House of Cards fans, this one’s for you! The final season is out on Netflix, and a new leader is in office: Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, is now Madam President. Along with the new gig, Wright’s character also gets a whole new ’do, ditching her classic pixie for a serious bob. “It’s a little cliché, but I do think that shorter hair commands more respect,” says Paul Norton, Wright’s stylist, who also owns Leo by Paul Norton in West Hollywood, CA. “The most serious way that Claire could articulate that she’s in control was with a blunt bob. Because of its gentle little angle and its bold blonde, it’s still sexy.” Here, Norton gives his tips and tricks for creating the look on clients in the salon.
Paul Norton, Wright's stylist and owner of Leo by Paul Norton in West Hollywood, CA
CONSULTATION “When someone decides that they want to go short, I let them embrace it,” Norton says. During the consultation, he first positions hair on the jawline or cheekbone to help give the client a visual of where the new cut will land. “Shorter hair is all about how it frames your face—that’s why sometimes we incorporate layers to break up facial features or enhance others.” As far as blunt bobs, Norton says he’d never create one without an angle. “If you give a woman over 27 anything that doesn’t have a gentle angle, you’re putting her in the mommy category—and even mommies don’t want to be in a mommy category,” he says.
STYLING Norton encourages bobbed clients to embrace an edgier, more modern look when styling. “People often equate healthy hair with hair that’s silky and shiny. Instead, I like to push them, and incorporate a texture product,” he says. A lot of women who ask for a cut like Wright’s have thinner, finer hair, which has often been over-processed with lightener, he says. “They look in the mirror, and think, well, I’ve got her color! Truthfully, it’s all about the product that separates and lifts the hair, to create definition. It can’t just lay there—it has to be woken up.”
GROW IT OUT When your client is over the short cut and wants to grow it out, Norton says he schedules periodic visits, just as you would for a bang trim or neck clean-up, and gives weight removal. If a client comes every six weeks, skip the cut and give weight removal instead. “Stylists should be very frank with clients that if they cut off too much, they won’t grow it out,” he says. “Explain to them that they have to ignore their hair to a certain extent. You’re taking out weight so that you can achieve length.”