Kevin Shanley could not possibly have imagined the impact the hairstyle he created for Lady Diana Spencer would eventually have. Although she had been his client at Headlines Salon on Thurloe Street in South Kensington for four years prior,  the sweeping popularity of the hairstyle would be felt later in the day on 24 February 1981. Diana, along with her sister Sarah, visited Shanley in South Kensington that morning to have her hair done, but no one suspected the scale of the life changing annoucement to come.

It was for Shanley, however, a moment in the limelight, as his hairstyle sparked Lady Di mania worldwide as women everywhere wanted the ‘The Lady Di’ cut. It was a unique moment, and continued well after Diana’s engagement. The Royal Crimper styled Di’s hair until 1985.


Kevin Shanley c.1981






In February 1985, Mr Shanley falls from grace;

LONDON (AP) _ Princess Diana’s former hairdresser, who should know for sure, has let the royal cat out of the bag – the princess has her famed tresses lightened.
In the first installment of a seven-part series in London’s tabloid Sunday Mirror, Kevin Shanley, who was Diana’s beautician for seven years before she switched to his rival and former partner last month, revealed that the princess has her hair streaked with blond highlights.
”She used to be a natural blonde, right into her mid-teens,” said Shanley, who dressed Diana’s hair for her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.”But as she grew older, her hair got darker until it was light brown. ‘Mousy,’ although it doesn’t sound very complimentary, is the correct term for her hair.”
Shanley said the artificial streaking of the 23-year-old princess’s hair has ”become much more frequent over the past two years because Diana has wanted to look ‘blonder’ – probably every couple of months or so.”
The hairdresser said that during his frequent visits to Diana’s Kensington Palace home, the princess often wore a dressing gown, slippers and no makeup while a commercial radio station played rock music in the background.
He also said the princess ”loathes” the shortening of her name to ”Di” and ”loves the American television soap operas ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Dallas.”’

History of the Royal Hair Stylists:

It was called the Lady Di fringe. It’s a layered blunt cut, which she had highlighted blonde and feathered back. Here are the names of her hair dressers – all had shops in London. They would either go to her, or she would go visit them at their salons on the sly. They always brought her in a back way and had a private room where she would have her hair done.

Kevin Shanley: Owner of ” Headlines ” Salon and designer ” Lady Di ” fringe. Diana got her first feathered cut there, seen in her engagement and wedding pictures. Kevin did say that her hair style much fuller when she left the palace on her wedding day, but the heat in the carriage on the way to St. Paul’s made it flatten.

Richard Dalton: Kevin’s partner at his ” Headlines ” Salon. He was the one who tried to mature Diana after the birth of Prince Harry, and gave her the longer styles. The first pictures of Prince Harry have that longer style.


Sam Mc Knight: He gave her the first very short and uber layered cuts, as seen in the pictures in the book “Diana: Her True Story”


Daniel Galvin: Gave Diana the smooth short cut that she wore the last couple of years of her life, as seen in the 1997 Christie’s dress auction pictures.


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