It is difficult to imagine a style more iconic than Princess Diana’s glamorous feathered shag. The Princess of Wale’s golden hair provided the inspiration for the most prominent hairstyles of the ’80s and ’90s. And today, Tiktok has resurrected it.
But, the princess’ signature styles were actually the work of three hairstylists: Kevin Shanley, Richard Dalton, and Sam McKnight. It was Shanley, Diana’s first hairdresser, who created her signature feathered ‘do. Additionally, he styled Diana’s hair for her wedding to Charles in 1981.
However, Richard Dalton was the one who took on the role of being the princess’ full-time stylist for 12 years. As a result, Dalton quickly learned the importance of not changing the royal’s hair too frequently. Nevertheless, Dalton had a special method for revealing Princess Di’s instantly recognizable look.
Dalton Shares His Memories Of The Late Royal
Dalton revealed that he was Princess Diana’s personal hairstylist for 12 years, from 1981 to 1993, in an interview with Town and Country. The two first met when Diana was 17 years old. “I worked at Fenwick of Bond Street’s in-store salon, and cut her sisters’ hair,” he shared.
In his comments, Dalton noted that there could be quite a frenzy if Princess Diana’s hair changed. To avoid causing a stir, instead of making radical changes, he would gradually shorten Diana’s hair, clipping 1/4 inch every week.
Dalton recalls how the princess requested shorter, more manageable hair for an upcoming trip to Africa. Still, she was anxious about the media’s reaction to any drastic change. “Whatever I did to her hair became front page news,” he said. “We had to be very careful. We had to do it one-fourth of an inch at a time over several weeks.”
Besides following Diana’s flawlessly elegant and iconic style, Dalton also worked her golden teased locks around royal tiaras. Dalton outlined some of the challenges facing hairdressers when styling hair around a royal headpiece. “It’s a crown jewel and must be respected and protected. You have to be extremely careful and gentle with it, and absolutely no hairspray or styling product can touch the stones,” Dalton explained.”
In more than a decade, Dalton had come up with some of the Princess’ most iconic looks, from the sapphire necklace worn as a headband at a gala in Australia to larger-than-life hairstyles to balance shoulder-padded fashion during her “Dynasty Di years.” But, nothing will be more memorable than Princess Diana’s hair throughout those 12 years. Nonetheless, Dalton’s memories of Diana’s hair story offer more insight into the late princess’ life.