If you’re like me, there comes a certain point where you see your child’s crazy, unwashed, unbrushed hair one too many time and something in you snaps into an avalanche of overwhelming frustration. This avalanche has been building from lots of small little battles you chose not to have which have added up from one or all of the following:
- You haven’t brushed because the sweet angel you gave birth to screams like a banshee and runs away when you walk towards them with a brush
- They dont want a shower or a bath because ‘its my body’ mum and I dont want to wash.
- They whinge and complain and cry when you do brush and it upsets you too much
- You dread the whole brushing battle at night before bed so you concede with…. I’ll do a rough plait and hope it will be better in the morning - which it isn’t. How our kids get dreadlocked birds nest hair each morning still mystifies me!
- The tantrum and upset that Daddy brushes more softly and doesn’t hurt as much. Damn that Daddy ! Where is he right now when we are in the middle of getting ready for school or bed routine.
- Stuff it, its only pre-school. They won't care and neither do I right now. Pop in some messy but oh so cute pigtails.
When any one of those happens, I put brushing off, who cares, thats my little feral child and I haven’t got the energy or emotional strength to deal with that head of hair and those screams, protests or fights at the moment.
Well, that lasted a few years when one morning before going to Kindy I caught myself in a very NON PC mother moment when I'd lost the plot and did try to brush my daughter Rose's long, thick crazy hair when I had the emotional capacity of a sandwich. (Yeah, you can see where this is going) Of course I was rough, I was frustrated, this had happened to me as a kid and I learned to put up with it and get through it… why cant my little wriggle worm learn to just put up with this, and get on with this, come on girl, sit still, and then the whinging, screaming and protests escalated from her and engulfed the room. Then…. in a loud, shrill wicked witch of the west voice I yelled… If you dont sit still, be quiet and let me brush that pretty hair of yours…. (big pause and with an even more evil bent to the delivery) I’m going to chop it all off !
My daughter stopped screaming instantly, and looked directly at me in shock. I was the person she trusted most in her life. I had taken care of her whole 5 and a half years of life. I was the one that had told her repeatedly that she was beautiful, her hair was divine and she was so special. I was the one who taught her to respect others and respect and protect her body and to stand up for herself and be courageous and be true. I was the role model woman that had even let her watch Disney princess movies which encouraged her even more to grow her hair long AND here I was being in this moment a complete contradiction to all of that by physically dominating her and then emotionally violating her by threatening to chop that beautiful hair off.
All of that ran through my head and I was left staring at her shocked beautiful blue eyes and yes, I was so ashamed of myself.
Quickly trying to justify it, I realised my mother had done that to me. But that didn’t make it right. I've watched other equally frustrated mothers say this to their kids and that doesn’t make it right either. So, I apologised to her and let her and her feral hair go to school in a rough ponytail. After she was at school, I drove home in a daze and went and immersed myself researching. I looked at every brush on the market and all the brushes that have ever been on the market. Id bought most of them and I already knew that not one brush really works. They all hurt and what I came to realise is that everyone LEARNS through situations like the one I described with Rose... they learn gradually over time that it’s their hair or actually they themselves are the problem. We have made a big mistake over the generations blaming kids for their terrible hair or their terrible attitude to looking after their hair when in fact that is not the problem. The problem is the BRUSH !
Women, the humans on the planet that have the longest hair most of the time, are completely disempowered in this area because women today believe the lie that there is something wrong with their hair or with the way they look after their hair. They learned it from their mothers and their mothers learned it from their mothers and so on. So we now have thousands of different types of brushes and tools, detangler products, conditioning and straightening products to make brushing supposedly ‘easier’. Hair experts (still in the unconscious lie) teach people the only way to brush is form the bottom up. Well duh… if you’ve got a brush or comb that doesn’t work, thats the only way to use it.
So, given that moment with my daughter Rose at the impressionable age of 5 and a half, I knew there was nothing wrong with her or her hair. There was something wrong with me and/or the tool I was using. The problem with me was that I had bought into the subconscious lie that brushing hurts and you’ve just got to put up with it. Ok, I understood that intellectually, but I needed to find a product or design one, that would prove that lie wrong. So I looked at all the brushes I’d bought and started working out what works and why I then found a manufacturer and started getting designs and prototypes developed until we got it right. Yes, the Happy Hair Brush is a scalp shaped curved brush that has a combination of boar bridles and nylon pins that actually DOESN’T HURT while brushing. No kidding, it doesn’t hurt, and it brushes through and gets the knots out and it’s simply brilliant on all hair types.
I tried it on Rose and she would not only sit still, she said it didn’t hurt and she couldn’t feel it. (game changer) My sister and her kids loved it too. My Dad wanted one, the rest of my family did as well and all the mothers at the school wanted in on the action because they were fed up with screaming and complaints. The business started because I wanted to make a difference to mothers everywhere. Well, now thats expanded to men, older people, babies, sensory people, disabled people, people with depression as well as our furry friends such as dogs, cats and horses. Anyone / any being with hair… we make their experience with their hair HAPPY.
I didn’t set out to change the world and set up a global movement of how people relate to hair. I set out to redeem my little girls faith in her mother and to forgive my mother and all the mothers before her. I had, by accident, uncovered the truth about hair brushing. I want the message… There is nothing wrong with you or your hair and there is a brush that you will love and it will love you back… to go all over the world.
The Happy Hair Brush is an every day tool you can use on yourself, your children and family. It will make you HAPPY and smile every day. Who would have thought a hair bush could change the world… well it is… Our mission now is creating a worldwide generational shift in the way children (and ultimately everyone) are treated about their hair. Hair is hair and it doesn’t have to mean anything negative or upsetting or traumatic anymore. Try a Happy Hair Brush and judge for yourself. No hair bush in the history of brushes has ever given a money back guarantee…. now you know why.
By Jen Harwood,
Founder & CEO
Happy Hair Brush