If there's one woman considered iconic in every sense of the word, it's Rihanna.
With a style like no other, her ever-changing hair has become her signature, and you never know what she will wear next. From deconstructed updos to waist-grazing braids, RiRi has worn virtually every style under the sun.
Below, scroll through 15 of Rihanna's most iconic styles.
Rihanna's iconic asymmetrical bob of the early 2000s was crafted by hairstylist Ursula Stephens in collaboration with RiRi, both itching to do something new. "The bob went crazy," says Stephens. "We did that because we were so bored of long, brown hair. We were coming to work and were like, 'Oh my God, it's boring.' I would be like, 'Aren't you tired of this?' And she was like, 'Yes.' So I love that look. It just put a new energy in the beauty industry, which we needed."
"Rihanna in a ponytail is to die for," says celebrity hairstylist Shantise Michelle. "I admire so many of her hairstyles but find her to be especially breathtaking in a ponytail. It's impressive to see how she perfectly pairs her hair and outfits." Her '60s-inspired flipped-out ponytail starts with the hair gathered high on her head, then secured in place and with a bit of bend added to the ends for flair.
The Sexy Wet Hair Look
Lately, Rihanna has been wearing extra-long hair extensions, which makes for a show-stopping look. To create her wet hair look, celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey used BELLAMI Silk Seam clip-in extensions (made from 100 percent human hair) to provide a nice natural wave. "I started with a low ponytail, braided her hair, and then pinned it along the neckline. Next, I wet the hair with a quarter-size amount of Color Wow Pop and Lock Frizz Control Serum ($20), a styling and oil treatment in one that is super hydrating to give the hair that wet look. Then, I clipped in the extensions, starting at the base of the hair, working up to the part, and adding more serum. The look is finished with Color Wow Shook Spray ($38), which defines curls for a hydrated, glossy look."
Jumbo Faux Locs
Michelle calls Rihanna’s jumbo, down-to-there faux locs, which she debuted in 2016, another major hair moment. "It perfectly embodies her unique beauty sense," she says.
For a more casual yet still pulled-together updo, Rihanna pairs one of her signature hairstyles, space buns (which she helped put on the map), with a hoodie and glowy makeup. "This style allows her beautiful face to be accentuated," Michelle says.
Rihanna is known for her edgy top knots, worn both slick and sculpted or in more of a deconstructed fashion. "It adds energy to her appearance, completing the look and [adding] the right touch," says Flores celebrity hairstylist and curl specialist Kelly Flores.
Never one to shy away from a creative braid look, Rihanna has been known to wear them in a variety of different styles—long and thin, shorter and wide, and even intertwined around buns and extra-long ponytails. For this braided look, Flores says Rihanna’s hair takes a classic style and makes it more fashion-forward.
Full waves are a staple in Rihanna’s hair playbook, and for good reason. Her dark hair exudes mirror-like shine when curled, and the style adds a bit of playfulness to her overall look. “This type of voluminous updo look is one of my favorite of Rihanna’s hairstyles because it really stands out,” Michelle says. Pulling her hair off her face makes her green eyes and bone structure pop.
Rihanna can pull off any hair color, and a reddish auburn shade is especially striking on her. Only adding to the drama was the curved bob she paired it with for the 2015 Met Gala. "Her fashion-forward hairstyles, like this one, are truly stunning," says Michelle.
Long, Lush Textured Waves
With an off-center part and plenty of length, Rihanna’s textured waves are among the timeless looks she wears repeatedly. Flores says that the structure of her waves compliments her jawline to bring out her features. "The look is edgy, yet still soft, which makes it alluring," she says.
Naturally, a super sleek chic lob looks timeless and cool on Rihanna. Flores adds that the mix of a hat and bandana is a creative tribute to Aaliyah. "I love how it all comes together," she says. "The chin-length cut, sleek strands, classic middle part, and face frame give off serious '90s vibes that are oh-so-flattering on her."
Here, Rihanna pairs a Bantu knot look with a half-up, half-down hairstyle. "Bantu knots are always a fun style to experiment with," Flores says. "I like that Rihanna added a unique twist to them by leaving half of her down, showcasing her originality."
Th Sleek Bun
The nice thing about a sleek bun is that you can wear it virtually anywhere. "When you're in a bind and need a quick hairstyle, try out a sleek bun like Rihanna," Flores shares. A topknot bun takes less than five minutes from start to finish, but it looks like it took hours.
For a fun yet effortlessly chic look, Michelle says to draw inspiration from Rihanna’s sandy brown curly ponytail that falls perfectly down her face. "Her hairstyle is an effortless glam that she pulls off so well and the hair color complements her skin and makeup so well," says Michelle.
Platinum blonde looks great on Rihanna, and she knows how to kick it up a notch with her makeup. Michelle admires her mix of shaggy blonde layers and bold red lips for a perfect match.
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