Mane moments: 11 times Alicia Keys had us fallin’ for her hairstyles

No one, no one, no one....can get in the way of our love for Alicia's hair.  

From the moment Alicia Keys released her first album Songs in A Minor in 2001, she was an instant global hit. Now, with 5 more albums and 15 (yes, that’s right) Grammys later, she’s still an icon to many – and not just for her out-of-this-world vocals.

With a mix of African American and Sicilian heritage, her natural hair styles have inspired so many; from her memorable cornrows back in the day to her more recent natural afro styles. She is without a doubt one of the biggest hair inspirations of our time.

So, to mark the songstress’ 37th birthday, we’re honouring her the only way we know how: by charting her best ever looks.

Mane moments: 11 times Alicia Keys proved that she’s the Superwoman of hair

alicia keys with decorated box braids in 2001
Sorry Kelela, Alicia’s been decorating her braids since way back when. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

1. Embellished cornrows in 2001

Side-swept cornrows, beads and a winning smile – Alicia was always destined to be a star.

Swot up on your cornrow knowledge with our need-to-know guide.

alicia keys at a boutique opening in 2002 with a half braids half afro look
The fashion may have dated a bit but the hair still looks just as good. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2. Braided bangs & a fluffy ‘fro in 2002

Okay so the outfit has definitely started to show it’s age here (denim sleeves, anyone?), but the songstress’ long braided bangs and fluffy ‘fro are timeless.

Editor’s tip: Have a similar hair type to Alicia? Condition your curls with a leave in conditioner like the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist.

The coconut milk and aloe vera enriched formula nourishes to keep your hair hydrated, so that your curls stay defined and free from tangles.

alicia keys on good morning america in 2003 with tree braids and straightened hair
Half braided, half loose – it’s the best of both worlds. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

3. Tree braids in 2003

Alicia taught us that you don’t have to confine yourself to one hairstyle at a time. The convenience of braids with the freedom of long lengths, Alicia was on to a winner with this one in 2003.

alicia keys filming a video in 2004 with straight hair with bangs
Oh hi there straight hair! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

4. Straight with bangs in 2004

It’s always a surprise seeing your favourite curly-haired stars try out straightened hair, but Alicia had us floored by also throwing a set of grown-out bangs to the mix.

Discover how to get salon-sleek straight hair at home.

Editor’s tip: The VO5 Brilliant Shine Cream is a must-try if you’re looking to try out Alicia’s straightened style.

It’s a heat defence cream that also helps to tame frizz, so that you can keep that sleek and straight look for longer than your hair would usually allow.

alicia keys at the memoirs of a geisha premiere in 2005 with ultra long hair covered in floral accessories
Move aside Rapunzel, there’s a new princess in town. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

5. Flower power in 2005

Hip-length hair adorned in flowers sounds like something strictly out of a story book, but Alicia brought the fairytale to life at the 2005 Memoirs of a Geisha premiere with this dreamy look.

Love flowers? Here are some fabulous floral festival hairstyles to try.

alicia keys in 2010 with a curly half up half down hairstyle
She even manages to make simple hairstyles look absolutely stunning. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

6. Curly half-updo in 2010

When your curls are this pretty, a simple half-up half-down style is all you need to make the most of your coils.

alicia keys at the 2011 bet awards with a side fishtail braids
Formal blazers with messy braids- it’s a look. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

7. Twisted fishtail braid in 2011

Enviably intricate but perfectly undone all at the same time, Alicia’s twisted fishtail braid is the epitome of smart-casual.

Steal her style, here.

alicia keys at the 2012 mtv vmas with a bob hairstyle
Remember the shockwaves when she debuted this bob? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

8. Cropped bob in 2012

We’re firm believers that everyone should try a bob at least once and for the 2012 VMAs, Alicia did just that with this side-parted asymmetric number.

alicia keys at the 2015 costume institute gala benefit with a braided bun hairstyle with a shaved undercut
Alicia adds an edginess to this girly braided bun. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

9. Braided bun with an undercut in 2015

Braided buns are a red carpet favourite, but Alicia made it her own at the Costume Institute Gala Benefit in 2015 by adding a daring undercut detail.

alicia keys at the mtv vmas 2016 with a loose braided puff hairstyle
Laid-back and beautiful. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

10. Braided puff in 2016

Looking to add detail to your natural hair? As Alicia shows here, adding a few hidden braids into your mane can make for an interesting mix of textures.

alicia keys in 2017 with long neon pink and yellow box braids
Who said neon wasn’t wearable? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

11. Neon highlighter braids in 2017

Good thing she’s got her sunglasses on, as this look is blinding! Not everyone could pull off such vivid brights, but naturally Alicia manages to make it look totally effortless.

Neon hair is trending – see why.


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