- Netflix's Self Made: Inspired by the life of Madam C.J. Walker depicts Madam C.J. Walker inventing her historic hair care products.
- They included shampoos, pomades, and hair oils.
- Today, a brand that collaborated with her great-great-granddaughter is selling a reimagined version of Madam C.J. Walker's products at Sephora.
Netflix’s newest mini-series, Self Made: Inspired by the life of Madam C.J. Walker, follows the story of Walker, an African American woman who launched hair-loss products marketed toward Black woman that boomed into a haircare empire.
In the show, Madam C.J. Walker, played by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, worked as a "washerwoman" in the late 1860s and began losing her hair due to the steam, heat, and harsh chemicals she was required to handle on the daily.
She thought she’d found a miracle in the haircare products made by Addie Monroe (based on the real life Annie Malone), but when she offered to help market and sell Addie’s products, she was turned down because Addie didn’t want a dark-skinned black woman (typically thought to be less socially important than those with lighter complexions) associated with her products.
So, Walker went and made her own line of shampoos, pressing oil, and "hair grower" pomade in her kitchen, sold them door-to-door and eventually became a millionaire.
Now, the real story of Madam C.J. Waker differs a bit from the televised version, but Self Made sticks to the facts when it comes to Walker’s inventions. And while you can’t buy the pioneer's original products (sigh), a label launched in 2016 called Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, inspired by Walker's original line, reimagined it for modern times.
The company's CEO teamed up with Walker's great-great-granddaughter to determine how the new products would honor the original inventor, per USA Today, and decided the new line should cater to people of all hair textures and backgrounds.
Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, sold exclusively at Sephora, promises that it's taking what Madam Walker "envisioned more than 100 years ago to a whole new level." The brand offers moisture-packed curl-defining creams, hair masks, foams, and more.
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