No one does it quite like Rihanna. Whether that “it” is music, style or beauty, RiRi knows how to set trends and break fashion rules like no other. We’ve already taken you through this icon’s style evolution – but with a hair story this good, we had to double back. So get ready to dial up your stylist and lock in a post-pandemic appointment, because we’re taking you through Rihanna’s dramatic hair transformations through the years.
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Rihanna keeps it sleek and straight in 2005
Signing with Def Jam in 2005 and releasing her first studio album that same year, Rihanna was all smiles at an event in Toronto hosted by mentor Jay Z, where she wore her hair in a smooth, straight style.
Related: Bad gal RiRi: Rihanna’s style evolution.
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Curls for days
At the 2006 World Music Awards, Rihanna skipped the sleek strands and opted for this gorgeous, curly style.
See also: Drastic celebrity haircuts through the years.
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Keeping it short and sleek
Rihanna showed up to a Cartier event in 2007 with a super-cropped cut and blunt bangs. The look was fresh and severe, and totally on theme with the Barbadian singer’s talent for constantly shaking up her style and experimenting with new looks.
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Oh those sweeping bangs
Posing at an H&M event in 2008, Rihanna, still rocking her cropped hairstyle, has fun with her hair, styling her long bangs in a sweeping fringe style.
Related: 10 celebs show off curtain bangs.
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Rihanna showed up to the 2009 American Music Awards with a rocker-twist on her short hairstyle with a bold new colour and long bangs swept over to one side.
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Rihanna is on fire – and so is her hair
Rihanna showed up to the Europe Music Awards in 2010 and stole the show, rocking bright red extensions in a swept-back up-do style with face-framing pieces.
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The red locks get chopped and layered
RiRi’s fire-red hair phase might be our favourite. Swapping out the extensions for a shorter style in 2011, the singer rocked the layered style at the Billboard Music Awards in one of our all-time favourite beauty moments from the style chameleon.
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RiRi: the queen of curls
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how epic this fire-red curly-hair look is on our girl RiRi?
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Rihanna is a blonde bombshell – with a twist
Rihanna rocked a shoulder-grazing, curly blonde ‘do with exposed dark roots at the Grammys in 2012. We loved the edgy dark roots and soft styling of her curls – the look was fresh and trendy, and sent us all to our stylists to try to replicate the look.
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Rihanna softens her look for the Grammy’s
Rihanna’s rich brown hue and soft, flowing waves completed her look for the 2013 Grammy’s. The hair was a hit, the dress was perfection – in fact, the only thing we didn’t love about RiRi at the Grammy’s that year was her plus one…
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RiRi goes dark for the Met Gala
Rocking a darker hue, Rihanna’s wavy locks were pulled up into a messy-chic up-do for the 2014 Met Gala.
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Going back to basics
Rihanna went back to basics for the 2016 Brit Awards, where she wore her hair in a natural dark colour and sported a blunt, shorter style.
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Rocking the bangs
Rihanna might be the only person on earth who can do no wrong with bangs. Rocking them in 2016 for the Billboard Music Awards, RiRi styled her shorter hair in wet-look waves and – no surprise here – nailed the look.
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Rihanna rocks a natural easy-glam style
The guest of honour at Rihanna’s 3rd Annual Diamond Ball in 2017, the singer styled her dark locks in long, loose waves. The simplicity of the look worked, and her sultry eye makeup really pulled it all together.
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Attending the Ocean’s 8 premiere in 2018, Rihanna cemented her status as a style star who can pull any hairstyle off, at any time, and make it work. A top-knot to a film premiere? Just another day in the spotlight setting trends for our girl.
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Keeping it simple, yet stunning
To mark the one-year anniversary of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna attended an event at Sephora in 2018, wearing her hair in simple, loose waves, parted to one side. One major beauty trend for RiRi in recent years has been her lean toward more natural beauty looks – and we’re loving it.
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Rihanna rocks braids
Rihanna ensured all eyes were on her at the 2019 Fashion Awards, where she rocked long braided hair and sultry soft-glam beauty.
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Attending AFI FEST in 2019, Rihanna wore her dark hair in a natural, wavy style. The look has become a go-to in recent years for the star, who officially can do no wrong when it comes to her beauty choices.
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Rihanna looks savage AF
As the designer of the hour, Rihanna kicked off the Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 2 in 2020 looking like an absolute bombshell. Her long dark locks were styled in voluminous waves with a deep side-part. This was a moment.
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Masking up for the times
So there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for major style moments in 2021 (so far), but if this isn’t pandemic-chic, we just don’t know what is. And while there’s nothing “stylish” about the ongoing crisis, we can’t say we mind the fun masks we’ve been spotting on celebrities over the past year and change. This lime green one is no exception. Snapped while doing some shopping, Rihanna looks effortlessly-cool with a half-up braided hairstyle.
Related: Scented face masks are a thing now.