You admired him in our list of Hottest Celebrity Hairstylists the way you admire the A-list heads he tousles to a T—Jonathan Colombini is on fire in more departments than one. After watching his grandma craft the perfect beehive on herself while balancing a cigarette between her lips, Jonathan’s nine-year-old self knew what life had in store for him. Now, he perfects the manes of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Laura Prepon, and Olivia Culpo, to name a few. Below, the Mane Master unfolds his history with hair, his must-have products, and the countless roles that come with being a hair artist.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I feel doing hair just ran in my blood. I was about 9-years-old when I used to sit and watch my grandmother with complete fascination, strategically form the perfect beehive on herself all the while balancing a cigarette between her perfectly red-manicured nails and puckered red lips! I thought and still think she was the most glamorous woman ever. One day, she turned to me, handed me her pink Goodie backcomb brush and can of L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray and said, “Now you try!” This became a weekly beehive formation with grandma and I think the rest is history.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
Hairstyling is an art. Anytime you put your work or art on display for others, it’s a massive challenge to not take any kind of critic personal. Most of my work is red carpet so you can imagine the bit of pressure that comes with it. On the other hand, the greatest gift is having that opportunity to showcase my work and with my amazing peers. It’s a team effort with my clients, make up artists and wardrobe stylists. To overcome that challenge is creating a look together—it just works!
Who are some of your role models who have inspired you?
I would be spot on to say I am a workaholic. GUILTY!! It’s something I see in my father that has always inspired me. Not once have I ever heard him complain about a hard day’s work. I admire that the most about him.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I very much love an old Hollywood glam beat down. I’d say it is and always has been a foundation in my work, but with a modern twist. Think: Veronica Lake wave set but seven cocktails in and some major hair-flipping moments on the dance floor for that perfect Snapchat with the girls. That’s the hair to have, in my opinion.
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I do a lot of extensions in the salon. I had a client—we’ll call her “Julie”—come in with nothing short of a dreadful haircut. Both eyes full of tears, Julie was in desperation. So with an extension installation, cut to shape, and a few loose curls, Julie had her ‘Becky with the good hair’ back!
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
I can seriously open up a retail store with the amount of hair products I have so it’s tough to narrow it down. However, I’d say for hair products: Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, R+Co Outer Space Hairspray and Bumble and bumble Semisumo Wax. As far as tools, I don’t go anywhere without my Harry Josh irons.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Hang on and take in every moment ’cause shit’s gonna get real!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylist?
Work hard and be kind.
This career has been by my side for 17 years. It’s the only thing that has ever made sense to me for as long as it has. It’s my baby!! The sky really is the limit. At the end of the day, I am a hairstylist but during the day I am a friend, brother, confidant, businessman, comedian, voice of reason, listener, communicator, and sometimes a therapist, all the while having compassion and an open mind. This is what has circumference my career from day one. That’s a lot of hats to wear but I intend to keep on for another 17 plus years so ya gotta roll with it. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be given the amazing opportunities I have or work with some of the most beautiful people in the world and I am sure happy I hadn’t a clue back then because this journey to make my dreams come true has been the best times of my life that I wouldn’t change for anything. So my advice to new stylist is never stop learning, never stop making mistakes and certainly never give up. Anything worth it doesn’t come easy.
What is the next chapter for you?
Well, you’ll have to stay tuned!!
Follow @jonathan_colombini for more #manespiration.
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