Beauty Of 5: Celeb Stylist Yusef Williams On Creating Rihanna’s Structured Cornrow Ponytail For The NAACP Image Awards

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BET Presents The 51st NAACP Image Awards - Show

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On Saturday night, Rihanna received the 2020 NAACP President’s Award, which is all about public service, for her commitment to philanthropy. You may have seen the Clara Lionel Foundation logo floating around as you shop for Fenty Beauty, and her campaigns to donate a portion of the proceeds to the foundation. She was honored for that, and many more charitable works, accepting the award by walking across the stage in a majestic purple Givenchy gown, her hair in a sleek, structural ponytail. She spoke about unity and fighting the good fight and both looked and sounded amazing.

It may be hard to get your hands on her couture gown, but that hairstyle? That is doable. We chatted with the man behind her mane, celebrity stylist Yusef Willams to get the breakdown on Rihanna’s hair look for the Image Awards. He has been working very closely with her and her team for the last couple of years, styling her for the cover of Vogue, her shoots for Fenty Beauty and more. It’s easy to see why Ri would trust him for such an important night. He brings the heat! Check out Yusef’s styling process and more here. 


What was your process when styling Rihanna’s red carpet look?

“The first step, we shampooed and deep conditioned with the Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl ConditionerThen I blow-dried with my new The Y by Yusef Medium Round Brush and flat ironed with the ghd Platinum+ Styler to smooth it all out. Then I sectioned out the hair for the braids then added extensions where need be for length. I then pulled everything up into one fabulously sleek and textured ponytail secured with The Y by Yusef hair elastics and bungees.”

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