Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, is most widely known for being the first female self-made millionaire — thanks to the namesake hair-care company she pioneered in the early 1900s. Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, an elixir that healed scalp ailments and promoted hair growth, was just the start of her beauty empire — and a monumental step for Black female entrepreneurs who followed.
Since that time, Walker's name is still recognized as the gold standard in Black haircare, and her products are now available all over the world. Recently, she even inspired a Netflix mini-series starring Octavia Spencer. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, which premiered in March, has reminded many people of Walker's profound legacy.
Among them are Black female beauty founders who credit Walker for creating the blueprint for their success. From carving out economic opportunities for women to embracing their natural hair, we spoke to seven Black women on the lasting impact Madam C.J. Walker had on their lives. Read their reflections, ahead.