Although Jon Steinick looks like an evil genius in his promo shot from last night’s Shear Genius, he’s actually super good natured and kinda zen–er, zen after 15 espresso shots, of course!) Check out my interview with Jon where he dishes on which judge’s photograph was on his bedroom wall in high school, what fellow contestant wowed him, and (yes) what he thought of Brig…
Hair On The Brain: Congratulations on making it to the final four!
Jon: Thank you, thank you thank you.
HOTB: I was bummed that you were eliminated last night.
Jon: You were? (Laughs) It’s funny because it was my birthday yesterday, and I was like, thanks Bravo. You couldn’t pick another Wednesday to eliminate me? It had to be on my birthday?
HOTB: Were you surprised to be eliminated?
Jon: I’m so thankful that what happened, happened. I’m a hairdresser that’s more comfortable behind the chair. Doing these editorial photo shoots and stuff like that, if it’s for a specific client of mine over the years, I’ve done it but… If it were just a showcase of cutting and coloring, it would have all been cake.
HOTB: You mentioned to Camila that you like cutting and coloring better than styling. But it seems like a lot of the challenges were geared more toward styling.
Jon: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I don’t send clients out of my chair with wet heads, and I can put through a curling iron, do rollers, round brush–anybody can do that. But as far as the manipulation of hair, Janine can manipulate hair like nobody’s business. She definitely has an amazing talent at that. In this career, you just find your niche. I guess I should have done some homework and actually watched one of the previous cycles of the show before I went on. But I’m glad I went on.
HOTB: What was it like doing Camila’s hair on last night’s episode?
Jon: She’s no different than anybody else. She’s made of flesh and blood and bone just like you and I are. What was more stressful for me was having Orlando Pita standing over my shoulder. I had pictures of him doing Madonna’s hair on my wall when everyone else had pictures of Madonna on their wall! He made me sweat; I didn’t like having him around at all. I’m such a dork anyway, but when he was around I just turned into a three-year-old kid with two left feet and two left hands.
HOTB: I think you told him to go away at one point.
Jon: Every time he was in the salon I told him to go away! I looked at my client and I was like, I can’t believe I just told Orlando Pita to beat it. And again, I’m such a dork about everything, I’m like: Oh my god, I could touch Orlando Pita right now. It was so surreal to me in so many different avenues. He just makes me nervous. I can’t even talk about him!
HOTB: When I interviewed other contestants from Shear Genius, like Faatemah, they named you as their favorite in the house.
Jon: Aw, yes! I love me some black girl. I love, love, love Faatemah. When we all showed up to get in the 15 passenger van or whatever, she apparently had a piece of luggage for every passenger that was there. I was like: Who in the hell does this girl think she is with 15 pieces of matching luggage? And two of them were just full of makeup and shoes. You gotta love her. I love, love, love Faatemah. The friendship that I made with her was completely worth going on the show.
HOTB: Did you get along with other people on the show?
Jon: I get along with everybody. I mean, I will probably get on someone’s nerves one way or another, but you have a choice to make: You’re either going to get along with the other six people that are next door to you, or you don’t. I chose to get along and have a good time with everybody.
HOTB: What did you make of Brig?
Jon: You know what, I love the circus freak that is Brig Van Osten. She’s a character. I’d look at her everyday and be like: You know, it’s a shame you’re such a freak because you’re a gorgeous woman. But I love Brig. She’s one of a kind. And anyone that shows up with urine yellow hair… I mean, come on. What are you gonna do?
HOTB: She’s certainly a character, but I’m not sure in terms of hair she should still be there?
Jon: Like I tell everybody, the same panel of judges on a different day is going to pick a different person. I truly am a firm believer in what’s suppose to happen, happens. But you know, she squeaks by. I’m not going to say anything that what she’s done is…(trails off.) Except for that flower challenge where she did that huge, like, zebra braid down that woman’s head. I mean, to me that was art! But of course, I can’t braid a ponytail, so show me anything like that and I’m like, Woo hoo! I’m amazed. But she definitely makes for good TV.
HOTB: She definitely makes for good TV, but last night’s win in particular I was like, come on.
Jon: I wish I could see the show because like I said, yesterday was my birthday so I was out and I didn’t want to see myself get eliminated on my birthday. I totally boycotted it last night, so I can’t wait for the rerun to come on.
HOTB: I’d be curious to hear what you thought once you watched the episode because the way it came across was frustrating. Especially because you chose the model with the thinning hair and really seemed to improve her look.
Jon: That same girl tracked me down and is coming out to LA to get her hair done on Saturday. She went on and on and on about how that one haircut changed her life. She’s got all this self-confidence now, and she’s doing all these photo shoots and getting work. She was like: Jon, I was just kinda a wallflower before. The fact that I can help liberate someone from the trap that they set for themselves, that to me is exactly why I got into this business.
HOTB: I thought choosing her was brave, the result was good, and that you shouldn’t have gone home.
Jon: Well, that’s kinda what I thought the whole show was about. I thought I was suppose to go on and do good work not mediocre crap.
HOTB: I guess it’s a reality TV show too though.
Jon: Exactly. You know, I talk to Jonathan [Antin] all the time and Jonathan is one of my biggest pom pon carriers now. And he was like: Jon, you can cut and color circles around anybody. Except for him, of course. And Kim Vo blogs about me all the time saying that my color is perfection. I mean, I couldn’t pay $100,000 for that kind of positive press. I did what I set out to do; I became known for doing good hair. When somebody is watching that show, how many people are going to be like: I want to go out tonight and have my inspiration for my updo be food? No. They want to get their hair cut and colored. So my clientele is blowing up through the roof.
HOTB: So if you had the final say, who would win Shear Genius next week?
Jon: I think Janine is genius in the way that she can manipulate hair. It’s incredible to me the way that she can make frizz look calm and tame, like what’s going on in the magazines these days. But, you know, I kind of stopped caring once it wasn’t me. I hope the best for all three of them. This is just a chapter in the book that is Brig and a chapter that is Matthew and a chapter that is Janine. If anyone comes away from this show and they don’t think that they’re a winner, than I think is truly sad.
Thanks for the great interview, Jon. You’re going to be missed on next week’s Shear Genius season finale. And while you all wait for next week, check out my other Shear Genius posts or go to bravotv.com/shear-genius. And remember: Hair is important.