We all know that creative hair colouring is massive at the moment – and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. More and more clients are asking their stylists for highly personalised colours, with Instagram accounts filled with rainbow tones gaining huge followings.
Lexie Shay is one hair expert who has really taken the bright side of hair colour by storm. With over 13 years in the industry and a spot on Pulp Riot’s Riot Squad, we thought she would be perfect to catch up with for this edition of Ask the Expert…
Hi Lexie! Can you give us an introduction to yourself and your career in the hair industry?
Hiya! My name is Lexie Shay Rabbett, you can find me on Instagram as @hair_by_lexieshay.
I am an Australian artist, now living in Leeds, UK. I moved to the UK to forward my career and learn from some of the most well established artists in the world! I am lucky enough to be a part of the Pulp Riot Riot Squad as an educator. I am also part of the Hair Slayerz community, a Booksy and Booksy BIZ Ambassador and now a B3 Brazilian Bond Builder Sponsored Artist and Educator!
I am obsessed with creative cutting, out of the box colouring and blonding, while Session Styling will always have a special place in my heart. Education for me is something I am super passionate about, to be able to share what I’ve learnt over the years with others. I’m just trying to make the world a more colourful place!
What is the Pulp Riot Squad and how did you become a part of it?
The Riot Squad is a group of artists that come together to cause a riot and spread the riot in the hairdressing industry. We aim to break down the walls of standard hairdressing expectations and put the power back into the hands of the artists. Meaning that Pulp Riot celebrates the black sheep and gives them a stage to shout about their passions. It’s pretty epic if you ask me!
What do you love most about working with Pulp Riot hair colours?
How long do we have! I love the saturation of the colours, the blend-ability and how it moves through the hair so easily. I also love the fade! It’s like you’re getting a few different looks with just one service. It fades to a pastel version of itself and not some weird green colour.
It’s easy in and easy out, too! Meaning you don’t have to bleach it and kill the hair to get it out. You can just use Pulp Riot Blank Canvas instead! The fact that it nourishes and treats your hair with all of the goodness at the same time is amazing. Plus, it’s VEGAN and it smells gooood!
How do you make sure you stay on top of your game in terms of industry knowledge?
EDUCATION! I’m forever learning. You never know everything and there are always new techniques or trends coming out.
Instagram is literally the greatest thing in the world. Being able to see new things from all over the world. I contact artists whose posts I like and ask for one tip that they can give me to recreate. I go to classes all the time, whether online or in salons. I love it! Investing in knowledge will be your best gift to yourself. Also I go to as many industry events as possible! A massive motivator is seeing other artists on stage doing their thing, it is just so inspiring!
What has been your standout career highlight so far?
Oh by far being apart of the Riot Squad and working the Main Stage at Salon International for Pulp Riot last year! Wow, that was amazing! I made myself sick with anxiety but I can’t wait to do it again. I’ve actually also been asked to work at HJ Live in London in March which I’m so damn pumped about!
And what has been your biggest career challenge?
Moving from Australia to England and literally starting from scratch! It was terrifying. And not just for the first month, for the whole first year!
Building a client base on a rent a chair basis is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. So many times I wanted to give up and move home because I was broke, thought I wasn’t being noticed and wasn’t getting the right client base. But I kept at it, got on with Booksy as a booking app and now I have a full client base. It’s fantastic!
How would you say hair trends have changed in recent years, and how have you adapted to them?
The 90’s and 00’s are back baby! Most of the stuff I was doing as an apprentice I’m doing now, just with a really cool twist. Bright vivid colours are celebrated now too, whereas before it was just for a certain kind of person. Now, I have high executives having fashion hair, it’s truly incredible! Even with balayage, everything is now super chunky with textured cuts. I definitely feel like this is my kind of era for hairdressing!
What advice would you give to anyone just embarking into a career in the hair industry?
You need to know the rules to break them. Nothing is a mistake or wrong, it’s always a lesson. KEEP AT IT! Don’t listen to naysayers, if you want to be the next Sassoon, Hooker and Young, Errol Douglas, David & Alexis Thurston (just to name a few), then do it! Work that little toosh off and get there!! You can do it!
What is next for your career through 2020 and beyond?
Well being a part of the Riot Squad and Brazilian Bond Builder, I will be holding loads of classes with them and also doing a lot of indie education on my own. I’ll be working on some collab demos and hands-on with other amazing artists that I am just obsessed with. Potentially some other things that I can’t really say but keep an eye out…. Some fun things with the booking app Booksy. And this year I want to get into competition hair! I know, it’s a lot! But there are plenty of hours in the day!
Lexie was also featured in our Most Hashtagged Hairstyles Campaign – see what she had to say!
Want more advice? Find more Ask the Expert features here!