Princess Diana HairstyleQ: I am interested in the hairstyle worn by Princess Diana back in 1982. Please could you also describe the style of the haircut so that I can explain it to my hairdresser next time?
A: Diana's hairstyle was based loosely on a style popular a few years prior called the "Purdey". The Purdey was named for the character played by Joanna Lumley in "The New Avengers" British television series.
Click to enlargeThe key differences between Diana's style of the time and the Purdey was the updating effect of texturing (specifically feathering) the layers and contouring the perimeter cutting line to follow the hairline by dipping low along the nape of the neck.
The layers were crafted by elevating the hair to a 90-degree angle and cutting with a vertical cutting angle, then point cutting into the ends of the hair to create the feathered effect.
It was a high-volume style with a focus on wave instead of curl. The feathering allowed the hair to create interesting details as it was styled around the head and away from the face. It is a wonderful look for a woman with medium-density and texture to her hair, who also has a lot of wave and bounce.
See the illustration for some key guidelines to cutting the style.
Angles for hair cutting
How to cut vertical layers
Chynna Phillips' purdey inspired hairstyle