Kate Middleton Debuted A Subtle Haircut At Her First Post-Maternity Leave Event

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Sometimes a subtle change can make all the difference. Whether you're looking to spice up your beauty routine with a glowy highlighter or treat yourself to the perfect, barely there lipstick, switching up the little things can make life (and your look) a bit more fun. Exhibit A: While Kate Middleton's new haircut may be subtle, it's the perfect chop for anyone looking to make a quiet change.

The Duchess of Cambridge ended her five-month long maternity leave on Tues. by attending her first royal engagement since giving birth to her third child, Prince Louis, in April. Middleton spent the day visiting the Sayers Croft Trust Forest School and Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground in Surrey. Although she's made a few public appearances during her time away (including Prince Louis' christening and, later, Wimbledon with her sister-in-law Meghan Markle) this afternoon's event marks her official comeback to the royal spotlight.

She wowed fans and onlookers in the most Middleton way possible with an ever-so-slight and unbelievably polished hair change. The Duchess of Cambridge was photographed with noticeably shorter hair, complete with face-framing layers and delicately placed highlights. Middleton's new look does a fantastic job at emphasizing her infamous, bouncy waves.

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Middleton's chop definitely isn't as dramatic as the celebrity haircuts we've witnessed in recent weeks (to wit: Emilia Clarke's chin-grazing bob and Kristin Stewart's choppy pixie). But that doesn't mean a subtle trim can't be just as transformative for your style.

Cutting off a few inches can help minimize excess weight, allowing your hair to better hold curls and waves. Plus, shedding some hair can completely revamp the ponytail or messy bun you've been wearing for years. If you're still on the fence about dying your hair, begin by experimenting like Middleton with natural-looking highlights to enhance your color and texture. When you start out small, you have time to adapt to your new look before making any bold cuts or changes.

Once you've gotten your trim, you're going to need to learn how to style it. The good news is, it's incredibly easy to achieve The Duchess' glossy-looking, loose waves. Ahead, find The Zoe Report's hand-picked selection of tools and products to help in your effort to accomplish Middleton's latest hairstyle.

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