Three steps to perfecting hat hair! FEMAIL reveals top tips for styling your hair under boaters, fascinators and headbands ahead of Royal Ascot

  • Celebrity Milliner Jess Collett said great hair finishes a sophisticated look
  • Ken O’Rourke, Charles Worthington brand ambassador, has shared top tips
  • He suggested glamorous hair styles for hats including berets and headbands

Next week is Royal Ascot — the busiest time of year for any milliner, when every woman wants to crown her outfit with the perfect hat.

But just as important is what’s underneath it — great hair finishes a sophisticated look, while the wrong style can make you look messy.

Consider the length. If you have short hair, it looks best flicked away from your face, but you should avoid large brims. 

Fine, long hair is smarter up (I’m going for a chignon) and an up-do can help hold a hat in place. 

When choosing your hat, think about whether it balances your outfit and how it frames your face: the right one will highlight your best features. 

My top three hats for summer are: boaters, which go with most looks; headbands, a half way house to a hat; and the ever-popular button and beret styles.

Whichever you choose, whether it’s for the races or a wedding, these tips from Ken O’Rourke, Charles Worthington brand ambassador, will help you create the perfect hat hair to match . . .


Beatrice oval disk, £499, Tracy Hillel at Fenwick

The flat head of this Beatrice oval disk hat, pictured, which costs £499 means it needs a smooth surface to sit on

The flat, round head of this hat means it needs to sit on a smooth surface. A simple style at the side of the head stops the look being too severe.

HOW TO DO IT: Straighten your hair to ensure it’s completely sleek, then pull it off the face without a parting and put in a side ponytail. 

Next, roll up the hair, either by itself or around a chignon pad, and pin it at the back. 

These three easy steps make it simple to hold your hair in place with the impressive hat

The pad will make the bun look even larger (very Audrey Hepburn) and help it stay in place and hold its shape. Hairspray down stray strands.

Put a hairnet over the whole chignon to hold it firm, and secure with pins. If it’s windy, you may lose the hat, but you can be sure your hair will hold!


Azure headband, £420,

Channel Pippa Middleton’s style with this Azure headband which costs £420

Pippa Middleton’s look was spot on at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding last month, when she wore her hair loose with a blue headband. For an even more sophisticated look, try a soft up-do.

HOW TO DO IT: Part your hair sharply in the middle, then plait two tight braids, one on either side of the nape of the neck. 

To keep your hair looking as stylish as your headband plait your hair and then fix it with clips

As you go, pull them as close to the centre as you can, and plait as far down as possible. 

Coil the finished braids around each other at the back in a loose bun and fix with clips.


Betsy lace-top pillbox fascinator, was £55, now £35,

Fascinatiors are not permitted in Ascot’s Royal Enclosure but are the easiest headwear. Pictured is the Betsy lace-top pillbox fascinator, was £55, now £35, from Phase Eight

Fascinatiors are the easiest headwear and incredibly versatile(though note that they’re not permitted in Ascot’s Royal Enclosure). 

They can dress up even the most simple of styles, whether you wear your hair up or down.

Here’s a windproof up-do that works for most hair types.

This up-do should be wind proof and is simple to do with only an easy ponytail and some clips

HOW TO DO IT: Pull your hair back into a high ponytail on the crown of your head, leaving some strands loose behind each ear. 

Secure with a hair tie, then pull back the loose strands and wrap them around the ponytail to disguise the band.

Curl the hair in the ponytail using a medium curling iron, then brush out.

Next, take sections of the ponytail, wrap them around your finger and pin them to your head — creating a sort of pretty pin curl look with loops.


Brigitte, £300,

The beret hat which costs £300 works well with a side ponytail and you can use rolled-up tissue to create curls

This beret hat is similar to the equally classic pillbox style. I suggest pairing it with a side ponytail, which is a beautiful way of wearing your hair up without feeling overdone. 

Here, we’re using rolled-up tissue to create curls — you don’t need to have fancy tongs!

HOW TO DO IT: Create a smooth side ponytail with hair that is 90 per cent dry (after washing) and fix with an elastic band. 

To achieve this look your hair should be 90 per cent dry and you have to pull the curls out with a wide-tooth comb

Apply body booster mousse to the damp ponytail, then make around six long twists of tissue. Curl the hair around these and leave for about half an hour while you apply your make-up.

Remove the tissue curlers, then pull out the curls with a wide-tooth comb, or brush through for a smoother, more polished look. Set with hairspray.


Starling, £410,

Melania Trump wore a boater on her trip to the UK and it is very much in fashion this year

The boater, as worn by Melania Trump on her UK visit last week, is very much in fashion this year. It’s a young, cool and structured hat.

Hair should be worn clean off the face — you don’t want it messily hanging down — but leaving the ends loose makes the overall look less formal than the First Lady’s tight up-do.

HOW TO DO IT: Smooth a squirt of body booster mousse — around the size of a lemon — from the ends to the roots of damp hair.

You can create loose waves by using moose, curling your hair and brushing them out

Next, create pin curls. First, dry hair using a round brush. Once dry, curl it around the brush, slide the brush out, and then fix the resulting large, loose curls with clips.

Leave to cool for around five minutes, to help set the curl.

Take out the clips, gently brush the hair through to loosen up the curls, then pin behind each ear with bobby pins, keeping your preferred parting.


Eve, £298,

Ken O’Rourke suggested hiding your parting under the crown of the hat, but leave visible an elegant sweep of fringe. Pictured is a £298 hat from

The wide disc of a saucer hat sits asymmetrically across the face, with detailing on one side. 

Hide your parting under the crown of the hat, but leave visible an elegant sweep of fringe.

HOW TO DO IT: Part hair at one side. Take hair from above each ear, twist away from the face, then clip at the back. 

Take the mini ponytail, add more hair from the back of the head, then divide into two. 

Twist the strands around each other, like a braid, then pin into a messy circle at the back. Fix with hairspray.

After parting the hair some from each side should be twisted and clipped at the back

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