Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, became America's first black female millionaire by introducing and marketing a line of hair care products for African-Americans in the early 1900's. Her system which included cleaning the scalp and applying heat-protectant lotions to the hair before using hot iron combs has come to be known as the "Walker system." It is still taught in beauty schools today.
Chara Joyner, owner of the Houston-based Canvas Hair Studio, sites Walker as one of her greatest influences, "To see her in that position and doing what I wanted to do-- hair, it allowed me realize the heights that I could actually reach."