Rihanna's Natural Curls Are the Ultimate Ad for Fenty Hair

Ahead of her latest beauty launch, the megastar showed fans her natural look.

Rihanna wearing her hair in short curls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rihanna is no stranger to the beauty game, having long inspired headlines for her showstopping looks and her inclusive makeup and skincare brand, Fenty Beauty. Most recently, she announced the imminent arrival of Fenty Hair, which promises to create healthy, high-performance products for all hair types and curl patterns.

Ahead of the new venture's official launch on June 13, the mother of two made a rare appearance sporting her natural curls in New York City. If it was a promo for Fenty Hair, it was compelling: The cropped, curly look incorporated highlights in the same shade of blonde RiRi's been wearing in forms from bangs to braids lately, but with hints of brown peeking through.

Rihanna wearing her hair in short curls

Rihanna shows off her natural hair in New York City on Sunday, June 9.

(Image credit: Backgrid)

Whereas the star is most often pictured wearing extensions in a protective hairstyle or a sleek silk press, this time she wore her short brown and blonde hair naturally curly. The 'do lines up with her video announcement for Fenty Hair. In the short clip, Rihanna emphasized the brand's focus on textured hair and how it was inspired by her own haircare journey.

"I’ve had almost every texture, color, length, from weaves to braids to natural," the artist-cum-entrepreneur wrote in the announcement video's caption. "It’s time to play and get stronger by the style."

In showing off her curls—which appeared voluminous and well-defined—Rihanna perhaps intended to demonstrate the efficacy of her new line of hair products. The move also hit back at online haters, who criticized a promotional image for Fenty Hair on Instagram, commenting that the star shouldn't have worn a wig to promote a haircare line advertised for curls.

Rihanna has been sending fans all sorts of messages through her street style—some that are easier to interpret than others. Last Friday, June 7, her "I'm Retired" T-shirt dress by Conner Ives had the Internet speculating that the music phase of her career really is over. (So far, she hasn't made an announcement confirming or denying the rumors.)

Regardless of her latest intention, Rihanna's weekend look turned heads as always, and maybe inspired more followers to go natural this summer. They'll at least have the products to do so when Fenty Hair finally arrives on June 13.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art