Meghan Markle's Gorgeous Hair Transformation

There's no denying that Meghan Markle has gorgeous hair. For years, the actor and former working member of the royal family has repeatedly shown off her healthy, glossy brunette locks on red carpets, giving us some serious hair envy every time. It's no surprise then, that Markle was chosen, alongside her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, as one of the public's biggest hair crushes in a 2020 Vitabiotics poll of 2,000 women.


And it seems like so many people are loving Markle's locks because she keeps her tresses in such tip-top condition. Her former hairdresser Theonie Kakoulli told People in 2018 that even before she started working with her, Markle knew exactly how to take care of her hair and keep it looking its best. "She has really beautiful hair. Her hair was in such lovely condition, and you could tell that she really looks after it and that she was proud of it — it's really stunning," Kakoulli shared.

So, with such luscious and healthy locks on her side, the world really is Markle's oyster when it comes to cuts and styles. And, although she certainly has her signature look, this star has tried out a few different hair looks over the years.


Meghan Markle was all about bombshell curls when we first met her

Meghan Markle first came to mainstream attention after landing a gig as a briefcase model on the Howie Mandel hosted game show "Deal or No Deal." The star appeared on the second season of the NBC show between 2006 and 2007 and she wore very curly locks during her appearances. The star's signature look on the show was super dark, almost black, tresses in tighter curls and a heavy side part. Her curls were a lot more bombshell-esque than we're used to seeing from her today, and she also made sure her tresses had plenty of volume from the root with a deeper side part.


She's since spoken out about feeling she had to look a certain way on the show, admitting on her "Archetypes" podcast in 2022 that she felt a lot of pressure to look glamorous. "There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains," she explained during a candid conversation with Paris Hilton.

She began showing off a blonder and redder brunette while trying to make it in Hollywood

By the late 2000s, Meghan Markle appeared to start experimenting with hair color. In 2009 the actor was photographed with a gorgeous, reddish tint to her brunette. She also moved toward a sleek, straightened style, which at the time, was super trendy. In snaps taken at the 2009 pre-Emmy Gift Lounge in Beverly Hills, Markle can be seen wearing her hair flat-ironed hair and over her left shoulder. And it turns out, that's less of a style choice and more of a habit. Markle has admitted that one of her nervous quirks is to change which side her hair drapes over. Writing on her now defunct and removed blog, The Tig, back in 2014, she explained that her tendency to flip her hair from side to side was "a frenetic and self-conscious tick I adopted for moments I feel anxious."


And she went even blonder after that

After shooting to fame as a cast member on the show "Suits," all eyes were on Meghan Markle. Her character "Rachel Zane" became something of a style icon, with her signature button downs and pencil skirts, as well as her long, brown hair.


During her time on the show, Markle also started experimenting more with lighter hair hues. In October 2011, fans noticed the actress's hair during an Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner looked lighter than ever, with the shade of brown giving a stunning caramel and almost translucent-brown effect. It was also cut in long layers and styled with loose waves on the end, which was a staple look for many TV actresses at the time. However, despite the prevalence of side parts during that era, Markle opted for a part right down-the-middle, accentuating her gorgeous facial features.

Markle herself has spoken out about her signature "Suits" hair to portray "Rachel Zane" in the legal drama. She even shared a play by play of how she got the Rachel look on her old blog, The Tig. "The onscreen "Rachel Zane" hair is something that leaves little room for insecurity. Her look is thoughtful and crafted. And thanks to a savvy hair department and creative input from producers, it has become a signature aesthetic with its polished and classic style," she explained.


Meghan Markle's signature super dark locks were back by 2013, though

After flirting with slightly blonder tresses in 2011, Meghan Markle was back to much darker, poker straight locks when she stepped out again two years later. She wore her classic super dark brown hair while in London (the place she would eventually move to) in 2013, hitting the red carpet for the premiere of "The Hunger Games."


Though her hair was pretty typical, the actress did still try something a little different to what we were used to seeing. She tucked the front parts of her hair behind her ears and slicked the hair by her forehead down. It gave the appearance of wearing a headband without the accessory. Her super glossy locks looked ultra-smooth, shining in the light of the camera flashes. She also wore quite a deep side part, though this time her part was on the right side of her head, the opposite to how she wore it on "Deal or No Deal."

She gave the lob a go mere months before meeting Prince Harry

In May 2016, just two months before she met her husband, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle gave what may well be one of her most dramatic cuts a go. While attending the P.S. ARTS 25th Anniversary in Los Angeles, she posed on the red carpet sporting a lob cut (that's a long bob, by the way).


The star's tresses stretched just past her shoulders, and she made sure she brought plenty of volume and texture with looser curls. Markle also added volume at the root with another dramatic side-part. This time, the "Suits" star pushed her hair over from her right side and let the left side drape over her shoulder, while the right side stayed back. And we have to say, we think this glamorous look is one of her best ever.

