Influencer Dani Austin On Starting Her Hair Care Brand, Divi

When influencer Dani Austin started experiencing hair loss, she found that there was a gap in the market for reliable resources and solutions. So, like any creator with a strong platform, she started discussing the issue with her audience, walking them through her many attempts at finding a solution, and ultimately, developing her own hair care brand, Divi. The brand launched with its Scalp Serum in 2021, providing both a way for Austin to treat her own hair loss as well as aiding thousands of her followers and beyond with their own hair journeys.

To learn more about Austin’s experience building and launching her own beauty brand, I spoke with her and asked about Divi’s inception, the way social media has played a part in the brand’s success, and what is next on the brand’s horizon.

SARAH BOYD: What prompted you to first start Divi?

DANI AUSTIN: Starting Divi was a deeply personal journey for me, one that emerged from my own struggles with hair loss. After pulling on my hair throughout college due to stress, I experienced very rapid hair loss—and as a young woman, this felt like the end of the world! There were so many moments of tears, lost hope, and loneliness as I felt like the only woman on earth in this struggle. There were not many resources or advocates out there—hair loss was a very taboo thing to talk about. I even ended up wearing wigs while trying everything to grow my hair back. I used every product on the market, going to such extreme lengths as to try questionable and sometimes funny remedies, but each one only provided a temporary solution. (Or in some cases, made things worse.) The frustration of seeking effective solutions, only to find products that masked the issue rather than addressing it at its core, is what drove me to start Divi.

My determination to find a genuine solution led me down a path of extensive research into scalp health and its pivotal role in promoting hair growth. Through countless trials, research, and experiments, I eventually began mixing together ingredients to bottle my own scalp serum—all in my own bathroom wearing a fuzzy pink bathrobe, if you can believe it.

At the time, my audience continuously requested for me to ship them my homemade concoction. After experiencing the results of my own creation and overwhelming requests from my audience, I couldn’t ignore the potential to extend this benefit to others facing similar challenges. It was a realization that led to Divi’s founding in 2021, with a clear mission to provide clean and effective hair care products that target the root causes of hair health issues. Through my own experiences and teaming up with incredible chemists, we formulated what would become the heart of Divi—our flagship Scalp Serum.

My journey wasn’t just about creating a brand; it was about sharing a solution that had profoundly impacted my own life. Divi stands as a testament to the power of addressing the fundamental issues of scalp health, and it’s my sincere hope that through our products, others can experience the same results that inspired the creation of Divi in the first place.

SB: What was the brand creation process like? What were the hardest or most surprising parts of starting a business?

DA: The journey of creating Divi has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. From the get-go, there was this undeniable feeling that Divi was special, but I never anticipated just how quickly the brand would take off.

The most surprising part of starting this business was the rapid and enthusiastic response from our incredible customers. It was like an instant connection, and the demand for Divi products skyrocketed. I never would have expected the overwhelming amount of before-and-after photos or testimonials that are direct messaged to me daily. Scaling the brand to keep up with this demand became our biggest challenge. We realized early on that to meet the needs of our growing audience, we needed to build an exceptional team spanning science, marketing, retail, and operations.

My number one priority always has been and will be product development. We are constantly looking to innovate our products, maintain the highest standards, and improve performance. I’ve learned over the years that this is a very difficult task to achieve, but we have been incredibly lucky to work with some of the best experts in their fields.

Building Divi has been a collaborative effort, and stepping into this new world has been a blast. Working with an incredible team, meeting amazing customers, and witnessing the Divi family grow into what it is today has been beyond rewarding. Here’s to the unexpected twists, the challenges, and the exciting surprises that come with building something truly special.

SB: You started with the Scalp Serum, but have since expanded to several other products including vitamins, shampoo, and conditioner! How do you know when it is the right time to introduce new products to the brand?

DA: Introducing new products to the Divi brand is a thoughtful process that is honestly driven by our commitment to addressing the specific needs and desires of our customers. We believe in a customer-centric approach, and each addition to our product line stems from listening to our customers and understanding their unique hair goals or challenges.

Our customers’ feedback is invaluable in guiding us toward areas where they seek additional support or improvements in their hair care routines. When we identify consistent trends or patterns in their requests, we recognize it as a signal that it’s the right time to expand our offerings. The goal is always to provide comprehensive solutions that go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach.

Once we decide to develop a new product, our team of in-house scientists kicks into action. Extensive research is the backbone of our process, as we delve into the best ingredients and formulas that align with our customers’ needs. We aim not only to meet but to exceed expectations, creating products that not only address specific concerns but also stand out in the competitive market.

In all, the timing for introducing new products is tied to our customers’ evolving needs and aspirations. By staying attuned to their feedback and investing in thorough research, we ensure that every addition to the Divi family is a purposeful and effective step toward providing a holistic hair care experience for our valued customers.

SB: How do you use your social media presence to promote Divi and build up its audience?

Using social media to promote Divi isn’t just about pushing products—it’s about building a genuine connection with my audience. I’m all about being real, especially when it comes to my own hair loss journey. (Or parenting, family, and everything else for that matter!)

I’ve found that being open about my experiences helps break down the walls of isolation that often come with hair loss. It’s one of the toughest parts of the journey—feeling like you’re going through it alone. Our goal is to continue creating a space where people can come together, be open about their hair struggles, and know that they’re not alone.

It’s not about selling products; it’s about fostering a community. By sharing my journey and encouraging others to share theirs, we’re creating a support network that goes beyond hair care. Yes, Divi offers solutions, but it’s also about offering a hand to hold in the journey. Through our collective experiences, we’re turning what can be an isolating struggle into a shared adventure.

So, social media for Divi is more than just posts and promotions; it’s a platform for honesty, openness, and building a community where people can find not only products to help with their hair concerns but also a group of friends who understand and walk with them every step of the way.

SB: What do you have planned next for Divi?

DA: I’ll just say 2024 is going to be a big year for Divi. Our team has been working so hard on some incredible new formulas, as well as some amazing initiatives, events, and more.

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