It had been over two years since the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, and her go-to hairstylist, George Northwood, last saw one other. Like many others, they were separated not just by an ocean, but by a pandemic. “The last time [before the Invictus Games 2022] I worked with Harry and Meghan was on the day of the ‘umbrella’ moment [the viral photo of the couple in the rain outside the Endeavour Awards 2020],” he tells Vogue. “It was an emotional time. I remember being at Buckingham Palace and, at the time, the Invictus Games were planned for the Hague in 2020, so when I said goodbye, it was more of a see you later. Little did we know!”
The Games eventually went ahead over Easter weekend, two years later than planned. As soon as he arrived in the Netherlands, Northwood went straight to visit the couple and “gave them both a cuddle”. The reunion was a sweet one – and not merely because of the hair magic it brought about. Just as he had done so many times before – from that perfectly undone wedding hair to myriad royal tour looks – Northwood created a series of excellent hairstyles on Meghan, as she made a brief return to the spotlight in support of the event her husband founded for wounded military personnel.
Perhaps most notable of all were the perfect glossy waves that tumbled over Meghan’s cream, belted blazer by Brandon Maxwell at the Games on Sunday. Here, Northwood shares how to recreate the look at home.
Blow dry first
“This is a more polished wave – undone, but with a luxe feeling to it. It’s key to create a good foundation in the hair, so instead of a rough blow dry, blow hair out smoothly. If you’re going for a centre parting, blow dry the front of the hair forward – this creates a sweeping motion when you part it afterwards.”
Use a big-barrel tong
“Using a large-barrel tong, work your way around the head, taking sections of hair and curling them. Tong away from the face at the front of the hair, and focus on the mid-lengths, rather than roots and ends, to encourage more of a wave than a curl. Once you’ve taken the tong out of each section, pull hair straight so it cools in a softer bend. At the end, use your fingers or a paddle brush to brush through hair.”
Up the shine
“When it comes to products, focus on shine – aim for a luxe, glossy finish. Shine sprays, creams or serums are great to help smooth it.”
With the end of COVID restrictions in sight and summer around the corner, many of us are starting to plan for the haircuts and colors we want as life begins to return to normal. If you’ve been toying with the idea of going for the chop for a while, post-lockdown is the ideal time to do it.
That’s where the bob haircut comes in. Celebrity hairstylists are calling it: 2022 is going to be the year of the bob. Just look to Kaia Gerber, Kim Kardashian, and Dua Lipa for takes on the bob that feel modern, refreshing, and a little bit sexy (see the sliced bob and blunt bob for reference). Not convinced there are enough modern iterations of the bob? Allow me to introduce you to the blunt bob, the A-line bob, and the midi bob. Still looking for a fresher take? Enter the modern Diana bob.
Inspired by the late Princess Diana, whose beauty look has been brought back to life via Emma Corrin on The Crown and Kristen Stewart in Spencer, this is the modern bob 2.0.
“People are due a change,” says Syd Hayes, BaByliss ambassador. “We are coming to the end of a period of time where the winter was extremely tough and your roots weren’t as much of a concern as they were hidden under a beanie. Now that spring is in the air and we go back out into society, there’s carefree mood, and I think more people will want to go for bold, fun styles.”
Suzie McGill, international artistic director at Rainbow Room, says she thinks that when COVID restrictions lift, there’s going to be a huge surge in people asking for the Diana bob but with a more modern finish. “Diana has always been a style icon and the bob never goes out of fashion,” she says. “Diana sported a bob, sometimes hitting just past her cheekbones and sometimes slightly longer at the back, but what was always a statement look of Diana’s bob was the deep side parting and the volume and layers within her hair.”
The beauty of this hairstyle is that, if it’s cut at a good length, like at your cheekbones, it can be left to grow out beautifully and can be a very low-maintenance cut, which is ideal with future potential lockdowns forecast. Want to make it even more modern? “If layers and a side parting are incorporated into your hairstyle, this instantly adds volume and can make your look even more low-maintenance in terms of styling,” McGill says. “Then you can simply add some styling product to add further texture to your hair, or blow-dry for a smooth finish like Diana’s.”
Andreas Wild at Larry King agrees that the modern Diana bob will be major for spring because it’s so fresh. “This is a really extreme look and is a great start for spring and coming out of lockdown,” he says. “It’s so feminine in a masculine way.” The hair expert emphasizes that layers are so important because they open up your face, and blow-drying the layers back and then forward gives bounce and provides a modern look.
