A Timeline of Rihanna's Hairstyles, From "Pon De Replay" to Fenty Beauty

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, her growing beauty empire, her impeccable style...must we go on? But while that list continues to grow (hello, she is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show in 2023!), there’s another Riri attribute that some may overlook—her hair. Who can forget the asymmetrical bob from her “Umbrella” days? Or her flaming red hair during the “Loud” era? Or when she shaved one side of her head? The Barbados singer has rocked so many head-turning hairstyles over the years that it’s hard to choose our favorite one. From her “Pon De Replay” days to building her Fenty empire, here are 46 Rihanna hairstyles to fall in love with all over again. 

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rihanna hairstyles pon de replay slay
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2005: Pon De Replay Slay

It’s 2005 and we just heard “Pon De Replay” for the first time. In her early days, Rihanna was always seen rocking a heavy side bang and sleek brown locks to every red carpet event. 

rihanna hairstyles curls galore
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2005: Curls Galore

In the same year, the singer switched things up occasionally with a head full of loose curls and subtle blonde highlights to brighten the look. 

rihanna hairstyles dark brown bob
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2006: Dark Brown Bob

With hits like “SOS” and “Unfaithful” in 2006, Rihanna wasn’t just experimenting with her music. During Z100’s annual Jingle Ball, she revealed a shorter bob and darker hair.

rihanna hairstyles asymmetrical bob
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2007: Asymmetrical Bob

You can’t belt out “Umbrella” without remembering this iconic asymmetrical bob. Riri was ready to play with her hair and break away from the traditional bob. Oh, and fun fact: The look was inspired by Charlize Theron’s look in Aeon Flux. 

rihanna hairstyles red highlights
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2007: Red Highlights

And she wasn’t done with the bob just yet. To further spice things up, the beauty maven added red highlights to create a contrast against her jet-black hair. When 2007 was all about “good girls going bad,” leave it to Rihanna to bend the beauty rules. 

rihanna hairstyles side bang pixie
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2008: Side Bang Pixie

Rihanna continued to go shorter and shorter with her hair, yet she kept her signature side bang. With hits like “Disturbia” and “Take a Bow” coming out that year, the singer was showing off an edgier look with her hairstyles. 

rihanna hairstyles highlighted pixie
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2008: Highlighted Pixie

Speaking of edgy styles, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, Riri walked the red carpet sporting blue and blonde streaks throughout her coiffed pixie. 

rihanna hairstyles blonde streaks
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2009: Blonde Streaks

At her third Met Gala, she made an impression with a slash of blonde highlights in her updo that elevated her snazzy black tie suit. 

rihanna hairstyles blonde takeover
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2009: Blonde Takeover

By September, just a few months after the Met Gala, Rihanna added more blonde hair and maybe hinted that she was ready to go a brighter for the rest of the year. 

rihanna hairstyles blonde bombshell
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2009: Blonde Bombshell

As expected, the singer went completely blonde and even buzzed her sides to create a voluminous pompadour. It paired well with her newest album, “Rated R,” which showed a darker side to the performer. 

rihanna hairstyles curly mohawk
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2010: Curly Mohawk

At the NRJ Music Awards (where she won for Best International Female, FYI), Rihanna curled her blonde mohawk and kept her sides trimmed for the event. 

rihanna hairstyles bowl cut
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2010: Bowl Cut

Only Rihanna can truly pull off a bowl cut—plus, the one black streak in the front brings a bold contrast to her all-blonde hair. 

rihanna hairstyles siren curls
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2010: Siren Curls

By the end of 2010, her “Loud” era was beginning, and it started with a fiery red ‘do. It also ushered in a year of longer hairstyles and bouncier curls for the artist. 

rihanna hairstyles dark red updo
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2010: Dark Red Updo

Rihanna had never been afraid to rock every shade of the red. This curly updo merged red and black for a blended style that matched perfectly with her lip shade. 

rihanna hairstyles sleek red
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2010: Sleek Red

While promoting her fifth album, the “S&M” singer traded her signature curls for a sleeker, straighter hairstyle without losing her crimson shade.

rihanna hairstyles corkscrew curls
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2010: Corkscrew Curls

Sure, the singer won a few awards at the American Music Awards that year, but she truly owned the red carpet with her corkscrew burgundy curls and matching red dress.

rihanna hairstyles voluminous curls
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2010: Voluminous Curls

At a Pre-Grammy Brunch hosted by Gucci and RocNation, the singer wore a white gown and left her makeup minimal, so her fiery red curls could take center stage. 

rihanna hairstyles copper blowout
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2010: Copper Blowout

At this point, we know the Grammy-award winning artist can rock any red ‘do. This shade, in particular, has a hint of orange undertones that compliments her olive skin tone especially well. 

rihanna hairstyles golden brown waves
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2011: Golden Brown Waves

In 2011, Riri said goodbye to red and hello to golden brown locks. The shade complimented her sixth studio album, “Talk That Talk,” and brought in a new year of looks.

rihanna hairstyles blonde is back
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2012: Blonde Is Back

Just as we were getting used to seeing her with brown hair, the fashion mogul returned to her signature blonde shade for the Grammy Awards. And though some of us would scream at our natural roots showing, Rihanna somehow makes it work with this shaggy cut.

rihanna hairstyles black babe
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2012: Black Babe

A few months later, Ms. Robyn showed off jet-black strands and a spankin’ hot side-shave. Honestly, it was the perfect time to showcase a new look after making the TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list that year. 

