Kylie & Karishma
Madam C.J. Walker - Hair Product
71 x 100cm
Screenprint on 300gsm Madrid Litho Paper
Edition of 5
About Madam C.J.Walker
Madam CJ Walker was the first black female self-made millionaire in America and her business was based on haircare. The haircare industry around the world is very lucrative - the black hair industry in America alone is worth several billion dollars - but it wasn’t always this way. The history of black hair care in the US is entwined with the history of slavery. For centuries, slaves in the US were not able to have access to the most basic tools for haircare and as a result were using dangerous chemicals to style their hair. Madam CJ Walker’s parents were freed slaves and she was the first in her family to be born free.
Walker’s haircare invention came about after she damaged her scalp because of the products she had been using. She began to experiment with different natural and homemade remedies as well as shop bought ones and came up with a formula for a product for haircare and tools to style hair. Through word of mouth, her products sold in vast quantities and people bought into her mission of bettering the lives of African Americans in the USA.
Madam CJ Walker was a visionary that impacted her own community not just through her inventions and business acumen, but also through the philanthropy she carried out with the money she earned.