Patrick Navarro has had his hands in hair since at least age 12. He is also the son of a Baptist minister in Statesboro, Georgia.
“It was an interesting way to grow up to say the least,” Navarro says of his start. “I actually kind of hid it from people because that’s not what a little boy is supposed to do in Southern Georgia.”
Flash forward and the 27-year-old has devoted his life to the craft—splitting his life between Stella Nova, his home salon in Charleston, and a crush of private clients in New York. Stella Nova is also where the Southerner got his start when he moved to Charleston at age 18.
Amid his sometimes twice monthly trips between the Big Apple and the Holy City, the stylist finds himself stopping in destinations like Los Angeles and Miami working on everything from high fashion editorial shoots appearing in Vogue and Teen Vogue to music videos for Nicki Minaj and Robin Thicke. It’s a hectic life to lead, with a large part of it being spent in the air.
“You know, it's not normal to live between two cities, but concentrating on progressing and pushing myself is important right now,” says Navarro of his choice.
The duality allows him to embrace the fast-paced, editorial life that demands creativity and keeps him on the cutting edge while also grounding him in the salon life—having real women sitting in his chair on a consistent basis in need of styles that will stand up to life’s wear and tear.
“I tell people I want to create the most realistic look for whoever is in my chair,” Navarro says of his approach. “You look at these magazines and you see all these celebrities and it's all fake hair, it's all weave. If we work at it for a few months we can get it looking like that, but all of that’s fake.”
“But sometimes,” he adds laughing. “Sometimes it is nice to go and make those same images I fight in the salon every day.”
Words by Mikelle Street
Photo by Landon Neil Phillips, The Royal Wild