By Stef Schwalb
We’ve all seen the promos for “Blow Out” on Bravo, so celebrity stylist Jonathan Antin needs no introduction. I don’t know if you’ve actually seen any episodes of the series, but I tuned in for a while as a bit of preparation for this piece. He’s handsome all right, and he definitely showcases that he has a way with the ladies – and works quite well with his hands too. Yet while some of the show I saw was a hilarious look into the making of a heavyweight Hollywood hair salon, there was also a lot of insight and inside information into the making of what would become his innovative new hair care line, Jonathan™, which is frankly what I really found the most fascinating. What greater enhanced my interest in his products was a recent conversation with Jonathan’s partner Tina Hedges, the vice president of Jonathan™ marketing and development. She provided BN with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the line and what all of the unique product ingredients mean for the health of your hair.
Photo by David Arky
“Jonathan says that every kind of hair is a thread,” Tina says, “and the diameter of the thread is like your pinky. So you need to cleanse and condition your hair properly, and then you begin to build around that thread – with volume and pliability – in order for you to get the look and feel you want.” To work within this formula, the signature line features a four-tiered collection of products divvied up into the following categories – Shampoo, Condition, Create and Finish. They were designed with simple solutions in mind because the products need to practice what they preach, the company mantra of “an overall concept of simple hair and how to get there.” And this simplicity is streamlined in a very natural way – all products are 100% vegan, sulfate-free, contain sweet almond protein (which is proven to improve the dry, damaged hair and make it look better!), and consist of Essential Water™-based formulations developed with natural oils, exotic botanical fruit and butters, as well as plant and sea extracts. This last ingredient is especially important since all shampoos consist of 80% water, says Tina, and the water they have created is similar to bottled water (which, by the way, is what Jonathan tells his celeb clients to wash their hair with the night before a big photo shoot!). “Bottled water has only the right amount of mineral content,” says Tina, “and that’s what Jonathan wanted his products to be like.”
The Shampoo category – Shampoo Theory™ – includes two products to choose from: Volumizing and Moisturizing. They feature Essential Water™ made up of rosemary and sage because those ingredients are gentle and purifying. What enhances the purity of these products even more is the fact that they are sulfate-free (that’s the element that gives shampoo its bubbling foam, which is not too good for the health of your scalp and strands). The company is the first to launch such sulfate-free offerings in the luxury hair care market. “We are also the first to find an alternative to sulfates that is very gentle yet still gives you foam,” says Tina. “We worked with chemical engineer and found a sugar-derived foaming agent. It’s a foaming agent that comes from nature – we call it sugar foam.”
The Condition group – Condition Theory™ – offers three alternatives: Volumizing, Moisturizing, and the Leave-in Glossing Crème. They include an Essential Water™ consisting of basil because of its detangling and conditioning properties; UV filters to protect hair from damage and color fading; and four exotic butters – almond, mango, illipe, and shea – to increase hair’s moisture, softness, and luster.
The Create category offers a large array of options for every style your strands desire: Create Volume™ Thickening Foam, Create Motion™ Shaping Crème Gel, Create Angle™ Sculpting Gel, Create Curl™ Curling Serum, Create Straight™ Straightening Serum, Dirt™ Texturing Paste, and the Create Smooth™ Anti-Frizz Volumizing Serum. These products have an Essential Water™ made with lemongrass because it adds shine and body. The Dirt™ Texturing Paste was one of Jonathan’s earlier hair creations that he decided to include in the new line. He used to sell it in his salon and it found great popularity by providing his clients with a “day after” washing look and manageability.
Last but not least, the Finish category tops off the line with a Finish Hold™ Firm Hold Spray, Finish Shine™ Polishing Glass, and the Redo™ Freshen-up Mist for Hair and Skin. The Essential Water™ elements for these items include cucumber and rose because they have properties known for soothing, conditioning, and calming the strands under stress. Redo™ Freshen-up Mist for Hair and Skin is another product Jonathan created earlier on in his career, which he used on models so he could naturally restyle and refresh their strands without having to wash them. It’s great for every girl on the go.
Tina says that all of these products were developed to perform in the short term, smell great and feel great, and help consumers get the look they want. But Jonathan also wanted to develop products that over time would really help improve people’s hair. I equate it to creating a regimen for your hair’s life (similar to what we do for our bodies by going off to the gym and watching what we eat). “Jonathan’s philosophy is that the whole line is meant to be mixed – you can play with the products and mix them together. Hair is like people; it’s not the same everyday,” says Tina. “You might tend to have thin hair that a lot of the time needs volume (requiring a big style workout!-editor), but some days it may be dry so it needs more moisture (that would be working on another aspect of your hair’s “body!”-editor). So one day you might combine volumizing conditioner with a moisturizing shampoo or vice versa.” Tina also says the line is meant to be customized by the consumer. “You can look at your hair, feel it, and say, ‘what do I need today?’ It’s very unique.”
Additionally, Tina revealed that one of the principles behind the line was to demystify the process of getting great hair. To that end, its creators really want to make Jonathan’s tips and techniques accessible to all. “We created this line to put Jonathan in a bottle,” Tina says. “We were teasing when we first started, but the truth is that’s exactly what we did! Every single product has a quote by Jonathan on it discussing why he loves the product and how he uses it.” The Jonathan׀product™ website also offers tips by Jonathan on every product and how to use them.
Aside from all the great product ingredients, the huge crowd at Sephora Times Square when Jonathan came to town, and an amazing showing of product sales when the line hit QVC in June, there’s even one more reason why these products are worth their weight in gold – they weren’t tested on animals, instead it was Hollywood A-list celebs who were the guinea pigs! And if it’s good enough for a celeb clientele always willing to pay top dollar, these products are definitely something our average strand styles should get a hold of. For more information on Jonathan׀product™, check out the website at www.jonathanproduct.com, QVC, and Sephora.