‘Well, why don’t you just cut it off now?’: Hairstylist shares story behind Princess Diana’s iconic hairdo

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Princess Diana was not only known for her humanitarian work, she was equally admired for her fashion choices. But there was another thing about her that continues to be in trend ever today — The Lady Diana Haircut. The person behind the same — hairstylist Sam McKnight — recently shared that the style was a result of the implicit trust they both shared.

In a recent video with British Vogue — as part of its “Vogue Visionaries” series, he spoke about his relationship with the Princess of Wales, stating at the outset that he was inspired by pop star David Bowie and his hairstyle. “That was my first wow moment,” he shared.

“The first time I met the Princess of Wales was on a shoot…This leggy blonde comes bouncing up the stairs, smiled and made us all melt, and it was Princess Diana.”

They had both met at a photoshoot and he styled her hair to look a little shorter. “I made it look short under the tiara — I faked it a bit. We laughed so much, she was very funny,” he shared.

But the princess who took to the style wanted it for real, as he remembered her saying:  ‘What would you do with my hair if I just said do anything?’ I said, ‘I would cut it all off and just start again’. 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,” he recollected.

He reminisced her saying “‘Well, why don’t you just cut it off now?’ and he did exactly that, giving a hairstyle for the ages.

The 65-year-old hairstylist, who has yielded his magic on celebrities like Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, was recently asked to recreate Princess Diana’s hairstyle on actor Emma Corrin (who plays the late royal in series The Crown).

Speaking to Vogue in September last year, he had said “It felt weird…But then, it was one of my first jobs after lockdown so I thought, ‘You know what? You’re thinking about this too much.’” His doubts were soon dissolved. “To be honest, Emma is playing Diana before I even met her, so it felt fine. We took a nod to the photos of Diana [in that period] and made a little pastiche of it,” he had added.



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