Rihanna's Hairstylist Yusef Williams Says She's "the One That Rocked My World"
Yusef styling RiRi's mane
The princess of Barbados, the queen of Instagram controversy, Chris Brown's ex? Whatever you want to call her, Rihanna is a bastion of fabulousness in a sea of the mundane. And one of the people who make the "Unapologetic" superstar shine like a diamond is her hairstylist, Miami-native, Yusef Williams.
Just yesterday, we spoke with the hair artist about whether or not RiRi, someone he calls a "risk-taker," is a diva, his other famous clients, and how he'd makeover Chris Brown.
New Times: What was it like doing hair in Miami? Who were your clients? Anyone else famous?
Yusef Williams: Um, well, I don't really do hair styles in Miami. I mostly go back and forth from L.A. and Miami. Traveling is awesome and crazy. I wake up in Paris, and I'm like, in L.A. the night before. I've had a lot of clients, Kerry Washington, Tyra Banks, Naomi Cambell, Jordan Sparks, the Victoria Secret's Angels like Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel, that's my girl, I love her. We [the Angels and Yusef] come to Miami a lot for shoots.
Which of Rihanna's hair styles are your favorite?
I like her hair now and from the Talk That Talk album. Her style now is pretty easy going with shaved sides to give her edge. It's easy to achieve this look without coloring hair and cutting it off, accessible. Like right now, it's an ombre style that's shaved on the side. It can go from Hollywood to rockstar in two seconds. The color is a strawberry blonde, honey and I went crazy adding all these warm, soft colors.
Can you define Rihanna's current style in three words or less?
Edgy, Glamorous, Free.
How much influence does Rihanna have over her look? Like do you orchestrate it, or just make it happen?
We haven't gotten to the point where we're like [mock angry voice], "This is what you gotta do!" She trusts me to be creative, and I know her. You have to know your clients and their faces and see what looks good. It's easy to look at her and see how far you can go and when you need to pull back.
What's it like working with Rihanna? Is she a diva or down to earth?
It's an amazing opportunity to work with someone creative, open, and a risk-taker. We collaborate for the most part. There is never a fight, she is always down for it [new hairstyle ideas]. We do that together, and it works. We look at magazines together and art. We see inspiration from a lot of different people and places. She's down to earth, no diva. We are like a family. She goes onstage and performs, and I make sure she looks good doing it. No divas backstage!
No divas allowed!
No divas allowed, for sure.
Can you reveal any secrets of the Diamonds tour?