Thu, 11 May 2023 at 12:11 pm BST
Since officially joining the royal family in 2011, Kate Middleton – now the Princess of Wales – has not only made her mark through philanthropy work around mental health, families and early childhood, she’s also cemented herself as one of the most-influential style icons of our time. Next to spotlighting British designer labels such as Self-Portrait and Alexander McQueen, the princess is often spotted in accessible high-street pieces from the likes of Reiss and Zara.
Her timeless style informs her beauty choices too, with the royal favouring a fresh colour palette with soft smokey eyes. Hair, however, is where Kate flexes her creative side. By royal standards, she isn’t afraid to experiment with various looks – from intricate chignons to playful ponytails – but it’s her glossy, bouncy, blow-out that’s become a signature ‘Princess Kate’ look. While she undoubtedly has a team of experts to ensure her hair appears picture-perfect at every angle, achieving the look at home isn’t impossible.
Bazaar went straight to the experts to find out how to create the Kate blow-dry.
The right haircut goes a long way
Nailing the haircut is an investment that will not only make achieving an expensive-looking blow-dry that much easier, it’ll also minimise the time spent on everyday styling. Kate’s layered cut provides plenty of movement and bounce even before the heat protector goes on. Becky Lennon, senior stylist at Nicola Clarke for John Frieda, recommends trimming your ends every 12 weeks to maintain a polished finish and supplementing your haircare routine with Olaplex No.3 Hair Protector for impeccable shine and softness.
How to prep for a blow-dry
The classic blow-dry works best on freshly washed hair, says Miffy Goknil, senior stylist at Hari’s salon, a go-to favourite of the royals. Squeeze out as much water as possible to minimise the heat required and don’t forget to use a heat protector to prevent damage.
“Thicker, coarser hair requires more smoothing and will need nourishing, moisturising products to hydrate the hair, help seal the cuticle layer and bring brilliant shine,” offers Goknil, who’s a fan of R+Co High Dive Moisturising Cream and Two Way Mirror Smoothing Oil.
For finer hair, she recommends focusing on volumising and texturising products. “A good root spray or mousse will help lift the root and hold the volume,” she says. “I love to layer both, beginning with R+Co Chiffon Mousse, if the hair needs a boost of texture, followed with Dallas Thickening Spray.”
How to create the Princess Kate blow-dry
Below, Goknil shares her step-by-step guide on achieving a blowout fit for a princess:
- After prepping, blow dry hair in sections starting from the top with a round brush, making sure to get a good bend on the ends and pinning each section into a hair roller.
- Allow the hair to cool and set properly before removing rollers or pins to extend its longevity.
- Shake hair out from the roots to break up sectioning patterns. Add a small amount of serum (or a shine spray for fine hair) to the ends for a glossy finish and a touch of hairspray.
Alternatively, hot rollers or hot brushes will help achieve a similar effect quickly and without requiring too much arm co-ordination.
How to minimise frizz
Despite travelling to some of the most humid countries in the world, you’d be hard-pressed to see the princess with a hair out of place. “With busy work schedules, schools runs and the to-do lists of everyday life, (an in-salon) smoothing treatment will cut blow-dry time by at least half so you can have full and bouncy hair even on the busiest of days,” offers Lennon. “Another major benefit is you don’t have to use as much heat on your hair, so over time your hair will become fuller and healthier.” Smoothing or keratin treatments, which work best on thicker and coarser unbleached locks, often last between 4-6 months.
If you prefer a less permanent approach, there are some easy tips to keep frizziness at bay. “If you have thick hair, blow-dry it from wet instead of rough drying as it will smooth the frizz, close the cuticles and lock in moisture,” says Goknil. For flyways along the hairline, she recommends gliding over the roots in small sections using a styling iron on low temperature. “
Lennon adds: “The nozzle of your hair dryer should always be parallel to the hair and angled downwards to smooth the cuticle to and keep the hair shiny and frizz-free.”
How to refresh your blow-dry
Now that you’ve got a bouncy blow-out, refreshing the style for a second and even third day is easy. Michele Antiga, signature colourist and stylist at Gielly Green recommends simply running a curling tong along the strands to redefine the waves and brushing it out. You can also use dry shampoo on the roots for extra lift. Now all you need is a tiara…