Get Hair Like Rihanna's

Get Hair Like Rihanna's

Tips and the inside dish from the stylist behind some of your favorite hair looks.

Published April 25, 2011

If spring is the time of change and renewal, what better season to go bold with your hair? Here, a Q&A with celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen, the woman who made Rihanna a redhead and styled some of today's hottest stars, including Rihanna.

How did you come up with the first iconic look for Rihanna with “Good Girl Gone Bad,” the look that really shifted the hair game with African-American pop stars?

We wanted to do something opposite. She wanted to differentiate herself as an artist. She had so much personality and style and we wanted to show that.

A lot of African-American women are so afraid to cut their hair, even trim their edges. But she was ready. It was all about giving her something different. From the color, she’d never had jet black before. Even as child, she wanted to color her hair and her mother was like “No!” So that was like a big deal. The color was a bigger deal than the cut.

Tell me about some of the other looks you’ve done in the past that you were like “I really put my foot in that one.”

I did Kerry Washington for the cover of Essence. I actually kind of transformed her because she usually has long, silky hair. We did a whole afro look on her and she loved it. I did Paula Patton for the cover of Trace magazine. I gave her a really sexy, bed head, kind of wet hair. Keyshia Cole, I did her album cover--not this recent one, but the last one. Her hair was really short, a pixie and that was nice. I did her when she had red hair as well. And definitely Rihanna, I love all of her short haircuts.

We’re seeing so much of a trend this season with color. We’re seeing color in clothes, in shoes and of course hair.  Rihanna has been the siren going with the red hair. What are some tips you can give the everyday person about how they can use color in their real lives?

First of all, you have to be realistic. You have to really choose something that goes with your personality and lifestyle. If you want to be red, find the right red for you. Also, know what you can pull off. You shouldn’t just follow a trend because it’s out.

What are some of the looks we should be going for in the Spring/Summer 2011? What some of the hottest trends we should be going for?

The '70s are back in a big way. It’s all about bounce, texture, and movement. I think girls are picking up their curling irons again, at one point it was all about the flat iron. They’re picking up the curling irons and really adding that bump to their hair to get body.


(Photo: Frank Micelotta/Fox/PictureGroup)

Written by Bevy Smith


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