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Lady innovators

Women who did things first

This entry to is dedicated to all of the women I could find that were very instrumental in the creation of hairstyling as we know it. I will do my best to outline these lovely ladies in chronological order.

Starting with Martha Matilda Harper, she is the first woman to open a salon in 1888. Not originally a hairstylist, she received a formula for a hair tonic after her employer bequeathed it to her at the time of his death. Utilizing the importance of good hygiene and this tonic, she created a salon that women could visit to gain the benefits of healthy hair themselves. -I didn't realize that a ladies salon was opened before the turn of the 20th century- For more information on this lovely and fascinating lady please visit:

This next one is just a patent given to a woman for a new lavatory/shampoo bowl design. Intended to make it easier for the rinsing of hair during a visit to the salon. The patent was granted in 1903. You can find the patent information here:

A woman by the name of Ruth Maurer was instrumental in the opening of a school of beauty in 1905. The school was called The Marinello Training School, later known as the Marinello School of Beauty Culture. I haven't looked too far in to the history of this school, but it seems to be one of the earliest beauty schools. There is an article about this woman here:

One of the first female self-made millionaire was Madame CJ Walker. She was born Sarah Breedlove, but eventually adopted the name above by urging of her then husband. She invented a women's hair care line for African-American ladies in 1905 and by 1907 was touring the South and Southeast of the United States demonstrating and selling her product along with her "Walker Method" of hair care. In 1908 she started a beauty school and production factory in Pittsburgh, later moving headquarters to Indianapolis. This is really the tip of the iceberg in the story of Madame CJ Walker, please scan this article from Biography as a good start in the journey:

In 1928 Marjorie Stewart Joiner received a patent for a scalp protector for a permanent wave machine. She worked under Madame C. J. Walker and the patent says such. This may be the first patent given to a person in the US in regards to a permanent wave machine improvement. You can see the patent here:

In 1962 Rose Evansky did something that had never been thought of. She, having seen a barber using a blow dryer and a brush to style a client's hair, decided to do the same for her female clientele. It was absolutely daring for the time period. When you consider that most women made weekly appointments for a wet set of some variety. The purpose of the "blow out" was to lessen the time spent in the salon and eliminate the need for time under the hood dryer. The innovation was so great that we are still doing it today. A short, but fascinating, article on the subject can be found here: