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June 11, 2022
“This lady’s not for changing” - Of course that misquotes Margaret Thatcher who wasn’t talking about her hair anyway 🤥. But though the Queen is seen as someone who’s steadfastly stuck with the same hairstyle, that’s not quite true.
The softer looser effect, as she took to the throne, gave way to a bigger firmer formidable style as seen in the middle image above.
It has however stayed within a range and this has been used as a soft power tool to project continuity and stability in the midst of global uncertainty and the frivolities of fashion. But was she ever tempted? Did she feel she was missing out?
Would we have liked to see her move with the times – 60’s helmet Bob, 70’s shag and punk Mohican, 80’s Scrunch and 90’s flat-ironed extensions? Probably not and those styles can be tricky with tiaras.
Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.
Fashions often follow new capabilities. Lower and lower cars came from horizontal pistons and hence flatter engines. Common sense and comfort have returned higher seated cars following the popularity of 4x4s.
Super thin watches came from engineering miniaturisation, but now some wristwatches are back to the size of 18th Century pocket watches. All day athleisure wear has developed out of fabric technology but it may not flatter everyone.
And so too with hair fashions. 1960’s Bobs didn’t suit everybody but the Queen was in the minority for not popping in to see Vidal. The simpler ‘cold’ permanent wave created a craze where everyone wanted a ‘Perm’, even if their hair was already curly! They often ended up frizzy. The new effective flat irons of the 90’s didn’t mean dead flat straight hair suited everyone, but few wanted to miss out.
We all like something new and it’s easy to follow the crowd. It’s why manias are so powerful, often defying good judgement. Perhaps The Queen was right to keep her 50’s set, but within the hairstyle she has, I would adjust it to soften and update a little. As the hair turns white it grabs the curl more. The sides should have a larger roller to avoid the poodling effect. Better still I would loosen it all over so it’s less set and rigid. A soft but subtle update.
One of my clients of forty years told me she’d always had the same hairstyle. I asked her to look back on photos and she was astonished at the range of styles she'd had. Often these were eased in gently over a number of visits to keep everything looking its most flattering.
Faces change and hair textures change. Even if you want to keep a similar look it will need adapting along the way.
Michael Van Clarke
February 04, 2023
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