The Untold Story of Meghan Markle's Signature Hairstyle
Former royal hairstylist George Northwood shares the inspiration behind her iconic look.
Meghan Markle is the master of the down-to-earth updo. With all the low messy buns she wore throughout her time as a royal, she demonstrated that it's possible to pull your hair up off of your shoulders without looking like you're on your way to prom. She further confirmed this fact when she chose to wear a loose bun, instead of a tight chignon, on her actual wedding day.
Now that Markle has officially said goodbye to royal life, her hairstylist can finally reveal himself, along with his secrets behind her iconic looks. On Mar. 31, Northwood announced that he was Markle's former royal hairstylist in a series of six Instagram posts dedicated to her looks, and shared his story with British Vogue.
"It has been an enormous privilege and a lot of fun working with the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex over the past two years, Northwood wrote in the captions of the photo series. "I have enjoyed every minute collaborating with this amazing couple who not only champion small businesses but have taught me so much about diversity, equality and the importance of good mental health."
In Northwood's interivew with British Vogue, he revealed how Markle's signature messy bun came to be. "The messy bun purely came off the back of making the hair both appropriate and adhering to royal protocol, and modern at the same time," he told the publication. "We wanted it to be up, because a lot of the time it was appropriate for it to be up, but we didn’t want it to be too formal. We always wanted it to be refined imperfection – that’s what sums her up.”
The two were introduced through mutual acquaintances and instantly hit it off. "I think I met her in February, around Valentine’s Day 2018," Northwood said. "I was a bit worked up beforehand and then, as soon as I met her, she was just like my California girl clients. She said, ‘I’m a Cali girl’, and I just said, ‘One of my favourites then.’ We hit it off – we immediately spoke the same language.”
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As for Markle's unforgettable reception hairstyle, Northwood says the pair came up with the look — a perfect mix of "refined imperfection" and the former actor's California aesthetic — after a nice chat. "The evening was intimate, for family and friends, a time for Meghan to be herself. By this point, the messy bun had become such a thing and we wanted to do something equally relaxed and effortless," he explained. "Often with brides – and this was no different – the daytime bit is a bit more nerve-wracking, and then the evening comes and it’s more about wanting to have fun. That’s what my hair is about: it’s wearable, effortless and can withstand a dancefloor."
And just like that, "refined imperfection" has become a big bridal beauty trend.