From her tailored coats to her fabulous hats to her favorite nude stilettos, Kate Middleton has the polished look down pat. Which is why we were surprised when the duchess stepped out with Prince William on Thursday, rocking her usual beachy waves and visible in her hair were silver-gray strands.
Instead of her go-to side part, Middleton opted for a middle split, revealing the wiry silver hairs. The occasion was Poppy Day, a holiday observed in the Commonwealth countries to commemorate soldiers who died during World War 1. Observers wear red to symbolize the rose-colored poppies that bloomed along the battlefields and to get into the spirit, Middleton wore an ankle-length red Red L.K. Bennett coat fastened with three poppies, black opaque tights, and black suede pumps.
Of course, finding a gray hair or two in your 30s isn't unusual — but given Middleton's status as a beauty icon, Twitter exploded with commentary.
Despite the buzz, it’s not the first time Middleton has shown silver roots. Back in October 2012, she sparked pregnancy rumors when photographed touring Asia with a little gray in her hair (evidence that hair-dye chemicals cause fetal harm is inconclusive, but many women avoid touch-ups during pregnancy). And this past March, while five-months pregnant, Middleton showed noticeably gray roots again while visited Grimsby, a seaport in Lincolnshire, England, to lend support to the Prince's Trust Charity.
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Could her new silver streaks trigger a new phase of the Middleton Effect? The term was coined as a reflection of the duchess’s influence on the fashion and beauty world — her 8-carat sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring created an entire industry of knockoffs, her tiny-purse collection inspired famed handbag designer Lulu Guinness to miniaturize her own line of bags, and who could forget the global stampede for nude pantyhose after Middleton was first spotted donning the sheer stockings.
“While gray hair is common, most women do the best they can to cover it up," Josh Fuller, colorist at the Read Brown Salon in Palm Springs, California, tells Yahoo Shine. "Gray can crop up on anyone, no matter what their age — I have 50-year-old clients who have never grayed and 25-year-old clients with full heads of silver hair."
The hue is more noticable on chocolate-brunettes like Middleton, because it creates drastic contrast, says Fuller. If women want to hide their grays but can't shell out for a full-service dye job, try these tricks:
Add volume: Flat, middle parts especially showcase grays, simply because they give strands nowhere to hide. Conversely, volume creates dimension so that gray blends with natural color. Fuller suggests creating lift by placing a comb on the hairline (where hair meets the forehead), and gently wriggling it from left-to-right, while moving it slowly over the head, until it reaches the tips of the hair. “The secret is to not lift the comb from your scalp so you redistribute the hair at the root,” says Fuller.
Try spray powder: “If you have a last-minute event, this is a temporary fix that will hold you over until your next shower,” says Fuller. “Choose a tone that matches your natural color, then spray at the roots.” Our pick: Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder.
Opt for bangs: Fringe adds texture and layers that can distract from gray roots, says Fuller. It's also a youthful cut that will offset silver.
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