How to Recreate Meghan Markle's Timeless Wedding Hair

Featuring tips and tricks directly from her hairstylist.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Apr 17, 2024
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For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19, 2018, you might've expected the Duchess of Sussex to don an intricate, perfectly-polished hairdo—but the final result was quite the opposite. Meghan Markle's wedding hair was elegant, of course, but it was simple, unfussy and slightly undone. On her wedding day, the royal wore a loose chignon complete with her signature face-framing layers and an on-trend center part. The hairdo perfectly complemented Markle's minimal wedding makeup, and it allowed her custom Givenchy wedding dress (and dazzling bandeau tiara) to shine.

Another reason we're still obsessed with Meghan Markle's wedding hair? The timeless style is *insanely* simple. In fact, according to her hairstylist, Serge Normant, the whole look took only 45 minutes to achieve. If you'd prefer a breezy getting-ready process on your big day or you want to DIY your 'do for pre-wedding events, pull inspiration from Meghan Markle's wedding hair. We'll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial, along with a collection of her all-time favorite hair products that you can buy right now.

In this article:

The Vision Behind Meghan Markle's Wedding Hair

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their wedding day
Photo: AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP | Getty Images

To achieve her timeless wedding day hair, Meghan Markle enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist Serge Normant (who often works with A-list clients like Blake Lively and Julia Roberts). The beauty pro was introduced to the Duchess through their mutual friend Amal Clooney. The pair worked extremely well together, and Normant told Glamour that they only had one hair trial.

When it came to pulling inspiration for the day-of 'do, Normant looked to Hollywood stars from the '60s. "I love when you see a picture of a bride that you can look at 10 to 20 years from now, and it still feels fresh," he told Glamour. "I feel like if I see that picture in 10 years from now, it'll still feel relevant."

Markle and Normant landed on a loose chignon because it looked both elegant and soft. Despite a critical response from some social media users, Normant said the updo was supposed to look partly undone. "I know everyone's fixating on the word messy, but it was more like unstructured volume," he told Glamour. "I wanted it to feel almost like she did it herself."

Although Meghan Markle's wedding hair was executed in under an hour, Normant insists the key to getting the style to look polished was taking his time with it. And while his goal was to make it appear like the bride did it herself, achieving an effortless look is more difficult than you might think. If you want to rock a 'do like Meghan Markle's hair on her wedding day, we recommend working with a professional hairstylist to ensure you get the chignon of your dreams.

Meghan Markle's Wedding Hair Tutorial

Meghan Markle on her wedding day
Photo: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool | Getty Images

While some celebrity wedding hairstylists share product breakdowns on social media (à la Sofia Richie's wedding hair pro, Kathleen Riley), Normant wasn't allowed to disclose the exact items used due to royal protocol. That said, he did give a few tips and tricks to Glamour, specifically when it comes to product usage. "The thing is never to load your hair too much with products," he suggested, noting that too much build-up can create a crunchy look.

If you're planning to recreate Meghan Markle's wedding hair for your own nuptials, show your stylist a few images of her updo so they can accurately recreate the look on your locks. But if you're looking to wear this style for a pre-wedding event, like your shower or your bach party, here's a guide to recreating her chignon.

Create a Center Part

While your hair is still damp, use a rattail comb to create a sleek center part. A clean part will keep the style looking polished, and the center placement will help your 'do feel modern and chic.

Blow Dry Your Wet Hair

To achieve shiny, silky hair, blow out your freshly washed hair. Use a round brush and blow dryer to help add volume to the roots so your updo doesn't fall flat. Once your hair is totally dry, go back over the front pieces to smooth them out so they look sleek and smooth when you pull them back.

Add Texture to Your Tresses

To achieve Markle's piecey "undone" look, you'll need to add some texture to your tresses. Use a curling iron or wand to add loose bends to your hair, and finish it off with a texturizing spray. "When you overcurl them or give them a shape that's too unnatural, that's when it starts to look promlike," Normant told Glamour. "It's that loose feel you want to have—just a little bend. You can use a texturizer to give it more separation, which will also help it stay in place."

