8 Trailblazing Women Then and Now - Page 2 of 7

8 Trailblazing Women Then and Now

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THEN: Madame C.J. Walker – Beauty Industry Entrepreneur; First African-American Millionairess

  • Sarah Breedlove, later known as Madame CJ Walker, experimented with home remedies and products already on the market to cure her own issues with balding until she finally developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth. She began selling her products–made especially for African Americans–while touring with her husband throughout the southern and eastern states.
  • In 1908, she opened Lelia College to train “hair culturists,” and later expanded to Indianapolis, Indiana, where she established her headquarters and built a factory where her products would be shipped to locations throughout the U.S., Central America, and the Caribbean. She also began to teach and train other Black women via The Walker College of Hair Culture, in order to help them build their own businesses.