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Beauty Blog

Aly Phant's Black Elephants Blog

Profile: Garrett Augustus Morgan

Black Elephants

Do you know who Garrett Augustus Morgan is? I'll give you a second to google it.

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Garrett Augustus Morgan was an African American inventor. He invented both the traffic signal and the gas mask. He was born in 1877 to former slaves in Paris, Kentucky where he attended elementary school. He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 14 where he worked and continued his education by hiring a tutor. Later, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio taking work repairing sewing machines.

During this time, Morgan experimented with chemicals to prevent the high-speed sewing needles from scorching the fabric. He accidentally figured out that his needle polish could also straighten out hair. He invented the very first hair relaxer!

For the next 100 years, the creamy crack became a hair care staple. Today, many African Americans are going natural and chemical-free even while the relaxer business is booming greater than ever. I won't say stop using a relaxer. If you choose to relax, please follow all manufacturer directions. Remember, you are handling a chemical that is designed to break down a curl by altering the molecular bonds within the hair.

Have a blessed week and a blessed Black History Month!