The Tangle Teezer journey has been an exciting one; from Shaun P's early days in hairdressing to his 'lightbulb' moment, the design and development of The Original hairbrush and the many achievements, accolades and new innovations ever since - this is the Tangle Teezer story.
A Global Career in Hairdressing
Shaun’s career in hairdressing began in 1978 with an apprenticeship at Glemby International Salon in Grimsby before upping roots to Manchester in 1980 to work for Pierre Alexandre. The bright lights of London soon called and in 1982 he started training in colour at the legendary Vidal Sassoon salon before crossing the Atlantic and spending the next 10 years working in their salons in New York, LA and Boston.
Feeling homesick, Shaun returned to the UK in 1993 and became Toni & Guy’s Colour Director in Manchester. However, it was back to London in 1996 with a move to Nicky Clarke’s salon and then to Richard Ward’s in 1998. In 2002 Shaun released his own book I Wanna Be Blonde revealing all his insider tips from over 20 years in the industry.
The Lightbulb Moment
After years of working in salons and realising the need for a quick and easy hair brush which detangled hair without tugging and pulling, Shaun had a ‘lightbulb moment’ in 2003 which kick-started his research and development for the first professional detangling hair tool. The fun brand name came from chatting to a client in the salon chair. Shaun wanted something short and catchy… and changing the spelling to TEEZER rather than TEASER added some extra fizz to his idea.
“We’re Out” – Bad News from The Dragons
in 2007 Shaun entered the Dragons’ Den to present his idea for the world’s first detangling hair brush. Not entirely successful, the dragons turned him down, with Peter Jones branding the idea as ‘hair-brained’ and James Caan calling it a ‘waste of time’. Despite the criticism, viewers loved the brush and the website was flooded with visitors after the show. The experience certainly didn’t hold Shaun back and if anything spurred him on to drive his ideas forward.
The Original Launches
All the hard work paid off in 2008 when The Original officially launched and was stocked in high street store, Boots. This was a real turning point for the business as it offered the innovation a commercial seal of approval, and was soon followed with launches into high-profile salon chains Toni & Guy and Regis. In the next 12 months professional and consumer sales in the UK showed rapid growth and Tangle Teezer began exporting brushes worldwide. A whopping 35,000 brushes were sold in the company’s first year. At the time, The Original only existed in two colours; pink or black. Rumour has it that the pink was only made because the factory ran out of black plastic. Serendipity indeed.
Not Stopping At One Brush
Not stopping at just one hair brush, Shaun continued to invent and in 2010 after listening to customer feedback he created two new hairbrushes; the Compact Styler, a smaller, handbag-friendly version of The Original, and a children’s detangling brush that they could hold and use themselves, the Magic Flowerpot.
More Innovations & A Queen’s Award
In 2012 the range expanded further with the launch of the Salon Elite detangling brush. It was created for the professional hairdresser to help pick up their pace in salons. Its concave shape meant that it hugged the head, giving fast and firm detangling strokes from root to tip. In the same year another first in innovation was born with the launch of Aqua Splash, an upright detangling hair brush designed for the shower.
2012 also saw the launch of the Shaun the Sheep online game collaboration, which combined two fun-filled Shaun’s and was a huge success. The game itself got over 7.5 million plays and the brush was a sell-out!
It was a really great year for Tangle Teezer and for Shaun, as the company was also awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.
Meeting Her Majesty
Two years later and Tangle Teezer wins another Queen’s Award! This time for International Trade and Shaun has the honour of meeting Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
A Fashionable Collaboration & An Innovative Styling Tool
There was a fashion first for Tangle Teezer in 2015 with its very first designer collaboration. Quirky British designer, Lulu Guinness, designed a Compact Styler with one of her signature lip prints, marking our first foray into the world of fashion.
2015 also welcomed another breakthrough in innovation. This time a completely new kind of tool aimed at taking the hair from wet to dry and achieving a perfect, naturally smooth and gentle blow-dry. The Blow-Styling Smoothing Tool launched in a full and half size paddle hair brush and picked up five industry awards in its first year worldwide.
Exciting New Launches On The Horizon
In 2016 Tangle Teezer was awarded Cool Brands status for the fifth year running and was also named on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list for the third year in a row. A brand new website which fully introduces the Tangle Teezer world to its customers was also revealed, and with more innovations set to launch this autumn, the company is showing no signs of slowing down.