by Martin Wong
editor, Giant Robot Magazine
Thy Mai grew up in Texas with aunts who practiced perms, frosts, and cuts on her. For fun, she would style their hair in return when she was in grade school and junior high. Everything indicated that she was destined to follow the footsteps of her late mother, another hairdresser. Yet after leaving Houston for Seattle to start her adult life, she managed to do everything but that: waitress, barista, notary, insurance agent and party planner. Then, just one year away from earning her college degree and on the cusp of a successful financial management career, Thy decided that she wanted to do something more enjoyable and rewarding than that.
After serious thought, Thy realized that hairdressing was indeed her calling because it allows her to be creative and to look after and care for people. She packed her bags and enrolled in the Sassoon Academy in Los Angeles. Since graduating from the esteemed program, her career trajectory has been fast and foreward. She was recognized by and quickly promoted to be the Art Director of the highly regarded Chop Chop salon on La Brea and Melrose, where her celebrity-quality treatment of everyday customers has resulted in appearances on MTV’s “Made”and E! channel clips. In addition, she art directed and co-sponsored fashion shows for Dress Right (a monthly event for upstart designers and stylists coordinated by Obey and Apt.3) and is contributing work to upcoming movie and TV projects. Recently, she was named one of Bumble and Bumble’s “Top 20 Network Educators.” Thy now has gone independent to pursue more creative endeavours in hair.
While Thy enjoys and appreciates her career as a stylist, on runways and on the set, she realizes that many of her most rewarding experiences with hair came when she was at home in Houston. In that spirit, she has begun filming webisodes answering commonly asked questions about hair styling. With these pieces, she hopes to share her love and obsession with hair, demistify the latest cuts, enable and encourage anyone to have fun with his or her look, and share the feeling of getting a fresh new start with a new, wide audience… including her sisters who still live in Texas and can’t visit her very often.