Martha Matilda Harper: Inventor of the Hair Salon

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She pioneered retail franchising and created the American hair salon industry.

“She designed the first reclining chair so they could have their hair washed without getting shampoo in their eyes, and had a half circle cut out of her sink (with running water) for ladies to rest their heads. The emphasis was on customer service, long before the term was coined.”

See also: Madam CJ Walker (previously covered here), a black woman who became America’s first female millionaire via her empire of beauty and hair products.