Considering how truly structured Princess Diana’s life was, it’s hard to believe a big haircut would be a last-minute decision. But according to Sam McKnight, who was her personal hairstylist, Princess Diana’s hair was an impulsive decision. And that choice became an iconic look copied by women all over the world in the 1990s. (My mother included!)
In the latest episode of Vogue‘s YouTube series Vogue Visionaries, McKnight talked about a 1990 Vogue cover that inspired the big chop. His team decided to put Diana’s shoulder-length hair in a faux bob using her tiara. After the shoot, Princess Diana asked him what he would do with her hair if he had free rein.
“I said, ‘I would cut it all off and just start again,'” said McKnight in the video. “It was the beginning of the ’90s and it was at the time that I was doing lots of shows and covers and a lot of the girls had short hair, and we were moving from the big frou-frou ’80s into the sharp, more androgynous, business chic of the ’90s.” Princess Diana let gave him permission to go to town on her hair, much to his surprise. “‘Well, why don’t you just cut it off now?'” McKnight remembered her saying. “So I cut it off then, and we never looked back.”
If you’ve read McKnight’s 2018 memoir “Hair by Sam McKnight,” you know he had a very close relationship with the Princess of Wales. Still, he didn’t think this spur-of-the-moment haircut would be such a part of history. Watch the above video to learn about how McKnight believes you should stay humble and give back to the community (even when you did 100+ British Vogue covers!). Plus, you hear all about Princess Diana’s kindness, especially when she met McKnight’s mother in a village in Scottland. Try not to tear up.