Jonathan Van Ness’ 5 Easy Tips Will Guarantee Your Best Hair Ever

Whether they wear it curly, straight or in between, Jonathan Van Ness has one of the most enviable heads of hair in showbiz. It makes complete sense. A professional New York hairstylist for 15 years – and, of course, hair and grooming expert on much-loved Netflix series Queer Eye – Jonathan's experience has helped shape what beauty enthusiasts are touting as the most exciting beauty launch of the past year: JVN Hair.
Since bursting onto the scene in August 2021, Jonathan's namesake haircare brand has amassed legions of loyal stans. Now, much to the excitement of hair obsessives in the UK, the entire collection has just landed at Space NK. With the tagline "come as you are", JVN champions diversity, positivity and self-care, earning the brand a fanbase which includes celebrities like Drew Barrymore plus countless TikTokers. (It's almost impossible not to come across the many impressive reviews during a midnight scroll.)
No matter your hair type, texture or style, JVN highlights strong, nourished and healthy lengths. It's actually the sister brand to New York skincare favourite Biossance (available at Cult Beauty), which means there's a solid team of formulators and cosmetic chemists behind it. As ever though, products only do half the work when it comes to good hair days. If we've learned anything from Jonathan, it's that the little hacks and tweaks can make all the difference.
Ahead, the pro divulges their most valuable advice for achieving your best hair ever. Whether you're a wash-and-go or a five-step ritual type of person, it's easy to incorporate into any routine.

Treat your hair exactly like your skin

"I think one of the biggest mistakes I see is not hydrating hair," Jonathan told R29, so it pays to treat it just like your skin. After cleansing your face, for example, you might reach for a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum followed by a quenching moisturiser. If your hair is especially dry, bleached or dyed, it requires similar care — particularly after a long winter.
"I love our Nurture Deep Moisture Mask, £21, but my first step is always our Complete Instant Recovery Serum, £24," Jonathan told R29. "I prime my hair with that because it balances and heat-protects. Just like in skincare, serum is a good first step. Then I layer a few grape-sized dollops of the Complete Air Dry Cream, £21, on top and scrunch it into my hair or set it into little finger curls. The more hair you have, the more you want to use. It's very buildable and creates gorgeous texture." It can be used to smooth and add definition to all hair types. After that, Jonathan diffuses their hair or lets it air-dry.
TikTokers are going wild for the hair serum in particular thanks to its moisturising star ingredients like niacinamide and glycerin. It also contains hemisqualane. "I wanted to understand ingredients and where they come from at a young age," said Jonathan. "My mum was really into natural haircare so that gave me a really strong foundation in understanding where ingredients came from — and this is such an effective molecule. It really absorbs into the hair and delivers nurturing ingredients that offer lots of protection from washing, water pollution and heat styling."

Everyone should use this one product during styling

Even if you're only rough-drying with a hairdryer or giving your lengths a very quick once-over with straighteners, Jonathan says that failing to use heat protectant is another mistake they often see people making. If you're serious about avoiding split ends, keeping your hair colour intact for longer and avoiding frizzy bits, it's a must. Luckily, the JVN hydrating serum also has hair-shielding benefits and deflects heat damage from styling tools. Also try ghd Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray, £18.95, if you want something very lightweight or Wella Professionals EIMI Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray, £12, which protects hair from damage up to 220°C.

Matching shampoo and conditioner is a myth

There's no hard-and-fast rule that declares you must use the same shampoo and conditioner. Sure, they might look a bit more uniform in your shower but your hair has different needs at any one time. "I always mix and match our shampoos and conditioners," Jonathan told R29. For example, you might do well with a really nourishing shampoo like JVN's Nurture Hydrating Shampoo, £16, but need something a little more substantial to mend split ends temporarily and take care of brittle strands, like the Undamage Strengthening Conditioner, £16, which is suitable for all hair types. This pick 'n' mix approach might be more beneficial for the overall health of your hair — and it goes for all brands.

You're washing your hair too often

"If you're not getting your hair super dirty, it's nice not to wash it when you don't have to," said Jonathan, who compares hair to fabric. "It doesn't like to be over-washed. When it's unnecessary, over-washing is a mistake because it dries out the hair." If you wash your hair every day and are noticing dryness, colour fade or more split ends, it might be worth postponing your hair wash for a day or two. R29 recommends a dry shampoo that actually cleans the hair, like Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, £20, or a product which mops up oil without leaving behind chalky residue, like Kérastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo, £25.15, to help extend the number of days between washes. Jonathan also suggests investing in their Complete Hydration Kit, £16, to ensure hair isn't being stripped when washed.

Think twice about colouring your hair

Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, Jonathan has had so much amazing advice on their hair. But one tip stands out. "I have one really good piece of advice for longer haired folks," they told R29. "If you colour your hair a block shade and it's more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural colour, it can be a six-year commitment to regrow your natural shade back in." That's a long time and could end up requiring multiple salon treatments throughout the years.
"Hair only grows a quarter to a half an inch a month, which is pretty slow," Jonathan continued, "so while a lot of the time people will tell you to go for it, make sure you think about the big financial commitment as well as the time spent making trips to the salon." If your hair is short? "It's not as important because you can cut it off and who cares!"
JVN Hair is available at Space NK now.
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.

More from Hair

R29 Original Series