That’s exactly why Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have perfected the art of the lockdown hairstyle we’re dubbing ‘the half-up blow-out’ for their respective public appearances via Zoom.
For most of us, a messy bun is the extent of our hairstyle repertoire RN. When you’re a member of the Royal Family however, the ‘just got out of bed’ look doesn’t quite cut it – especially when you’re required to star in a viral Zoom call.
“Meghan sported the half-up style with a central parting whilst Kate kept hers voluminously swept back with curls hanging over her shoulders; either way you wear the look, the half-up blow-out is the perfect lockdown style ideal for those virtual meetings,” said hairstylist Sally-Kate Duboux, founder of Hair by Duboux.
Lilli Bridger at Larry King’s salon says the hairstyle is so ideal because it’s a great way to get a few more days out of your blow-dry, or to even hide half of your not-so-perfectly done blow-dry (guilty). Lili also notes the reason she believes both Kate and Meghan are wearing their hair half-up is to keep their hair out of their faces whilst on videos calls. “This style stops you touching your hair mid-conversation, which Zoom newbies often do as a comfort thing, and which can be distracting for both themselves and the viewers.” If that wasn’t enough, the style also lifts the face for a subtly youthful look. Clever.
Jay Birmingham, Celebrity Hair Stylist, maintains that Kate’s style in particular is perfect for people aiming to add thickness and volume to their ends whilst in lockdown.
“Paired with some soft curls, her hair and her finish is more polished and works beautifully with her face shape,” he said. Also, by pulling her hair back, Jay explains that it ensures her colour looks softer, which in turn warms up her complexion and adds a really subtle glow to her skin. Who knew such a simple hairstyle could be so hardworking?
Want to emulate the royal ladies’ hairstyle? The trio of hairdressers share their step-by-step guide to getting the look at home.
To create this at home, preparation is key. “The Color WOW Dreamcoat is my go-to product for this as it provides a silky feel to the hair whilst providing hydration and reducing frizz,” says Jay. Apply this to damp hair and then begin to rough dry your hair until it is around 70% dry.
Section it off and get brushing
Once you are at this stage, section your hair to begin creating that professional blowdry finish. Use a large barrel round brush to create volume and height – make sure you keep the nozzle pointed downwards on your hair to ensure you smooth the cuticle and create that smooth look.
Use the brush to create a soft bend through the ends of your hair like Kate – angle this towards your face for a glamorous look. When you come to the top section of your hair, use the brush to style your hair away from your face, this will help you achieve that voluminous half up effect that Kate wears so well.
Use a bristle brush to apply some grip and extra volume to the front of the roots and pin back at the back of the head with kirby grips and a nice clasp to hold.
If you want to amp up the volume, Sally suggests using velcro rollers rather than a brush. Here’s how…
- Rough dry your hair, leaving 30% damp in preparation for the Velcro Rollers. Tilting your head to the sides or alternatively upside down while drying will add natural volume.
- Your top section of rollers wants to sit on top of your parting so starting at the front, take a roller’s width sections and comb forwards a right angle to your face carefully wind your hair around the roller, making sure to tuck the ends, winding it backwards for the roller to sit on its base.
- Repeat this method for the top section. The larger the roller size, the bigger the volume, whereas a smaller roller creates less volume and a tighter curl.
- For the sides, position the roller on a diagonal and reduce the size of your rollers as you reach your temples and towards your nape.
- Once your rollers are in, dry using your hairdryer, ensuring your hair is completely dry. Use the cool button on your hairdryer as this will set your curls adding to the hold of the volume.
- Remove your rollers and gently brush your hair through. For a more casual feel like Meghan, part your hair in the centre, smooth your hair securing with a hair elastic at the back or alternatively, gently twist each side back and grip.
- For a more textured voluminous style like the Duchess, comb your hair back using your fingers to give texture, all while maintaining the volume from the rollers. Gather the hair as if you would a ponytail but gently twist the hair as one. Push the twist up against your scalp to add more volume at the crown before securing with grips.
- Gently brush the rest of your hair, leaving the curls to be bouncy or brush them into a more controlled smoother curl.
Finish the look with definition and hold
To finish your look, add some texturising spray to give your hair some definition and hold. I like to use the JOICO Hair Shake as it doesn’t weigh your hair down and will give you a plush finish. Use your fingers to shake your hair out to ensure the finished effect isn’t too ‘done’ or polished.