Portland-based craft hairdresser Lindsey Lea won the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Scholarship in the spring of 2016. In a town where the slogan is “Keep Portland Weird,” we were curious to find out what the current hair trends are, and we wanted to check in with Lindsey to find out what she’s up to now.

BCL: How did winning the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Scholarship change your life and your career?

LL: Being chosen as a recipient for the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Scholarship came at a really interesting time in my career for me. I had begun to lose my inspiration behind the chair and I was getting worried.  How could I fall back in love with my career? Being a single young parent for most of my career, I was burned out. I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. Not only did I receive an amazing scholarship, but I had validation from my industry that the photoshoot I poured my heart and soul into had value to others. The photoshoot I entered was the first time I’d been a creative director of an editorial shoot. Since then, I have gone on to organize more photoshoots, and making more and more connections in the art community in Portland. Winning the scholarship gave me more belief in myself and my skills, which has helped my business thrive. The gift in receiving a scholarship through Beauty Changes Lives is that I have fallen deeper in love with my craft. I had no idea I could love my career this much. I have also become actively involved and regularly featured in the Hairbrained community as well since then. I am so thankful to be active in my community locally and globally.

BCL: What was it like attending the Sassoon Academy? Which course did you take?

LL: Attending Sassoon was nothing short of amazing.  I took a 5-day creative cutting course at the Toronto academy. I received individual attention and care to help me fine tune things I was struggling with behind the chair. I gained the feedback I needed to continually improve my haircutting skills, and be aware of any bad habits I formed over the length of my career. Having this knowledge has helped destroy any fear I had going into a haircut. I know I can handle whatever comes my way now. I also love the culture of Sassoon. I so appreciate being surrounded by down-to-earth professional and fun craft hairdressers.

BCL: What are the hair trends in Portland right now? What are your favorite hair trends of the moment?

LL: Portland is such a great city to do hair in because really anything goes. I think people here just flaunt their style and the city accepts, no matter what it is. I am noticing a lot of clients coming in asking for bangs. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to bangs here, there is everything from really carved out strong shapes like V bangs, to chewed up DIY texture, full fringe or a soft switch fringe. Undercuts are everywhere too. I also have a lot of clients asking for low maintenance color.  There is lots of balayage and color melts with natural and fashion tones. My favorite trends of the moment are having fun with necklines and the 1970-1980s inspired hair. I love that the hair of the seventies and eighties was gender neutral. I love seeing women rocking more masculine haircuts, men with long flowing layers and breaking standard beauty rules.

BCL: What are you up to right now?

LL: Right now I am working full-time behind the chair and planning my trip to ISSE Long Beach. In my time outside of the salon, I am currently organizing a creative project with a local videographer and models. I want to make an inspirational hair story inspired by music and nature. I’m ready for the next step in my editorial work. I am also working on building a collective. I want to bring people in our industry together to give back through education and volunteer events. There will be more to come on this once my video has been released early 2018.

You can find Lindseay on Instagram and Facebook @LindseyLeaHair and lindseyleahair.com.