The Coveteur caught up with celebrity hair guru and Rihanna’s go-to girl Ursula Stephen as she dropped gems about natural hair, her favorite products and the iconic cut that put her on the map. Ursula resides in Brooklyn and works out of her own self-titled shop when she’s not styling some of her other top clientele, like Serena Williams for the MET Gala or on the road with Empire’s Grace Gealy. It’s a fact she slays every time, and maybe because she received her cosmetology license before she even earned her high school diploma. But after putting in some time in the industry, she got the opportunity to fill in a few times on set for shoots with Rihanna. The rest was history.
“She was like, 'I like you,' and I was like, 'I like you too.' We just kind of hit it off. I kept filling in and then one day she [said], ‘I’m working on my new project, and I want you to give me a new look.’ That was the bob. We did it late at night in a hotel room in LA, and the next day was her album packaging for Good Girl Gone Bad,” Stephens told The Coveteur.
“I feel like that person was in her. [It] was her opening to be like, this is me. [The cut] was definitely a big part of the transition.”
And as for her thoughts on natural hair?
“I think people just need to be a lot more knowledgeable on hair types. As a professional, and if you know better, you know that there’s no white or Black hair. There’s just different types and textures. It’s important for the media to talk about it, [so] it can help bridge the gap between hairstylists.
“You cannot fight Mother Nature, so if your hair does this weird curl in the summertime, embrace it and take it to another level. If your hair gets really frizzy, let’s work with the frizz.”
She also spilled about her must-have product, and how it’s not color-dependent.
“A daily moisturizing cream, because it doesn’t matter if you’re a white girl, Black girl — the hair strand is the same hair strand that we’ve been studying for years, and what it needs is moisture, love, care and hydration.”
We’re definitely taking notes, and looking forward to seeing the next dope style she cooks up!
(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.