Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Remembering a St. Louis Haircare Pioneer

Posted By on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM

click to enlarge Chris_Rock.jpg
Have you heard about Chris Rock's new movie, the documentary on African-American coiffure titled Good Hair?

Rock got the idea for the film a few years back when his daughter complained to him about her kinky hair. The comedian was so baffled by his daughter's complaint that he set out to examine the money and politics behind the African-American beauty industry, which is said to take in a whopping $9 billion a year.

Along the way, Rock (who admits wearing a Jheri curl while in his teens) talked to folks like the Rev. Al Sharpton and poet Maya Angelou about their hairdos.

I'm mentioning all this because I'm curious if Rock's research took him to St. Louis, home to haircare pioneer Annie Malone.

In the early 1900s Malone patented the first "hot comb" at a time when many black women were using damaging goose fat and heavy oils to straighten their curls. Malone ended up making a mint peddling her haircare products and in 1917 founded Poro College in St. Louis, the nation's first educational institution dedicated to the study and teaching of black cosmetology.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation