It is very difficult to get through black history month and not mention Madam CJ Walker. As a matter of fact if you study the history of black hair care at any point in your life you are bound to learn about her story and about the products she made that changed the game for black women.
Sundial Brands, the company that has partnered with Shea Moisture* and Nubian Heritage, decided to restore and renew the historical product line created by Madam CJ Walker in an effort to keep her story alive and ensure that everyone knows how much she impacted our culture:
“We want to tell the broader story; we don’t want this to just be a ‘Hey, she had a company and she was successful.’ It was what she did, how she did it, how she impacted a world that didn’t pay any attention to women that looked like her,” Sundial CEO Richelieu Dennis told Refinery 29.”We want to make sure that the world also knows how she impacted the culture of beauty, how she helped women of color not just around beauty but around confidence, around economic empowerment.”
Sundial Brands decided to call the ‘new’ line “Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture”, and the products will maintain the foundation of the original products created in 1905, but with new modern ingredients and a modern look.
They got rid of ingredients like petrolatum and sulfur* which were popular at that time and used in “The Walker System”. They added ingredients like, Jamaican black castor oil*, coconut oil*, and they created the line to cater to specific hair textures from kinky* to straight.
According to the Sundial group, this process was not overnight, it took them 10 years to get the brand just right and they had help from Walker’s great–great granddaughter, official historian and biographer A’Lelia Bundles to ensure that they stayed true to the initial products.
“I was so excited because [Dennis and his team] have been so successful, and I could see that they had the capacity to really reimagine Madam Walker’s brand — to keep the philosophy of empowering women, of helping women discover their own beauty, and also the idea of community commerce,” Bundles said.
“There’s no reason why people shouldn’t think of Madam C.J. Walker the same way they think of Coco Chanel. It’s been all too easy to marginalize us over the decades, and it’s time for us to stand up and say ‘Hey, no, I won’t be marginalized,’ and this is what we did and we’re going to make sure everybody knows that — through all lenses.”
I cannot tell you how amazing this is. It definitly gives me a sense of pride and I am hoping that when it does hit shelves that the prestige of the brand is enough for us to fully support it. The Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture will officially launch on March 4th in Sephora.