Rihanna reveals why she ‘immediately’ wanted her sons to have braided hair

Rihanna has shared a rare comment about raising her two sons, who she shares with her longtime partner A$AP Rocky.

During a recent interview with Vogue China, the 36-year-old singer spoke candidly about the importance of keeping her children – RZA, one, and Riot, eight months – connected to their ancestors. She addressed how her children could be shaped by different world views when they get older, as hairstyles like braids have been a part of Rihanna and her partner’s culture.

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“In fact, the father of the child, Rocky, is also like this. Yeah, it’s historically significant and makes us realise where we’ve come from,” she said about the rapper, who she’s been dating since 2021. “This is our lost history. I really learned a lot being around him, but even with him, he wore his hair in pigtails.”

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She went on to emphasise that as braids were embraced by her ancestors, she knew that she wanted her sons to have them as well.

“It’s just a thing of the past. Like I immediately wanted my son to have his hair braided. Yes, I know, it’s something in our blood,” she said.

The “Umbrella” singer also reflected on her childhood, and how braids have been such a big part of her identity.

“I grew up in the Caribbean and it was all a local mom could do for her kids. Some people grow up in single-parent families, with moms working three jobs, and they don’t have time to kiss you every day when you go to school,” she explained. “This is a form of protection, our roots, and a tradition left by our ancestors. At the end of the day, it’s still beautiful and I love it.”

Rihanna then described braids from “an aesthetics standpoint,” noting that there are “so many looks you can achieve”. She once again recalled her childhood, when she saw many children and family members with braids in their hair.

“I remember seeing this scene all the time when I was a kid: tourists coming to Barbados, sitting on the beach in the sun, braiding their hair and letting it go,” the Fenty Beauty Founder said. “In fact, I have wanted to do this myself since I was a child, but in the end I would let the girls at home or neighbours comb my hair. My mom also braids my hair, but she always sends me to the salon to get it braided because it lasts longer.”

Rihanna’s comments about her children and their hair comes nearly one year after she and A$AP Rocky welcomed their second son: Riot. The pop star first announced she was pregnant for a second time during her Super Bowl halftime show in February 2023.

She’s since opened up about her children getting older, as she previously poked fun at how RZA has inherited her. However, when gesturing towards her prominent forehead, she noted that the feature didn’t get passed down to her second child.

“I mean, Riot doesn’t have it. I’m like: ‘Wait, are you sure?’” she told Entertainment Tonight in December, before she pretended to search for the physical attribute. “You can’t lose this thing,” she jokingly added.

She also opened up about raising her children with A$AP Rocky, with the singer revealing the most surprising thing about watching him become a father and grow as a parent alongside her.

“Ooh, I love him differently as a dad,” she explained. “Yeah, this is major. Major. Like, it’s a turn on. It’s just like, wow, what a leader, what a great patient, loving, and my kids are obsessed with him.”

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