Marjorie Stewart Joyner moved to Chicago in 1912 to pursue a career in Cosmetology. In 1916, she became the first black woman to graduate from A.B. Molar Beauty School and opened a beauty salon at the tender age of 20 years old. Marjorie was introduced to Madame C.J. Walker and was hired in 1919 as national supervisor of the Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Colleges.
In 1926, Marjorie set-out to create a easier, faster, and more efficient way to straighten tightly-coiled hair. Joyner connected 16 rods to a single electric cord inside of a standard drying hood, which would be worn by women for a specific amount of time. The result was straightened or curled hair. In 1928,Marjorie was the first black women to be granted a patent and named her invention the “Permanent Waving Machine.” She later invented and patented a scalp protector, used in conjunction with the waving machine, to make the experience more pleasant. Both inventions received enormous success among both white and black beauty salons. Furthermore, styles created by the Permanent Waving Machine lasted several days, compared to barely one day with standard curling irons.
In 1945, the great Marjorie Stewart Joyner co-founded the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association and also founded Alpha Chi Pi Omega Sorority and Fraternity to help raise professional standards for beauticians.
So next time you straighten or curl you hair, take a moment to silently thank Marjorie Joyner for leaving her mark in the black hair care mega-industry.
Reference: Black Inventor Online Museum