Should Duchess Kate chop off her hair, or just learn how to style it?

The Daily Mail has an extensive article/opinion/essay today about Duchess Kate’s epic hair. The thesis seems to be “Kate should cut her hair and find a more mature, professional and elegant hairstyle.” Which is a bit rich, because The Mail – and several other UK papers and tabloids – have treated Kate’s hair like “The Curls That Saved A Nation” ever since Kate and William got engaged. You can read The Mail’s piece here, and here are some highlights:

No one can be in doubt that The Duchess of Cambridge has behaved impeccably in her first year of marriage to Prince William. Middle-class Middleton has crossed the class divide with grace — she’s courteous, elegant and never stops smiling, especially when her beloved husband is at her side. But is it just me or has something rather strange happened to Kate recently? It’s not her whittled-down waist. Nor is it her fashion sense, the love of High Street brands such as Reiss and LK Bennett, which earns her brownie points with the public and is turning her into a fashion icon.

No, it’s those famous locks, which seem to be getting longer by the day. Her Royal Highness is turning into her Royal Hairness with that dark, glossy mane. And I’m wondering if now, a year on from her wedding, it might just be time for the chop.

Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that Kate should be sporting a Mia Farrow crop or middle-aged bob. But the blanket of hair which arrives five minutes before she does has to go. Take last week, when Kate was greeting children at a charity event. Dressed in a dark blue tweed skirt and jacket, she looked stylish, professional and charmed everyone. Yet every time she bobbed down to talk to one of the youngsters, her face was completely obliterated by a cascade of dark curls. She would flick it out of the way, fondle and fiddle with it and I lost count of the number of times she had to tuck it behind her ear. At one point she looked like Cousin It from the Addams Family — all hair, no person. It was so distracting.

Even Princess Diana realised early on in public life that people wanted to see her face. She cut her droopy bangs and settled for a much more sophisticated short style. It worked, showcasing her enormous blue eyes and strong features.

So why is Kate clinging to her own over-long mane? Even she must have been infuriated by being overshadowed by her hair, because at her very next event she attended at the Imperial War Museum she’d put it in a back-teased half-up, half-down style. But even that style was more WAG than HRH. For goodness sake, she’s a member of the Royal Household now, not Cheryl Cole. Every time I see her fondling her hair I’m waiting for her to look into the cameras and coo: ‘Because I’m worth it.’

Kate’s mane has none of the elegance of Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark, also a young woman of ordinary birth who has risen to the highest position in the land. On Kate and William’s trip to Copenhagen in the autumn, Mary’s shiny, shoulder-length brown hair looked far more elegant than the Duchess’s tumbling curls.

Surely an image-conscious young woman like Kate can’t be oblivious to this? Yet there are probably a number things stopping her cutting her hair. First there is a long Royal tradition of establishing a look, then keeping it. The Queen is the perfect example. Apart from the colour, her hair has hardly changed since she took the throne six decades ago. Less successfully, Princess Anne revels in the same unflattering hairstyle (and the same frocks) she wore half a century ago. It’s widely known that Camilla’s hair-stylers have tried for years to tease her out of the rather dated 1970s Farrah Fawcett flick she’s been sporting since she was a girl. Yet she always responds: ‘Charles loves my hair this way.’

[From The Mail]

The piece goes on to say that Kate might be clinging to her long hair and sausage curls because that’s how she looked when she met William, and he may prefer her hair like that too. Another theory: Kate is clinging to the youthful long hair as a way to cling to her youth. The writer goes on to admit that she wore long hair for years, and she recently got four inches taken off (it now comes to her shoulders) and now she loves it and feels and looks younger. Which is always what the short-hair brigade says!!!

Look, I have long hair too. My hair is probably about at Kate’s length. I love long hair. It suits me. I barely do anything to it (Indian genes!) and it looks fine. I don’t have an issue with Kate having long hair – at all. She had long hair in college and throughout her 20s, and this is the length that makes her comfortable, and so be it.

My problem isn’t with the length – it’s how she styles it. In her 20s, before the engagement, Kate wore her hair in a much simpler fashion – like, she probably just gave herself a blow-out, and her hair had a natural wave, and it was fine. But since she’s become a royal, Kate is obsessed with the giant, time-consuming sausage curls, and the look is pretty tired. I’m exhausted just thinking about how long it takes her to get ready. The Mail is right on that count – her hair is simply “too big” in general, and “too big” specifically for public functions. Plus, she does spend so much of her time in front of the cameras fiddling with her hair, stroking it like a security blanket in outing after outing. My thesis: Kate just needs to learn how to style her hair and mix it up according to the occasion. For black tie events, her hair should be up. For professional day outings, do it half-up so it’s not in her face. Try French twists and chignons. And don’t fall back into the “sausage curl” comfort zone every single day.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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101 Responses to “Should Duchess Kate chop off her hair, or just learn how to style it?”

