Most of us are familiar with the adage “necessity is the mother of invention”, and this saying is all too true when it comes to caring for our kinks, curls and coils. Since before the days of Madam C.J. Walker, we have heard inspiring stories of women creating homemade concoctions in their kitchens — and on the job — to help with everything from hair growth and moisturizing to styling and protecting.
What is even more remarkable is that, even through the hardships of slavery and Jim Crow, many African Americans have managed to become great inventors and scientists, including in the hair department.
So, we pulled together a list of 10 inventors who changed the hair industry with their own inventions — or improved upon existing ones — and have gone on to hold history-changing patents in hair care.