Wild also says the beauty of the look lies in its versatility. “Play with it; try different partings—side, front, and slicked back—and when it grows out, leave it for a while before you get a cut, as it adds chicness to it and, when styled with the right outfit, is on point.”
So what do you need to ask your hairstylist for? “This is all about the haircut,” notes Hayes. “A razor is vital for this. Shattered edges with a short shape to the haircut. Be sure to invest in texture sprays as they are great for really showing that undone and not too styled haircut. A favorite of mine is Sam McKnight’s Cool Girl Spray—he’s the man behind Diana’s infamous bob.”
To maintain the look at home, Hayes recommends investing in a Babyliss Hydro-Fusion 2100 Hair Dryer, which he says is perfect with its diffuser and nozzle attachments to bring out the natural movement when your drying your hair. “Tuck the sides behind your ears like Diana would and diffuse on a high heat and low power,” he says. “When it’s about 85% dry, turn off your hair dryer off and let it dry naturally.”
“To make the haircut more modern and on trend today, wear the hairstyle a little messier for a more relaxed take on the trend, scrunching in some mousse or texturizing spray like a salt spray into your hair and leaving to air-dry rather than blow-drying,” suggests McGill. “Alternatively, use a heated styling iron to bend some soft waves into your bob to give it an instant modern finish. This is a look that’s very on trend today and that we are seeing a lot of Instagram influencers wearing, since it gives your hair an undone finish, taking Diana’s bob from royal to chic street style. Full fringes are also very on trend this season and look particularly great paired with this bob hairstyle.”
Check out some more of my favorite variations of the modern Diana bob, below.
Lacking in the hair volume department? You’ve come to the right place. While body comes naturally to some, for others, volume can be frustratingly elusive. Adding oomph and guts to hair (without weighing it down), is all about creating the illusion of thickness, even if the real thing is hard to come by. Here, Vogue speaks to hairstylist Luke Hersheson – who works with everyone from Dua Lipa to Victoria Beckham – to learn the expert hair hacks he uses to make thin hair look thicker, and fast.
Don’t rely on shampoo and conditioner
You might be under the impression that voluminous hair starts with a volume-boosting shampoo and conditioner, but Hersheson says it’s more about what you don’t do at this stage. “Using the wrong conditioner, or too much of it, can weigh hair down and make it feel flatter, which in turn will make it appear thinner,” he says. “I’d advise against using hair masks and heavy conditioner, to help maintain volume and body.”
It’s all about a great haircut
The key to hair that looks as thick as possible? A great haircut, of course. “A decent haircut is the foundation to any form of styling. You need shape and a graphic cut to be there first, otherwise it’s a bit like a building without foundations – and badly cut hair won’t defy gravity, because its weight will pull it down,” he says. Without it, you can use any product or tool in the world and you’ll still struggle to create volume.
Ask for shorter pieces
Whether a grown-out fringe or some feathering around the face, incorporating some shorter hair at the front of your style can also help make hair look thicker. “It helps elevate the feeling of thickness, versus anything flat, straight and curtain-like,” Hersheson says.
Make use of “hair filler”
“It is common to struggle with thinning hair around the temples and sides of the head, especially as you get older. Filler hair pieces – or a patch of extensions at sides – can help to thicken it out a bit,” Hersheson says. Stealthily-placed hair pieces are ultra subtle, and don’t have to look like the obvious hair extensions that have gotten a bad name. According to Hersheson, multiple stars wear them on the red carpet, “and you’d never know”.
Flip your parting
An easy and quick volumising trick is to change your parting and flip your hair over to the other side. “Think Kim Basinger with her big flick-over,” says Hersheson. “A middle parting will always make hair look flatter – flipping it over is an easy way to add more body.”
Tease hair at the crown
Remember backcombing? The age-old technique comes in handy when trying to create the illusion of thicker roots, says Hersheson – but avoid doing it the old-school way, with a comb. “Get a mixed bristle brush and hold the hair up, pushing the brush downwards just behind the roots at the crown – it creates a Brigitte Bardot effect, and helps frame the eyes,” he says.
When you blow dry your hair, ensure you direct the airflow underneath the root and upwards, rather than blowing down on top of the head. “It’s little things like that which make a real difference,” says Hersheson.
Experiment with colour
Well-placed highlights and general colour can help add dimension to hair. “The minute you start adding texture or contrast with colour, you start to see more depth, and that can give the illusion of thickness,” says Hersheson. “Adding very subtle, different tones throughout will do the job well.”