Rihanna's VMAs Hair Evolution

She's taking home the Video Vanguard award on Sunday so, we enlisted the singer's longtime hairstylist Ursula Stephen to weigh in on Rih's best, boldest and most memorable hair moments from the show's past red carpets

01 of 06


2006 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic

Although Stephen wasn't the mastermind behind these gorgeous glossy waves, the hairstylist notes that RiRi has the ability to pull off practically any do, which is why the evolution of her hair has been "something like a roller coaster -- Rihanna has tried so many looks from simple to wow."

02 of 06


2007 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

"This was our first VMAs together," says Stephen, who cites this asymmetrical fringe style as one of her favorite Rihanna looks ever. "This was actually a full installation [of extensions], and no one knew. So I decided to make it a little funky and add some highlights."

03 of 06


USA - 2008 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty

Going into this look with a "very edgy and goth state of mind," the hair pro decided to play up the singer's short style with some bright blonde streaks. "We wanted to dress it up a bit," Stephen tells PeopleStyle. "So we decided to add some texture and take [the hair] away from the face."

04 of 06


2010 MTV Video Music Awards - Backstage
Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup

Surprise: This look is actually the result of a last-minute wig … which spent time in the microwave before ending up on Rih's head! "We were shooting a movie in Hawaii when Eminem asked to [Rih] come perform," says the pro, who "had to source a red wig in 48 hours." There were still more snafus to come: "When the wig arrived backstage, the color was all wrong and Rihanna wasn't having it," she explains. "I had to recolor it in our trailer, so I threw it in the microwave to speed up the process … the rest is history!"

05 of 06


2012 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Rihanna's close crop for this year's show was short and sweet — a contrast to the long styles she'd been rocking up until that point. "I was so happy when she decided she wanted to go short that day," says Stephen. "We relaxed [the style] and chopped it all off the night before." The star's vibrant matte red lip and glowy skin rounded out the gorgeous look.

06 of 06


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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Here's a hairstyle only Rih could get away with: A grown-out mullet. (Yes, you read that right.) "Her hair kinda just evolved into this [style]," says the hair pro. "I added some extensions to the back to exaggerate the mohawk. Good times!"

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