The Story of Tangled Hair Care
The morning routine of hair brushing is a dreaded experience for thousands of children and their families all around the world. We can hear the screams and tears just at the thought of a brush being shown!
Being a qualified hairdresser, founder Rachelle, has seen first-hand the tears, tempers and tantrums over hair brushing and haircuts in the salons over her career. There is nothing more heartbreaking than trying to brush or cut a child’s hair who hates hair brushing. It is traumatic for the child, the parent and the stylist!
Fast forward a few years and Rachelle now has two girls of her own, one of whom is on the spectrum and “hair brushing in this house was the most dreaded task of the day”. Rachelle recalls “I remember when Symon used to have to hold Ashlee, aged perhaps 2, with her arms pinned to her side, while I quickly whipped out a soft “detangle” brush and attempted to brush her matted and tangled hair as quickly as I could. Ashlee was a tosser and turner and every morning woke with a birds-nest at the back of her head. This ALWAYS ended in tears, screaming, sometimes vomiting and often a full meltdown. As a parent who worked with hair my whole life it was beyond heartbreaking and I can only imagine what my neighbours thought”.
As the girls got older, started kindy and then school the issue of head-lice emerged. Again being a hairdresser head-lice was not something that worried Rachelle, as she understood how to treat effectively and efficiently. But with a spectrum/special needs child the thought of lice, and combing was something Rachelle knew just wasn’t possible. She needed to find a natural preventative spray!
This led Rachelle to work with a family member who was a specialist in natural products, enlisted the help of an organic specialist and a specialist lab here in South Australia to design, formulate and create the first product – Naturally No More Nits™️ Deter and Detangle Spray. An organic and vegan product which deters head-lice using natural ingredients. This process took more than 2 ½ years to perfect. So many trials and mistakes along the way!
While there were quite a few other similar products on the market already, none of these held TGA registration, and none of these were made in Australia.
This product, made using a unique blend of essential oils and purified water is the foundation product of the business. Rachelle made the decision early on to achieve TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approval for her product which meant the product itself and the lab who manufactured it had to achieve and maintain the standards the TGA set and impose.
Taking this product to market – Rachelle created Tangled Kids Hair Care as a retail outlet to sell the very best products in Australia at the best prices. Rachelle quickly added other products to her range including colourful hair accessories and Licener Treatment – Licener is the only product Rachelle uses on her own kids and recommend to others as it really works!
The solution to hair brushing battles was needed!
And Rachelle was ready for the challenge!
There was still a huge gap in the hair care industry – a Detangle Brush which actually worked and created pain free hair brushing! “So many brushes promise the world and just don’t deliver – I wanted to give people the solution they have been searching for” said Rachelle.
Rachelle decided it was time to put her hairdressing knowledge, experience and skills to work, and to choose the best features of the brush/comb products she had worked with over her career and to create the Perfect Detangle Brush with all the aspects which actually worked.
Contracting manufacturers in Australia and Overseas were contacted, confidentiality contracts signed and prototypes manufactured. More than 40 different designs were manufactured, trialled and, tested, before we finally got it right! Having synthetic bristles was most important! And a curved shape – after all the head isn’t square! The thought of Boar Bristles was something that never sat well with Rachelle.
Perfecting the Dual Bristle technology with synthetic bristles meant that the brush could be used by everyone and wasn’t limited by peoples thoughts, beliefs or religon.
This took the greatest amount of time to achieve as the bristles needed to be just right and there were so many factors to consider, they needed to replicate the results achieved by boar bristles, as well similar to other brushes and combs Rachelle loved.
In early 2016 The Dream Detangler™️ was finalised and first production started! Rachelle arranged 100 units of the product to be made and shared them with family, friends and a few close clients to get their feedback. “I knew it was good, and it ticked all the boxes of all the products I know and loved but I needed to hear it from others, from people who like me have kids who hate hair brushing and that this product can change their lives” Rachelle said.
In 2016 Rachelle took the Dream Detangler™️ and her Deter Sprays to Autism SA, and Tangled Kids Hair Care was placed on the Autism Friendly Business Charter. Having a special needs child herself, plus working with special needs families over the years Rachelle understood the difficulties families face and knew her products could make a huge difference. In the years since this was achieved Tangled Kids Hair Care™️ has also been accredited by the NDIS and clients can now use their package to purchase products. Rachelle has worked with many special needs providers over the years helping their clients achieve pain and scream free hair brushing.
Mid 2017 The Dream Detangler™️ entered mass production in four colours and first stock arrived in October 2017 when they commenced selling them to family, friends and previous clients. They were officially released in early 2018 to the public on the website and at shows and markets!
“I know I have designed a range of products that work, and that change the lives of thousands of people in a tiny way and that is the greatest reward of all! To watch a child who detests hair brushing, sit and enjoy having their hair brushed is the best gift of all” said Rachelle.
