One of the benefits of travelling on Rihanna’s plane is to have access to her entourage—including her hairstylist. Yusef Williams has one simple goal: "I don’t want it to seem like she’s married to one single haircut," he says.
Rihanna changes hairstyle quickly and often – only this year she has had curls, blonde hair with bangs, a super short look and today’s asymmetric dark hair.
Yet her routine is consistent. "As soon as we get to the hotel I wash her hair," Williams tells me at the Paris airport. "She hates dirty hair and so do I, especially when we are travelling from town to town like now."
"If we don’t wash it before the next gig we use a lot of dry shampoo and products that remove oil," he continues. "We also use a lot of olive oil products that give the hair nourishment and a nice shine. And they don’t contain that many chemicals, they are natural which she loves."
They drum up inspiration together.
"She isn’t the kind of girl who just sits there not knowing what she wants," he says. "She has her own thoughts and that makes it a lot more interesting to create. When we are together we can sit for hours looking through magazines, become inspired and exchange thoughts. She sends me pictures when she’s at home as well."
Rihanna isn’t afraid of a short haircut, so it may not come as a surprise that one of her biggest inspirations when it comes to hair is: men.
"Honestly most of the inspiration comes from men," he says. "We go through men’s magazines like Vogue Homme and cool fashion spreads." Is the next step a close shave? "She could go that far," Williams says.
And then we’re back on the plane.