Meet Tim Binnington, founder of Manta

We are delighted to introduce the ultimate handbag essential to bring joy to your hair - the Manta Hairbrush.

Chosen by us as the ultimate handbag essential, we were incredibly inspired by the story behind the brush. Founder, Tim Binnington, created this brush for his wife, Dani, who after a life-threatening illness had lost her hair. As it grew back she wanted to treat it as gently as possible to minimize breakage. Tim, a hairdresser by trade, combined years of hands on experience with the latest materials and technology available developed a brush that would reinvent the way we treat our hair.

Now after 5 years of designing, developing and perfecting - the Manta brush is now as gentle on your hair as running your fingers through it is!

 We caught up with Tim himself to find out more about his brand story....

It looks like many women have been commenting that your product gives them "noticeably healthier and shinier" tresses. We're sold! Tell us more about the product?  

I took my time creating the Manta as I wanted to reinvent how we brush our hair.  The Manta is the first brush to mould to the shape of your hand and scalp which means it creates less tension on each strand while massaging the scalp for fuller, healthier, shinier hair.  It's completely malleable, luxury, ergonomic design is revolutionary andis as gentle as running your fingers through your hair.  It’s ideal for anyone all hair types including fine, fragile, thick, curls, coils, children, men, and hair extension wearers basically any one who wants healthy hair.

 

What sets your product aside from other hairbrushes on the market?  

5 Years in the making the Manta is totally flexible and moulds to the palm of your hand which is completely unique.  The patented FLEXGUARDTM technology on the base enables each bristle to have complete 360 motion and this gently frees knots & reduces tension, minimising breakage.   Created from soft touch material, there are no rough edges to catch or tear the hair shaft.   It is achieved by fusing two different materials together that will bond. It is called twin shot over moulding and only specific materials can fuse together successfully.

What gave you the inspiration for the brand?  

Manta was and is a labour of love.  I have over 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry and owned one of the UK’s largest hairdressing chains. My wife lost her hair through a life-threatening illness and she wanted a hairbrush that was gentle on her new hair and she couldn’t find one.  I wanted to help and make a brush that would be as gentle as running your fingers through your hair and it was then that I decided to design the Manta.  I made the Manta to glide responsively through hair for minimum breakage & maximum shine.

 


What were the early stage struggles of starting up your own business? Did you ever feel like giving up?  

I have been lucky to be involved in business for a lot of my adult life but still have so much to learn.  I have loved the whole process and working with some extraordinary people with amazing talents.  Like most things that are important in life, if you’d known how hard it would be, you might never have started - but the pride you feel when it’s a success is priceless.  Selling the first Manta was definitely an eye opener, to get to this point was a lot harder than I expected and it took a lot of team work, determination and belief.  There have been so many success points, firstly being able to design a brush that would actually mould to the shape of your hand & scalp, which is not easy.    Seeing the reviews from customers is so humbling as well, people have been in touch quite regularly saying what a difference Manta has made to them which really does make the hard work worthwhile. 

 

How important is it for you to help give women confidence?  

I want everyone to feel confident, it’s at the very core of what we do.  Giving people the confidence to style their hair, with a brush that is gentle and kind is a real self-care ritual in hair brushing.

 

You feature your 'Manta Muses' on your website and social channels. Why have these women in particular inspired your brand?  

The Manta Muses are family, friends, colleagues and Manta hairbrush fans who were united in their search for a brush that didn’t tear or damage their hair. They were looking for a brush that didn’t just remove tangles but was gentle on their coils, coloured hair, thin hair, was easy to grip and promoted shine.  

 

 

Do you feel it is more relatable to use 'real women' in your campaigns, rather than celebrities?  

Our Manta Muse campaign is based on ‘real’ people championing an image that was less based in idealisation and more firmly planted in reality.  Real is beautiful and we will continue to showcase our Manta Muses from all walks of life as hair needs are diverse and the Manta has been created for everyone.

 

Your brand proudly supports The Little Princess Trust, a charity supplying real hair wigs free of charge to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. This must be extremely heart-warming to be able to help them?  

I've always wanted to give back and am so proud to support The Little Princess Trust, a charity supplying real hair wigs free of charge to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses.   For every 10 Manta brushes sold, I work with the charity to gift a brush to a child to use before, following and during treatment, so far we have donated £44450 worth of Manta brushes.

 

Hair loss following illness can be extremely challenging and stressful. There have been a lot of headlines linking hair loss to Covid 19 recently. Have you been able to help a lot of women through this difficult time?  

I spent years in Salons watching people spend money on hair care and hair treatments but never on their brush and daily brushing (with the wrong tools) can cause irreversible damage.  Being able to provide a brush that I know is gentle and won’t harm hair is so important to me.

 

How did things change for your brand during the pandemic, if at all?  

Let’s be honest - self-isolating can be hard.  We continued to sell online and have spent time on evaluating our business strategy,  developing new exciting products and revamping our packaging which will be coming out soon. As well as developing our website so we were able to come back with renewed purpose, pumped up and ready to push forward.

 

How much does our diet really relate to our hair?  

By increasing your Omega 3’s you will change the texture and the growth rate of your hair dramatically.  The fatty acids in Omega 3 reduce inflammation and nourish the hair follicles.   They also help prevent your scalp from becoming dry and sabotaging your shine. Healthy hair produces more natural shine, boost your protein and eating fish or nuts will make a huge difference. Remember to run manta through your hair throughout the day, instead of your hands. This will promote shine by smoothing the cuticle without transferring products like hand lotion from your hands, which can load your hair and make it look dull.

 

Apart from creating an amazing hairbrush and building your brand, what are your other passions in life?  

I’ve always been an early riser, usually 5:30 and then a gym, run or swim. This gets me ready for the day, physically and mentally. Family is so important to me I try to make quality time with our three children every day. 

What message would you give to our ladies that have an idea and want to follow their dreams, but aren't quite sure how to do it, especially as we are going through so much change in the world just now?  

Lay the foundation for your brand, your values are critical and keep it authentic. It’s got to come from a place that is real and means something to you.

 

Finally - three things you can't leave the house without?

I’m really practical, so for me it’s got to be my glasses, phone and right now a face  mask.

You can shop the Manta brush on our website here.