The royal family faces no shortage of scandals these days, from Megxit to no one caring about Princess Beatrice’s wedding. But for me, all pale in comparison to the most urgent question of our breathless news cycle: What the hell is up with Kate Middleton’s hair?
As her three-day visit to Ireland comes to an end, the Duchess of Cambridge seems to be having a great time. She’s sipping Guinness, letting her husband make bad jokes about the coronavirus, and doing whatever “hurling” is. According to some fashion reporters, she’s also trotting a new haircut around town.
I hope you’re sitting down and have the emotional energy to process this news: Kate’s chestnut brown strands now fall just an inch or two past her shoulders. Compare this to her usual blowout, which, as we all know, has a length of... a few inches past her shoulders.
“Kate Middleton’s Drastic New Haircut Is Much Shorter Than Her Usual Style,” read a Cosmo headline. The Daily Mail screamed that she went “MUCH shorter” than her usual length. “Her look is practically a lob!” read a tweet from Marie Claire.
It is true that her ’70s-ish curtain bangs are a (slight) departure from the face-framing layers she usually goes for. But at first I wasn’t even sure if she got a haircut. It looks so similar. Business as usual.
Maybe some stylist curled her strands a little tighter, my internal monologue rationalized. Or the Gossip Girl-esque headband she wore for one event pushed her hair up a bit, imitating a chop.
Yet online, her maybe-change was seen as a major transformation.What’s going on? Where is the truth? Is Kate Middleton’s hair gaslighting America?
Luckily, right before steam started to come out of my ears, New York hairstylist Devin Toth confirmed that Kate did get a haircut.
“She took at least 3 inches off of the front and probably five in the back,” Toth said, comparing photos of the duchess taken in late February to ones from this week.
But is the style, as some are saying, a long bob (lob)?
“Lob is the vaguest term ever, but I would say this doesn’t even fit into that category,” Toth explained. “Here is a mid-length to long haircut. It was just extra long before.”
So now we know that Kate Middleton’s haircut is not a lob. It’s not even lob-adjacent. Don’t even think about calling it a lob.
To the eyes of Richard Drews, the co-owner of Seattle’s White Lodge Studios, Kate’s cut appears even more minimal.
“I think she probably just got a healthy spring trim,” Drews said. “Maybe half an inch to an inch. Something that can be a very small change but enough of a change to make [her] feel the season a little more.”
So really, Kate Middleton’s hair is doing what it does best: the bare minimum. That’s far from an insult. In fact, I mean it as the highest praise. She rarely diverts from the same haircut she has had since college. She’s found what works for her, so why change a thing?
Let me be clear: Kate Middleton’s kind-of new hair looks ripped from a storybook. Her strands are bouncy. The vibe looks modern. The style says: “Meghan Markle, who?” But really, it’s not that much different than before.
And that is the truth of Kate Middleton’s hair.