Hyo-min debuted as a member of the South Korean girl group T-ara in 2009 with the single Lie. That same year, they released their debut studio album called Absolute First Album, which peaked at number 2 on the Gaon Album Chart. In 2012, the group was hit with internal discord issues, resulting in a dip in their popularity. They began focusing their promotional activities in China and went on to become one of the most popular K-Pop girl groups in the said country. In June 2014, Hyo-min dropped her first solo extended play Make Up. In March 2016, she released her second extended play Sketch, which won her the Best Korean Female Artist trophy at China’s V Chart Awards. In 2019, her third extended play Allure was released.

Hyo-min made her musical debut in 2009 through I Really, Really Like You, which was adapted from the 2006 MBC series Love Truly. In 2010, she landed her first television acting role in the SBS fantasy romantic comedy My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. In 2011, she became part of the MBC sageuk Kye Baek, in which she was named Best New Actress at the MBC Drama Awards.

Hyo-min attended Sungkyunkwan University.