Max Valverde leads an active and athletic life, often mountain biking or rock climbing after work.
It’s good for his health, but very bad for his hair.
“I usually shower at night (after exercising), then in the morning I’d have the worst bed head,” said Valverde, 29, a 2002 graduate of Scarborough High School who now lives outside Boston.
On Friday night, Valverde will appear on the hit ABC reality show “Shark Tank” pitching a product he developed to conquer his bed head.
It’s called “Morninghead,” and it’s his adaptation of a plastic cap filled with absorbent fabric, used primarily in hospitals to help sterilize people’s heads for medical procedures.
A bed head sufferer need only fill the absorbent “Morninghead” cap with as much as a cup of water, then don the cap and pat it down. The result is hair as wet as if the person had showered, Valverde said, but with no dripping, no mess, no toweling off.
Then, the hair is ready to be combed into a more presentable form.
“You can do this fully clothed and it won’t drip on you,” said Valverde, who has a mechanical engineering degree from Brown University in Providence, R.I.
“Shark Tank” will air from 9 to 10 p.m. Friday and will be seen locally on Portland station WMTW, Channel 8. Valverde will appear for eight to 13 minutes, pitching his product to the show’s panel of billionaire investors.
Everyone watching will know by the end of the show whether Valverde got a deal enabling him to distribute his product in a big way. Valverde already knows how he did, but said he’s not allowed to share that information.
In any case, he figures the exposure from just being on the show likely will help him sell his caps, and maybe attract investors. The show has an estimated weekly audience of 7 million viewers.
“I talked to a lot of other entrepreneurs who have been on the show, and every one of them said their websites crashed after they were on,” said Valverde.
“So the big thing I’m working on now is to get the website (morninghead.com) ready for that kind of traffic.”
Valverde began his “Morninghead” business about two years ago, after raising about $6,300 with a Kickstarter fundraising drive.
He arranged to buy the medical caps and began turning them into “Morninghead” caps.
Valverde lives in Needham, Mass., and, until recently, had an engineering-sales job.
He left that job this month to pursue “Morninghead” full time.
He said he’s sold about 8,000 caps, mostly through his website, for $8 a piece.
Valverde said he often imagines new products he might develop and thinks that he might try to market other items in the “fast morning” category.
One idea is for a magnetic belt with an accompanying metal wall sconce.
Then, men who like to leave their belt in their pants overnight can just throw the pants against the wall, and there they will hang.
Valverde’s imagination, drive and attention to detail aren’t surprising to people who knew him when he was growing up in Scarborough, where he captained his football and baseball teams.
“He’s just one of the most well-rounded people I’ve ever met,” said Clair Crandall, who coached Valverde in various youth sports leagues and owns Aero Heating and Ventilating in Portland.
“He built a heating and cooling system for his home using rejected heat from an air-conditioning unit. I got a kick out of that.”
Crandall has kept in touch with Valverde, and said that when he was asked recently to invest in a new Internet-based company, he asked Valverde what he thought about it.
“If something interests Max, he’ll figure it out,” said Crandall.
“He has a combination of intelligence and common sense that is pretty rare.”
Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:r