest thrown in from a blend of different brunette tones, which together create an understated head of hair that is a thing of quiet luxury.
Fancy giving it a whirl? Chelsea hairdresser (and reportedly long-time stylist to Kate) Richard Ward revealed how to copy her colour to The Daily Mail. "‘Ask your stylist for three different shades of lowlights, one lighter than your natural base colour, one about the same and one slightly darker to create a multi-tonal affect in the same hues. Dyeing just a few strands of hair in each shade, as opposed to large sections, achieves a more natural look."
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
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