But Meghan Markle returned to her signature longer hair while out with her then-boyfriend

During one of her first official appearances with Prince Harry at his veteran initiative, The Invictus Games, in 2017, Meghan Markle's hair went back to basics. That classic look featured her hair parted down the middle, without any fringe, and her long layers extending to her bicep.


It sounds like this low-maintenance signature look was very much intentional on Markle's part, too. Markle's former hairstylist and makeup artist, Lydia F. Sellers, told Refinery29 that the star has a look that she loves when it comes to her hair, adding that she isn't afraid to stick with what she knows looks good. This may explain why we haven't seen any super dramatic cuts or styles on Markle during her time in the spotlight. "We've stuck to the same sleek look since I've known her. She'll say, 'Just give me a slight bend or a slight wave. Nothing too crazy,'" Sellers recalled.

She wasn't afraid to rock a casual up-do while performing royal duties

In early 2018, after becoming engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle made it clear that she wanted to bring the monarchy into the 21st century. And she proved that with some of her hairstyles. While out in London visiting a charity radio station, she rocked an up-do far more casual than anything we ever saw from the late Queen Elizabeth II, or even Kate Middleton. The actor sported a loose bun, accentuated by tendrils on both sides of her face. And that was just one of many messy buns we saw from Markle during her time as a working royal.


It seems low-effort hairstyles allowed Markle to keep a sense of self while being thrust into the craziness of royal life. "She's done such a good job of maintaining her sense of self amongst the spotlight. Even now, her look has stayed the same. She'll throw her hair back in a low bun and it actually looks like she's done it herself, and it's beautiful and chic because she's so confident," Lydia F. Sellers, told Refinery29. "That's the great thing about Meghan — she's so confident with herself and her look, and she sticks with that."

Meghan Markle tried some more slicked back looks too

Although we're probably most used to seeing Markle with her long hair down and styled, the actress has admitted that her go-to everyday look is far simpler. "My hair off-camera is generally pulled into a low bun," she shared in a post on The Tig, long before she became a royal. But don't think that's just a lazy day look for the former working royal. Clearly a fan of an up-do when the moment calls for it, she proved that she looks just as stunning with her hair slicked back as she does when it's curled. While attending a gala performance of "The Wider Earth" in London back in 2019, she rocked a sleek chignon, which was the perfect pairing for her sophisticated, monochromatic white outfit.


At the time, the star was ready to embark on a new chapter of her life, as she was pregnant with her and Prince Harry's first child — and that really showed in her hair. She later pulled her dark tresses back into a very sleek, sophisticated, and elegant bun during a royal appearance in the UK, complete with long, seemingly gelled side bangs.

The royal also brought plenty of volume to her locks in 2019

Meghan Markle showed off the true versatility of her hair in 2019 when she appeared at a Remembrance Day event. The then-working royal wore her locks in high-volume, loose waves, with a royal blue fascinator on the right-hand side of her head, proving just how stylish hair accessories can be. 


Around this time, the world began to speculate about whether or not Markle may have gotten a little help to keep her hair looking so voluminous by using hair extensions. "You can't even see where the extensions begin, proving they've been applied really well," Stylist beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem shared at the time. "And even if she IS wearing extensions, there's nothing wrong with that. She just wants to have thicker hair, and she isn't alone — 'thicker hair' is one of the most common hair queries among women in the UK." Extensions or not, though, there's no doubting this is one of Markle's most glamorous hair looks ever.

She ditched her signature curls entirely in 2020 for her longest hair ever

While delivering a speech in July 2020 for the Girl Up Leadership Summit, Meghan Markle said goodbye to her classic curls entirely for one of her longest, straightest, hair looks ever. Having officially stepped down from royal duties and in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, the star may have had a little more time on her hands to experiment with new looks — and it looked like she kept herself busy by changing up her hair. Her super sleek hair appeared to be past her chest, with shorter, tapered pieces cut near the front for a stunning, face-framing effect.


One of the ways Markle may potentially have gotten her hair so sleek and straight for the virtual appearance? Keratin treatment. Theonie Kakoulli told People that the now former royal would often get the treatments done while she was living in the U.K. "Meghan came to see me at least twice for keratin treatments. It's great for people with naturally curly hair like Meghan, it takes the frizz out and makes it more manageable — she said it made a real difference," Kakoulli said.

In 2023, Meghan Markle showed us how to do a ponytail the right way

Appearing alongside her husband Prince Harry in Germany in December 2023 for the Invictus Games, Meghan Markle gave us the perfect example of a ponytail that's anything but drab and boring yet still easy to achieve. She tied her hair back to watch the volleyball final from the stands, but still gave us a look at just how long her hair still was as she turned to look at her husband.


Her tresses were still her signature super dark color, but one of the most fun parts of this simple yet sunning style was the way she still managed to keep plenty of volume in the look. Though she may no longer have been a working member of the royal family, her ponytail was sure fit for a queen as her thick hair was full of volume at the crown. She then completed the look with what appeared to be pulled back curtain bangs and kept her classic center part.