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  1. k says:

    I think she looks fine. Needs BANGS though.

  2. some bitch says:

    Her hair is lovely and she should definitely keep it, but she should try wearing it in a chignon or “up” from time to time. I agree that wearing her hair down seems to overpower the rest of her features.

    • Jaxx says:

      I agree. I have long hair myself and wouldn’t cut it no matter how many people complain. But one of the great things about long hair is all of the gorgeous ways to put it up. And she has staff that can do it for her. I would have an updo regularly but can’t do the pretty ones on myself. She can and doesn’t take advantage of it. It must be having it down to fiddle with is her security blanket. Plus some people just don’t like their hair pulled away from their face.

  3. spinner says:

    I love Kate’s hair. It’s thick, lush & shiny. She can wear it any way she likes as far as I am concerned. She always looks appropriate & well-groomed.

  4. ladybert62 says:

    What no complaints about her eye liner? What is the world coming to?

    I like her hair and apparently she does to.

    Leave her alone.

  5. layla says:

    She could try putting it in a low ponytail for once. I think the constant hair out/hair touching/hair blowing in her face/more hair touching is s o inappropriate for public function. This is her job, style your hair accordingly.

    She otherwise does have great hair.

  6. ZigZagZoey says:

    I love HER and her hair. Leave her alone!

  7. HoustonGrl says:

    I also like the length, but not the style. “Blanket” is the right term. What’s odd is that her hair didn’t used to look like a “blanket.” The way it’s styled (*cough* extensions) makes it look so dominant over her other features that it detracts from the issue at hand.

    Kate pre-blanket: http://lovelykatemiddleton.com/userfiles/2012/1/8/images/Kate_Middleton.jpg

    Kate mop-head: http://static1.purepeople.com/articles/5/88/28/5/@/708130-kate-middleton-et-le-prince-william-se-637×0-1.jpg

  8. Chatcat says:

    I say leave it alone…yeah she needs to mix it up a bit like Kaiser states with styles that befit the event/outfit she is donning but really, let her enjoy the length and luxary of it…cause when your 48 like me anything beyond shoulder length becomes too much of a chore in style/coloring mostly because dealing with the gray (unless you are the small % that don’t gray…lucky you).

  9. mel says:

    The only people who complain about long gorgeous hair are those who can’t wear it that way. Her hair is gorgeous!!

  10. Kloops says:

    I think she needs a few inches off the bottom and a moratorium on the sausage curls. I agree, she should do more up-dos or half up-dos when she’s “working.” Not for every occasion but to mix it up and look less juvenile. But I hate the sausage curls on all but the young.

  11. Lindy says:

    She doesn’t have to cut it. But she DEFINITELY needs to change the style and do different things with it every few days. I mean, that’s one of the benefits of *having* long hair–you can style it up in several different way, down, partially up, wavy, straight… Why does she keep the exact same dated-looking style all the time?

  12. Alexis says:

    No need to cut her hair, but it would be nice to vary how it is styled. She could train herself not to fidget if she wore it up more.

  13. Kellie says:

    The curls are very juvenile, its not the length. Seriously people, am I the only person who sees that her hair “now” is nothing like her hair “before” and if you could really obtain such a drastic difference “naturally” in a salon for four hours, most women would sell their soul.

  14. G says:

    Love her hair. Anything long that’s more shaped or fussy will leave her looking like one of the Housewives of Beverly Hills.

    Why shouldn’t she look youthful? She is.

  15. Lisa says:

    She has pretty hair, love the color, but would love to see a different style. Not short, but different.

  16. lafairy says:

    Kaiser are you aware that she is a royalty and not a celebrity? She doesn’t need to style herself in order to please the medias, she doesn’t live off of her looks. She is the future queen of England, so she has to have a conservative style and the rest doesn’ matter since she is not supposed to grace vogue magazine!

  17. HME says:

    I don’t think she needs to cut it (and I’n a pixie cut girl myself) but for the love of god she needs to wear it pulled back more often especially when she is wearing a significant pin or something on her chest. She was wearing a poppy recently (which is for remembrance of war vets etc in the UK, Canada,etc) but her darn hair was covering it up most of the time. Same thing happened on Canada Day, she had a diamond maple leaf broach on, loaned to her from the Queen, but it spent most of the day hidden behind her curls.

