Helping Shark Ninja transition into the haircare industry



Shark Ninja’s beauty division approached myself to assess their new hair styling product (specifically a brush attachment to a hair dryer) and its market potential prior to global release. I quickly discovered that their proposed prototype did not smoothly comb through hair, was very cumbersome to hold, and promoted hair frizz through incorrect air flow. Additionally, after further testing and market research of their current design, I was able to conclude that Shark Ninja’s attempt at a ‘one size fits all’ brush solution was not suitable for different hair types. 

My subsequent working relationship with Shark Ninja became two-fold, all with the ultimate aim of cementing their place as a global hair care product competitor: 

  1. Researching and developing solutions to the identified issues for their current hair styling prototype, and;
  2. Generating new hair care styling concepts and opportunities to maximise their market potential.


As part of a two-week design sprint, I sketched concepts, researched engineering principles, produced daily CAD model improvements, and tested multiple prototype models (accounting for heat durability) - this all culminated in over six working prototypes which were then presented to the client.


As a direct consequence of the design sprint process, I was able to enhance the Shark Ninja prototype’s functionality and glide through the hair, drastically improving the user experience of the product. Shark Ninja went on to manufacture the product with my recommendations.

Furthermore, rather than have a ‘one size fits all’ brush attachment, my recommendation to Shark Ninja was to have multiple hair dryer attachments in order to account for different hair types, styling needs (e.g. wet versus dry) and external influences (e.g. humidity levels). We then focussed on designing them a further ‘wet styling’ brush attachment, whereby the shape and size of the brush head and bristles were tailored to make it suitable for brushing straight and wavy hair when wet.

"Suraj's design team were able to jump straight into our project with ease due to their previous experience in hair care. We found their input from human factors and design engineering incredibly helpful in solving the problems we were having with our current design. Their delivery was timely as well as ideal for our fast-paced R&D environment."
Sophie Denham, Director of Shark Technical Project Management

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