After experimenting with every bold hairstyle imaginable, Katy Perry finds that she feels most free with short hair

By Deirdre Durkan
October 17, 2018 06:19 PM
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Credit: Rick Henry/Instagram

After experimenting with every bold hairstyle imaginable, Katy Perry has found that she feels most free with short hair.

After working with the star for all her tour hair looks, Perry’s longtime colorist and JOICO’s celebrity stylist Rick Henry of Nine Zero One Salon in L.A. noticed a change in the singer when she chopped her hair into a short platinum pixie cut.

“She definitely felt like a strong powerful woman,” he told PEOPLE exclusively of the American Idol judge’s reaction to her shorter locks at a JOICO luncheon on Tuesday. “It is very scary for a woman to cut off her hair. And once you do, it is liberating. You feel amazing and powerful. It is almost like you’ve transformed into this sexy woman.”

Henry, who describes his relationship with Perry like “working with your family,” also says Perry loves experimenting with color.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work with her since the beginning and it has been a fun journey. She is definitely a creative person who loves change,” Henry tells PEOPLE.

While working on the European and Asian leg of her Witness world tour, the pair tested some of her boldest colors yet, including pink, purple and green.

“I know the pink hair was such a big thing and people loved it so much. We were in Asia and it was cherry blossom season and it was blooming everywhere. There was just this beautiful pastel pink everywhere,” says Henry. “That gave us the inspiration, and as we went on, as the tour continued, she and I both realized it was so easy and quick to do.”

After getting the process down to a science, Henry is now able to execute all her color changes — like the Pink Color Butter — in under two hours. “Color-wise, I’ve got it down,” he says. “There is never really a process that has taken all day.”

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In March, Perry told PEOPLE cutting her hair also pushed her to change her makeup routine.

“The short hair obviously really puts your face at the forefront — there’s nothing to hide behind! I focus on clean, beautiful skin, and then a statement eye or a statement lip,” she shared. “I love playing with unexpected colors for my eyes, so the Cool Kat Palette is a favorite at the moment. And with the weather getting warmer, especially here in South America where I’m on tour, Katy Kat Gloss is such a cheerful way to dress up your smile.”