How To Get Kate Middleton’s Glossy Hair

The key is prep, prep, and more prep.

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Kate Middleton's signature blow dry has become her recognised royal style.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

From her fairytale-style 2010 wedding day hair to how she wears headbands, Kate Middleton has certainly had some memorable hair moments over the years, but it's her signature sleek blow dried locks and bouncy waves that have been the stalwart of her royal style. Kate may have added tweaks here and there to colour and length, and even a few fringe styles, but the duchess (and her team) always come back to the lengths and loose waves that have become so recognisable for the royal.

Though simple and timeless, Kate Middleton’s hairstyle is anything but boring. The length and subtle golden highlights and long layers allow the duchess to fix her hair in different ways for different events, and keep a modern take on the style whilst staying true to her senior role in the royal family.

From cut and colour, to styling the duchess’ thick hair, here’s how to achieve Kate Middleton’s signature look according to the experts.

How to recreate Kate Middleton’s haircut

When it comes to recreating Kate Middleton’s signature hairstyle at the salon, it's about asking for layers, but also “keeping shape”, and nothing overly textured, says Dom Seeley, celebrity hair stylist and International Creative Director at ColorWow.

“You’re looking for rounded layers and blending to make it easier to blow dry and roll if you want to set it,” adds Seeley. “You don’t want to make the mistake of having the cut too textured and chopped, as it makes it hard to style if you’re trying to do a set blow out or set curling iron curl.”

Kate’s signature hair cut and blowdry allows her to adapt with different styles, like this half-up-half-down do in 2021. WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

How to achieve Kate Middleton’s hair colour

Whilst her recognisable signature brunette hair hasn’t wavered drastically over the years, Kate Middleton’s hair colours have certainly seen subtle changes from time to time, leading experts to believe that the Duchess of Cambridge dyes her hair. “We have seen her play around with her shades and hues over the years,” says Seeley. “She’s been naturally dark but also played around with golden highlights and rich looking brunette shades. I personally prefer her darker with just a hint of a lighter golden tone, as I feel it keeps her youthful, fresh and compliments and warms up her paler skin tone.”

When at the salon, Seeley suggests asking for a deeper colour at the roots, with subtle “face-framing balayage highlights” around the face and lengths to recreate Kate’s hair colour. The golden highlights sit in the warm spectrum of colours which “will add more of a sun kissed youthful glow”, adds Seeley.

Subtle golden balayage highlights have become a go-to for a fresh, youthful look. WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

How to recreate Kate Middleton’s signature blow dry hairstyle

Kate Middleton is always coiffed to perfection, as she should be as a member of the Royal Family, but what was once considered a “Chelsea blow dry” is now a timeless, chic, slightly lived-in wave, allowing the style to be adjusted for each event.

The key to getting the Duchess of Cambridge’s signature wavy blow dry look is prep, prep and more prep, says Syd Hayes, celebrity hair stylist and Babyliss ambassador. “The key to Kate’s hair is four parts combined together to achieve that beautiful ‘va va voom’ wavy voluminous hair.”

Kate’s longer hairstyle in its signature sleek waves in 2021. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Firstly, prep with a heat protectant “to create a barrier between your hair and the tools, and prevent any frizziness or flyaways,” says Hayes. “You wouldn’t go to the beach without putting on SPF to protect your skin, so you need to do the same with your hair.” Next, make sure you have tension on your hair when styling with a hairdryer, such as the BaByliss Hydro-Fusion Air Dryer, and finish with a shot of cold air. The cool air shot “works to cool the hair down and lock your newly manipulated style into place,” says Hayes. “It also helps to seal the cuticle of the hair shaft, preventing moisture getting into the hair and causing frizz throughout the day.”

Then, it’s volume. A key tip is to tip your head upside down to blow dry the roots for volume. “I love Evo’s Root Canal Volumising Spray to help create a gorgeous glossy blow out, with body and movement, without looking too flat,” adds Hayes. Finally, smooth over with a finishing crème such as Hershesons Almost Everything Cream to tame flyaways for that photo-ready finish that Kate nails every time.

The duchess opted for a shorter cut in 2019, but still remained loyal to her signature wavy blowdry. WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Hayes recommends using a portable tool such as the BaByliss Cordless Hot Brush for top ups on the go, but rollers really help to secure the style if you have the time, says Seeley. “Velcro rollers are great. You can blow dry sections and then roll each section into the roller. If you don’t have rollers you can cheat and roll your hair from the ends to your scalp (imagine a roller shape but without the roller) and then pin to your head and allow to cool,” he explains. “Allowing the hair to cool will enable your blowout to last all day, as it’s creating and locking in the memory of the new shape that you blow-dried in.”

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