Ryu Hye-young got her start in acting in short films. In 2012, she was named Best Actress at the 6th Multicultural International Short Film Festival for Graduation Trip. In 2013, she starred in Uhm Tae-hwa’s directorial feature debut Ingtoogi: The Battle of Internet Trolls, which won her Best New Actress at the 15th Busan Film Critics Awards. In 2014, she appeared in the film My Dictator, which earned her Best New Actress nominations at the 35th Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 10th Max Movie Awards. In 2015, she joined the hit tvN series Answer Me 1988, which gave her the Rising Star Award at the 10th Korean Cable TV Awards. Her performance in the drama also scored her a Best New Actress nomination at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2018, she played the titular character in Olive’s Eun-joo’s Room. In 2021, she acted alongside Kim Myung-min and Kim Bum in JTBC’s Law School.

Ryu Hye-young attended Konkuk University’s film department. Her older sister Ryu Abel is also an actress.