She has some good ideas — and a few questionable ones, too

By Diana Pearl
September 05, 2017 01:39 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

What Is It: Princess Kate is known for many things — her two adorable children, her advocacy for mental health, how impeccable fashion sense, and, of course, her amazing hair. Whether it’s down and curled or in an elaborate undo, it’s always picture perfect.

However, at times, she’s employed some surprising tactics to achieve the perfect look — such as using a hairnet to hold her up-dos in place.

As someone who is always up to try Kate’s more questionable fashion and beauty choices in my own life, I was down to try Kate’s favorite hair hacks, from the traditional (her signature blowout) to the bizarre (a hairnet).

Who Tried It: Diana Pearl, PEOPLE Royals writer and reporter

Level of Difficulty: 1 out of 10. I did things to my hair, none of which were very difficult. I also had to walk 10 blocks to a Drybar and have someone do my hair for me.

Day One: The Blowout

I knew this would be the easiest day of all because, well, who doesn’t love getting a blowout? It’s relaxing, it makes your hair look approximately a thousand times better than it would if you blew out your own hair, and it gives you a reasonable excuse not to wash your hair for a few days.

While lovely, I imagine my experience at the Drybar’s Lenox Hill location was a little different than Kate’s normal blowout. For starters, I was pumped. I rarely get blowouts, because on the list of things I should be spending my money on, it falls fairly low. This is such a routine habit for Kate, I can’t imagine having someone else blow dry her hair for her brings Kate the same flicker of excitement it does for me.

Diana Pearl

However, if one of the reasons Kate gets her regular blowouts is to up her hair confidence, I have to say, it totally worked. I asked for the Kate special, so to speak: Her classic style of lots of volume that flows into curls. And for the rest of the week, I felt amazing. My hair looked good, I didn’t have to stress, or even really add dry shampoo, until day four. I didn’t get a ton of compliments, to be honest.

I don’t think the blowout made me quite at Kate’s level, but that’s not the fault of my Drybar stylist, rather my own genetics. Though I have thick hair, it is not as thick and luscious as Kate’s.

Day Two: The Headband

I was actually looking forward to this element of the experiment, too, as I was a big fan of the look back in high school, when Gossip Girl was all the rage and I was attempting to grow out the side bangs I had as a freshman. To hide ill-advised hair choices as it was in a not-quite-yet real hair stage but no longer really bangs, I’d wear headbands pretty much everyday. I still have quite the collection of them back at my mom’s house, but none of them had made the move to adulthood with me.

Kate, however, is a fan of the look. She’s worn headbands on several occasions, despite the fact that many people view them as a relic of the Gossip Girl days. So I wore a plastic, tortoiseshell headband — just like Kate’s — all day on Wednesday, and I have to say, I was feeling the look.

Kate wearing a headband in 2016
Samir Hussein/WireImage

On top of that, it was convenient: It keeps your hair out of your face if you’re say, bending down to pick up a pencil. It got mildly uncomfortable as the day went on, but I mostly chalk that up to the fact that I wear over-the-head headphones all day, which sort of pushed the headband into my head. But it was nothing that ever got so bad it prompted me to take it off.

So, while my 14-year-old self might have made some questionable decisions (those side bangs weren’t great, even before they were in the awkward growing out stage), I clearly had a few moments of good hair judgement.

Day Three: The Topsy Tail

Perhaps it was before my time, but I had no idea what a topsy tail was until I embarked on this experiment. If you’re like me and are clueless, a Topsy Tail is a device that allows you to pull your ponytail through itself, thereby creating a more intricate ponytail. Watch the ‘90s infomercial below for more information.

Since I didn’t have much exposure to the Topsy Tail infomercials as a child, I watched one on YouTube before attempting to do it myself. It took a couple attempts, but once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy. And not to sound like an informercial myself, but I liked the look. It is a very simple way to upgrade a ponytail — which is a pretty basic hairstyle on its own — into something more elaborate. If you were feeling too lazy to wash your hair, a Topsy Tail is a solid alternative.

Kate in the Topsy Tail
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Granted, I don’t think that’s how Kate uses it (she’s just always wearing inventive hairstyles) or if she even uses the tool at all, but still, it’s good inspiration.

Day Four: The Hairnet

I can’t lie to you: I was not looking forward to day four at all. There’s a reason I saved the hairnet for the final day of the experiment: I was putting it off And off. And off.

Why? IT’S WEIRD. No offense to cafeteria workers and other professionals who need to wear hairnets for their job, but no one was going to understand why I was wearing a hairnet in my hair for a normal day of sitting at my desk.

Diana Pearl

But I did. I used a blonde-colored hairnet, which did something to disguise the fact that I was wearing one, over a bun that was held together otherwise with a normal hair tie. I wanted to see if the hairnet did anything to help hold my bun in place, too.

Princess Kate
Samir Hussein/WireImage

It did, ish. While the pieces of my hair that fell out of the bun were a bit more constrained by the hairnet, it didn’t do a whole lot to keep the hair from falling out in the first place. And any purpose it did serve was negated by the fact that I felt so weird and self-conscious about wearing a hairnet that I ended up taking it out by 4 p.m.

Diana Pearl

Kate, you have great hair, but I just can’t get on board with this one.

The Verdict: I truly do aspire to have hair like Kate’s, and I think this experiment helped with that. I’ll definitely be wearing headbands more often — in fact, I’m wearing one as I write this post. I remembered what an easy indulgence a blow out is, and unfortunately for my wallet, I’ll likely indulge in a few more of those as well, but on a special occasion, like before I leave for a trip or head to a more formal event. The Topsy Tail will definitely get some use on the last day before I wash my hair.

But the hairnet? Never, never again.