Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE JULAUG 2015 Contents promising consumers that hair would dry
quicker and they would have volume in
their hair while de-frizzing and adding
shine. “The researchers turned around and
said ‘yes, it does that.’”
Shaun tells a story where he had given
a brush to a friend who gave it to his
mum and his friend rang and said, ‘what
the hell have you done to my mum I’ve
just had her on the phone for half an
hour going on about her hair’ and Shaun
said, ‘what’s wrong with that?’ and his
friend replied, ‘after all the years being
around my mum she never goes on about
her hair.’ So if a successful product is
about empowering all types of women
then Tangle Teezer has set their mark on
transforming the lives of women that may
not typically hit the beauty counter.
“If people get what they are promised
they are happy to share their experience
with it – that’s the power a brush can
deliver,” said Shaun.
It takes about two years from the initial
idea for a product to penetrate the market
globally and Shaun admits there is of course
another product coming. “It’s a secret, I
can’t tell you anything at all but it’s the big
one – it’s absolutely massive and I’m dead
excited about it,” Shaun enthuses as he’s
already three quarters of his way through
the research and development process.
The brand will also be launching a round
brush in Australia early 2016 – it’s a blow-
styler radial brush just like a normal brush
but when you put free-flow tension on a
45 degree angle, it’s mind-blowing what
it does, so we’re told. “The volume is in
the hair already-we don’t stretch it out,
we smooth it out. You would be amazed at
how much volume you’ve already got in
your hair,” Shaun said.
“From the salon to home I don’t think
there is anything wrong with empowering
women to do their hair better. Research we
did early on showed that women only felt
good about themselves when a hairdresser
did their hair. The goal is to help them get
close to that at home,” Shaun said.
The average woman when surveyed after
using the brush on their own said their hair
was a 4.5 with the hairdresser being a 5/5.
“Basically they said their hair looked like it
had been done by a professional hairdresser
when they use a Tangle Teezer,” Shaun said.
“We’re not trying to say to them your
hair looks better, we’re trying to say to
them YOUR hair looks better and if you
look better you feel better – and that means
more than just having good hair,” he said.
Believing that it’s ‘just sad’ if a woman
can get all other aspects of the look right
including the make up and not the hair,
Shaun says the perception of what makes a
look complete has changed.
“If you look at the beauty industry as
a whole, women used to say it was the
toothpaste that made their teeth whiter,
now it’s the toothbrush. It’s the same with
Tangle Teezer it’s not about the products,
it’s not about the person using them, it’s
about the brush. They’ll change the product
before they change the brush,” Shaun said.
The communication message has always
been key for Shaun which really is about
salon quality hair and everyday ease
Like many leading hairdressers in
England, Shaun brushed his skills through
Sassoon’s in London in the early 80s and
says they were the ones who taught him
to colour hair but also taught him to really
work with hair. Never hiding behind the
façade of a salon, Shaun always had clients
calling in and saying ‘I want him’. “I moved
around quite a lot but it was always about
me and my name,” Shaun said.
Shaun always had a curious mind as a
kid, putting his fingers in things and always
wanting to know how things work. His
mum used to say, ‘hands in your pockets
and touch with your eyes’ - he still has this
same level of exciteability today.
London has been his home for the last
20 years. “I’ve always been a bit of a loner
but I can socialize. Someone asked why I
am obsessed with Tangle Teezer and I said,
‘because I’m single.”
To relax Shaun spends time at home in
his beautiful garden which is a welcome
sanctuary from his busy travel schedule.
The way Shaun looks at the business is
that he has incredible staff but nobody can
do what he does. He wants to make sure
everything he does is at 100 per cent. Every
one of my staff knows me, and there’s no
surprises. I mean they really know me,
inside out,” he said.
Despite still being heavily involved Shaun
admits he can move away from it. But there
“The volume is in
the hair already-
we don’t stretch it out,
we smooth it out. You
would be amazed at
how much volume
you’ve already got
in your hair,”
is nothing that I do that I think I have to step
back from that. I do have family, brothers
and sisters – and I have helped them, helped
them help themselves. “There’s only two
lifestyles I’ll pay for, mine and my mother’s.
I’ll pay for my mother’s any day of the week.
But overall I think I’ve managed things
really well arou nd me, nothing interferes
with my personal life,” he said.
The Tangle Teezer company like any has
sales targets, but they don’t turn around
and tell their partners, ‘this is what you’ve
got to achieve and that’s it’. “We say this
is what we’re going for this year, we think
you need to concentrate on this or that
sector, maybe you have too much going
on with ecommerce and you need to ease
up on that a bit more, so we do manage in
that way, but the beautiful thing is, when
you look at our distribution networks,
we’ve got massive big conglomerates from
say, Mexico, whose businesses have been
built on the back of the success of Tangle
Teezer,” Shaun said.
“A product like this is very rare. What’s
amazing is when distributors see your
second offering as just as strong, they
come back and they say to me, you’ve
done it again. For me, that’s encouraging.
You’re only supposed to get one of these in
In the first year Tangle Teezer
manufactured 98,000 and now they
manufacture 750,000 a month – all in Great
Britain, “We sell brushes to China for God’s
sake, I think that must be a first- it’s usually
the other way around,” Shaun said.
Even though it was all a bit hush hush,
when Shaun returned to Britain after this
interview, he was going to be wandering
around with Prime Minster David Cameron
it’s his constituency where all great things
are manufactured. “We turned over $23.2
million last year and 80 per cent of what we
manufacture is exported all over the world.
So while still just as involved as ever,
humble is not what defines Shaun’s
relationship with the business – it’s one
of complete self-trust and his yearning to
constantly invest everything he has into
business and in-turn boost salon business.
“I definitely think I could have done that
one on my own – the Blow Styling Brush
that is. I mean, don’t forget the Blow Styling
Brush was built from something I developed
as a hairdresser. So I knew exactly what the
brush needed to be to work,” he said.
I’d say anything he involves himself
with has worked, considering the brand
is a global phenomenon. One brush stroke
at a time, we’re all waiting for the next
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