Actress and model Tighisti Amahazion is a big fan of Alicia Keys. “I love the versatility of her music and her faithfulness to Afrocentric style,” she says. The twentysomething was ecstatic when our creative team, celebrity hairstylist Oscar James and makeup maven Vanessa Evelyn, chose to give her an Alicia Keys–inspired makeover.

First things first: The best thing about Keys’s signature hairstyle, James says, is that it’s a lot of look you can get in no time. It takes less than an hour to do and can last up to two weeks. Before braiding, he treated Tighisti’s hair and scalp with John Frieda Relax Moisture Remedy, which, he says, “adds healthy moisture without the grease.” James haphazardly cornrowed pieces from the hairline to the back of the head.

He left a few chunks of hair free along the hairline to cornrow and plait over the existing cornrows. Using a blend of honey, blond and warm-brown human hair, he then pinned a large Afro pouf to her head, blending her natural hair into the ’fro. For a longer-lasting look, you can braid the entire head of hair and then weave Afro pieces onto the cornrows.

Loading the player...

We asked Alicia Keys’s mane girl, stylist Nikki Tucker, how she keeps the songstress’s braids neat and her Afro sweet

“I use Ampro Pro-Styl Protein Styling Gel when I braid Alicia’s hair. She’s also good about tying her hair up at night. If she’s wearing a loose Afro piece like the one on her latest album cover (above), I smooth her loose, wet Afro with Fudge Skrewd styling gel, then dry her hair with a diffuser. She’s not big on a lot of product, but she loves Kuza Indian Hemp Hair and Scalp Treatment, which she uses about once a month. We deep-condition the hair every six weeks with Aphogee Conditioning Treatment for Damaged Hair.”