Ursula Stephen Doesn’t Want to be Just an African American Hairsylist


Motions Global AmbassadorUrsula Stephen would like to see a space where Caucasian and African American women can have their hair needs met at the same salon. “I want to see a white girl getting a blowout and a black girl getting a weave,” said the celebrity hair stylist told The Cut. “When I was younger, I didn't want to work in an all-white salon, but I dreamed of an atmosphere where it was mixed together.”

Stephen will have her chance when she opens her very first salon in Brooklyn next month but it wasn't an easy road getting her start as Rihanna's hair stylist. “I went overseas for the first time–to London–for her,” Stephen recalls. “They told me exactly what to bring and not bring. When I got there, Rih was like, 'Um I need a relaxer.' But they had told not to bring that!”

But Rihanna wasn't mad, and the mess-up actually strengthened their communication–the singer asked Ursula to give her the infamous Girl Girl Gone Bad cut: “I want a new look for my new album… and I want it to come from you.” And the rest as we know it, is hair-story! The cut catapulted Stephen to celebrity status.

“Being known as the African American celebrity hairdresser is not annoying,” Stephen said. “I'm used to it. That's what it is. It's just my job to correct people, so they know that I'm not just the African American expert, I'm a great hairstylist.”

We look forward to seeing her in action at her new salon!