At 18, she began her exotic dancing career. While working in a Las Vegas dance club, she became intrigued by adult films.
After moving to Los Angeles, she immediately began her career in hardcore pornographic films in 2002. Although she was pursued by other adult film companies, including Vivid Entertainment, Lei became a "Wicked Girl" contract performer for Wicked Pictures in 2003.
Outside of her adult film work, she used to host a radio show on KSEX, Me So Horny With Keylani Lei. Lei has returned to hosting the show as of April 2007 now with co-host Kitty Langdon.
In 2007 she was the co star of the Cinemax series The Erotic Traveler.