Behind some of the most groundbreaking, intricate, and downright cool celebrity hairstyles that have made waves on red carpets, magazine covers, and events are Black celebrity hairstylists whose artistry is unmatched. Apart from creating immensely beautiful hairdos to look at, these hairstylists know how to stop you in your tracks — how to make you feel something. From effortlessly pared-down waves to intricate braids to sculptural creations that belong next to the Mona Lisa, the art that has come from some of the most talented Black hairstylists in the business deserves endless attention.
In a society that has a long history of co-opting elements of Black culture and the work of Black creators, it is undeniably crucial to highlight and appreciate the original work of Black celebrity hairstylists, the geniuses behind some of the most viral looks and trends in recent years you love to love. Ahead, you'll find a celebration of the work they've done for years — styles you've likely mentally drooled over several times — so you, too, can follow them, appreciate their work, and continue showing your support for their craft for years to come, and we'll continue updating this list with even more talented Black celebrity hairstylists .
If you've ever watched the Met Gala red carpet, you've ogled over Lacy Redway's hairstyles. Working with powerhouses like Amandla Stenberg and Tessa Thompson, Redway's creativity is 100% jaw-dropping, as evidenced by some of her sculptural creations.
Ever wondered how Rihanna gets her hair like that — "that" meaning every look she graces literally any cover or event with? You can thank Yusef Williams, who not only works with queen Rih, but also Lizzo and Normani, for his keen eye on the styles that will blow everyone's minds.
I'd venture to say there is not one thing Ursula Stephen can't do when it comes to hair. Between starting her own salon, consistently educating her followers on social media, and crafting mind-blowing look after mind-blowing look for the likes of Zendaya and Tiffany Haddish, Stephen and her work will wow you on a daily basis.
Powerhouse Kim Kimble has been kicking absolute ass and taking names in the hair industry for decades. From Mary J. Blige and Taraji P. Henson to Storm Reid and freaking Beyoncé (IDK if you've heard of her???), a lengthy list of stars have Kimble to thank for her sheer beautiful work.
You will get chills just peeking at the works of the actual hair sorcery Larry Sims has created over the years. He is the mane mastermind behind the other-worldly hairstyles of Alicia Keys, Gabrielle Union, KiKi Layne, Danai Gurira, Tessa Thompson, Jaz Sinclair, Zendaya, Queen Latifah, Regina King, Danielle Brooks — the list goes on.
There are few words other than "simply unbelievable" to describe the work braid artist Shani Crowe creates on Solange and tons of other models. Crowe often uses braids in ways you couldn't even imagine to create museum-worthy sculptural designs.
If you, too, are constantly mesmerized by Cardi B, Doja Cat, and Kylie Jenner's ever-changing, chameleon hairstyles, know master wig creator Tokyo Stylez is the artist behind them. From pared-down, natural styles to full-on rainbow wig installations, Stylez knows an instantly viral hairstyle better than anyone.
Kendall Dorsey is another profusely talented artist behind several of Solange's most iconic styles, as well as those of Yara Shahidi and Justine Skye. Unafraid to take risks, Dorsey consistently uses the hairstyles he creates to push boundaries and stop you mid-scroll.
There is never a moment when the world is not in awe of Kerry Washington's hair, and Takisha Sturdivant-Drew makes sure of that. Between the always elegant, yet bold styles you see on Washington to the equally daring 'dos on Ashleigh Murray, you know you're getting excellence when Sturdivant-Drew is behind the hair.
Tymothe Wallace is a portrait of joy and so are the truly gorgeous, pristine hairstyles he's crafted over the years. You've seen them on the likes of Kelly Rowland, Taraji P. Henson, Skai Jackson, MJ Rodriguez, Serena Williams, and so many more, and that won't stop anytime soon.
There's a reason Lupita Nyong'o always looks like royalty wherever she goes, and part of that reason (other than her simply being royalty) is Vernon Francois' artistry. His intricate styles on Nyong'o, Amandla Stenberg, and Serena Williams, among others, keep people talking long after the red carpet ends.
Scrolling through Felicia Leatherwood's portfolio makes your jaw drop to the floor. With years of experience under her belt, she's expertly worked her magic in the form of extremely artistic styles and braids on huge names like Lena Waithe and Issa Rae.
Everything about Nai'vasha Johnson's work makes you stop and stare. Whether it's the intricate braids and perfectly styled edges on Alicia Keys, Logan Browning's beautiful natural texture on display, or Tracee Ellis Ross' royally awe-inspiring updo, Johnson slays everything she creates.
Emmy Award-winning hairstylist Oscar James did not come to play. He's the artist behind some of the most major cover and photo shoot hairstyles for Nicki Minaj, Tyra Banks, and Halle Berry, among so many others.
If you're wondering how so many young stars can possibly look so freaking cool all the time, the answer is simple: Kahh Spence. The celebrity hairstylist works with some of the fastest rising singers in the industry, like Kehlani and Ella Mai, and consistently creates forward-thinking styles that are just as beautiful as they are bold.
The inimitable Ted Gibson has been styling your faves' hair forever. And just as easily as you recall his stunning hairstyles on Laura Dern, Indya Moore, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong'o, and countless others, you probably also remember him serving incredible transformations on TLC's What Not To Wear.
Nikki Nelms? Oh, you mean certified Hair MacGyver? When you look in disbelief at the beautiful hairstyles Zoë Kravitz, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, and more step into the spotlight with, rest assured it was Nelms behind those bona fide hair sculptures.
As the longtime hairstylist of Michelle Obama, Johnny Wright is, undeniably the Hairstylist of the United States. Aside from the former first lady, Wright's sheer artistry extends to the likes of Tamron Hall, Angela Rye, Queen Latifah, and more. Nothing but respect for my HOTUS.
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