Whether curly, coily or straight the struggle to tame your hair and get it to look just right is one known to most. More so in the late 1800s where there were very few hair products for naturally curly and coily hair. A recent Netflix series ‘Self Made’ tells the story of Madam C.J. Walker, who created a hair formula that took her from rags to the first female, self-made Millionaire. The hair formula was created to cater to curly and coily hair at a time when there were very few products that did.
Nearly a century and a Netflix binge of the series later, I wonder where the products are today and are they still the saving grace they once were?
Today the company still exists under the name Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture. In 2013 the Madam C.J. Walker enterprises were bought by Sundial brands which also owns similar brands like Nubian heritage and Shea moisture. This purchase was made after the approval of her great-granddaughter.
The agreement was the products had to honour Madam C.J. Walker’s legacy while still meeting the needs of consumers. As we know by now, Madam C.J. Walker’s original product line consisted of four signature products that were Temple Salve, Tetter Salve, Vegetable Shampoo, and Glossine. But today after much hair research the formula is not the same, but the products still aim to care and grow natural hair. The sundial company relaunched the brand first in 2016 and then again in 2019 offering new products like scalp restoring treatment, styling serum, texture definition cream, and moisturizing jelly shampoo.
Today the company serves all hair textures from straight to curly and everything in-between. With different collections for the different hair textures and an aim to diversify the hair care line, this is a step forward in bridging the divide between mainstream and ethnic hair brands.
The products are all exclusively available in Sephora at affordable prices. With products names like Good Vibes Impossibly Soft Balm-to-Oil Mask, Come Through Weightless Moisture Daily Foam Conditioner and Giving Lyfe Texture Refreshing Styling Spray, we see that the Madam C.J. legacy lives on into these products.
Words by Precious NjokiGraphics by Georgia Walters