If I had to describe Madam C.J. Walker using one word it would be innovative. In 1906, she created her own line of products to help address problems of the hair and scalp for black women. According to A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walker’s great-great granddaughter and biographer, “The Vegetable Shampoo and Wonderful Hair Grower were revolutionary at the time because they addressed problems such as dandruff and scalp infections during an era when most Americans washed their hair infrequently because they did not have indoor plumbing. As a result many women were going bald. That was the issue Madam Walker was trying to address.”
The Wonderful Hair Grower was a heavy petrolatum-based ointment with sulphur, which helped cure infections, dandruff and scalp disease. Bundles says, "The Vegetable Shampoo was a natural product and an improvement over harsher lye-based soaps. Madam Walker used the best science available to her at the time. Of course a century later, we have the benefit of new science and research that better address the needs for conditioning and moisturizing.”
Today her legacy continues with her reformulated product line called Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture. Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture consists of four different collections and is formulated with high quality natural ingredients, which can be used on a variety of hair textures.
Dream Come True Collection
The Dream Come True Collection will help nourish and condition the hair and scalp. The Wonderful Scalp Exfoliator is a pre-shampoo scalp treatment that gently and effectively removes flakes and buildup. The first time I used this product I noticed how easily it absorbed. One of the main ingredients in this product is coconut oil, which has molecules that are small enough to evaporate into the skin and moisturize the scalp. Salicylic acid is an essential property of the Wonderful Scalp Exfoliator, because it helps remove dandruff and dead skin cells. It also has glycerin, which helps to soften flakes and retain the scalp’s moisture. I like this product because it is lightweight and not too oily, which allows it to be used on any hair type. I fell in love with the Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque the first time I used it because it provided great slip on my client’s 3c, curly hair. This masque moisturized her hair without weighing it down and left her hair feeling soft. This masque works without the use of heat from a hooded dryer or steamer, which is an added bonus for people who do not have time to process their conditioners with heat. I love the smell and it made my client’s hair shiny.
Brassica Seed & Shea Oil Collection
If you want to wear your hair smooth and use a blow-dryer or flat iron, try the Brassica Seed and Shea Oils Silkening Blow Out Crème. Brassica seed oil will provide heat protection without building up on the hair. Shea oil is used to moisturize and condition the hair. This blow-dry crème will not weigh your hair down. The oils evaporate into the hair creating smooth manageable hair that is easy to blow-dry or flat iron. Try the Brassica Seed and Shea Oils Collection to prepare and protect your hair when using hot tools.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil & Murumuru Oil Collection
Are you looking for a crème that can help elongate your curls or coils and provide long lasting moisture? Try the Jamaican Castor Oil and Murumuru Oil Defining Butter Crème. Murumuru oil makes hair more manageable and soft. Jamaican black castor oil moisturizes and revitalizes your hair and scalp. The Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Murumuru Oil collection works great for you if you have coils or curls. I used the Defining Butter Crème on a client with 4a, coily hair. I noticed that the product moisturized and gave my clients twist out definition as well. Her twist where elongated and she told me she did not feel the need to re-hydrate her hair until three days later. She also said that the product did not flake. If you have tight curls or coils that feel dry, I would recommend the Defining Butter Crème.
Scent and Shine Coconut Oil
The Scent and Shine Coconut Oil is part of the Coconut and Moringa Oil Collection, which is designed to tame frizz and can be used on curly and wavy hair. The Scent and Shine Coconut Oil can be used to add shine to your hair and moisture before you shampoo. This is also great to cocktail with the Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque for a more intense treatment.
Let's take a moment to admire how beautiful this photograph is!
Have you tried any of Madam C.J. Walker’s Beauty Culture Products? What was your experience?
Writer Sophia Emmanuel is a licensed cosmetologist and certified IAT trichologist. As a hairstylist, Sophia realized that she had to have a thorough understanding of the hair and scalp because many women complained of hair loss. She decided to become a certified trichologist after reading Barry Fletcher’s book titled, Why Are Black Women Losing Their Hair? She enjoys helping people get to the root of their hair loss and hair breakage problems.