Carlos: You have revolutionized the way we cut our hair at home. How did the idea of creating the CreaClip start?
Mai Lieu: Over the 15 years of being in the beauty industry I’ve noticed that my clients would always come back with uneven bangs that they trimmed themselves. Even though my bang trims were free they didn’t have the time to come back in between haircuts just to trim their bangs. So I thought I would help them by creating a tool so they can trim their hair at home perfectly in between salon visits.
Carlos: What made you realize that you had a passion for styling hair? How did you get into the industry?
Mai Lieu: Ever since I was 4 years old I always knew hair was my passion. When I was young our family was poor so I didn’t have any dolls to play with so I would gather a bunch of strings and tie it together and play with it like it was hair. I would braid it and style it. As I got older I would cut my friends hair and style it for them for prom. One day I was watching a hairstylist do hair (who now is my mentor) I was so inspired I dropped out of University to go into beauty school. Right after I graduated beauty school I entered a competition and I won first place in the state for Women’s cut. I was so grateful because I had to compete with stylist that were in the industry for over 20 years. I’ve loved it ever since.
Carlos: Besides being an award winning Hairstylist, you are also an Entrepreneur who has created a successful niche of products for women. What are some of the things you have launched so far? Please describe how and why they are beneficial to women.
Mai Lieu: CreaClip – Hair cutting tool for Women and especially for Mom’s. It’s great for cutting bang. Bangs are hot however they need to be trimmed every 3 weeks, with the CreaClip it can save you time and money by trimming it at home in between salon visits. Also the CreaClip can help you create layers! If you want to have a new style and more body. Haircuts can be expensive this will help you make your hairstyle last longer! Plus Mom’s can use it on their children at home. Most of the time Children are scared of a stranger cutting their hair, with the CreaClip you are going to get a more professional look. I know when I was a child I had some bangs cut way too short and I looked horrible in my school pics. I think the Children will appreciate it! I also created RisQue by Mai Lieu “Lingerie for your feet” a line of sexy socks that make Women feel sexy on a whole new level. You can now accessorize with your outfit! I already have many Celebrities like Dawn Olivieri from Heroes/True blood and Maiara Walsh from Desperate Housewives wearing my latest collection!
Carlos: Who was your first major client?
Mai Lieu: Don Ho, funny thing was that I didn’t even know who he was at the time and when I met him in the dressing room I thought to myself he must be famous cause there’s a picture of him shaking Elvis Presley’s hand. I told Don afterwards that I must be the only person in Hawaii that doesn’t know who he was and he laughed and said he liked that because I didn’t act weird around him. The best was when he sang to me while I did his hair. Such a great, kind talented
Carlos: Which celebrity clients have you worked with?
Mai Lieu: Many country singers, Don Ho when he was a live. I’ve been a stylist for Amanda Righetti, Cheryl Moana Marie and many more.
Carlos: What is your biggest hair secret to the stars?
Mai Lieu: I specialize in Great Lengths hair extensions. The secret to their beautiful full and long looking hair is extensions!! I pick out at least 3-4 colors to match their hair color and it blends perfect you can’t tell it’s fake. That’s why the stars have perfect beautiful hair!
Carlos: Do you have signature look that you like to create?
Mai Lieu: I love to create hairstyles that have lots of texture and movement. I do a lot of razor cuts and I texturize a lot. I like to mostly style haircuts with a little molding paste and scrunch, creating the messy look so that it’s sassy and easy to style. That way the haircut looks great with little styling.
Carlos: I see hair extensions have stirred up quite a buzz with celebrities. This hair tirade has influenced millions of consumers all over the world? What are some of the things you should consider when purchasing clip-in hair extensions?
Mai Lieu: That’s funny I wrote about hair extensions earlier not knowing this question. I would recommend to pick the closest color that matches your hair color. That’s the secrete to making it look real. Also get a professional to shape the clip-in extensions that way it will blend in the hair, even if it’s just to texturize the ends of the clips-in, it will help to make it look like your natural hair.
Carlos: As far as taking care of hair, what are some simple things anyone can do to pamper their hair on a daily basis?
Mai Lieu: I would recommend to use Potion 9 Leave in conditioner. It has sunscreen that helps protect and moisturize the hair. Your hairstyle always looks better when your ends are healthy. Potion 9 is also my secret for curly hair clients. It’s a great styling product to reduce frizz and soft define curls.
Carlos: What is some of the mistakes women make when it comes to taking care of their hair?
Mai Lieu: Women tend to brush their hair really hard when it’s wet. They don’t realize how fragile your hair is when wet and you stretch and create split ends with excessive brushing.
Carlos: If your having a bad hair day while traveling on the go, what should be the must have survivor hair products you should have?
Mai Lieu: If I’m traveling light I just bring KMS molding paste, they even have it in travel size. Because you can use it for anything, even get rid of fly a ways. Also I just wash and scrunch it in my hair and my hair drys nicely with some waves. It’s perfect when I’m traveling because I want low maintenance.
Carlos: What’s the most important styling tip for women?
