Jon Reyman is a teacher first.
The sought-after hair stylist planned to attend law school when fate intervened: He trusted his gut and has since worked as the artistic director of New York’s Aveda Advanced Academy, as lead stylist of up to 30 shows at every recent New York Fashion Week and on editorial spreads for publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Vanity Fair and many more.
In the last three years, he has opened three salons across the country, drawing industry insiders, a-listers and civilians alike with his unpretentious attitude and attention to detail.
Here, Reyman explains why—no matter how much he achieves—educating others will always be his primary goal:
Live The Process: When did you discover your passion for hair and beauty?
Jon Reyman: I was about to start law school to become a human rights lawyer and was working to connect attorneys with people of limited resources at Legal Aid. At that same time, I started dating a hairdresser. One day, I went into her salon to say hello and she had color in her hair. To be cute, I asked if I could shampoo the color out. She conceded; then I asked if I could blow dry. In middle of the blowout (I was not a natural), I had an epiphany: This was what I wanted to do. I was a mess, but it just felt right.
LTP: Why is educating others such a huge part of your life’s work?
JR: I spend a third of my working life educating, and it’s my main focus. I really like open-source software, and I try to emulate this idea in my programs and salons. I would be nowhere without excellent teachers and mentors who were totally transparent in their trade and teaching. I want people around me to learn more easily, more naturally and more efficiently than I did. Jon Reyman Pro and Spoke & Weal are founded on education and empowerment.
LTP: When did you open your three salons and what sets them apart?
JR: We opened San Francisco in December 2013, LA in May 2014 and Soho in May 2015. We are driven by purpose, mastery and self-direction. In my spaces, I work among peers and friends, all of whom have spent years in education and training; I believe we offer some of the best access to education.
We are a flat business. Although we have leaders and mentors, we want everyone to display leadership, agency and personal responsibility. Everyone is a key holder. Lastly, we are our services. They are the core of our business—the “who” behind them matters much less than the result. We are only as good as the last cut or color we do. We have worked hard to keep a straightforward message without sensationalism or personalities behind it. Many of our guests do not know who owns the salon or have interest in who has been in. They come in for an excellent result, and we work very hard to deliver.
LTP: With your hectic schedule, do you rely on personal wellness rituals to keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
JR: Absolutely. I drink fresh juice daily and eat raw chocolate from Fine & Raw Brooklyn. I value professional services and have a team of highly skilled pros who support my mental and physical well-being: I go see Nana for acupuncture in NYC; I have a fantastic therapist who I visit in person and via FaceTime when I’m on the road; I practice yoga with Sri Dharma Mittra in NYC and, when I am traveling, I schedule personal training sessions.
I don't drink coffee; I drink herbal tea. And I never work on planes. Instead, I use air time to catch up on movies or series or just tune out. I meditate too.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JR: A smile on my face, a community around me. Freedom and openness to change. Happiness is revealing the light within and holding space for others to do the same.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JR: The journey is the destination. We don’t arrive; here is there. Once we get this, we can be present to the people around us and celebrate ourselves, our friends and our community. Today is it!