Afrolific: Willie Morrow Legendary Master Barber
Dr. Morrow prolific in his accomplishments has amassed more patents, inventions, and product formulations than any other hair stylist in history
Afro Cosmetology Creator | Beauty Expert
Cheryl Morrow is the heir of the California Curl company; the daughter of world-famous Dr. Willie Morrow. The legacy brand is known for beauty tools like the blow dryer comb attachment The WLM Thermo nozzle. Still today, it leads in research in eco, bio, and safe beauty technology for the ethnic beauty industry
When good habits become standards your foundation is built upon quality. A modality of historic lineage by which mastery is valued and passed down to those who are willing and prepared. – Cheryl Morrow, CT
Willie Morrow was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Proudly proclaiming he wanted to be a barber in his 4th grade class, it was then unimaginable at the time all that could be done in the field of barbering.
Both poetic and amazing, the inspiration for Willie Morrow’s lifetime of achievements can be attributed to his upbringing as the son of sharecroppers. Understanding the science of agronomy and the application of distillation chemistry prepared him well to further research afro hair. Guided by his cultural affinity for his people, he was ambitiously driven to restore their neglected beauty in America by improving black hair care.
Dr. Willie Morrow was vocationally trained as a barber and hair stylist in southern California. His many accomplishments include hair stylist, author, researcher, teacher, collectible historian, product formulator and inventor. Self-educated behind his barber and beauty chair, in 1962 he carved the first African “pick” comb in the United States for the Afro hairdo, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, fashioning many activists and popularizing the most universal hairstyle.
Determined to push the bounds of what was expected, the barbering great wrote the first Black Barber textbook and set up the first Black hair research and product lab for formulation in 1965. Just one year later he also engineered the first plastic injection manufacturing mold for the afro “pick” combs, mass producing and commercializing combs to this very day. It was 1970 when he first manufactured the first US utility patented “eze-teze” comb designed specifically for afro textured hair.
The Founder’s accomplishments exemplify his commitment to excellence in engineering, science, history, and research. Motto: “A struggle without a void is in vain. I would rather struggle to fill a void, than live a life of emptiness.”
Ahead of his time, in 1971, because of the nature of afro hair he was the first to add a comb feature creating the blow comb attachment. Preferred by cosmetologist, it is still the best-selling blow comb on Amazon.
Fortunately, Dr. Morrow has taught black hair care on four continents: America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 1969 he was contracted to teach military barbers, beauticians, and cosmetic counter personnel how to cut, style and care for black hair for the U.S.A.F worldwide. Dr. Morrow boasts of spending “over a million miles in the sky and being the only hairstylist permitted into war zones.”
At home in San Diego, California he is a local hero having established the first Live Black radio station XHRM 92.5 in 1979. Black owned media fueled the success of many San Diego Black enterprises for 11 years. Dr. Morrow went on to start the San Diego Monitor Newspaper in 1986, a local paper still in existence today continues to advocate for economic mobility and business ownership with the black community.
During this phase of his career, he also introduced his most notable achievement the California Curl. Technologically innovative, “the Curl” was the biggest money-maker ever introduced to the Black hair care industry.
Among the many other books Dr. Morrow authored, the first Black Barber and Beauty History book entitled 400 Years Without A Comb written in 1971 endures as the preeminent source of Black American beauty information. The book in recent years has been highly sought after by filmmakers; and because of Dr. Morrow’s foresight and passion for collecting antique beauty artifacts, he has extended 4YWAC’s impact in his premier art collection. Exhibited by museums, the vast collection encompasses the entire realm of beauty instruments and tools used to establish the Black hair care beauty industry, dating back to when they were used as far as 300 years ago.
To his credit, Dr. Morrow has amassed more patents, inventions, and product formulations than any other hair stylist in history.
“The author feels that all people are beautiful, and they are even more beautiful when they are made to feel so.”
– Dr. Willie Morrow, from the Forward of Cosmetology: The Art and Science of Curly Hair – 1993