Mai Lieu: At the end always put a little pomade to get rid of the frizz, when your hair is smooth it makes the your hair look healthier!
Carlos: What do you recommend for keeping hair looking gorgeous when it comes to curly, wavy, straight and combination hair types?
Mai Lieu: I use Potion 9 Leaving conditioner it makes the curls stay soft and define. For really curly hair I use KMS molding paste and twist 1 inch sections with your finger and scrunch, this will make the curls more define. Using a defuser to dry the hair will also create more curl and minimize frizz. However if you can natural curls are best air dried.
Carlos: What are some of your favorite products and styling tools?
Mai Lieu: The CreaClip is my favorite, it’s a haircutting tool that allows my clients to maintain their bangs at home. Plus they also use it to trim their Kids hair at home. Especially now that everyone is to busy and can’t come in the salon as often. My other favorite product is KMS molding paste. I’ve used it for 15 years and I can’t seem to find anything that is better. It’s a molding paste that is great for creating that messy look and it’s got a strong hold, however leaving the hair soft and not greasy. Plus it doesn’t leave build up. I use it also for scrunching curly
hair, makes the curls more defined and soft. I’ve also been using the Conair defuser a lot to scrunch and create texture in hair. It’s amazing you can create soft curls even when the client has no natural curls at all.
Carlos: Do you have any traditional hair secrets or natural remedies that you use?
Mai Lieu: I use the plant Aloe and mush up the gel like substance in the middle and use it to get rid of frizz. I sometimes only put that in my hair and let it dry naturally, it makes my hair less frizzy. I’m thinking it also helps moisturize the hair. People use it for burns for the skin, why not for your hair?
Carlos: Have you ever got to be apart of styling celebs for big events like award shows, movie premieres, fashion shows, galas, charity events, etc? Which ones did you enjoy the most?
Mai Lieu: Yes I was part of may fashion shows and events. The most exciting was for the Emmy’s and the Oscars sneak peak. I love connecting with Celebrities like Amanda Reghetti, Gilles Marini they are are HOT! To be honest they are just like us, oh and Kim Whitely is so funny in person, she cracks me up.
Carlos: What are the latest hairstyle and color trends for this Fall/Winter season?
Mai Lieu: We always tend to go a few shades darker for fall and winter and I’m doing more warm tones of copper and deep reds for low lights to compliment the fall season.
Carlos: We always hear don’t match your hair color to your skintone. Usually when you have light hair you want to go dark and if you have dark you want to go light. How do you determine the perfect hair color?
Mai Lieu: I first take a look at their skin and see if there’s any freckles or warm tones, if the do this helps me decide whether they would be good for warm colors like copper or red highlights. However it’s always safe to go 1-2 shades off their natural hair color. The sun naturally does that anyways.
Carlos: Short to long layered cuts is a very popular look right now. If you are rocking a black or dark brown color, what shade of blonde highlights would best complement such dark colors?
Mai Lieu: When ever you have dark hair colors it’s best to use at least two colors of blonde for hightlights. I like to use a medium blonde and a light beige blonde for highlights that way it blends.
Carlos: According to your face shape, what style of bangs best suits oval, round, oblong, square, heart, diamond and triangular shapes?
Oval – You can pretty much wear everything however if I had to choose I would recommend a long angled side bang.
Round – Soft textured short angled side bang that hits our eyebrows or cheekbones this helps to narrow the face.
Oblong – I would have soft see through bangs, layered bangs or fluffy bang to create fullness at the temples and to make the face look wider.
Heart – I would choose blunt straight across bangs. this will wide the forehead and balance the face shape. I would also do super short side choppy bangs!!
Square – I would suggest side swept bangs or angled bangs but they need to be real soft, to bring focus off the forehead and soften the face shape. You do not want to do blunt bangs, this will exaggerate the features.
Triangular – I would create a side bang that is parted further back on the head so it creates allusion of a wider fore head to balance face shape.
Diamond – I would recommend see through wispy bangs, they tend to have a short forehead so you also widen the forehead by parting further back to create a wider bang to balance face shape.
Triangular – I would create a wider bang that will make it appear more a oval shape and make them soft and feathered or wispy.
Carlos: What would you say are the best parts of your job?
Mai Lieu: I get to make people look good, in when they look good they feel confident and great.
Carlos: Do you ever think about expanding your creativity by opening a salon or creating your own product line?
Mai Lieu: Yes, I would like to have my own hair product line, one day. Right now I have invented 3 beauty products and I plan to have many more to come. I’m passionate to create solutions and empower women with my products. Hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams along the way.
Carlos: Have any hair philosophy you would like to send our way?
Mai Lieu: I believe that stress plays a big tole on our body there for when you have lots of stress it may cause hair loss. I believe if you take care of your self mentally and reduce your stress you will see a difference in your skin and hair.
Carlos: What projects are you working on these days and what’s next for Mai Lieu?
Mai Lieu: I’m working on launching a new product for Women! It’s a nail product!! Please check out CreaProducts.com for upcoming products!