Beauty Boss: Cindy Tawiah Is Making History With Her Haircare Vending Machines

Diva by Cindy
Photo courtesy brand

Registered Nurse-turned-business owner Cindy Tawiah grew up in Ghana, West Africa, as the daughter of a professor and a diplomat. When she was only 16 years old, her chemistry teacher taught her how to make beauty products in class. From there, she went on to become a nurse, salon owner, author, and mentor—but it wasn’t easy. 

[SEE ALSO: This Beauty Brand Is Empowering Domestic Violence Victims One Makeover At A Time]

In her 13 years of nursing, Cindy experienced firsthand the absence of products designed for women who were dealing with medical conditions that resulted in hair loss, dryness, and weakness. She felt these women were often marginalized and neglected by mass media — she was determined to change that.

Unsatisfied in her career as a nurse, Cindy made the audacious decision to pursue an occupation in the beauty industry. With fierce persistence, she opened her very first salon, Shades Of U, in 2004. With her compassion and efficient business model, she quickly made an impact on her community; but owning a salon simply wasn’t enough. 

Diva By Cindy
Photo courtesy brand

Cindy wanted her customers to be able to take home that same effective experience. So in 2007, she introduced her haircare line, Diva By Cindy. The products focus on scalp health, hair restoration, and damage repair, and are accessible to the average woman in a world of high-priced natural products. Best of all, the alcohol-free formulations work well for relaxed or natural styles, and all hair types. Her products can now be found at Army & Air Force Exchange Service, TJ Maxx, Marshalls,, Harris Teeter, Giant, and Giant Eagle. Plus, her Stimulating Hair Growth system launched in Sally’s Beauty Supply in January 2020. 

Diva By Cindy
Photo courtesy brand

In 2018, she made history by opening her first storefront in the BWI airport. After pivotal success, she opened the first vending machine to dispense hair products at BWI in early 2019. This year, another Diva By Cindy storefront is set to open at Concourse AB. The next time TSA throws out your prized hair products, have no fear—Cindy has got you covered on multiple fronts. She sells full-sized and TSA-friendly travel sizes. 

She has also continued to grow her salon business. After years of managing two salons, Cindy embarked on a new course of action, focusing all of her time and resources on her hair care line and helping victims of domestic violence and homelessness. Ten percent of the proceeds from Diva By Cindy products are allocated to help women. She holds a “Day of Beauty” twice a year with access to life coaching sessions, facials, massages and, of course, hairstyling.

Building self-esteem is at the core mission of Diva By Cindy. While describing her higher purpose for creating this business, she said, “There are Black women out there really suffering from trauma. The goal is not just to give women their hair back or hair that they love, but also to give them a sense of purpose and where they belong.” 

It is clear that Cindy is not just a business owner: she is a humanitarian, a survivor and a force to be reckoned with. More importantly, she is a woman striving to share the fruits of her labor, one product at a time.

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