For the founder of Divi, Dani Austin, launching a company dedicated to hair and scalp health was born from her own experiences with hair loss. Like many of you, she knows that searching for products that create a healthy environment for healthy hair is challenging. To encourage everyone to have self-confidence and self-compassion on their own hair journeys, Dani Austin shares the details of her experience.
How did your own hair loss become the heart of Divi?
Hair loss can make you feel really out of control. It is 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. After countless trials and experiments, I kept pushing to develop a clean product that would become part of my lifestyle rather than a quick fix. Fortunately, I finally succeeded and, in partnership with scientists and chemists, developed our transformative Scalp Serum and Divi was born!
Divi focuses on using science-backed ingredients and creating clean, dermatologist-tested products. What role did research play in your hair loss journey?
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. It was all so new to me!
You took action by researching. What else did you have to confront on your hair loss journey?
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. My reasons were pretty complicated.
I started my YouTube channel while I was double majoring in college. I remember at one point while studying, I looked and saw hair everywhere. Unknowingly, I was pulling my hair out from the stress. Since mental health wasn’t talked about a whole lot yet, I didn’t know this was a real issue or related to hair health.
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. Today, there are still spots where my hair doesn’t really grow. 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 wore wigs while I learned how to take better care of my scalp. I also really started to take my stress levels, mental health and physical health seriously.
How do you want Divi to help others going through hair loss?
I think Divi is more about lifestyle. When you really pay attention to one part of your body, it WILL make a difference! I hope that anyone who uses Divi’s products or is part of our Club Divi community focuses on their scalp instead of trying every hair care solution out there. Divi is really introducing a new element of self-care with scalp health.
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 hair loss 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 does Divi take a distinct approach to scalp health?
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.
How has your hair journey changed over the years?
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 every day (and that’s not great for it anyway!). 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 it to other people’s hair.
What do you want to make sure people understand about scalp health?
Scalp health is a part of our wellness that’s very neglected. It’s literally another organ (your skin!) that needs to be cared for, especially because we often use products or expose it to environments that 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!
To all of our customers and readers we’re seriously so happy that you’re part of the Divi community. Whether you’re here for Divi’s Scalp Serum or any of our other incredible products, to learn about scalp and hair health, or just to connect with others who are also experiencing hair loss or have similar hair goals, we’re glad you’re here and we hope to be part of your lives for years to come!