While the Duchess of Cambridge won't technically be the queen of England, she will forever be the queen of subtle hair changes. While she's never gone for a buzzcut or tested the waters with pastel pink, she somehow always finds a new way to creatively play with her iconic look. Her most recent micro switch up may be a far cry from the current viral bleach blonde trend sweeping through Instagram, but Kate Middleton's caramel highlights are a very fitting refresh for summer.
On July 14's episode of BBC Breakfast, a popular British morning news show, Middleton appeared with a "summerfied" version of her iconic brunette waves. While she had been rocking long chocolate brown hair all at one length, her new 'do featured subtle layers that framed her face down to her shoulders — like a royal-approved Farrah Fawcett cut. For color, she went with caramel highlights that were strategically laced throughout her strands.
Middleton's soft color choice and blended layers are largely different from the chunky highlights, choppy lobs, and blunt bangs that have been trending these last several months. It's also not quite the blonde wave that has hit celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Kaia Gerber, Ciara, and Ariel Winter. Instead, she has solidified the summer refresh for those who aren't looking to completely transform their look this season.
While a lot of the spotlight has been on stars making big chops and dramatic color swaps, subtle refreshes have been increasingly popular. Prior to Middleton, actor Salma Hayek debuted her own barely there highlights. Another star who went for a more subdued look was Kylie Jenner; although she, too, tested the waters with platinum, in early July she changed over to a surprisingly natural shade. And back in May, Kendall Jenner added some slight blonde highlights to her usually brunette strands that were just enough to make a noticeable difference.
Middleton's elegant cut and color serves as timely inspiration as salons have since opened in the UK and in some states. So when you finally get an appointment to have those roots touched up and ends trimmed, you can look to the Duchess for those subtle hair transformation ideas.