Rihanna’s Hairstylist Yusef Williams Used $5 Hair Gel on Her for 2019 BET Awards
Stars at this year’s BET Awards did not disappoint in the beauty department: Lizzo performed with voluminous waist-length waves, Meagan Good wore ultra-chic braids, and Ciara rocked a sleek bob — to name a few. And then there was Rihanna, who didn’t walk the red carpet (that we saw), but surprised everyone when she hit the stage to present Mary J. Blige with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Rih traded in the box braids she’s had lately for a long half-up ponytail in the same pretty burgundy shade. We caught up with her hairstylist Yusef Williams to find out the details behind the flirty style.
“The inspiration for me was to create a dreamy, beautiful, badass baby-doll look, mixing hard and soft elements of her burgundy hair,” Williams tells Allure. “Since she wore an all-black ensemble, I wanted to give her a more feminine style.” Although there’s no confirmation yet, Rihanna was probably wearing her Fenty fashion line, which she recently debuted at a pop-up in New York City. Ri’s red pony stands against her edgy black leather jacket and pants.
Williams says he and Rihanna work very closely when dreaming up her looks. “It’s always a collaborative effort between the both of us,” he explains. “I come with ideas and she brings ideas as well, which makes it easier for us both to create timeless and magical moments. This look was a mixture of hard and soft to create the ultimate sexy, badass look.”
Surprisingly, you don’t have to spend a million dollars on hair products to get a similar vibe at home. Williams used the affordable Suave Professionals for Natural Hair line (he’s a Suave partner) on Rihanna. Read on for a simple way to get her look.
First, Williams recommends washing your hair with the Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo and Moisturizing Curl Conditioner to cleanse and hydrate the hair ahead of styling. While your hair is damp, apply the brand’s Define & Shine Serum Gel. This ensures your blowout will have a smooth finish. He dried Rih’s hair with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Professional Edition on medium heat and medium speed.
Next, Williams parted her hair from ear to ear and added extensions for fullness. Using a 1 1/8-inch curling iron, he created texture throughout her hair. He locked in the style with Suave Professionals Firm Control Finishing Hairspray and then pulled half her hair up into a ponytail. To finish, he backcombed and teased the pony, adding one more spritz of hairspray.