Blogs

Chair Cares: Coronavirus Prevention - The New Normal For Now


Karline's Salon + Spa has reopened to serve your beauty and personal care needs, but make no mistake, we remain fully committed to coronavirus prevention. Since our last update, we've implemented additional measures to keep both guests and staff safe. Read more

Chair Cares: Coronavirus Prevention at our Facility


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in communities across the country is a concern for us here at Karline's Salon + Spa. Our hearts go out to all those impacted, and we want to let you know what we're doing to Read more

Hair Gear Review: The Straightening Brush


Someone just had to #AskKarlinesSalon about a straightening brush. For the record, our recommendation is to avoid heated styling tools altogether. Instead, visit the salon every two weeks and use a satin hair protector at night to preserve your Read more

The beYOUtiful Life: Hair Notes from the 2019 BET Awards


The 2019 BET Awards celebration was one for the record books, and when it comes to hair, we must say, "they came to slay." Here are a few hair notes and observations. Lizzo Lizzo's natural hair is the "Glow-up!" If you Read more

Hair Flick Pick: On Her Own Ground


The "mane (main) attraction" that has everyone talking right now is the much-anticipated Netflix flick, "On Her Own Ground," based on the life of Madam C.J. Walker. Octavia Spencer, the Academy Award-winning actor, will star as the trailblazing Madam Read more

Hair Story: Dads, Daughters, & a Whole Lotta Love


This hair story is about Hair Love, an animated short film and picture book by Matthew A. Cherry with illustrations by Vashti Harrison. Hair Love is a celebration of dads, daughters, love, and natural hair. Cherry, a former NFL Read more

Hair Chat: Repair and Protect Hair Treatments


Let's have a hair chat about two treatments that are changing the game for hair repair and protection. Olaplex is a professional treatment designed to strengthen hair damaged by excessive bleach, perms, relaxers, and/or heat styling. It restores compromised hair Read more

What if Your Hair Hates Humidity?


Let's have a hairversation about humidity and what to do on those days when our curls droop, shrink, or  frizz. The following excerpts, originally published by Reader's Digest, may provide a few solutions. As you can guess, the water in Read more

Hair Gear Review: The Microfiber Towel


In between salon visits, if you wash your hair at home, you may want to ditch the t-shirt and consider stocking up on a few microfiber towels to dry your hair. Two divas describe why they made the switch Read more

Sweet as Honey Balayage


  Let's have a hairversation about balayage and one of our favorite shades, honey balayage.  It's sweet, warm, glowing, and gorgeous. Don't confuse balayage, a seamless blend, with ombre, a clear fade line between colors. Elle Magazine describes balayage as the Read more

Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) “I got my start by giving myself a start.” – Madam CJ Walker

Posted on by webmaster in Fashion Leave a comment

 

 By , About.com Guide

 

 

 

 

Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker, better known as Madame CJ Walker or   Madam Walker, together with Marjorie Joyner revolutionized the hair care and  cosmetics industry for African American women early in the 20th century.

Early Years

Madame CJ Walker was born in 1867 in poverty-stricken rural Louisiana. The daughter of former slaves, she was orphaned at the age of seven. Walker and her older sister survived by working in the cotton fields of Delta and Vicksburg, Mississippi. She married at age fourteen and her only daughter was born in 1885. After her husband's death two years later, she traveled to St. Louis to join her four brothers who had established themselves as barbers. Working as a laundrywoman, she managed to save enough money to educate her daughter, and became involved in activities with the National Association of Colored Women.

Inspired by Need

During the 1890s, Sarah began to suffer from a scalp ailment that caused her to lose some of her hair. Embarrassed by her appearance, she experimented with a variety of home-made remedies and products made by another black woman entrepreneur, Annie Malone. In 1905, Sarah became a sales agent for Malone and moved to Denver, where she married Charles Joseph Walker.

Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower

Changing her name to Madam CJ Walker, Sarah founded her own business and began selling her own product called Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula. To promote her products, she embarked on an exhausting sales drive throughout the South and Southeast selling her products door to door, giving demonstrations, and working on sales and marketing strategies. In 1908, she opened a college in Pittsburgh to train her "hair culturists."

The Walker System

Eventually, her products formed the basis of a thriving national corporation employing at one point over 3,000 people. Her Walker System, which included a broad offering of cosmetics, licensed Walker Agents, and Walker Schools offered meaningful employment and personal growth to thousands of Black women. Madame Walker’s aggressive marketing strategy combined with relentless ambition led her to be labeled as the first known African-American woman to become a self-made millionaire.

Having amassed a fortune in fifteen years, this pioneering businesswoman died at the age of 52. Her prescription for success was perseverance, hard work, faith in herself and in God, "honest business dealings" and of course, quality products. "There is no royal flower-strewn path to success," she once observed. "And if there is, I have not found it – for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard."

Improved Permanent Wave Machine

An employee of Madam CJ Walker’s empire, Marjorie Joyner invented an improved permanent wave machine. This device patented in 1928, curled or "permed" women’s hair for a relatively lengthy period of time. The wave machine was popular among women white and black allowing for longer-lasting wavy hair styles. Joyner went on to become a prominent figure in Madam CJ Walker’s industry, though she never profited directly from her invention, the assigned intellectual property of the Walker Company.


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