Haydon wanted to be a yoga teacher at the age of 18. Studying psychology on the side, she took her friends’ suggestion to pursue modelling to pay for the classes and rent. She started modelling in Australia with her first assignment being for stretch mark cream. Encouraged by her sister’s modelling acts in India, she moved to India in 2007 to pursue a modelling career there. In India, she has walked the ramp for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) and HDIL-India Couture Week(HDIL-ICW). She is also the face of Lakmé.She has also featured in commercials for Hyundai i20, Indigo Nation, Myntra.com and Blender’s Pride. In 2010, she did a commercial opposite Hrithik Roshan.
She has featured as cover girl for major fashion magazines like Verve (March 2008, January 2011),Elle (April 2009, May 2009, May 2010, April 2011),Femina (April 2009),Harper’s Bazaar (January–February 2010),FHM (August 2010) and Adorn (November–December 2010).
As a model Haydon has been recognized for her impeccable style and personal. She has been the first and the obvious choice of almost all the major fashion awards in the country. She was named the best model and the most stylish persona in Cosmopolitan Fun and Fearless Awards 2009, DNA most stylish 2009, Marie Claire best model 2010.
Haydon collaborated with global lifestyle brand Sher Singh now acquired by Myntra to launch their first capsule collection inspired by her global style. On 14 February 2012, Sher Singh chauhan unveiled its spring collection online. Playful, in pastel, coral and tan, some of the dresses have lace embellishments and can be paired with boots and jackets. Explaining their choice of Lisa, Sunjay Guleria and Sonny Caberwal of Sher Singh reason that Lisa Haydon has a global fashion style with a distinct Indian identity. “Bohemian, jersey for comfort wear and structured cuts, I love it all,” Lisa says. “My personal style is the way I’d put an outfit I love together”.
The line will not have completely Indian pieces, but will borrow elements for Indian fashion through buttons, embroidery, colors, dyes and fabrics. This is the first time an Indian model and actor is designing her line internationally, along the lines of celebrities such as Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica-Parker and Jennifer Lopez.
She was spotted by Anil Kapoor in a coffee shop and soon her agent received a phone call for a role in the movie Aisha. The movie was loosely based on the Jane Austen novel Emma and its Hollywood adaptation Clueless, and she was offered to play role of Aarti Menon, a New-York returned, white-collared, corporate yuppie. After signing the movie, she went to New York City for three months to learn method acting and also received classes on diction in Mumbai. In 2014, Haydon appeared in the coming-of-age dramedy Queen alongside Kangana Ranaut. She played Vijayalakshmi, a single mother who has a child out of wedlock. Haydon’s performance was extensively praised by critics; Devesh Sharma wrote that she “gives a class act”, whilst Rajeev Masand said that she “is a complete revelation in the role of Rani’s bohemian Parisian pal, investing the character with both sultriness and genuine affection.” The film earned unanimous critical acclaim and was also a box office hit. Her latest release was The Shaukeens, a remake of the 1982 film Shaukeen opposite Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoorand Piyush Mishra. It was released on Nov 7, 2014. It took a decent start at the box-office with positive reviews but was a commercial failure.