Hairdresser, entrepreneur, author and messiah to millions of women, Shaun P is a big fish in the beauty industry right now. Having earned his trade working for and with some of the biggest names in his native England, 2003 was a big year for Mr. P, who had his lightbulb moment, so to speak.
Said lightbulb was the revolutionary Tangle Teezer – a concept and brand that saw him appear on Dragon’s Den. Unfortunately for P, he didn’t get the investment he needed, but he’s certainly had the last laugh. You see Tangle Teezer stands as one of the biggest hair and beauty brands, with Mr. P and co launching a range of innovative brushes, the latest of which is the Blow-Styling Brush. So big is the brand, in fact, that Shaun’s latest contraption has made its way to little ol’ Egypt via beauty giant, Mohamed Al Sagheer. We got the chance to poke and pick his brain during a brief but eventful visit and did exactly that.
You’ve been doing a lot of travelling recently for the new Blow-Styling Brush – how jet-lagged are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
I was just in South Africa before coming here (Egypt), actually. I’ve also been to Mexico and North America as part of the world tour, but it’s not so bad; your brain thinks the same – I’m doing the same thing just in different places.
So, how did the galactic force that is the Tangle Teezer brand begin?
For me it was obvious what was happening. I created a solution for myself. As a hairdresser I started being a little bit concerned. There was no tool for detangling; women were doing it in their own way. Most would have one brush that they did everything with.
After eight years I came up with Tangle Teezer and I decided to set out on a quest to see if I can take that unique tool and get the result, so anyone can do it at home.
You obviously faced some complications at first, though, right?
Yeah, definitely; it was something so new and nobody had ever done it before, so the whole process was a little complicated. But I was the one who was setting the rules. I refused to use a handle and, actually, having that quirky kind of look to it actually helped. That iconic shape is the reason behind its uniqueness.
We hear that you have a strong following in celebrity circles…
Ha! Yes, Victoria Beckham recently said that she can’t leave the house without her Tangle Teezer. It’s nice hearing things like that. You feel like you’ve created something unique. It’s not just celebrities, though. I had a woman tell me how she was afraid to send her daughter to school with tangled hair, in case people thought she was a bad mother. One woman even said it maintained her sanity – she had three daughters, so you can understand why!
Ok, let’s talk about the thing that brought us here today, the Blow-Styling Hairbrush. Tell us more about it.
We think we’ve made an amazing breakthrough with innovation and technology. It’s sad how women think of a brush. If you asked most people what their top ten beauty items are, a hairbrush will almost certainly not be one of them. Now if you asked any woman how important her hair is to her, they would put it high on the list on top of the list.
Think of it this way; it used to be that when it came to dental hygiene, the toothpaste was the most important thing – there have always been so many brands and types. Nowadays, though, toothbrushes are just as important in the equation.
The Blow-Styling can fix your hair without stretching it; you can get volume without pulling and tugging. Excess moisture is removed from the hair shaft to guarantee a quicker blow-dry. Your style is left bouncy and shiny with reduced frizz, but most importantly it’s simpler. The customer can do it at home and they’ll get salon results. The consumer now has the technology to use the blow-styling brush and get the same result they’ll get in a salon.
You won Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation not once, but twice, and you met the Queen – that must have been trippy. Were you nervous?
I wasn’t nervous for the simple reason that I wasn’t trying to be anything I’m not. I was there because I did something that I’m very proud of. I designed and created an innovative product. It’s all the more special because the idea behind the award is to put a spotlight on British entrepreneurship.
She had this big smile on her face as I met her and I just followed the instructions given to me; stand up, bow with your head up and then down, then make eye-contact. It all went smoothly and I loved every bit of it.
For more information on the Blow-Styling Brush and other Tangle Teezer products, check out the Mohamad Al Sagheer Facebook page.