    It’s got to be hot too right? To have that much hair around her neck and shoulders all the time? That’s what I couldn’t stop thinking about when they were here in Canada was how effing hot she must have been.

  18. Dee Cee says:

    She says her hubby William likes her to look this way.. he wins..

  19. G says:

    Gee, who says she’s got to be a shill for the fashion and beauty industry?

    Any haircut she gets will be dubbed tragic anyway.

  20. MJ says:

    Her hair is really thick and healthy, but I agree that it seems too heavy and gets in the way during public appearances. It is distracting to everyone, including herself, judging by the way she constantly touches it.

    I think she could get a few soft layers cut in to reduce the weight around her face and ears – even a slight sideswept fringe (no bangs trauma!). A nice, soft updo or ponytail would be better for professional appearances.

  21. Cleeo says:

    So obvious she got hair extensions! I mean, nothing wrong with that, but I wish she’d be honest about it instead of pretending it’s all hers.

    Also, in the last photo, her thighs look really thin, which is kinda scary. I hope she doesn’t lose anymore weight.

  22. Lulua says:

    Your Indian Kasier? I love her hair the way it is but I hope she changes the style for the summer!

  23. Jenna says:

    She looks crazy in that third pic! o_O
    But I like the length of her hair, and shorter hair is harder to style. She just needs to mix it up more.

  24. maemay says:

    Her hair is lovely and she should NEVER take advice from women on the net or news, jealousy much.

  25. clumsyme says:

    I recently saw a picture of her with her hair pulled back in some sort of up do. She looked really lovely with all her hair up. I wish I could find the link but I don’t remember it. May Google it later.

  26. Sara says:

    Love her hair! Most of us would die for her hair. She just needs to do more updos

  27. anne_000 says:

    Imo, when a 30-something year old woman has to keep touching her hair all throughout professional events, it shows immaturity & lack of forethought. By now, she should have had more than a teenager’s sense of what her hairstyle should look like.

    If she doesn’t want to cut it, then she should at least style it appropriately for the situation.

    • Anne says:

      Hair touching is a common human reflex that people frequently aren’t even aware they are doing. I imagine that if most people who make such a big deal about this were to be filmed all day long and then able to review the footage, they would see themselves doing many of the same things they complain about her doing.

      • Henry says:

        Don’t the palace send her for “training” or “grooming” lessons? there were making such a big deal of their training her a few months back. don’t all these involve how not to behave when attending public events?

        “it’s a common reflex for lots of people” is not a good justification for her constantly flipping her hair. it’s an excuse.

        attend any kind of toastmasters training etc or any grooming workshops and one of the things they will teach u is how to act when you are in a professional setting. one of the common things that is advised is never to touch your face, touch your hair etc. when giving presentations in university even, some professors will advise female students to pin back their hair so it’s not falling all over their faces.

        I’m just so appalled the palace will keep letting this woman behave like this in public. do you see any other princesses doing this? i don’t.

        besides, “reflex” actions like these show that she’s NERVOUS. which goes well with the fact that she always has to carry a silly purse everywhere she goes and hold it in front of her with her arms crossed. any body language expert will tell u subconscious arm-crossing/folding just shows your feeling insecure and unsure of herself. that’s how she’s always been – nervous and unsure in public, hence the constant hair flipping/touching. inner confidence my ass.

        she looks pathetic when you compare her with any other member of the royal family anywhere. i’ve never seen ANY female royal family member constantly flipping and touching their hair.

  28. Amy says:

    I really do like the picture where she has it half up. It looks more sophisticated and pretty. I don’t think the length matters per say, (and full disclosure, I have rather long hair AND bad habit of playing with it, though I’m trying very hard to move beyond that!) but she definitely needs to mix it up.

  29. Amy says:

    She doesn’t have to cut it–but she DOES need to style it differently. It’s always the same–parted on the side, some large loose curls at the ends (is this what sausage curls are? I’m confused as to what everyone is calling sausage curls!). Especially at a formal event–she really should play around with fancy updos. If she wears a fancy dress and keeps her hair down, the attention is on her hair and not the dress.

    If she leaves it down all the time, it makes her seem very girlish and immature.

  30. Erinn says:

    Why do you all care so damn much about her hair. Honest question: has she ever come out and said “this is all natural hair”?

    If she likes it long, let her have it. Her hair does not affect you in one way or another. She’s a pretty girl, and I like her hair- I don’t CARE if it’s real of fake.

