Pret-a-Reporter

The Story Behind Rihanna's Pseudo Mullet

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Her hairstylist, Yusef Williams, breaks down the inspiration for her iHeartRadio Music Awards 'do.

"We were like, 'We have to go high glam mixed with punk,'" says Yusef Williams, who tends to Rihanna’s tresses "99 percent of the time," of their pre-iHeartRadio Music Awards conversation on Sunday. The idea came in part from her bold Versace ensemble that consisted of a black minidress and slime-green fur, thigh-high boots and choker.

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"Tonight was kind of a retro '90s-meets-'80s look, but refined," says Williams. "We started out with a whole punk theme, then wanted to make it more glamorous and Versace-esque, so the front was a really short kind of pixie cut and we added extensions with a lot of texture and volume in the back."

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Once the hair was in and razor cut, blow-dried and curled using a medium curling iron for movement and texture, the hairstylist applied Matrix Style Link Overachiever wax ($13) using his hands to give it a messy, bedhead-y tinge. He finished Rihanna’s look with Matrix Style Link Texture Builder spray ($15) to "matte it down" and add further texture. 

Ultimately, Williams admits, "It’s like a mullet situation — but very Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige."

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