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Rihanna's Doobie Wrap: Five Things to Know About Her AMAs Hairstyle

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Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection; Courtesy

At Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Rihanna graced the red carpet (and later, the stage, to accept her Icon Award) sporting a hairstyle that caused thousands of women to gasp in disbelief.

Sure, the 25-year-old Bajan beauty has made waves with her bold style choices before, but her latest move prompted some viewers to wonder if she forgot an important step in her getting-ready routine. After all, she seemed to be wearing a “doobie wrap”-– a protective hairstyle that seemingly originated in the Dominican Republic and is commonly requested by Black and Latina women to achieve or maintain a wrap hairstyle.

We checked in with veteran Dominican hairstylist Angela Martinez of the Acela Salon in the South Bronx, New York who has been creating doobies over 28 years (and demonstrates on Channel De La Cruz in the video below). Here’s what you probably didn’t know about Rihanna’s hairdo:

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1. “Most people wear a doobie to maintain their hair at night or to prevent it from getting frizzy. A [proper] doobie keeps hair smooth,” explains Martinez.
2. Typically Martinez shampoos and conditions hair, sets it with large rollers, blows it out, adds a small amount of serum for shine and then brushes hair with a large bristle brush while applying large bobby pins every few inches. She alternates directions (toward the chin and toward the top of the head) until a circle is formed at the crown and all the hair is wrapped and secured. “If hair is longer it usually requires more pins, but too many pins can cause unwanted dents,” Martinez says.
3. “A doobie can be achieved with chemically straightened hair, wavy or curly hair,” says Martinez adding that she usually matches the color of the pins (brown, black, blonde) to her clients’ hair color.
4. In between salon visits, many women wear a doobie at night before bed or when in the shower while getting dressed. Martinez says most of her clients come to see her weekly for a fresh doobie.
5. “Most people don’t even like to wear their [doobie] pins to the supermarket and definitely not to a fancy party or event. Rihanna is crazy!” Martinez laughs, though she adds, “Whenever Rihanna changes her hair, women request the style so she just might start a new trend.”

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What did you think of Rihanna’s AMAs hair? Have you gotten a doobie done or do you do them yourself at night? Dish in the comments.

–Bridgette Bartlett-Royall, reporting by Mabel Martinez