The Hair Evolution of Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys recently brought old Hollywood glam to the White House Correspondent’ star studded gala event. We flashback through Keys most memorable hair moments from braided beauty to blown-out bombshell with styling tips from her hair pro Tippi Shorter. By Qianna Smith
ESSENCE.COM May, 11, 2009

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Alicia Keys recently brought old Hollywood glam to the White House Correspondent’ star studded gala event. We flashback through Keys most memorable hair moments from braided beauty to blown-out bombshell with styling tips from her hair pro Tippi Shorter.

By Qianna Smith
2001 Beaded Beauty
We can’t forget when Keys and the Williams sisters made beads so fashionable.

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2000 Micro Braids
When Alicia Keys first appeared on the scene, it was her commanding voice and piano skills that caught the attention of music lovers worldwide. Her trademark fedora hat and tiny braids are a look of the past. Take a look at her most memorable hair moments, from braided beauty to blown-out bombshell.

As told to Qianna Smith

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2002 Braided Power Puff
“If you’re a woman rocking braids, keep your scalp moisturized and don’t have the hair pulled too tightly. It’s okay to have to get your hair rebraided every two weeks rather than cause breakage and tension around the hairline unnecessarily,” advises celebrity stylist Tippi Shorter, who has worked with Keys’ for the last three years.

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2003 Plait Perfection
“When Alicia’s on tour or during promo week she is getting her hair heat-styled almost every single day, so I give her deep conditioning treatments with ojon restorative hair, because it works to rejuvenate and nurture the strands,” say Shorter.

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2004 Braided Beauty
“Alicia is definitely not wearing braids like when she first came out, but we have done them for music videos and on her downtime," says Shorter.

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2004 Pinned-up Do
“Ordinarily Alicia likes to keep her hair classic, so we really only experiment with her hair for music videos or photo shoots,” explains Shorter.

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2004 Shirley Temple Curls
“When Alicia is doing a press tour or music video or red-carpet event that causes her to have her hair done for more than four to five hours, I use products from TRESemme 24 Hour Body Line."

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2005 Long Lush Locks
“I then use an anti-frizz leave-in conditioner from TRESemme after shampooing and conditioning Alicia’s hair to protect her strands and add extra moisture to the hair,” dishes Shorter.

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2006 Small Cornrows
When ESSENCE magazine talked the star about missing her braids, Keys replied, “Yes, but they’re always in my vibe, in my cipher. I think my braids are beautiful, and there are times that I wear them, just for me. They’re not gone forever.”

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2006 Blunt Bangs
Long bangs add a youthful sparkle to your appearance. To get a smooth finish like Keys, Shorter says, “Start off with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner like Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Shampoo and Conditioner that helps fight frizz and keeps the hair manageable."

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2007 Tousled Bob
“I create a style based on the type of event. If it’s the BET or Teen Choice Awards we’ll go with a look that’s fashion forward and approachable," says Shorter.

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2007 Long Ponytail Extension
A long braided ponytail is both flirty and refined. Create this do that she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards by adding on a ponytail extension. Select hair that perfectly matches your texture and hue for best results.

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2007 Natural Curls
“I really like to live my life in a low-key fashion,” says Keys, who also prefers a low-maintenance hair regime, opting lately to wear her natural curls.

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2007 Undone Waves
“If I’m going to blow it out or roll set her curls, I’ll start with the TRESemme 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, then style it and finish it off with the 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray that really holds the hair, yet leaves the strands soft and touchable,” explains Shorter.

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2008 Loose Spiral Curls
“When she wears her hair curly, I love to use the Bed Head Curls Rock products on her hair because it’s lightweight and works great for everyday use,” says Shorter.

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2008 Mohawk Updo
“At the 50th annual Grammy awards we did a soft updo mohawk that went perfectly with the dress. It was almost rock-n-roll, but still very elegant, and we were both like, ‘We have to recreate this style again,’” says Shorter.

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2008 Blown Out Waves
“I don’t feel like I have to catch up to anybody else. I want to set the pace and my own pulse,” says Keys, seen here on our June 2008 cover, with hairstyling by Tippi Shorter for Clairol.

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2009 Sculpted Waves
“When Alicia attends the Oscars or Grammys, I’ll create something that’s young and elegant," shares Shorter.

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2009 Blow-out with Center Part
Superstar Alicia Keys brought old Hollywood glam to the White House Correspondents’ Association’s star-studded event over the weekend with her silky sleek tresses.

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“A really good friend of mine is Alicia’s makeup artist and he told me that she was looking for a new hairstylist. I let my agent know and she sent over my portfolio and they called me to come and tryout to see if it worked, and it did. She continually calls me and I guess it’s been three years at this point,” says Shorter.

Check out more hairstyles we think you’ll want to rock for spring»

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