The Duchess of Cambridge pulled off a red-carpet triumph last week, wearing her hair curlier than we’ve seen since her university days.
With ringlets cascading down on one side and the rest of her hair sleek and smooth and parted off-centre, this natural yet glamorous style — coupled with her sparkling sea-green dress — gave her a beautiful, mermaid-esque appearance.
She looked simply stunning.
Catherine’s look is an evolution of the way countless women embraced their natural kinks during lockdown for a more relaxed, modern take on glamour
This was quite a departure from the big, soft waves we’re more used to seeing on Catherine.
Last week’s curls were much tighter, but styled with plenty of bounce, achieved using Velcro rollers and then hair tongs and raking through with fingers to gently tease out individual curls.
It was fabulous to see one of the world’s most glamorous women making a virtue of her natural wave, while gloriously glossing it up.
The Duchess of Cambridge pulled off a red-carpet triumph last week, wearing her hair curlier than we’ve seen since her university days
And, dare I say it, this look is anti-ageing, too. Just don’t be fooled — it isn’t achieved by blasting hair dry with a diffuser, bunging in some mousse and backcombing with fingers.
There’s no element of just scrunching and hoping for the best here, either.
Catherine’s look is an evolution of the way countless women embraced their natural kinks during lockdown for a more relaxed, modern take on glamour.
Catherine Zeta-Jones has a hedge look here; she literally left her hair to dry and didn’t bother with any products to shape and define. A de-frizzing serum would stop things looking so wild
Taylor Swift’s spirals come straight out of her head, which is the mistake the Duchess didn’t make — keeping the hairline smooth would be a dramatic improvement for Taylor
Salma Hayek’s hair is too tight and bunchy here. If she raked through her curls, the weight would fall to the ends and it would be perfect.
And now that they’re back out in the world, they want to show those curls off in public.
But if you simply wash and go, there’s a danger you could end up looking like you got caught in the rain.
Those tiny, tight curls you can get around the hairline are the enemy of the groomed-but-natural look.
Jennifer Aniston could have looked sleeker, but those waves at the end are nice. With a bit more effort to smooth things out, this could work for her now
Jennifer Lopez looks natural here, but the fluffy outline spoils it. That’s an easy fix with a bit of serum, which would totally update these ringlets
It’s a simple fix: just blow-dry the first few inches of the root area around your hairline from ear to ear.
You don’t have to touch the nape or fiddle with the back; only what people can see.
The temptation then is to keep going. But that’s where you must stop. Leave the rest to dry naturally, before putting serum through the curls that emerge to give them definition.
Courtney Cox’s hairline here is just awful. She’d need to smooth all that out to get away with those curls today. More length would help, too
Amanda Holden looked cute with waves, but they were a bit too tight and crimped-looking. Loosening them would make all the difference
Or use rollers and tongs to ramp up the glamour.
Either way, make sure you use some serum and then, voila, you’ll look young, fresh and effortlessly glamorous — just like the Duchess.
Here, I share my thoughts on how other stars can go back to their curly roots . . .
Chelsea Clinton’s healthy, bouncy and nicely defined head of curls looked great then, and would be just as lovely-looking today
Sarah Jessica Parker has super-sleek locks now. But her corkscrews would look great if she smoothed the roots — a game-changer
As Kate turns heads with cascading curls after years of sleek blow-dries, will she inspire the A-list to make a return to the curly club
By Claire Coleman
Surely I can’t have been the only curly-haired girl to cheer the Duchess of Cambridge’s side-swept ringlets when she attended the Royal Variety Performance last week?
It was a gorgeous throwback to the natural waves she used to sport while a student at St Andrews, before she became the poster girl for the smooth and bouncy ‘Chelsea Blow-Dry’.
And, inevitably for Kate, who never puts a foot wrong in the style stakes, it was bang on trend. To the joy of women who have spent years wrestling their kinks into submission — and I’m one of them — curls are back.
To the joy of women who have spent years wrestling their kinks into submission — and Claire Coleman, pictured, is one of them — curls are back
For years, I’ve felt my naturally curly locks had to be tamed. Like Kate, as a student I rarely bothered straightening my hair, happy to let the curls do their own thing.
But once I’d entered the workplace, my corkscrews felt distinctly unprofessional. If I didn’t flatten them, I felt unkempt and feared I’d be taken less seriously.
It didn’t help that, in 2001, GHD launched its game-changing straighteners, making it easier than ever to smooth wayward tendrils.
And so, for decades, I attempted to do exactly that. It never really worked. Nor did professional blow-dries — a hint of moisture in the air and my hair would revert to its natural state.
The only thing that seemed to do the trick was a costly keratin straightening treatment — it worked fleetingly, before my rebellious ringlets would make themselves known at the roots.
Once Ms Coleman entered the workplace, she said her corkscrews ‘felt distinctly unprofessional’. She said: ‘If I didn’t flatten them, I felt unkempt and feared I’d be taken less seriously’
But a few years ago, things started slowly to change. Social media feeds began to fill with posts talking about the #curlygirlmethod — an approach that was about nourishing and embracing your natural curls.
Impressive before-and-after pictures showed women who’d managed to rehabilitate their hair from reluctantly straight to enthusiastically curly.
Meanwhile, a host of product ranges dedicated to enhancing curls launched; small independent brands, such as Trepadora and Imbue, and more recently, established brands, such as Living Proof and Kerastase, have started to sit up and take notice.
Then came lockdown. When we weren’t going anywhere, there was the opportunity to let curls dry naturally, to experiment with different products, to let hair just be.
Transitioning from heat-styling to healthy, happy spirals doesn’t happen overnight. But thanks to new product discoveries, including Cantu Define & Shine Custard and Centred Unwind Detangling Primer, as well as techniques such as ‘squish to condish’ (a way of applying styling product) and ‘plopping’ (using an old T-shirt to take the water out of hair while keeping the waves intact) I am well on the way to rediscovering my own lost curls. And I couldn’t be happier.