Create a Low, Loose Bun

To create a true chignon, gather your hair into a low ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Then, tuck the length of the ponytail under the elastic, pull out some loose strands and pin them around the chignon. To finish the look, be sure to leave out a few pieces of hair in front for a wispy, romantic vibe. Pro tip: Don't forget to spritz with hairspray to hold the style in place.

The Best Products to Recreate Meghan Markle's Wedding Hair

While Normant couldn't reveal the exact products he used on Meghan Markle's wedding day hair, you might recall that she used to run a lifestyle blog called The Tig, where she would write about her favorite finds long before she became a Duchess. We dug into the archives of her site (and past interviews with her former hairstylists) to round up some of Meghan Marke's favorite hair products, all of which you can use to recreate her wedding bun.

Kérastase Oleo-Relax Shampoo

Kérastase Oleo-Relax Shampoo wedding hair product
Photo: Amazon

Although The Tig is now defunct, Meghan Markle used her lifestyle blog to rave about all of Kérastase's products. Notably, one of her favorites was the brand's Oleo-Relax Shampoo. With a luxurious blend of hydrating ingredients like coconut oil and Shorea butter, this cleanser delivers intense hydration and reduces frizz, creating the perfect base for a sleek updo.

Wella Professionals Luminous Smoothing Oil

Wella Professionals Luminous Smoothing Oil wedding hair product
Photo: Ulta

In an interview with Beauty Banter, Markle praised the Wella Professionals Luminous Smoothing Oil for leaving her locks "slippery and touchable." Available at Ulta, this product uses a blend of white tea extract, macadamia seed oil and avocado oil to give your mane a glossy effect. Pat this into the ends of your hair after blow drying to retain moisture and prevent flyaways from poking out the top of your chignon.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray wedding hair product
Photo: Sephora

Celebrity hairstylist Lydia Sellers worked with Meghan Markle for two years before she moved to across the pond to England. After their time together, Sellers opened up about some of their go-to products in an interview with Refinery29, including their first step in the styling process: "I start with Oribe's volumizing spray to prep her hair, just to give it that boost."

While that exact product is no longer in production, the brand's texturizing spray is a great alternative. Spritz some of this product on your locks before pulling them back into a twist to soak up excess oil and build volume that'll last throughout your special event.

Kevin Murphy Smooth Again

Kevin Murphy Smooth Again anti-frizz treatment wedding hair product
Photo: Amazon

In that same interview, Sellers confirmed that Markle loved using Kerestasé's relax treatment to smooth her hair, along with the Kevin Murphy Smooth Again cream. This nourishing product is a leave-in treatment that eliminates frizz and promotes a healthy glow. If your locks need a little extra TLC, consider swapping your hair oil for a thicker, more hydrating cream like this Duchess-approved formula.

Jennifer Behr Zonya Tiara

Jennifer Behr Swarovski crystal wedding hair tiara
Photo: Jennifer Behr

Although we can't give you access to the royal family's collection of tiaras, we can help you find a wedding day hair accessory that's just as regal. While Meghan Markle topped off her wedding day hair with the Queen Mary's bandeau tiara, you can achieve a similar look by investing in a dazzling headpiece for your walk down the aisle. We love Jennifer Behr's Zonya tiara, which features Swarovski crystals arranged in face-framing vines. The jewels create a bouquet effect at the crown of the head, which gives off a similar effect to the center stone of Meghan Markle's crown.

Lele Sadoughi All Over Pearl Alice Headband

Lele Sadoughi pearl headband for weddings
Photo: Lele Sadoughi

If a headband is more your style, we love this piece from Lele Sadoughi. One of the brand's best-selling silhouettes, this padded headband has a timeless shape that's reminiscent of Meghan Markle's bandeau tiara. We love that this accessory is covered in luminous pearls, which are a beautiful alternative to gemstones if you're looking for something a bit more subdued (but still worthy of a royal moment).

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