Marjorie Joyner

Our previous black history blog post was about Madame CJ Walker.  Her name is forefront when we think about African American inventors and millionaires in the personal care industry.  But there are other African Americans whose inventions impacted the personal care industry.

This week we will focus on Marjorie Joyner.  Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1896 she later moved to Chicago to study cosmetology.  Ms. Joyner became employed by Madame CJ Walker where she eventually became the Director of Madame Walker’s Beauty Schools.

During her employment with the Walker Company she designed the “Permanent Wave Machine” which was able to straighten black woman hair and wave white women hair for a long period of time.  Her invention was patented but she never profited from it for it was the property of the Walker Company.

Drawings of the Permanent Wave Machine

She later organized the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association with Mary Bethune Mcloud in 1945.  She lived to be 98 years old when she passed in 1994.

Here’s to you Marjorie Joyner for being innovative to look at hot pins in a pot roast and try to use those rods to straighten hair.  Daring to try, she later designed something that could benefit all women.

What are you willing to take a chance at?