In many ways, 2018 was the year of Jonah Hill. Between his belated Instagram membership, Netflix’s Maniac, his directorial debut for Mid90s, and an onslaught of magazine covers featuring the Oscar nominee’s face, it was nearly impossible to escape the guy. (Not like we really wanted to.)
Given Hill’s recent ubiquity, it didn’t take long for us to realize one very important thing about the multi-hyphenate star: His glow-up is undeniable. In the fashion world, thanks to his tucked-in NBA jerseys and affinity for tie-dyed fabric, the newly-minted 35-year-old (today’s his birthday!) is a #fitgod, but in the beauty community we know him as the celebrity who will dye his hair pink (and then green!) on a whim and fearlessly wear Post Malone pigtails. And on the off days he spends hanging around the streets of NoHo, Hill’s curls and scruffy facial hair have that messy-on-purpose vibe we ourselves aspire to.
The actor has come a long way from his Superbad character Seth — but, like most A-listers, only half of his evolution can be credited to Hill himself. The other part is thanks to his long-time groomer and hairstylist, Jason Schneidman. Widely known by his social media handle, @themensgroomer, Schneidman is the go-to guy for Hollywood’s most handsome men, like Bruno Mars, Rob Lowe, and (of course) Hill. Schneidman doesn’t just cut hair; he transforms styles, and evolves famous faces in a way that forces fans to wonder what kind of career high they’re about to witness — and Hill’s decade-long metamorphosis is the best example.
We spoke to Schneidman about his relationship with the actor, the kind of food the two order when they’re hanging out, and exactly why hairdressing is so much more than trimming split ends. His answers, ahead.
“When I first started hairdressing, I really had nothing. The wheels had fallen off my life and I found myself hooked on drugs and alcohol. I was 34 when I started working for Chris McMillan, who took me under his wing at his salon. I had bad credit, a warrant out for my arrest, and I was hooked on crack cocaine. It’s been 14 years and I’ve since bought a house, started a family, and am happy in a profession I’m good at, but the most important thing is I don’t have to drink and use anymore. I’m actually happy and comfortable in my skin and I maintain that by being of service to others.
“In the beginning, the male clients I started working with wanted me to do more press work with them. Studios will typically only hire a professional who knows how to do both hair and makeup, but I could only do hair. I told my publicist to give me a second and I’d learn, so I walked into a MAC store and asked the artists there to show me the charts they use in beauty school that teach you how to contour and conceal. I bought at least $500 worth of MAC makeup that day, then went back to my publicist and told her I was ready. She said, ‘Great! You got a job next week with Owen Wilson.'”
“[In addition to my regular jobs] I offer free haircuts and styles to homeless men around Los Angeles. I’d seen a few other barbers and hairdressers doing it online, but not a whole lot. I thought about it for a while until one night my gut and my heart were like, ‘Go out and fucking do this!’ I packed a backpack of product, bought cordless clippers, and went out to do my first cut on Hollywood Boulevard. I met one guy and we started to talk about our [addiction] recovery and I ended up giving him a haircut. So, I’ve been doing that lately, putting the word out on social media and getting other local stylists to do these haircuts for guys who really need it.
“I’ve been working on a product line for five years, and finally launched the perfect pomade and paste. They smell good, are inexpensive, and work for everyone at any age. I donate a portion of the product sales to people I know who run sober-living housing and rehabs, while also personally donating money to help certain individuals get off the streets. These are also the products I always use on Jonah. From the beginning, he’s supported me and has been a huge part of the process.”
The Clients (& Jonah)
“Jonah’s mom was coming to the salon long before he did. She would tell him, ‘You have to come to this salon and get your hair done,’ but he never did until I cut his friend Max Winkler’s hair. Jonah was in the salon the next week. I remember that for our first appointment he showed up in this bright daiquiri-ice teal shirt. His eyes were electric. From that moment I knew he had his own style — he does what he wants and doesn’t care.
“He and I have traveled the world together. I look up to him because he’s so talented and creative. And when you get two creative people like us together, great things happen. We’ve really done it all, from long and curly to super-short on the sides — which some people liked and some didn’t. But it hasn’t been all me. He’s always down to reinvent his look. I take direction, or offer some up myself, and then I just execute.
“Any time we’re working, Jonah lays down the tunes. He’s so knowledgable about music and knows everything about what’s new in hip-hop. I’m always listening to what he’s listening to and I think, Fuck, this is amazing! If we’re ordering food it’s usually steaks and veggies and then it’s just, you know, us shooting the shit. It’s like hanging out at the barber shop with him.”
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