Like 29 million other Americans, I woke up before 7 a.m. on Saturday morning to watch the royal wedding. It was pure magic—from Markle and her mother arriving in a Rolls-Royce to the band of British children carrying her train up the steps and through the church to Harry's now famous lip-bite moment to the star-studded guest list. But I have to admit that when Prince Harry lifted Markle's veil, I yelled out to the television, "Tuck that piece of hair behind her ear!" My friend immediately texted me her displeasure with the new duchess's piecey hairdo. Was it supposed to be a little unkempt? Was she having a hair mishap? Turns out we weren't the only ones focused on the look, as Twitter blew up in real time over the style.
Because it was such an elaborate, elegant affair, I think we'd all assumed her hair would be perfectly structured and pinned back, so the fact it was "out of place" initially seemed taboo.
The thing is, this was a nontraditional wedding in every sense, from the fact that Markle, who's spoken about her biracial identity before, is the first black woman to marry into the royal family to the incredible presence of black individuals during the ceremony to the bride and groom holding hands throughout their nuptials (such affection isn't usually present at a royal ceremony), so having a few untucked pieces of hair only continued the modern vibe. (Not to mention messy updos are the most popular wedding hairstyle on Pinterest.) The problem is we just couldn't tell if it was intentional or not. But according to her stylist, Serge Normant, it was.
"It's a messy bun, we call it," Normant explained to Daily Mail. "Messy in a controlled way. Making sure it doesn't become a whole mess after a few hours! I don't overload the hair with products in general and certainly not on this day."
The goal was for the look to be laid back and easy, just like Markle's free-spirited attitude. "I thought something working around the usual angle she has," he said. "I wasn't about reinvention. We worked really closely together, but there was nothing contrived about it. We knew what we wanted to do. We wanted something that wasn't effortless and really timeless. As long as it didn't look contrived."
So there you have it—Markle's hair didn't come undone. It was meant to match her easygoing personality.
Piece-y hair can be achieved with this texturizing pomade that doesn't leave hair looking greasy, just artfully undone.
Messy updos need some grit to them (it's best to not have freshly cleaned hair), but if your mane is looking a bit limp, spritz this texturizing spray at the roots and give them a tousle.
For bended tendrils like Markle's, wrap hair gently around a wand, like this ghd variation.
You'll need to hold everything in place once your 'do is complete, so to avoid too much structure, this compressed hairspray will hold everything in place without the crunch.
A purposefully messy look doesn't mean having a lack of shine, and this balm helps make everything look more smooth and sleek.
Lindsay Ellingson credits this spray as giving her "mermaid hair," or natural beachy waves, which are integral for a chic messy updo.
If your roots are a bit too greasy for an updo, spray a bit of this volumizing dry shampoo to feign clean roots.
Want more royal wedding insights? Take a look at Markle's full beauty breakdown.