Kate hair, don’t care.
I’ve been following the royal family since I was a little girl, but it wasn’t until Kate Middleton hit the scene that palace-worthy hair became a bit of an obsession.
I analyzed photos and videos of her bouncy blow dry after her engagement to Prince William, wondering how I could get my thick, unruly locks to cooperate the same way.
Every time I went to a special event, I tried to give myself that signature “Kate Middleton blowout,” but ended up disappointed when it didn’t look quite duchess-y enough.
And on the occasions when I had it done professionally, it was perfect — until I tried to recreate the look myself later on.
My hair was desperately in need of a trim before the Richard Ward team worked their magic.Page Six
In my quest for a Middleton-esque mane, I’ve tried curling wands, rollers, that weird headband thing from “Euphoria” that you wrap your hair around (spoiler alert: it didn’t work) … you name it.
Enter Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa.
Not only does Kate get her hair done at the salon, but also her siblings Pippa and James, as well as their mother, Carole. Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie, also trusts her strands to the Richard Ward team, along with Greek royals like Princess Marie Chantal.
The Duchess of Cambridge in peak bouncy blow dry mode at a January 2017 event.UK Press via Getty Images
Along with royalty, the London salon has glammed up stars including Kim Cattrall, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Simon Le Bon and Elizabeth Hurley (and half the cast of “Made in Chelsea,” naturally).
Needless to say, I knew my hair was in good hands when I booked an appointment during my recent trip to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Tucked away in the posh, leafy Duke of York Square, the famous salon is easy to miss — but that’s probably a plus for its celebrity clientele.
The salon is located in London’s exclusive Chelsea neighborhood.Page Six
What surprised me was how truly unstuffy it was inside. Everyone was incredibly warm and friendly, and the facilities are bright and modern.
I was greeted by the fantastic Tommy Cracknell, one of the salon’s creative directors, who was put in charge of my cut and blowout.
Of course, the royals rely on discretion, so there wasn’t much I could ask him about the duchess’ personal life. But I was delighted to learn that she doesn’t receive special treatment when she comes in for a trim.
Clients can enjoy a spot of tea (or something stronger) while relaxing at the salon.Page Six
“So do Kate and the other royals just sit out here when they get their hair done, or do they go somewhere in the back?” I asked, wondering if there was some sort of private room in the back of the busy building for VIPs.
Cracknell looked surprised at the question. “Oh no, no. They just sit out here,” he replied. “I think they prefer it.”
Because my hair is so heavy, Cracknell told me he wanted to create movement by not cutting it straight across the back.
Getting the royal treatment.Page Six
After a plan was in place, it was off to the (massaging!) shampoo chairs, where I got an incredible scalp and neck massage while senior nail technician Vita Hohfelde started filing my nails right there in preparation for a gel manicure.
Did I mention they have a full bar and food menu, too?
Back in Cracknell’s capable hands, my hair was snipped a few inches and the stylist got to work on the perfect “old-school Kate Middleton blowout” I’d told him I hoped to achieve — all while Hohfelde did my nails and I sipped on peppermint tea.
Because my hair is so thick, I never thought Velcro rollers were an option, but Cracknell proved me wrong. Page Six
It turns out the secret I’ve been missing all this time lies in the humble Velcro roller.
“You have just the perfect hair for this,” Cracknell said, rolling my locks around enough Velcro rollers to fill the Queen’s carriage.
“At home, it’s hard to do this yourself, but just apply the heat directly to the rollers while they’re still in,” he explained, directing the blow dryer in their direction. “And make sure to leave them in for a while. Get ready, do your makeup, keep them in while you get dressed.”
The final result of my Kate hair makeover.Page Six
Soon enough, my sparkly blue mani and bouncy blowout were complete, and I couldn’t stop staring at my new, swishy “repliKate” hair.
The best part? It lasted the whole week I was in London, from being squished by Trooping to Colour crowds to cheering on the horses at the Epsom Derby — and with absolutely no hairspray or any other products involved.
The only drawback? Now I’m going to want to cross an ocean every time I get my hair cut.
My hair still looked fresh two days later, despite being up at the crack of dawn for Trooping the Colour.Page Six