Men's Groomer

With The Wolverine hitting theaters this weekend, Hugh Jackman has been doing the press rounds. And he’s been doing so while magnificently well-coifed.

In other words: not looking a thing like the terrifyingly hirsute beast he plays in the movie.

But Hugh doesn’t just roll out of bed looking that good—the man behind turning Wolverine back into a normal-looking person is a guy who goes by “The Men’s Groomer,” Jason Schneidman. We caught up with Jason, who’s working with Dove Men+ Care, to talk beard maintenance, re-handsome-ing up Hugh Jackman, how to get the JFK cut and more.

Jason Schneidman on the perils of grooming Wolverine, turning Rob Lowe into JFK and Abe Lincoln’s terrible chinstrap.

First, how does one become “The Men’s Groomer”?
Well, I started back when I was just cutting my buddies’ hair in high school, and then got into it for real and went to school for it and just worked hard at it for years and years. Now I’m working with big names like Bruno Mars, Jonah Hill, Hugh Jackman and Rob Lowe. Just to drop a few names.

When it comes to “grooming,” are we talking just hair? Or beards too? More?
I’ll give them eye pads if they’re looking puffy. Keep their skin moisturized. Throw some powder on them. And beards, absolutely. I’m a big fan of beards. If the guy’s got a beard, it’s the first thing I assess. Usually I’ll trim it evenly with Wahl clippers on a #1 or #2 setting, but if it’s a big, good-looking beard I don’t touch it, they can rock it. And even when I trim a beard, I don’t edge it up or anything like that. No accenting chin lines. Definitely no chinstraps.

What about a mustache?
Very few people can actually pull off a mustache or a goatee. Unless you’re Johnny Depp, but it’s very few and far between. Either keep it natural or shave it clean.

You’re dealing with a lot of hair on your head (and face) when a beard is involved. What’s the best way to make them work together?
Yeah, if you’re letting your beard do its thing, keep the hair short and tidy. It’s a sharp look and starting to get popular right now.

You’ve been working with Hugh Jackman for his The Wolverine press appearances, and that’s a wild hair situation he’s got happening in the movie. How’d you bring him back to looking like a normal person?
Ha. So he’s still shooting X-Men and shows up with no hair above his lip or on his chin and these enormous muttonchops. And we’ve got two weeks of press appearances to get him ready for, so the first week was rough, but it grew in enough that I could make it look normal. We were all incredibly happy once that lip hair started growing back. Hugh had me Instagram it.

Men's Groomer

So that’s all natural? Hugh Jackman can just grow that mythical-beast-like beard-muttonchops situation, or are prosthetics involved?
I don’t work on the movie set, so I’m no expert on that, but those muttonchops were all real. I think they do put some extra pieces in his hair for the filming, but the beard is the real deal.

Impressive. Any summer beard tips?
My motto is “effortless cool.” Keep it easy. Just grow it, then trim it down with clippers. Grow it out again. Then trim it down again. That’s all you’ve got to do.

How long should you let it go between mowings?
Depends on the person, but they did this poll on what women respond to best—it was during the hockey playoffs, you know, when they’re growing out beards—and after looking at photos of the beards in different stages, the women responded best to 10 days. So I say go with 10 days.

The sweet spot is 10 days. Good to know. Who else have you been working with?
Bruno Mars. I just got him out of that pompadour and into the afro. Which is just more natural, you know. I told him to wear the curls for the girls. That worked.

Men's Groomer

Nice. Now, what are some essentials every guy should have in his grooming arsenal?
You need a shampoo that’s made for your hair type. Dove Men+ Care makes a great hair-thickening shampoo and two-in-one, and it all keeps your hair three times as strong. Plus a good moisturizer. And I’ve got this boar-hair-bristle brush that I sourced from Ibiza, Spain, and basically you don’t have to spend all this time blow-drying your hair, but it gives a real polished look. For the beard: a Wahl clipper to trim.

So, your chair talk is probably a lot more interesting than most, working in Hollywood. Do you hear any crazy celebrity gossip?
Absolutely. And I think it’s important, like a psychologist, to keep a lid on it. If they say it here, it stays here.

Smart. We talk about style icons here a lot—who would you name as grooming icons?
James Dean. Steve McQueen. Clint Eastwood. Robert Redford. And those guys have all come in and out of beards. And there’s something about those guys that’s just effortless. Never over-the-top. Just handsome. Timeless.

Not coincidentally, a lot of the same guys we talk about. But who’s got the best hair in Hollywood right now?
Bruno Mars for the curls. Hugh Jackman’s got the effortless cool.

The worst?
No comment.

Had to try. Another group notorious for questionable hairstyles seems to be politicians.
I don’t know. There are some good haircuts in politics. Clinton has a good haircut. JFK had a good haircut. I actually just did Rob Lowe’s hair for a JFK role he’s doing.

Oh, cool. Another icon. That JFK cut is really a go-to summer cut, right? You know, those photos of him sailing, hair blowing in the breeze.
Yeah, actually, I’ve been giving a lot of those cuts at the salon for the summer, so I was totally ready when Rob came at me with it, so it turned out great.

What’s the key to a good JFK cut?
It’s a classic barber cut. With the sides real short and the top a little longer, then parted. I actually cut a part into Rob’s hair with clippers.

While we’re on the subject of historical figures, are there any historical figures you wish you could have given the “Men’s Groomer” treatment?
Wow. The first person that comes to mind is Abe Lincoln, and I was not a fan. Well, the reason he grew facial hair was because he thought he didn’t look powerful enough because he had a thin face. And he was on the right track—he just needed to grow it all instead of just doing the chinstrap. Because a guy’s facial hair can balance your face and toughen you up.

Men's Groomer

CONTRIBUTORS

Kempt Staff

PHOTO CREDITS:

Jason Schneidman