Paul Abascal started out in films as a hair stylist with Sam Peckinpah's The Osterman Weekend (1983), starring Rutger Hauer. Work on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Sylvester (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986) and Lethal Weapon (1987) followed.
By 1988, he'd begun directing as well, with episodes of the TV series America's Most Wanted. He then moved on to drama series such as Tales from the Crypt and Silk Stalkings, while continuing to do hair on features such as Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990) and The Last Boy Scout (1991). While working as a hair stylist on Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), he got together with the star of the films, Mel Gibson, to direct two hilarious 30-minute TV specials: Mel Gibson's Video Diary and Mel Gibson's Video Diary 2: Lethal Weapon 3. Both "behind-the-scenes" shows into the making of the films were scripted, with Mel stumbling onto the most outrageous events, at one point searching all over the set for his co-star Danny Glover, only to find out that his trailer was a busy nightclub.
After directing episodes of several more TV shows such as Nash Bridges, Night Man, Secret Agent Man and Witchblade, Abascal made his feature film directorial debut with the thriller Paparazzi (2004), starring Cole Hauser, Robin Tunney and Tom Sizemore.