We all have our fair share of habits. Some bite their nails. Others cross their arms. As for Meghan Markle, she touches her hair—constantly.
Meghan—and the rest of the world—unknowingly perform these behaviors to provide comfort. Self-soothers, if you will.[image id='20760a4f-b098-48ef-9e15-8063cf356e13' mediaId='1bb55242-f007-4d4c-ada5-0abffca9464f' caption='Meghan during her first official royal engagement with Prince Harry.' loc='C' share='true' expand='true' size='M'][/image]
"Some people touch their hair, play with their fingernails, or rub their arms, as a way to psychologically and physiologically calm themselves when they're feeling anxious, uncomfortable or stressed," Blanca Cobb, body language expert and author of Method of the Masters, told GoodHousekeeping.com.
"Some people might touch, twirl or stroke their hair when in awkward social situations such as when they're not sure what to do or what to say." This behavior is the grown-up version of clenching to a teddy bear or sucking a pacifier.
With Meghan on our mind (we can't stop thinking about the impending wedding), we wanted to see if there's something more to her behavior—or if it's just a habit after all.
"Context is key when distinguishing a habit from a nonverbal tell," Cobb says. "For example, if someone frequently touches their hair in a variety of non-stressful situations such as talking on the phone, reading a book, or watching TV then it's more likely a habit they're not even aware of. If, however, they tend to touch their hair when having a heated discussion or they're uncomfortable with someone around them, then it's more likely a body language tell."[image id='fad68a4a-8093-4417-9bf6-dd83dc3d1672' mediaId='eb3d092c-cb6d-47b8-bf03-1f90a195d842' caption='Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their way to their official engagement announcement.' loc='C' share='true' expand='true' size='M'][/image]
It's safe to assume that during major photo ops, especially when you know millions (and millions) of people will see these photos for years to come, that you would be nervous. "In this situation, Meghan's hair touch is a soothing gesture," Cobb says. "Her head is also tilted down slightly. Sometimes when you feel too much attention you might tuck your chin down as a way to shield yourself."
See? We all need a little comfort from time to time.
[image id='00cecf67-d5ca-4e6f-9a94-0605827e6153' mediaId='abf440ae-28ce-4ba2-a0e8-a014ffcf6525' caption='Meghan Markle at Equinox Yorkville Dinner in 2015.' loc='C' share='true' expand='true' size='M'][/image]
While hair touching is often a reaction to an uncomfortable or high-stakes situation, it can also be a sign of confidence. "With her head tilted, exposing her neck, which is a vulnerable part of the body and hip pop, Meghan oozes allure. The way she's holding her hair suggests that she's being playful with the camera," Cobb told us. As Meghan eases into the royal spotlight, it's possible we may see more of this gesture as a vote of confidence.
But it's also highly likely that in addition to habit and comfort, hair touching is a reaction to well, the wind.[image id='2b282ff1-6645-42ba-bfa2-75bb4c2f8cff' mediaId='92e1d29b-9f32-4d80-bf49-2256397e4fca' caption='Meghan Markle at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2013.' loc='C' share='true' expand='true' size='M'][/image]
We've all been there—youris primped properly and one gust of wind completely messes it up. And yes, this is proof that even Mother Nature has reign over the royals.