We loved everything about Rihanna at the 51st Annual NAACP Image Awards Saturday night. The Bajan baddie pulled up in a stunning beauty look featuring a regal purple couture gown by Givenchy and a hair look that gave us new ponytail goals.
The structured look was coiffed by her longtime hairstylist Yusef Williams. “I had a little fun with Rih’s ponytail by adding sporadic braids to add texture to her look,” he tells Hype Hair.
With stylists calling this the year of the ponytail, we were definitely into this edgy look. “This look can transcend from day to night,” says Yusef, who also gave tips on how to tszuj up our everyday looks.
“There are so many things you can do to elevate a ponytail,” he shares. “Adding hair for length and fullness is one important thing to elevate a ponytail.” Another is “creating a part — whether it’s a middle or side part — just to break up the typical pullback pony.”
Yusef also shared his must-have tools and products to create the perfect red carpet look (including his new hair tools line!). Read on for all the product details.
Get The Look
Rihanna’s look featured two strategically parted braids that fed into a lengthy mid-ponytail. Yusef shares he started on freshly washed and conditioned hair using Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Shampoo and Conditioner duo. He then blew it out using the Helios Hairdryer and his new The Y by Yusef Medium Round Brush “to give her a shiny blowout and sleek base for the look.”
Once completely dried, he flat-ironed her hair using the ghd Platinum+ Styler to eliminate any frizz and get her hair as shiny and smooth as possible.
For her cornrows, he sectioned off her hair along the perimeter and into the crown of her hair. After securing, he brushed her hair up into a tight, sleek ponytail using his own The Y by Yusef hair elastics and bungees. “They’re specifically designed to keep thick, curly hair in place without pulling on strands,” he shared.
To complete the look, he “pulled out a few pieces and braided them to add a cool layer of dimension,” shares Yusef. Once set, he applied Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Define & Shine Gel Serum for added shine and Suave Professionals Firm Control Finishing Hairspray for added hold. To finish, he sprayed on a bit of Suave Professionals® Refresh & Revive Dry Shampoo. He shares this helped “to get rid of excess oil and mess it up a little bit so it doesn’t look so pulled together.
Rihanna’s ponytail wasn’t the only thing serving up power moves. Press play below to get into her empowering acceptance speech.