Red Ladies 2023 | Cynthia Santana

Red Ladies 2023 | Cynthia Santana

Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Jonathan Thorpe

For Cynthia Santana, the greatest thing that she can do for her community is make the people around her look and feel good. The owner of Cynthia Santana Hair Studio is an extremely busy “solopreneur, mother, hairstylist and educator. I wear [many] hats and I put my all into every role.”

Santana is a force in everything she accomplishes and also has a heart of service. “I believe that the mark I have made in the world is in my relationships with people,” she says. “I love to help whenever I can, whether it is helping the women who visit my salon or the learners who attend my hair extension classes. I hope that the guidance, care and attention I give those who meet me [leave] some impact on their lives. My goal as an educator is always to give learners the tools to help them grow their own businesses and feel more confident about the work they put out. Even with colleagues, I'm always available to share my knowledge.”

“Heart health—and health in general—is really important to me because of my family history. Knowing people who have had heart conditions and how it affected their lives really puts it at the forefront, and I personally had an eye-opening experience when I finally decided to get a physical and get blood work done last year. I found out that I really wasn't as healthy as I thought I was. The stress in my life was really affecting my overall health, and I had to see a cardiologist at 43 years of age. As busy as my life gets, I have been trying to reduce my stress and eat more [healthy] foods. I need to take care of myself in order to be around to take care of my son.” -Cynthia Santana

Of course, building her business and establishing a brand has been a great point of pride for Santana. “I went into business for myself when my son was only two months old,” she notes. “I wanted to be available for my son without having to work under the confines of working for someone else. I needed the flexibility to build a schedule around my son's needs while still expanding my career. Coming from the Georgetown area, I had to rebuild a clientele in Alexandria, and I did everything on my own. I also have my own hair care line, which my son helped me design, and it's selling extremely well.”




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