meet matt newman

the hairstylist and Tik Tok savant who believes THC is medicine.

Matt Newman's first photo with his dog.

How do you make your health a priority?

Lately, I haven’t been making my health a priority and that’s the honest truth. I’ve been readjusting to not having much of a routine at all. Focusing on the positive and staying emotionally satisfied has taken priority over physical health.

If you had asked me 6 months ago, my answer would have been working out and eating right. With my career having changed and a lot of my friends having left the city due to the pandemic, I connect with my friends and my family virtually and do things that make me happy, which includes eating delicious things. And I’m not upset with myself. It’s a strange world out there right now, but my routine has been completely thrown off. I’m rethinking a game plan, waiting to see where the cards fall, and taking care of myself during this time is about fostering peace of mind.

Matt Newman's second photo.

How have you overcome a certain stigma in your life?

Weed is my medicine. I am unofficially diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and medicine was stigmatized by my holistic family. It wasn’t until college that I could play with things to help my mindset and weed was and is a gamechanger. It’s calming and it helps me focus even though my focus might be lower than someone who is not stoned, it’s at least there. Without THC, there is no focus. When I do hair without weed, it does not go well.

“That’s how I really learned weed is not something I need to be embarrassed by because my work is better when I’m high.”

I smoke throughout the day to maintain that focus. It has an arc. In the afternoon, I smoke again to burst me through the end of the day. Then at night, it’s just for fun and however much I want!

Matt's third photo of flowers in NYC.

What is something you do most days that you consider an escape?

I’m very into street flowers. It’s so amazing that bodegas sell flowers. It’s like a dirty sidewalk and then there are these gorgeous bouquets.

For us in New York City, walking is how we get around and the city can be so gross. There’s a lot of sadness on the streets and I can’t avoid it. You see some really harsh realities. The art and flowers together in the same area displays a little bit of beauty when walking. The city is stressful and those flowers provide me with stress relief.

next story — stephanie treinen