By: Yasmein James
Like most things these days, hairstyles have a way of coming back in style. Today, we can see that with the resurgence of the double buns hairstyle that has taken on a life of its own. But a good hairstyle is no good without the right hair products. And you know it's true because we've all tried that style that didn't quite look like the YouTube tutorial.
None of that would be possible without the visionaries who created hair products for us. We're talking about Madam C.J. Walker, Lisa Price and so much more. Their dedication to servicing the community changed the way we see ourselves. What's more, it shifted others' opinions on ethnic hair and what is deemed beautiful.
This month, we honor them for revolutionizing what has always set brown women apart — their hair. Read on for a look at their contributions to the hair care industry:
Madam C.J. Walker
Though Madam C.J. Walker died before many of us were even thought of, she is the original hair care revolutionary. According to Biography, Walker suffered a scalp disorder, which resulted in hair loss. That experience prompted her to create her own formula of a pomade in the early 1900s. Her hair care line made Walker the first woman to become a self-made millionaire. She's also credited for popularizing the use of the hot comb. We hope it's detailed in the Netflix series "Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker." It premiered this weekend. Did you watch it?
Growing up, Taliah Waajid wasn't allowed to use chemicals like perms in her hair. Out of circumstance, she learned how to style her natural hair and made it her mission to teach others. That grew into a passion for cosmetology where she became a licensed master cosmetologist. She's also a hair care specialist. By styling the hair of others, she noticed a void in the hair care industry to service naturals. That's when she founded Taliah Waajid Haircare products in 1996. With collections like "Black Earth" and "Pure and Natural," there's a product for every curl and coil. You can browse products from the collections here.
Lisa Price, better known as Carol's Daughter, is the founder of the hair, body and skincare company. Through encouragement from her mom, Price began selling her creations in 1993. It started as a side hustle that was whipped up at her kitchen table in Brooklyn. At first, she started selling her products at flea markets. Then, she opened a storefront in the Fort Greene neighborhood of where it all started. In 2000, she changed the natural hair industry by selling products online. Today, Price is regarded as a pioneer of the natural hair movement. That accolade has been solidified with an exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. You can find a wide array of Carol's Daughter products in our black-owned shop.
Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis
You might not know the names Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, but you definitely know their products. They are the founders of Shea Moisture, which was established in 1912. That’s right, Shea Moisture began with Dennis’ grandmother, Sofi Tucker. According to the website, Tucker began selling shea nuts at the local market in Sierra Leone. She also sold homemade hair and skin products. In 1991, Tubman and Dennis founded Shea Moisture in Harlem. It is an ever-evolving extension of Tucker's work and legacy, which you can find here.
Rochelle Alikay Graham-Campbell
Rochelle Alikay Graham-Campbell was just 22-years-old when she founded Alikay Naturals. And she did it with just $100 investment that she scraped together working as a server. Born in Jamaica Graham-Campbell learned early that nature will provide everything you need. So when her growing YouTube followers began asking for products, she turned to her roots. Since developing and selling "Alikay Naturals Essential 17 Growth Oil," Alikay Naturals has become a beauty empire. Graham-Cambell is also credited for creating the LOC method, which is the application of liquid or leave-in conditioner, oil and cream into your hair to retain moisture. The company now sells hair, body, and skincare products, which can be found in our retail shop.
Do you use any of these hair care lines? Which products would you recommend? Let us know on Instagram!