Who is Shelley Gregory?
If you don’t know her from her 15 years of mind-blowing stylist skills, then you probably recognize her for her recently-viral pastel hair creations that sent not only the internet, but also the beauty world, totally spiraling—you know, in a good way. Either way, if you’re even a little well-versed in the hair-universe, you’ve definitely heard Shelley’s name.
She’s been featured on tons of clickable and heavily trafficked sites like Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and more. She’s been nominated time and time again (make that 6 time-and-time-agains) for Transformation shots for the Behind the Chair Awards (she brought home the gold in 2016), and she’s considered a major stylist influencer by organizations like Launchpad, GHD, and more.
This Las Vegas Native—who was named a 2016 Game Changer by Modern Salon Magazine—has a heart for hair and a passion for teaching—and not just stylist and colorist techniques. Shelley’s all about sharing her know-how with other stylists in the biz, especially when it comes to need-to-know skills like business strategy and social media marketing.
She’s a trailblazer, a mentor, a creative, and a gem, and we were lucky enough to chat with her for this spotlight.
The Stylist Herself
It’s been 15 years since Shelley first got behind the chair, and ever since she’s been making magic. Though she thoroughly enjoys all areas of styling, she’s incredibly well-known for her specializing in color—remember those pastel creations we were talking about?—and blonding. Shelley knew after she graduated high school she wanted to pursue something that made her happy, something that made her feel like she could go all-in on—beauty school was the perfect fit. She was hooked and to this day, she can’t get enough.
What keeps her here?
“The pace that beauty changes—beauty is always changing,” she said. “Every day there’s a new product, a new technique, trend, or technology coming out. We can never get bored.”
Technique & Teaching—the Passion That Keeps Her Going
Shelley isn’t just in the industry to create badass looks and viral-worthy pastel masterpieces—although, she’s definitely killing the game in both departments.
Shelley is passionate, too, about teaching.
For Shelley, it’s never been about rising to the top and keeping it all to herself, instead, she’s wholly interested in helping others succeed (which, we think makes sense for a woman whose favorite quote is “treat others as you want to be treated”—did we mention she’s also like, adorably sweet?)
Don’t misinterpret us, Shelley told us she absolutely loves creating something beautiful and jaw-dropping—and she’s incredibly interested in keeping up with the beauty trends, technology, and techniques that are rapidly changing, but mentoring, teaching, traveling, and lecturing are also enormous passions for her.
“I have a passion for traveling to do hair—things like fashion week, hair shows, photoshoots, and big events,” she said. “I also love to educate other stylists to help them grow their business.”
The Good, the Bad, and What Makes Her Tick
Being in the industry for over a decade has afforded Shelley a lot of experience—both good and not-so-good. That being said, Shelley does think the good outweighs the bad, or rather, she understands how the bad, with the right perspective, can be turned into something good.
For example, Shelley had a client once who was going through hormone changes, though, as the stylist, she didn’t know it. The result after coloring and styling? Epic breakage and damage. But even though it was technically a terrible experience, Shelley said she was able to work with the client, nurse her hair back to health, and now she’s one of her best clients.
A more blatantly amazing experience?
“Having someone travel to see me all the way from Australia just for me,” she said. “They came over specifically to get their hair dyed a pastel color.” Seeing their happiness when she was able to deliver that? Priceless.
Shelley loves her industry—both from the roles of stylist and teacher. But for her, the biggest feel-good moment is still enmeshed when she has the opportunity to unleash her creativity.
“The most rewarding part about all of this is being able to create,” Shelley said. “Coming up with and being inspired by ideas you have, then actually being able to make them come to life is beyond fulfilling!”
Don’t get her wrong, she knows challenges are still there—like the toll being in this industry can have on your body—but all of that is worth it for her because she’s constantly working on her craft, perfecting it and enjoying it every step of the way.
Advice for the Future Wave of Stylists (and for the Current Ones, Too)
As far as Shelley is considered, the future of beauty looks bright. Though, she does anticipate we’ll start to see changes toward the green side of things.
“I think it’s going to start being more earth-friendly,” she said. “There’s so much waste that goes into (this industry), and we already take care of our clients so well—I think we can be an industry that leads in taking care of our earth like that, too.”
The best advice she can offer new—and seasoned!—stylists?
“More self-care and love!”, she said. “make sure you’re working in a salon before you sign up for school or go shadow someone in your industry. Make sure it’s a right fit, because it’s hard work, and to be successful, you have to really love it.”