Rihanna shows off her natural texture while celebrating Fenty Hair

“It feels light, no braids, no extensions, no weaves… so easy to do,” said Rihanna, rocking her natural curls at the Fenty Hair launch party. 

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Rihanna attends the Rihanna x Fenty Hair Los Angeles Launch Party at Nya Studios on June 10 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Rihanna is stepping into a new era. To commemorate the launch of her upcoming haircare line, the Fenty mogul opted to show off her natural, cropped tresses. After rocking a controversial honey blonde curly pixie cut during the new brand’s campaign release, Rihanna next served up a naturally textured “big chop” during the Fenty Hair launch party in Los Angeles this week. 

“You know how much switching my hair up matters to me,” Rihanna wrote in the Instagram post announcing her venture into haircare. “I’ve had almost every texture, color, and length, from weaves to braids to natural, so I am launching a flexible line of products for not only every hair want, but every single product is designed to strengthen and repair all types of hair, which is what we truly need!”

As previously reported by theGrio, last week Rihanna shocked fans when she announced that her next project would be haircare, not the music fans have long been anticipating. Fenty Hair, the newest addition to the Fenty empire, reportedly will offer a series of products designed to repair hair “at every step.” Introducing a proprietary “Replenicore-5” complex, the Fenty mogul says the clinically tested technology is designed to “repair, strengthen, hydrate, smooth and protect.” 

“Fenty Hair’s Replenicore-5 technology creates a continuous loop of repair, mending split ends [and] hydrating and thickening strands, which then helps to prevent future breakage,” she says in a video explaining the brand. “We included Replenicore-5 at an efficacious level in every single product, so … every time you use Fenty Hair, you’re repairing.” 

In addition to its reparative properties, the brand also included scalp care and conditioning within the entire collection, from its treatments to styling products. Ultimately, the star says, she spent over four years creating a line catering to any and all hair types and hairstyles, including those of her sons, Riot Rose and RZA. 

“This is probably the longest I’ve ever taken to do something … No, I lied; that’s ‘R9,’” Rihanna said during the Fenty Hair release party, teasing her highly anticipated return to music and release of her ninth studio album. Despite her musical delays and cryptic fashion choices, Rihanna told Extra she has no plans to retire … yet. 

Nevertheless, following the announcement of Fenty Hair and Rihanna’s perfectly coiffed campaign style — which to many appeared to be a wig — critics shared skepticism about the star creating a haircare line when fans have rarely seen her natural hair.

“Your natural hair is not present in any one of these pics, auntie…let’s be guided,” one user wrote on X, responding to Rihanna’s social media announcement. 

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Of course, the beauty mogul is not the first star to face such criticism. Just a few months prior, Beyoncé faced similar scrutiny upon the launch of her hair brand, Cécred. It wasn’t until the “Cowboy Carter” singer released a video of her long natural tresses that the criticism subsided. However, while some fans expressed unconditional enthusiasm for Fenty Hair, Rihanna’s natural hair debut has not only renewed comparisons between the two celebrities but also critical comments about the length, color and overall appearance of her hair.

“Rihanna tryna sell hair care products and her hair don’t even look healthy. Just nappy headed, color damaged & dry,” one online critic tweeted.

Another added: “Rihanna’s hair looks a mess. Short hair is cute but her hair looks damaged and thin and it does not make me want to buy a hair care line from her.”

Other users saw the star’s closely cropped debut as “a breath of fresh air,” showcasing the various textures, lengths and appearances of Black hair. Amid the social media discourse, some predict the star’s short hair is the result of a big chop that may mark the start of a hair growth journey using Fenty Hair. 

“Rihanna is about to show her hair growth after a big chop with her own products, and I can’t wait to see it! She has beautiful natural hair,” one user speculated. “I have high hopes, FENTY HAIR. If it’s anything like Fenty Beauty, it’s gonna be good!” 

Though the star has not confirmed any of these speculations, Rihanna is enjoying her newest ‘do. 

“It feels light, no braids, no extensions, no weaves … so easy to do,” she told Extra. “For sure, a part of self-expression, self-identity, a part of my mood, my being …“It’s a freedom that you have with your hair.” 

“Hair has always been very personal to me,” she says in a video. “ I feel like it’s also been markers of my evolution and growth over the years, both as an artist and as a person.”