A Tribute to Black Hair Care Trailblazers

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During this Black History Month, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate those individuals who have shaped the black hair care industry in many and varied ways.  The featured trailblazers in this article are not an attempt to represent every person who may have made any level of contributions to this industry, but to give tribute to the black hair care industry as a whole by recognizing just a few who played a part:

Annie Turnbo Malone

Created a hair product that would straighten African-American hair without damaging it.  Became a millionaire in her own right and gave most of it away to charities.  She began a cosmetology and training school which also housed her hair care products operations.  Read more about Annie Turnbo Malone here.

Madame CJ Walker

Born Sarah Breedlove, Madame CJ Walker created the first African-American hair care line in 1905.  The business model she created is still used today by many smaller hair care companies.  Needless to say, her natural business acumen is what made Madame CJ Walker the first American woman self-made millionaire.  Check out the beautifully written biography found on Biography.com by clicking here.

Garrett A. Morgan

Garrett Morgan created the first chemical relaxer for African-American hair.  He was an inventor who also patented a host of other improvements on items like the sewing machine and the traffic signal.

George E. Johnson

Founder of Johnson Products Company.  The company's first success was a hair relaxer for men, Ultra Hair Wave Culture.  In 1971, Johnson's company became the first African-American owned corporation to be listed on the American Stock Exchange.

We want to express our sincere gratitude for these trailblazers and the countless others who have contributed greatly to the black hair care industry.  They have inspired many to create their own products in an effort to continue to improve and expand on hair care offerings available to African-Americans today, including The Hair Bakery who offers a healthier hair care alternative to kinky, coarser hair types.

Happy Black History Month!


Kristal Anderson