For years we have quietly stalked Jonathan Van Ness, not wanting to draw attention to our blatant obsession. So when we finally worked up the courage to reach out to Jonathan it was kinda big deal!

 

Let’s start with what you are most well known for… Gay of Thrones.  How did that come to pass?

Gay of Thrones started when one day I was painting some gorgeous highlights on my good friend Erin Gibson who is 1/2 the comedic duo of “Throwing Shade” & a director at Funny or Die one day at the salon. I overheard another client talking about Game of Thrones and launched into an explanation of season 2 as I saw it, Erin looked at me and said we have to do this for Funny or Die and so Gay of Thrones was born.

 

What a testament to being open to opportunities! How has your career changed over the last few years?

We started the show for season 3 so its been five years and five seasons for me with Gay of Thrones, but it has changed my life and career dramatically. I see a lot of new clients who know me from Gay of Thrones which is very exciting. Ive gotten to work with some amazing actors and comedians on the show and since I do style their hair its very exciting to get to interact with so many new people both on and off the show. Really too Gay of Thrones has showed me that being open is key, never ever did I think I would end up on camera, or get to groom and style so many of the people Ive been able to work with.

 

What has been your biggest… Ok, shit… I have finally MADE it moment?

I would have to say walking the red carpet at the Emmy’s last year, seeing my mom get to meet and talk to her idol Gloria Steinem was incredible, having my mom cancer survivoring, ass kicking, new media company running self as my date was next level for me.

 

We love Gay of Thrones but we also really adored Gay of Everything because I think we all have those conversations behind the chair… OMG is the country just gonna burn to the ground exasperation…  Are you planning to continue the series?

Omg I love that you watched thank so much! Gay of Everything was really my first stab at making my own content and while I loved doing it, between doing hair, producing my podcast, and keeping up with everything else it was just a bit overwhelming. But my podcast called Getting Curious comes back this October, there is a catalog of 20 something episodes up now, in each one I have an expert come in and we talk about a subject I’m curious about its fun and if your missing Gay of Everything it may wet your whistle!

 

 

Did you always know you were destined to be a hairdresser?

Since the age of 3 when I saw these waitresses with amazing mid ponies and these pill box hats I knew I had to style hair.

 

You have an Aveda background from school, what influenced the decision to start there?

Growing up in the midwest Aveda is very much a powerhouse of education and product knowledge. Using ingredients that are sustainably made was really amazing to me and I wanted to have a holistic approach baked into my aesestetic so that why I went there. I loved working with the company and love so much of what it stands for.

When you finally made your way to LA you worked under Sally Hershberger at Sally Hershberger Salon and Marylle Koken at Harlot Salon… both are badass, strong women. What were your biggest takeaways from your time together?

When I assisted at SHLA I actually worked full time under two other bad ass women, Jade Perry & Leslie Nasser, when Sally was in town I would wash and observe which was amazing because she can seriously cut some hair. Marylle similarly is so talented and the shapes her hands make are so inspiring. I think my biggest take away from them is to work really hard and not to apologize. You have to do whats best for you when it comes to business and if something isn’t working you have to move on, that what I learned from watching them work. Both of them worked under other people for a long time and had to take a leap of faith and they both did so incredibly.

If you could work with any 3 hairdressers (dead or alive) who would you choose?

Im obsessed with Jenny Cho’s work, I got to work with her at comiccon years ago and have wanted to watch her work daily ever since. To watch or work with Vidal Sassoon would be incredible, and definitely Sydney Guilaroff who was made who he was by miss Diva extraordinaire, Joan Crawford.

What goals have you yet to achieve in the industry?

I want to style for Vogue editorial, or a Marie Claire moment, or even a Harper’s Bazaar editorial fashion story? I guess that’s three. Lol.

 

Can we talk about your bananas yoga poses for a second?  Why is physical activity so important as a hairdresser?

I’ve been an avid yogi since I was 19 the reason that yoga and gym is so important for me is because it helps me express the pent up energy from our job. As a stylist we take on so much of other peoples energy be it good or bad its so important to have time where you give back to yourself. It also helps preemptively make me a better stylist because as I start everyday with a  workout I’m feeling full of endorphins, positive and grounded and ready to create. So it really gives back in so many ways I can’t afford not to.

What advice would you give to a #cosmobaby still in school or recently graduated?

ASSIST. ASK QUESTIONS. ASK MORE QUESTIONS, DONT BE AFRAID TO MESS UP.

 

I knew I was a #HairNerd when…

I gave my barbies glitter finger waves when I was 3. The finger waves were tragic but the glitter was everything.

 

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