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30 Degrees of History: She set the way for cosmetics catering to African-American women



Madame C.J. Walker, born December 23, 1867, was the pioneer for cosmetics catering to African-American women. An entrepreneur, philanthropist and a political and social activist, Miss Walker was a self made millionaire. Not only that, she earned the spot for one of the most successful African-American business owners ever.

As many black woman in America, Miss Walker suffered with the backlash of harsh chemicals in caucasian products. She went on to work for Annie Turnbo Malone cosmetics, which would eventually become one of her largest rivals in the hair care industry. She eventually marketed herself as an independent hairdresser and retailer of cosmetic creams. With her husband at her side, she went on to buy herself a factory, hair salon and beauty school to further her

business. She trained her team, known as "The Walker System" to groom other women using her products. Walker's system included a shampoo, a pomade that helped hair grow, bushes, and iron combs.


Madame C.J. Walker managed to set the tone for many African-American woman to take pride in the products used on their bodies. For that, we thank you Miss Walker.

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