Kate Middleton makes waves with a new shorter style...but does it really make the cut?
Kerry McKittrick talks to two female MLAs about the Duchess of Cambridge's trendy new bob and how they tame their tresses
Kate Middleton is famous for her long glossy locks with any change in the royal do sparking off a media frenzy. As the Duchess of Cambridge resumed her stately duties with gusto this week, making no fewer than three public appearances, it wasn't the diplomatic reception or charities which made the headlines - again it was Kate's hair that drew the media's attention.
This time those tumbling tresses were missing a few inches in length with reports saying that the mother-of-two has had four inches snipped off her beautiful hair.
Given the scrutiny of Kate's looks she keeps her hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker close by. In fact, one of the first visitors to her bedside after the birth of Prince George three years ago was hairstylist Amanda, who ensured that she was well coiffed before presenting her newborn son to the world's Press.
It's hardly surprising, though, that a busy woman such as the Duchess has opted for a cut that is easier to manage.
Although she has a famed Norland nanny to help her, both Kate and William are well known for being a hands-on parents.
We talk to two women about how their hairstyles have changed with their lives.
Judith Cochrane (39) is an Alliance MLA for east Belfast where she lives with husband Jonathan, a software engineer, and their two daughters, Emma Rose (10) and Jessica (7). She says:
I have naturally curly hair and I hated it when I was young, mostly because of the way my mum kept it. It was cut short and then brushed back almost in an Elvis style so it had big curls.
I decided to grow it when I went to Methodist College, but because I had it short for so long I wasn’t used to it.
There was the terrible day that I got a hairbrush caught in the front of it.
My friend had to cut the bristles out — but that didn’t work so I ended up with a fringe about half a centimetre long.
My hair is shoulder-length now, although it has gotten a little shorter over the years.
One thing I always make sure of is that I can tie it back and I think that’s why Kate has kept her hair a bit longer.
When you’re a busy mum rushing about with two kids then an easy way to manage your hair is to tie it back and out of the way.
I have naturally curly hair which takes a lot of time to blow-dry straight.
You can tell that Kate also has the kind of hair that needs careful blow-drying and styling.
When the girls were younger, I kept my hair in its naturally curly state as it was the easiest way to manage it, and didn’t require much maintenance.
Hair colour and texture can change over time and especially after you have children, so I expect that could Kate’s reasoning behind her shorter look.
Nowadays, I have my hair professionally blow-dried in a bid to manage it. Fortunately, I have a great hairdresser so if I have an hour to spare they will try to fit me in.
It also means I can check emails while I sit in the chair, so it’s a much more efficient use of my time. I think women should keep their hair the way it suits them — I have a friend who really suits a very short pixie style, and while it looks fabulous on her, it wouldn’t necessarily work on others.”
Pam Cameron (43) is a DUP MLA. She lives in Antrim with her husband Michael and she has three children from her first marriage; William (23), Daniel (22), Hannah (19). She says:
At its longest, my hair fell just below my shoulders, but looking back on that style now it didn’t suit me at all. Now I have a short pixie cut which I much prefer. When I was younger I had long dark hair — my brother would always tease me, saying that I looked like a witch.
I had my first short haircut when I was eight years old. It wasn’t something that bothered me because I wasn’t a very girly girl but the hairdresser told me that everyone at school would call me shortcake from then on — no-one did.
Since then, my hair length has varied a lot. Each time I was pregnant I grew my hair out and then when the baby was born I would get it cut off — it just seemed to be the easiest thing to do. Pregnancy can certainly change your hair, I felt mine was much thinner and fell out more after I had my children.
As I’ve gotten older my hair style has evolved to the short crop it is now. When I go to the hairdresser I tend to give the stylist free rein to do whatever they think will suit me. I have a big cow’s lick which means that my hair isn’t the easiest to style so a shorter do is easier to manage.
When I was Mayor of Antrim I had the privilege of meeting both Kate and William just before they got married.
Kate is absolutely stunning and, as my mum would say, it doesn’t really matter what she does with herself — she’ll always looking beautiful. As far as her cutting her hair goes, I would imagine there are great demands on her time as she is a very busy lady.
Her hair is lovely but it would require some attention and taking some of the length off is certainly going to make her life easier.
I think women tend to cut their hair as they get older anyway. It’s a way of creating a more mature look as well as being more practical.”