Curious Londoner #2: ReeRee Rockette of Rockalily Cuts

I’ve followed ReeRee Rockette, fashion blogger, entrepreneur, salon owner, real-thigh advocate and rockabilly devotee, for years now. Last week I tried her salon Rockalily Cuts, the only place in London really worth going to for retro cuts or rainbow colours. I was just getting over a three-week bout of meningitis and hadn’t left the house for days; my hair looked like a bird’s nest that had been mauled, and then shat on, by a dog, so I was excited for the transformation, even though I didn’t go for anything too out there.

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As you can see, you certainly don’t have to have an unusual cut or colour – or any colour at all – but it’s hard to resist something a little different when the salon’s Instagram looks like this!

I’m always inspired by successful businesswomen (as well as anyone with the balls to dye their hair blue!), so I invited ReeRee to be Curious Londoner #2 and answer some questions for me:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I dabbled in the usual childhood fantasies; teacher, shopkeeper, librarian, but the overarching ambition was an author. I wrote obsessively, diaries, stories and poetry. I’m sometimes pretty astounded when I realise I’ve sort of ticked all of them.

Pink
Black
When did you decide to start your own business, and why did you choose East London?

I decided to quit my job back in 2010, so about 6 years ago now. My first business was Rockalily Lipsticks, my own lipstick brand. I switched path and opened Rockalily Cuts in 2012. I looked at a few locations, but when I saw my little Hoxton shop I just knew it was right. Rather embarrassingly I actually didn’t know much about the area back then, I’m not sure I’d even been to Shoreditch!

If you could give one tip to your former self before you started your business, what would it be? 

You’ve only just begun.

Red
Blue
What are your favourite transformations that have taken place at Rockalily Cuts?

Blimey, we’ve had so many in the almost four years we’ve been open. I’m big fan of a fringe so I do love watching women getting a fierce fringe cut in for the first time.

And what’s the most dramatic? 

We’ve done lots of charity haircuts, and an amazing array of rainbow transformations.I’m not sure I could pick a specific one!

Rainbow hair
Purple
And the best hair you’ve ever rocked yourself?

I think I was oddly most happy when I managed to achieve brown hair with highlights and long weave. My hair goal was Kelly Clarkson believe it or not. That wasn’t even that long ago, and I still miss it. Which seems rather odd as I generally rock brightly coloured hair.

How many dudes come in for the full Rockalily treatment (i.e.a retro look)? 

Gents need their hair cut just as much as the ladies!

What’s the easiest way to achieve a rockabilly look yourself at home, if you’re rubbish at hair and don’t have very bendy arms or very good spatial awareness? 

Bandanas! I adore mine, and they make any outfit automatically look rockabilly. (ReeRee’s bandana tips here..!)

And, if you really do suck at hair, what are your favourite brands for achieving the look with clothing and accessories?

 I’m pretty lucky to have awesome relationships with the brands I wear most often these days: Collectif and Brutus trimfit shirts. I love mixing my look a lot more these days, and these brands clash in some delightful ways.

 

Author: Emily Gibson

Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.