It’s the look that Meghan Markle’s made famous and the one salons are being inundated with requests for. How can you make it your own? Royal hairdresser Richard Ward provides his expert tips
We’re now well in the throes of wedding season, and so it’s no surprise that Pinterest is brimming with bridal beauty inspo at the moment. And in terms of hairstyles, there’s one that’s become a common fixture on many people’s boards - messy bridal updos - the signature style of royal bride, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle .
Pins for the more relaxed look have increased by a whopping 1247 per cent according to Pinterest’s 2018 Wedding Report , with the ‘Markle effect’ also being felt in salons too - in fact, UK hairdressers KH Hair, have been inundated with requests over the last few months for the low-key look after she was seen sporting different variations of the style during her early public appearances with Prince Harry.
How to pick the best messy updo for your big day
When choosing the right style for your big day, there are some key considerations to bear in mind. “Everyone suits an updo but it needs to be tailored to your face shape,” Royal and celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward tells us. “For example, if you have a square shape, a looser updo with loose face-framing pieces will soften the angles of your face, while a heart shape or high cheekbones can be accentuated by the hair being kept totally off the face.”
Don’t be put off if you have shorter hair. Richard points out that length is less of a factor than face shape: “Longer hair is easier to work into a bun or updo, but it can definitely still work on shorter or lob-length hair – my top tip is to tong the hair first, regardless of length, to add volume and texture.”
In terms of wedding hair care prep in the months beforehand, view it in the same way as your skincare routine - the earlier you’re able to invest in its health and condition and get an action plan put in place by your stylist, the greater the rewards you’ll reap later on. “Your first trial should be at least two hours long to give you and your hairdresser time to work through a few different looks,” recommends Richard. “You should also be prepping your hair by minimising your use of heated tools and using the right products and treatments from at least three months before. Kérastase’s new Resistance Extentioniste range (available from June) is like a training program for your hair; it nourishes and strengthens hair from root to tip and is ideal to get your hair looking and feeling its absolute best for the big day.”
As for the day itself, Richard says not to worry about trying to fit in a shampoo early in the morning, this updo works better on hair that has a little more grip to it. It’ll also give it a better chance of staying in place - along with a strong mousse and hairspray to give it structure and hold. And, in anticipation of a packed dancefloor, Richard recommends asking a member of your bridal party to keep a mini hairspray and extra pins in their clutch for any last-minute touch ups before photos.
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Our favourite messy bridal bun ideas
If you’re looking for some inspo to get the ball rolling, these are the five styles currently pinned on our Pinterest boards.