The creativity of author, designer, broadcaster Ben Arogundade

Celebrity Beauty Archive: Remember When Rihanna Had Red Hair In 2010? A Look Back At Her Redhead Style

RIHANNA'S FIRE ENGINE RED HAIR color brought a modern twist to classic hairstyles that were once the preserve of white songstresses and Hollywood starlets. By Ben Arogundade. Mar. 10, 2022.

RIHANNA IN RED: Rihanna's love affair with her red hair color and hairstyles drew much attention when first unveiled in 2010. Her adopted styles ranged from long red weaves to short crops, from curly to straight styles, and from bright to dark red colors.

DISTINCTIVENESS IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN EVER in modern pop, and when it comes to image, today’s stars are under intense pressure to perpetually come up with fresh styles. Female music artists in particular are compelled to keep delivering the kind of out-of-this-world hairstyles and costume changes that fans have come to demand, and which keeps media interest bubbling. We are now in an age when a singer's new hairstyle attracts almost as much attention as their new single.


This is certainly true of Barbadian singer, Rihanna. Her hair choices — a shape-shifting flicker-book carousel of splash color and sculptural cuts — have become an event within themselves. Flashback to the spring of 2010, when she first unveiled a new short red-colored coiffeur during her “Last Girl On Earth” world tour. Very quickly different incarnations of her redhead formula began to appear, including curly styles and long red hair extensions. Real human hair was used in her weave hairstyles, which had been dyed red, then bonded onto her real hair. Genetically, it is unusual for people of African descent to have naturally red hair, although African American civil rights activist Malcolm X did have a natural red tinge in his Afro hair — inherited from his white grandfather’s side.


Rihanna's red hairstyle quickly caught on, and fans began to Google queries about her new style. The search engine, which records numbers for all global Internet queries, reported that 9,000 people per month Googled the term, “Rihanna red hair”. Vogue magazine endorsed the recording star’s fashion statement when it featured her red hair on the cover of its April 2011 edition. Her fans around the world rushed to copy her. In June 2011, at All Saints High School in Merseyside, England, 15-year-old schoolgirl Millie Foley was sent home after turning up for lessons with her long hair dyed a fire engine red color. “I just wanted my hair to look like Rihanna,” she confessed.

But just as the copycat fans thought they had caught up with Rihanna, the singing star changed her hair color and cut yet again, leaving them trailing in her wake, while reminding us of the first sartorial rule of modern pop — that every image is ultimately disposable.

Ben Arogundade bio photo


Hi there. I am a London-based author, journalist and broadcaster Discover more about me and my work at Ben Arogundade bio.

LADY IN RED: Changes in Rihanna’s hairstyles have become events in themselves. In 2010 the fashion press went into overdrive when the singer sported her new redhead style, culminating in her appearance on the cover of the April 2010 edition of US Vogue.



The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Rihanna red wig?” each month.


The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Rihanna red hair” each month.

*All figures for “Rihanna's Red Hairstyle, According to Google Search”, supplied by Google. Stats include global totals for laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.


More About Rihanna

What do 50,000 fans want to know about Rihanna’s eyes?

Rihanna’s best Vogue covers - all together.

Out now at Amazon









Press Office

Retail Orders

© Arogundade, London Town 2023: Registered Office: 85 Great Portland Street, First Floor, London W1W 7LT 

This website uses cookies to show you personalised content and advertisements, and to improve your experience of our website. 

Please see our privacy policy for details.


Accept & close