Whether you were a child enduring the pain of pointy bristles scratching your scalp or if you’re a parent dealing with your kids unruly mane, fights over hair have always just been a thing.
However, for Jen Harwood the constant bickering and fighting with her daughter over her long, thick hair pushed her to find her own solution. Something so simple as hair brushing became a chore and cause of tension for Jen and her daughter, Rose. “It was soul destroying and my daughter started to hate me, her hair and the fights we’d had.” Jen recounted. “I’d dread mornings and evenings because she had post-bath hair that had to be managed.”
That was when Jen stumbled upon a cheap brush that did the job… until it fell apart a month later. It was then that she knew she had to take matters into her own hands by creating Happy Hair Brush. Confused by the lack of solutions and baffled that “everyone just suffered and endured the hassle” of poor-quality brushes, Jen began the search for a stronger alternative. She managed to a manufacturer who could help craft something with better nylon pins and shorter bristles that wouldn’t hurt the head.
“Kate loved what I was doing and fully backed me.”
But after leaving an abusive marriage with little money, Jen had no way of funding her dream. That was until her sister, Kate, stepped in and loaned Jen the money needed for the first order of brushes. “Kate loved what I was doing and fully backed me,” Jen shared. Kate’s generosity paid off as Jen managed to pay her back within three months and “with interest and a huge hug.”
Beyond her incredible support system including her sister, father and daughter, Jen credits the success of her brushes to the design that she constantly tweaks and innovates based on what her customers tell her. Through personally fulfilling the first 3,000 orders and by looking after all customer service, Jen was able to spot and fix any issues raised. Jen explains that “innovation is driven by customer needs and feedback”. In fact, Jen even has a group of customers, who the initial brushes didn’t work with, sitting on a Happy Hair Brush product development team.
This dedication to customer satisfaction is also seen through a 100% happiness money-back guarantee, where Jen offers full refunds within 14 days. While in theory it sounds like a dangerous policy, there have actually only been a total of 15 refunds in more than 11,500 orders placed. “We’ve all bought things that promise the world and then when we get them don’t deliver. Hairbrushes are notorious for that,” Jen said. “I wanted my future customers to know that we are not like any other business and that we genuinely want them to have a solution for their hair.”
One million happy women
It was with this in mind that Jen launched the #onemillionhappywomen campaign in an attempt to share the happiness that her brushes bring. Through giving away a brush a day to a stranger she meets, Jen hopes to curb the dissatisfaction women have with their hair. “Women have to realise that there’s nothing wrong with them or their hair,” Jen explained. “They’ve just been using the wrong tool.”
Jen especially wanted to change the mindset of mums towards their children’s hair because, “little kids don’t discern between I hate your hair and I hate you,” Jen continued. “Anything about them is them”. Through donating over 250 brushes to foster children at the Wesley Mission, Jen is able to continue her mission for happier women and children. “I realised that this brush was bigger than me and my daughter. Every child needs to not have their hair be the source of their shame, disappointment or identity in a negative way,” Jen said. “Their hair, long or short, thick or thin, curly or straight needs to be a non-issue.”