Celebrity Stylist Paul Norton Talks Demi Lovato, His Hopes For The Industry & How He Balances It All
BTC Talks With Demi Lovato’s Hairstylist, Paul Norton
We know you’re more than familiar with Ariana Grande’s signature high pony but do you remember Taylor Swift’s picture perfect ringlets circa 2009? We recently got to chat with the man behind both iconic styles, celebrity stylist Paul Norton (@paulnortonhair) who now works with Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel and the Bella twins! Keep scrolling to learn how Paul preps for an award show, his hopes for the hair industry, how he balances it all while staying sane and SO much more!
The Journey To Celeb Hairstyling
So how did Paul go from working with the everyday client in the salon to styling some of Hollywood’s biggest names? With hard work and a solid month of good luck. It all started when he was featured in the Allure directory in 2009 or 2010, which then led to Nexxus contracting him as a spokesperson for about a year. From there he landed his first celeb, Taylor Swift, thanks to his roommate who was friend’s with Taylor’s assistant. “In my opinion, what I learned the most in this industry, it’s not about what you do, it’s who you know,” says Paul.
The same month he started working with Taylor—a partnership that lasted about two years—Paul also began working with Robin Wright (who he’s been styling for over 12 years now). “So it was like the biggest thing, all the biggest things ever were happening to me all in about the same month,” he shares. After Taylor, Paul went on to work with Ariana Grande for four and a half to five years and the rest, they say, is history.
Demi Lovato’s Grammy Awards & Super Bowl Looks
With his current celeb clientele, Paul’s year was off to a crazy start with jobs three weekends in a row! First he styled Demi for the 2020 Grammy Awards, then again for Super Bowl LIV and then he styled Idina the following weekend at the 92nd Academy Awards. Because this was Demi’s first time performing since stepping out of the public eye two years ago, of course we had to ask Paul how he came up with her looks:
Demi’s Long, Cascading Beach Waves: Paul says they knew Demi wanted to reemerge with longer hair at the Grammy Awards, but whether it would be wavy texture or straighter texture wasn’t decided until he saw her garment. “For the Grammys I felt like I wanted it to be a little bit more messy,” he shares. “There was a rougher, looser texture to the hair so I kind of wanted it to contradict the fact that she was wearing a giant ball gown, which was gorgeous.“
Demi’s Super Bowl Waves: And then for the Super Bowl, Paul says he had this mermaid kind of wave in mind. If you’re unsure about a style, here’s a pro tip from Paul: “Sometimes I will actually start to do a texture and then I’ll take a picture on my phone—because the iPhone does not lie—so I’ll take a picture and be like, ‘This is what it’s looking like. Do I need to keep going in this direction or should we reassess?'”
How Paul Preps For An Award Show
Prepping for something like an award show involves two aspects: mentally preparing for millions of people to see your style AND physically packing a kit with your go-to tools and products. So naturally, we asked Paul how he handles both. As for the mental aspect of the job, Paul is big on setting intentions. “I’m very aware of my thoughts and what my intention is for that day,” he shares. “I start off the day with a prayer and I’m just like, ‘This is what I want to happen. This is what I’m hoping for.’ It just sets my tone for the day.”
As for his kit, don’t expect Paul to share an IG post that details what he packs because he’s the type who thrives in organized chaos. “I live out of my car. All of my stuff is just in the trunk and I have like five bags that I grab and take with me,” he explains. “I love the brands that I work with, but everything’s just kind of a hodge podge. It’s kind of embarrassing but I kind of like that messy, chaotic vibe. It’s just how I operate.”
Tap The Arrow On The Below Post To See Which IGK Hair Products Paul Packed To Create Demi’s Grammy Look!
How He Balances It All
As if styling celebs for everything from awards shows to photo shoots wasn’t enough, Paul also owns LEO, his seven chair salon in West Hollywood that offers hair services, makeup, tanning, sugaring/waxing, micoblading and brow services. So how does he stay sane while balancing it all? Self-care. “I try to do whatever kind of pampering I can do for myself,” he explains. Not only does he workout every day but Paul also sees a chiropractor once a week and treats himself to massages here and there. But something that’s totally changed the self-care game for him? The hypervolt, a massage gun that Paul claims, “…has changed my freaking life.” A glowing review if we’ve ever heard one!
What Paul Hopes To See Change In The Industry
While the hair industry is a supportive and uplifting one overall, it also has its fair share of attitudes, egos and fierce competitors who hate to see their peers succeed—something Paul hopes to see change in the near future. “I want people being less threatened by other people’s successes,” he says. “Because the second you start to want to slow someone else down, it’s really when you’re slowing yourself down because you’re focusing more on them than you are on yourself.”
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