This Is The Modern Way To Copy Princess Diana’s Iconic Hairstyle

Renowned hairdresser James Pryce (he did Kate Middleton's hair on her wedding day!) reveals how it's done

Princess Diana Hair

by Annie Vischer |
Updated on

With the recent release of The Crown Season 4 on Netflix interets in Princess Diana and her most iconic fashion and beauty looks is at a high. The newest season of The Crown focuses in on the early 1980s. Scenes of Emma Corrin playing a bashful Lady Diana Spencer at the time of her engagement to the Prince of Wales have fascinated viewers the world over and we predict a revival of that famous hairstyle. One hairstylist who has had a much coveted insight into the world of royal haircare agrees. James Pryce who famously styled Kate Middleton's hair on her wedding day and currently works at one of the renowned Larry King Hair Salons in London says 'with a focus on The Crown I think we could see people reminded of how amazing Princess Diana looked. She really was a fashion icon. A younger generation are likely to be inspired by her for the first time. I think we could see a revival of her iconic look this winter once hair salons are allowed to re-open after lockdown.' And that's coming from a hair authority who tended to Princess Diana's hair himself once upon a time. 'I was lucky enough to meet Princess Diana, ' James recalls, 'I washed her hair on a number occasions whilst I was a trainee at the Daniel Galvin salon in Marylebone. She had great hair. It was naturally thick and bouncy.' So what are the secrets behind an iconic hair look like Princess Diana's? James reveals all:

Princess Diana

Volume, Volume And More Volume

'Everything was worn bigger in the 80’s,' explains James, 'clothes boasted huge shoulder pads and the hair was big to match. It is much easier to create volume when you have lots of layers. Woman wore their hair short and layered so that they could pack in the volume that is so synonymous of that era more easily.'

READ MORE: 6 Times Princess Diana Sent A Message With Her Hair

'Diana’s iconic 1980’s hairstyle was no exception. Diana wore it short with lots of layers. In the early half of the decade she wore it almost the same length all over. It was much longer around the nape of the neck and around her ears. Which meant it would flick out a bit more. As time went on and fashions changed she would wear it much shorter and cut closer to her neck but still maintained the short layers on top to help give her that natural bounce.'

James Pryce
©James Pryce

The Modern Way To Copy Princess Diana's Iconic Hair Look

James advises looking to the late 80s and early 90s if you want a modern take on that iconic Princess Diana hairstyle. 'If you were thinking of doing something similar to this I would say look more towards how Princess Diana wore her in the late 80s. Today my clients want their hair to look very natural, it's still cool to have volume but the aim is for the hair to move more. Ask your stylist to keep the layers a little longer and for your hair to be sliced in to create natural texture and volume. Diana mostly wore this style with a fringe. The modern version could incorporate one worn heavier and longer, just skimming the eyelashes.'

READ MORE: 'She Was So Sexy Without Meaning To Be': Princess Diana's Make-Up Artist Details Her Go-To Look

How To Care For The Modern Princess Diana Hairstyle

According to James this hairstyle is relatively low maintenance when it comes to haircare at home. 'The best elements of this look are that it can be easy to style and also quite versatile. You can wear it smoother on top for a neater more polished look or rough dried with texture for a relaxed edgy feel.'

You may well have to factor in more salon appointments though. 'Short hair styles loose their shape more quickly than long hair,' says James, 'so it will mean more visits to your stylist. But if it’s cut well with your particular hair type in mind then this look should be very easy to carry off. A simple rough dry should do the trick.' Well that's got us looking forward to the re-opening of salons post-lockdown! James is eager to get back to behind the salon chair too: 'I know I'm looking forward to getting back into the salon so I can work on a twist of this iconic look.'

6 Times There Was More To Princess Diana's Hairstyle Than A Trend


Princess Diana Hairstyles

Princess Diana Hairstyles1 of 6

The First Look

In 1981 Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced their engagement. The country knew what it wanted from its princess - a beautiful, demure and charming young lady - and Lady Diana Spencer (as she was known at the time) ticked every box. Here her long soft fringe that halts just above her beautiful eyes makes her appear bashful and pretty all at once. What more could the nation want?

Princess Diana Hairstyles2 of 6

With Flowers In Her Hair

Pictured here in 1988 Princess Diana attended a dinner with the King of Thailand in Bangkok. The most dominant flowers looks to be the orchid, of which Thailand boasts the most of any country in Southeast Asia. Here Diana looks to be paying Thailand the respect due from a royal visitor.

Princess Diana Hairstyles3 of 6

The Undone Look

In 1993 on the 13th April Diana was famously pictured with Prince William and Prince Harry enjoying a day out at Thorpe Park. It was one of those everyday scenes that really ingratiated Diana to the public. It normalised her and the princes, it made her relatable. Here Diana's hair is not primped and preened, in fact it underwent a thorough dousing on one particular ride! Diana knew that this was not an occasion for a blow-dry and that a carefree and casual look was key all round.

Princess Diana Hairstyles4 of 6

The Fashion Forward Look

Hairdressing royalty Sam McKnight was responsible for this slicked back look in New York on 31st January 1995. Diana was to make a speech at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Ball and needless to say the look had to be on trend. This slicked back look turned heads and then some, even if, according to Sam McKnight, she was a little 'nervous' of the look to begin with.

Princess Diana Hairstyles5 of 6

The Interview

Who could forget Diana's 1995 interview with Martin Bashir on 20th November. Nearly 23 million people tuned in to watch it. Her hair pulls her fringe over towards her eyes once more. The volume is there but Diana's waves are soft and natural, almost harking back to the demure look she went for years back in her engagement pictures. This hairstyle portrays both Diana's dignity and vulnerability here.

Princess Diana Hairstyles6 of 6

A Show Of Strength

That same evening, on the night of the 20th November 1995, Diana, Princess Of Wales, attended a gala evening in aid of Cancer Research At Bridgewater House In London. Her hair was transformed into a glossy, perfectly styled creation that set off her LBD and sapphire choker to the max. This look made a statement. This look was Diana's show of power.

READ MORE: 6 Times Princess Diana Sent A Message With Her Hair

READ MORE: 'She Was So Sexy Without Meaning To Be': Princess Diana's Make-Up Artist Details Her Go-To Look

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us