rihanna hairstyles cropped pixie
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2012: Cropped Pixie

Just one month later, the “We Found Love” singer went back to sporting a pixie at the MTV VMAs. We love the way the closely cropped cut showed off her statement red lip and voluminous lashes even more. 

rihanna hairstyles finger waves
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2012: Finger Waves

With sexy waves like this, we’re not the least bit surprised that the singer took a shot at being a Victoria Secret’s angel for the night. 

rihanna hairstyles subtle ombre
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2013: Subtle Ombré

Rihanna loves to have us on our toes with her hairstyles. But while she was becoming known for her bold colors and haircuts, she surprised us with a subtle natural look for the 55th Grammy Awards (and looked stunning, of course).

rihanna hairstyles bantu beauty
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2014: Bantu Beauty

As a performer for the night, Rihanna sported bantu knots and striking green lips to the iHeart Radio Awards. 

rihanna hairstyles pretty in pink
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2014: Pretty In Pink

It was a blink and you missed it moment, but eagle-eyed fans remember the star’s pink pixie when she sat courtside at the Clippers game. 

rihanna hairstyles flipped burgundy bob
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2015: Flipped Burgundy Bob

This is the year Rihanna cemented her status as a fashion icon at the Met Gala. While her dress stole the show, her flipped burgundy bob (and golden headpiece) deserves the spotlight, too. 

rihanna hairstyles honey blonde curls
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2015: Honey Blonde Curls

The fragrance queen showed off her golden curls in a pineapple updo that complimented her all-pink attire. 

rihanna hairstyles anti era
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2015: ANTI Era

Riri revealed her eighth album, “Anti,” with a snazzy photoshoot and a half up-half down look complete with multiple mini buns up top.

rihanna hairstyles slicked back
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2015: Slicked Back

At the 2nd annual Diamond Ball, the fashion mogul modeled Hollywood glam in a gold gown, bedazzled diamonds and a slicked back ‘do. 

rihanna hairstyles rounded bob
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2016: Rounded Bob

In 2016, Ms. Robyn officially joined the fashion world by introducing her Fenty (in collaboration with Puma). As a new designer, she showed off a new bob that definitely gave us Anna Wintour vibes. 

rihanna hairstyles bedazzled hair gems
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2016: Bedazzled Hair Gems

The striking eyeliner look and the sparkling hair gems are a match made for awards season. 

rihanna hairstyles wavy bob
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2016: Wavy Bob

By now we know that Riri loves a good bob, and adding fringe and a wavy texture definitely elevated her go-to look for the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, where she was given the Billboard Chart Achievement Award. 

rihanna hairstyles top knot gala
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2017: Top Knot Gala

Another year, another Met Gala that the singer dominated. Sticking to 2016’s theme of Rei Kawakubo/Comme Des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, the singer kept her top knot simple and adorned it with some wispy bangs. 

rihanna hairstyles locs
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2017: Locs

For the all-women led Ocean’s 8 film, the Barbados star brushed up on her acting chops and sported locs for her character, Nine Ball. 

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2017: French Twist

It was fitting for the beauty founder to rock an elegant French Twist at the 70th Cannes Film Festival. And in Rihanna fashion, adding a pair of micro shades to the look was a nice touch. 

rihanna hairstyles the wet look
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2017: The Wet Look

Rihanna starred in another film, Valerian and the City of a Thousands Planets, and walked the red carpet premiere in a custom Giambattista Valli Couture dress and slicked back wavy style.

rihanna hairstyles fenty pony
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2017: Fenty Pony

At the Fenty Beauty launch, the beauty billionaire left her curly high pony simple, so her star highlighter could shine.

rihanna hairstyles high pony
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2017: High Pony

While celebrating the beauty brand’s launch in London, Rihanna showed off another impressively high pony with loose waves cascading past her shoulders for a chic finish. 

rihanna hairstyles side swept blowout
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2018: Side-Swept Blowout

At the fourth annual Diamond Ball, the singer opted for a side-swept blowout to show off her massive diamond earrings on the red carpet.

rihanna hairstyles knotless box braids
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2019: Knotless Box Braids

In 2019, Rihanna modeled a few protective styles, including these long knotless box braids. The subtle red shade brings out her hot pink attire and matching lip color even more.

rihanna hairstyles 90s updo
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2019: '90s Updo

At the 5th annual Diamond Ball, the star brought a sophisticated flair with a ‘90s-inspired updo and wavy front pieces to work alongside her little black dress. 

rihanna hairstyles fulani braids
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2019: Fulani Braids

The fashion icon finished the year off strong with this Fulani style. As the award recipient at the 2019 Fashion Awards, we wouldn’t expect anything less of the triple threat.

rihanna hairstyles team side part
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2022: Team Side Part

The mom-to-be showed off her glowing belly and a side part (that would make Gen-Z cringe) at her Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin celebration. 

rihanna hairstyles 60s ponytail flip
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2022: '60s Ponytail Flip

A ‘60s ponytail flip, face full of Fenty Beauty and a next level pregnancy glow? A special combination in 2022 for Rihanna.

rihanna hairstyles a new chapter
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2022: A New Chapter

The last couple of months has been fantastic for the beauty mogul. She welcomed her first child, released a new song for Wakanda Forever and continues to surprise us with more fashion and beauty looks. Exhibit A: These tousled waves with a braided side.

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...