The 2020 take on Princess Diana's hairstyle - the cut to ask for according to Kate Middleton's hairdresser

After devouring The Crown, we're totally ready to copy Princess Diana's hairstyle

Princess Diana's hairstyle
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(Image credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Princess Diana's hairstyle, makeup and fashion looks will always be iconic. 

But what has become equally fascinating is how her hairstyle evolved over time - from the soft, nose-grazing fringe that she shyly hid behind in the early days of her engagement to Charles, to the sexy slicked back style her hairdresser Sam McKnight created for her in New York in 1995.  

But the style that became her power statement - the follicular equivalent to shoulder pads, if you will - was the glossy, perfectly coiffed 'do that she revealed at the gala evening in aid of Cancer Research in London that same year. 

Of course, like everything fashionable, Princess Diana's hairstyle was inspired by the times.

"Everything was worn bigger in the 80’s - including the hair," says hairdresser James Pryce, who famously styled Kate Middleton's hair on her wedding day. He also met Princess Diana on a number of occasions as a trainee at the Daniel Galvin salon in Marylebone.  

"Princess Diana wore her hair short with lots of layers to create volume," he continues. "In the early half of the decade she wore her hair almost the same length all over. It was much longer around the nape of the neck and around the ears, which meant it would flick out a bit more. As time went on, and fashions changed, she would wear it much shorter on the neck but she still maintained the layers on top for natural bounce."

How to recreate Princess Diana's hairstyle - but with a modern twist

The popularity of The Crown Season Four has already made a star of Emma Corrin, the actress who plays Princess Diana. Cue, a revival of her iconic hairstyle. 

But sometimes even icons have to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. So the 2020 version is likely to be more natural than lacquered.

"If you were thinking of doing something similar to this, I would say look at how Princess Diana wore her hair in the latter part of the 80’s and early 90’s," says Pryce.

"It’s still cool to have volume but you want it to be in a far more natural way. Ask your stylist to slice into your hair and to keep the layers a little longer as this creates natural texture and volume. This also stops your style from mimicking the heavily blow-dried look from that era. Diana mostly wore this style with a fringe. I think a modern version could incorporate one worn heavier and longer, just skimming the eye lashes."

Now there's a hair hack that's certainly not in the royal rule book.

Fiona Embleton is a beauty writer who is now Acting Beauty Editor at Stylist. She is obsessed with Isabel Marant and cats.