Q&A with Dani

The Divi Team sits down with our founder, Dani Austin, and discusses the launch of Divi.
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Can you talk a bit about the heart behind Divi? 

What inspired me was going through hair loss myself! Hair loss can feel really out of control and emotionally exhausting, and it affects a lot of areas of life. There’s an overwhelming amount of contradicting information out there, so I felt lost navigating hair loss. Doing research, I learned a lot about my scalp and how little I focused on my scalp health. Everyone throws so many products and recommendations at you, but no one was focusing on the root issue. I learned about how your scalp gets clogged pores and tons of product buildup. It was all so new to me! And of course, my mom has experienced hair loss after her chemotherapy treatments, too. I’m over three years into my journey now, and I wanted to create a clean product that checked all the boxes and that would become a part of lifestyle rather than a quick fix. 

What did your journey with hair loss look like?

I have gone through seasons of grief because of my hair loss. A lot of people try to simplify hair loss by blaming it on one single cause, but it’s usually a lot more complicated and not just due to one thing. There can be multiple reasons that contributed, or maybe even just genetics. My reasons were pretty complicated. I started my Youtube channel while I was double majoring in college, and I remember at one point studying, and looking down to see hair everywhere. I was pulling my hair out from the stress. Mental health wasn’t talked about a whole lot yet, and I didn’t know this was a real issue. A couple more very stressful events happened in my life, and I lost even more hair, so I thought, “Let me go blonde so that my hair will look fuller.” Of course, that just made me lose even more hair. Then I tried hair extensions, but I didn’t know that the stress of extensions on your scalp can make you develop alopecia. There are spots where my hair still doesn’t really grow. I wasn’t taking care of myself mentally or physically. Eventually, I got to a point where I didn’t even have enough hair to put it in a ponytail. That’s when I decided to take a year to focus on my scalp health. I really started to take my stress levels, mental health and physical health seriously. I wore wigs while I learned how to take better care of my scalp.

How do you want Divi to help others going through hair loss?

I think Divi is more about a lifestyle. The most growth that happens is when you really focus on something. When you really pay attention to one part of your body, it WILL make a difference! I hope that anyone who uses Divi or is part of our community focuses on their scalp instead of trying every hair care solution out there. Divi is really introducing a new element of self care. I really think because of what’s in it, and because you might be focusing on your scalp for the first time, you really will see major improvement. 

What advice can you offer those who are going through hair loss?

One time (recently!) I went to Sephora, and I was crying. My hair had gotten serious heat damage from a blowout, and I told the lady working there that I really needed something that would help with my burnt baby hairs. Before showing me products, she stopped me and said, “Hey, first of all, I want you to know that it’s gonna be okay. Things feel heavy right now, but things really will be okay.” This was a clear reminder how hair loss is such an emotional experience. In a way, I felt like it was taking away my femininity and my confidence. I’ve learned not to let my hair rule my identity, and I think that’s so important. I would also say, instead of focusing on “i’m gonna fix my hair”, focus on gaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Make sure you’re sleeping well, eating well, and taking care of yourself in general - everything else is the icing on the cake. 

How do you see Divi shaking up the scalp health market?

I think it’s the first time something’s been created by someone who really gets it. Lots of girls with amazing, God-given hair release hair products and you’re like “uh… that’s amazing, but what about the rest of us?!” I don’t have that perfect Pinterest hair, and no matter how healthy my hair gets, it will never look like that. And that’s okay! I’m working with what I’ve got, and I want to help other people do the same.

What does your hair health journey look like now?

It’s been kind of a roller coaster because of postpartum hair loss. Currently, I use my serum right before I go out, before bed, after a shower - anytime I think to, almost like I do with lip balm. I made sure that it doesn’t leave your hair greasy because nobody has the time to wash your hair everyday (and that’s not great for it anyways!). I take vitamins, focus on my mental health, and am very gentle with my hair. I’m so careful these days about which products and tools I use. The biggest change has been embracing my natural hair more and learning to love my curly hair instead of comparing with others.

Why is scalp health important to you?

It’s part of our wellness that’s neglected and it’s just as important. It’s literally another organ that needs to be cared for, especially because we always damage it. We pile on products, burn it with heat, and expect it to be fine, but the reality is, the scalp needs self care too! 

The launch of Divi is so exciting. What’s next for the brand?

I would love to come out with more products, like a shampoo and conditioner, and especially a heat protectant. At the end of the day, people still wanna have fun with products, including me! But having really quality products would be awesome. I would also love to see Divi become a community hub that unites people experiencing hair loss, so that they can share their stories, walk together through their journeys, all while using Divi’s blog as a resource center for hair loss information.

 

Hey you! We’re seriously so happy that you’re part of the Divi community. Whether you’re here for the Divi Scalp Serum, some scalp health advice, or just to connect with others who are also experiencing hair loss. Stay tuned for more expert advice coming down the pipeline soon.