    If she wants to have it in the same exact style every day, who cares? This is such a non-issue. I’ve seen people comment on one of those links saying ‘her hair is too long to let it hang loose’. Is there suddenly a certain length of hair that can’t be let down? My hair’s about the same length as hers… perhaps a little longer, I let mine stay loose more often than not.

    Why do so many people care so much about another woman’s hair. I doubt most of you would appreciate hearing other people gripe about how your hair should be. Now, of course I understand that she’s a public figure but still! If you don’t like it, don’t style yours like that, I guess.

    • ANGELIC 20 says:

      actually the royal officials insisted that kate do not use extensions and also maybe people talk about her hair or clothes or eye liner because there is nothing else to say about her other then her appearance.i for one would love to talk about her work ,oh wait i remember she doesn’t work .

      • Erinn says:

        well that’s a different situation I guess about the extensions if the royal family doesn’t want her to use them. Still silly to talk so much about her hair though. I do agree with the eyeliner criticism though- that needs to go.

        But honestly, there are a lot worse people that we could be criticizing here, and honestly if her lack of work, and her hair are the only things we have to growl about, I’d say that’s pretty decent. At least she’s not a Lindsay, or a JLove, or any of these other idiots we talk about.

      • angelic 20 says:

        THERE are far worse people then her but they are private individuals and not future Queen consort.ai am living England so I am more interested in her then any of the other celebrities and as I said I would love to talk about her work but she is not giving me anything.

  31. Anon73 says:

    her hair IS very pretty : color, texture, shine, etc. i am not a fan of the curling iron curls though. very 1987.

    she may not need a “chop” so much as maybe experiment with tying it back. IE, a la Nicole Richie who has great hair styles.

    hmmm, perhaps someone should arrange a style date between her and Nicole :-)

  32. Amanda G says:

    Let’s not pretend that she’s sitting in front of a mirror and curling her hair herself. I’m sure she has a hairdresser. Her hair is fine.

  33. Frayed_Edges says:

    Yep, don’t cut it, just style it differently. She wears it exactly the same for every event and it’s getting boring. I love seeing her different outfits, but the hair is always the same and so uninspiring.

  34. Brenda C. says:

    Am I the only one who remembers her curly hair? The only time I saw hints of her curls were during the Canada trips and past photos of her with curls are hard to come by. I think the most famous one is when she’s in a white sweater leaning against a wall.

  35. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    All she has going for her is (1) her hair, (2) black eyeliner, and (3) eating disorder. If she gives up the hair, what does that leave her with? Black eyeliner and eating disorder.

    Let her keep the hair.

  36. hairball says:

    I have thought this since forever! She needs to have her hair cut so it looks more styled. Not hack it off, but longer layers – something!

  37. Nicole says:

    No complaints about her long, beautiful hair except that she touches it too often. There are maybe a handful of picture where she has it up and she looks so classy. I also think if she changed her hairstyle around, maybe people would lay off her style. It would change her “uniform” a bit, ya know? That said, maybe she’s like me! My head pounds if my hair is back (loose or tight)! :)

  38. LAK says:

    Princess training lesson 1: long hair with sausage curls. See disney Princesses. Except Snow White.

    • Reece says:

      SW was a ditz. Watching that movie made me angry. But Pocahontas, Rapunzel (talk about long hair!), Tiana and Jasmine.

      • LAK says:

        I watched parts of SW when i was very little. Traumatised by the evil Queen.Ditto Wizard of Oz.

        Did not watch entire movies till i was in my early 20s.

      • Reece says:

        WoO and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty creeped me out too. I didn’t remember SW well from my childhood so I watched it again as an adult. I was totally angry. SW was a ditz, the Prince was moving scenery and the evil queen just falls off a cliff. I was like “Really Disney? Really?” No wonder I didn’t remember it.
        The 1st princess I liked as a kid was Belle just because she’s a reader. I’ve always been a reader :-) Although, in the end, she has sausage curls too. lol

  39. Mi says:

    Sausage curls? Have people looked at pictures of her cause she’s got no sausage curls that’s for sure. And all the stuff about how she’s lazy and not working enough since she joined the Firm, well she doesn’t decide how much she does that’s the Queen or courtiers that plan for her. And then it’s the fact that its the Diamond Jubilee this year so they will want the focus to be on the Queen. But Catherine probably does alot of work we don’t see, studying, getting to know her charities, deeper understanding of the government, certain etiquette and what not. I doubt that she sits around and lazies all day.

    • LAK says:

      After a year of intense scrutiny, and all the press and public is prepared to talk about is your hair, clothing, eye liner, your body, your shopping and grooming habits, your vacations and you are not a professional model, then you really are not a person of substance.