The Early Days
In the very early days Tangled Kids Hair Care™️ ran pop up shops at suburban shopping centres around Adelaide, exhibited at the Royal Shows in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and attended more than 140 markets, shows and fairs around South Australia each year. The products were also sold at a handful of salons around South Australia. This is how the business grew, and how awareness of the products was achieved. Word of mouth and repeat clients purchased and sought out the products which made mornings happy again! All of this was achieved by a Facebook page and countless hours of hard work!
With unprecedented growth in 2016 and 2017 in January 2018 Tangled Kids Hair Care opened and operated two permanent kiosks in Westfield Shopping Centres in Metro Adelaide on a full time basis. Clients from all over SA would come and stock up on products and our huge range of hair accessories grew to the biggest in the state!
Then Covid HIT!
In March 2020 the kiosks closed suddenly as the risk of retail was far too great for a family owned business to absorb. No one knew how long Covid would last and the big centres refused any type of rent relief or reduction. Rachelle and her family made the difficult decision to close the kiosks and move the business back to the family home.
In the 12 months which followed all shows and markets were cancelled and it was a challenging time. Rachelle and her family knew the products were needed by families everywhere and made the decision to take the business online. As someone who had never run an online business (and hardly shopped online either) the challenges were massive. But Rachelle enlisted the help of an amazing team and the online business grew and then exploded!
In 2020 and again in 2021 Tangled Kids Hair Care experienced record sales and the growth of the business which meant expansion to the home business base was required. Two large sheds and two smaller sheds were installed as warehouses/packing rooms to allow for extra product storage, and a few of the staff who worked at the retail outlets came to work at the new warehouses packing and fulfilling orders.
Another positive of the massive growth and exposure our salon stockists grew to more than 100 salons around Australia. While the interest is there for many more, Rachelle made the decision to offer exclusivity to salons in their area to help other small business owners grow as well. Rachelle always remembers how the business started and the important role her products can have in helping other small business owners achieve growth too.
Through out all of this growth Rachelle and her family have remained loyal to the local suppliers used. “More than 80% of our manufacturing and printing is from Australian businesses as we believe in supporting as many local family/small businesses as possible” Rachelle said. The lab based in SA still manufactures our sprays and they also now produce the new range of Tangled Hair Care™️ Shampoo, Conditioner and Body wash.
Of course, as with any successful business there are copycats and imitators. And there has been quite a few along the journey of Tangled Hair Care. While it is to be expected and is taken as a compliment that the business and products have impacted so many people that others make the decision to blatantly copy, it is still disappointing that these people chose the path and try to steal our copyright and trademarked products and ideas.
To date, which is not a surprise, not one of these copycats or imitators have been able to come close to creating a product which offers comparable results. And of course the loyal customer base we have built over seven plus years continues to call out this UGLY behaviour.
Hands on Approach
Since starting the business more than seven years ago, Rachelle is still as hands-on as she was in the early days. Rachelle packs orders every day, manages/orders stock, and is the person who oversees social media and the website. Each of the exclusively manufactured Dream Detangler™️ brushes is checked by Rachelle or one of the staff before it’s sent to it is new home. We check for any broken or missing bristles or any damage to the brush before it is placed inside its signature black box. A damaged brush will still achieve the same results but I insist that every brush we send is perfect,” Rachelle said
“My husband Symon is the logistics and takes the packages to the post office daily (as we live in a semi rural location the pick up option just isn’t viable for us) and we prefer to keep prices lower for our clients than hide in additional charges “Rachelle said.
With the introduction of the Mini Dream Detangler™️ in December 2020, the addition of the Tween/Teen skincare range in late 2021 (Cheek to Cheek Skincare) and in April 2022 the release of the new Slick Hair Perfecting Wand™️ the product range is now complete…. Well for the time being anyway!
The Deter and Detangle Sprays now come in three scents. The Full Size Dream Detangler™️ is in twelve colours and the Mini in six colours. The Tangled Hair Care™️ Detangle Spray comes in eight scents! And then there is the bows, korkers, scrunchies and clips!
Rachelle has a firm belief that any products released need to be the best in the market, or else there is no point. I started with this business philosophy and that is something I am not willing to compromise on.
“I have fulfilled more than 60,000 orders in the last couple of years and my commitment to the best products at the best prices with the best customer service is unrivalled!”
In April 2022 Rachelle rebranded the business to be known as Tangled Hair Care – which she feels reflects that the products are suitable for the whole family. The range and products have evolved so much in seven years and by dropping the word “kids” from the title acknowledges this.
Tangled Hair Care and the range of products have received countless awards over the seven year journey including state based and National awards. They have received accolades from social influencers and media personalities who happily share their love of the products.
With more than 6000 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews across platforms, hundreds of thousands of products in the hands of clients all around the world and of course the support of you all Tangled Hair Care will continue to grow, flourish and surpass expectations.