Meghan Markle unveiled a new hairstyle in her first public appearance since it was revealed she would not join husband Prince Harry in attending the King’s Coronation next month.
The newly straightened and lightened look combined with an immaculate, shining and simply made-up complexion was on show as she introduced friend and photograph Misan Harriman’s Ted Talk.
The ‘Montecito makeover’ has been described as a ‘polished power move’ by fashionistas at The Telegraph. A hair moment has often accompanied some major moments in the Duchess of Sussex’s life, including wearing a “messy bun” on her wedding day and the serious and smooth scraped-back bun throughout her and Harry’s South African Tour in 2019.
In the video on Sunday (23 April), Meghan seems to have dyed her hair a warm copper tone, and styled it straight with delicate layers that complement the shape and structure of her face.
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While it’s difficult to establish if Meghan has coloured her hair dark brown, due to the video lighting which can cast a warm glow, the sunkissed effect of her apparent highlights symbolise the pair’s new sunlit Californian life.
To non-experts, the Duchess’s long, super straight hair isn’t all that much different from her usual look, however she has a history of altering her hair and makeup at important points in her life.
Following the state-side move, Meghan has transitioned from her former British regal style to a minimal polished look, symbolising her new lifestyle as a working mother of two, and co-founder of non-profit foundation Archewell, which she heads alongside her husband.
Meghan’s hair has shifted from the laidback waves and minimal make-up while she dated Harry to a more thought-out look as circumstances have changed over the years.
And The Telegraph suggests the new style may have deeper significance. In an article headlined ‘The meaning behind Meghan’s Montecito makeover: The Duchess of Sussex’s newly straightened and lightened hairstyle is a polished power move’, Beauty Editor Annabel Jones writes: “Her new look alludes to the Gywneth Paltrow, polished chief executive school of thought rather than the beachy Californian look she adopted when she first moved back to the West Coast.
“Meghan’s new grown-up locks and understated Brandon Maxwell sheath dress depict a more discerning, power-dressing Duchess than the one who hid behind the two wispy tendrils that deliberately fell from her bun as a working member of the Royal family. It was a strategic style move that made her a relatable figure in a family steeped in tradition.”
George Northwood, who looked after her hair for two years while she lived in the UK, told The Telegraph in 2020: “When we were preparing looks for life in the Royal family, as you’d expect, everything is structured, you can’t push the boundaries
“And so, during our time together, we decided to create a more undone look to balance out the formal dress code, often including soft tendrils that ultimately became her signature messy bun.”
Shortly following the couple stepping back from Royal duties in July 2020, Meghan made an appearance in a video for the Girl Up Leadership Summit with a comparable hairstyle which Northwood said symbolised “strength and a sense that she’s got everything sorted”, also asserting her new hairstyle marked “a new chapter in her life without such strict protocols”.
Celebrity facialist Sarah Chapman has been the Duchess’s go-to for her radiant skin, who told People magazine she used products that included vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, a hydrating booster and pep 8 (peptide) serum on Meghan.
She said: “With Meghan, I wanted her beauty to shine at the events, so lots of hydration, oils and massage achieve that, and I also use an LED light treatment.”