      And the only thing she shows in public is her dedication to those things. The few times she does something of substance eg Unicef or EACH, and has to say a few words, she is disappointing. Frankly any studying for either one clearly did not take.

    • angelic 20 says:

      She is not working for her entire life, and not just after joining the royal family and people will not complain of the pr w ould stop convincing us other wise

    • JulieM says:

      Keep dreaming. Do you honestly thing that the other members of the royal family have to get permission from the Queen or the palace grey suits to be seen in public? I’ll even buy that anything Jubilee related has to get the palace’s OK, but every day charity work? Yes, I do believe that she just lazies around every day. Except for the once every two or three weeks she might have a public appearance. I second what LAK and angelic 20 said.

      She has beautiful hair, she should keep it. Just style it differently on occasion. And try not to look like a high school girl all the time.

  40. Reece says:

    I don’t think an inch or two wouldn’t hurt but it’s not needed. She just needs new style, tailoring, makeup…help.
    Besides she & Will prob like it that long. You know, opposites attracting ;-)

  41. I wish they would stop using the term “style icon” in stories about her. She’s a lovely young woman, but definitely not a style icon. Its almost as if they keep saying it and hope that eventually it will stick

  42. Lisa B. says:

    I think people are just looking for reasons to nitpick the poor woman. I don’t see anything wrong with her hair or the way she styles it. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks she looks fine the way she is?

  43. Lauren says:

    Does Kate have hair extensions? The texture of her hair looks much different– the last six inches. Mmm.

  44. Penguin says:

    She shouldn’t cut it. She has a very mature face for her age & I think short hair might highlight that even more.

  45. Jen34 says:

    Cut 6 inches off the bottom and wear it straight with a half bang.

  46. erin says:

    homegirl needs some layers. or SOMETHING.

  47. debi says:

    She should either cut it or pin it up. She just doesn’t look well groomed with it flapping and flying all over the place

  48. mimi says:

    Her hair looks amazing and I love curls.

    why should she change something that is classic, pretty, and relatively simple?

    It’s pretty and stylish and at the same time Royal and sexy- depending on your view re curls.

    Why should she change it?

  49. molly says:

    The reason Kate keeps her hair like this is because her hair is all she has. Most people know that she is not the most beautiful or stylish women, but most people agree that she has good hair. Kate is lazy as hell so her hair is the thing that is her best quality. Its just sad that she wears extensions so she really has nothing.

  50. Sachi says:

    Her long hair disguises her thinness. The thickness and the body of her hair give the illusion that she’s healthy.

    Cut it all off and she will look even scrawnier and skeletal. Her features are also not beautiful…not even pretty. She is average.

    She put her hair up in a chignon once during the Ascot (?), remember? She looked okay, but her face looked masculine and the hairstyle did not suit her at all.

    She’s one of those people who only look good because they have one feature that somehow makes them appear attractive. For Kate, it’s her hair hanging down all over her face.

    It’s like some people with blonde hair look pretty, but once they go brunette they suddenly appear “ugly”.

    She should put it up more often simply because it’s annoying seeing her on videos flipping and playing with her hair while pretending to empathize with others. She talks to people with her hair blocking her face, preventing any sort of connection to be established.

    There is a video of Kate playing with her hair and collar while listening to a man relating his story of the London riots and she looked so bored and uninterested. She looked ridiculous playing with her clothes and hair while a man tells his story of grief, suffering, and terror.

    • Henry says:

      she ALWAYS looks ridiculous playing with her hair. she looks SO unprofessional. and like she could care less about what she’s doing and what people are saying to her. i can’t take her seriously cause she behaves like an idiot to be honest all the time.

      I’ve never seen a female public figure behave like that in public. hair fiddling, grinning inappropriately. god. such poor etiquette this woman has and the palace isn’t doing anything about it.

      i agree with you too. kate can’t have her hair all up actually, it makes her look more masculine. even the holdup, half-down hair-do doesn’t really suit her in my opinion. she looks even more matronly than she already does and looks like she’s in her 50s.

      the hair all around her face suits her best, but she really has to stop touching it when she’s out. really.

  51. Angie says:

    She has beautiful hair. They need to leave this girl alone.

    If older women would stop trying to force this style icon image onto her (residue of the Diana obsession if you ask me) it might smart less that she dares to have a hair style they’d look ridiculous trying to emulate.

    I think it looks gorgeous on her.

  52. LittleDeadGrrl says:

    Her hair is beautiful and suits her. It looks very natural and healthy. She can change it if she wants to of course, her hair, but I don’t see how she doesn’t look great.