Rihanna’s Hair at 2018 Grammy Awards – Hairstylist Yusef Spills the Details

No matter what she’s doing, you can always guarantee Rihanna will turn out a vision-board-worthy look. Even if it’s just a regular old Sunday evening. But this was not one of those Sundays: It was the Grammy Awards, and Rihanna was there to perform. So you already know we were waiting with bated breath to see what beauty look the singer would serve this time around. Never one to disappoint, the Rih blessed the awards show with some serious disco hair, courtesy of her longtime stylist Yusef.

“Because of the vibe of the whole performance, we wanted to go whimsical. Studio 54 meets Bob Fosse meets Blaxploitation,” Yusef (who also styled the dancers), told Allure over the phone. “It was a whole lot going on on that stage, you have no idea. So it was like, where do we fit?” Rih and Yusef decided to wholeheartedly embrace the Studio 54 mood by giving her a head full of voluminous curls, inspired by legends like Diana Ross, Bianca Jagger, and Donna Summer. “Big hair, fluffy — it was to make her look like a dream pretty much,” he said. “Like a disco diva with cheesecloth in front of her…total Barbara Walters filter.”

And yup, looking at all that volume, you can’t help but harken back to the disco icons of yore set in front of the hazy, glowy camera lens. All that volume looks like it took forever and a day to create, but according to Yusef, it was a 45-minute sesh. He started out by spraying her damp Hair So Fab hair with the Matrix Biolage Frizz Control Styling Spray, before going in with the GHD Air Hairdryer to create some volume and smooth out the roots. Then, he used the GHD Gold Professional Styler (hitting shelves February 1) to give the roots a bit more finish, with the help of the Matrix Smooth Setter. After that, using the flatiron and the GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand, Yusef went back and forth to create both curls and waves, which gave Rih’s hair all that glorious texture.

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“It was totally two different textures. It was curly and there were some waves. I used the flatiron to do flat waves, and I used the wand to create more of a loopier type of curl.” Earlier in the evening, Rihanna took the stage alongside Kendrick Lamar to collect the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance. If you noticed, her curls were a bit more defined for that appearance, but for the performance, the hair was a little more mussed. That’s because Yusef brushed it out to “give it a little more frizz and drama for the stage.” Spritzes of Matrix Style Fixer tied it all together.


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For the performance, Rihanna’s disco hair was finished a floral flourish behind one ear, which Yusef tells us was a small bouquet of four orchid-calla-lily hybrid flowers, attached and sculpted into place with a bit of wire. “There was a lot of engineering that went into those flowers,” he said. Who knew?

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Looking to re-create this look at home? Yusef says not to overload on product. “The less product, the better. That’s really important to not put a lot in to weigh the hair down. That way it’s fluffy.”

More from the 2018 Grammy Awards:

  • See Lady Gaga’s Stunning Corset Braid at the 2018 Grammy Awards
  • SZA Looks Otherworldly With Her Ultra-Long Waves at the Grammys
  • The Best Hair and Makeup on the 2018 Grammy Awards Red Carpet

Now, take a trip down memory lane with these past Grammys styles: