BUY BLACK FOR XMAS: Female Entrepreneur Channeled Madam C.J. Walker to Launch Her Line of Hair Accessories

by | Dec 5, 2016 | Business, Buy Black Xmas | 0 comments

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What does this modern-day entrepreneur have in common with America’s first female self-made millionaire? More than you’d expect.

In case you didn’t get your education on her during Black History Month—before Mary Kay’s pink Cadillac, Madam C.J. Walker led one of the most fruitful and philanthropic cosmetic companies to date.

Ceata Lash, founder, and inventor of the PuffCuff Hair Clamp stands out as one of the leaders in a new, emerging line of female entrepreneurs building an enterprise arising from a need for a hair accessory to address people with thick, curly, textured hair. Like Madam Walker’s business launch, PuffCuff’s roots extended from a need Lash discovered with her personal hair care regime.

Here’s a little background: While many regard Madam C.J. Walker as the inventor of the straightening comb or hair relaxer, this is simply an untrue myth. Walker, in fact, launched her own business in the early 1900’s with Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula revealed to her in a dream after she suffered from a scalp ailment for years. The illness caused her to lose most of her hair in years prior. To create this product, Walker spent countless hours experimenting with homemade remedies and store-bought products before creating her own.

Fast forward to 2006 when PuffCuff Founder Ceata Lash was experiencing similar hair and scalp challenges. After years of suffering from severe psoriasis and dandruff, Lash chose to give her scalp a break and stop relaxing her hair. It was this “Aha” moment that led to the birth of an idea that spawned PuffCuff into existence nearly seven years later.


You know what Walker and Lash were experiencing right? If you’re wearing your hair natural, you’ve probably experienced what our moms would call “dry scalp”— a gentler description of dandruff or psoriasis other severe scalp conditions. If your hair is long enough to wear in a ponytail, you’ve probably also experienced the tension, headaches, and loss of hair from attempting to pull and stretch your hair into a ponytail, bun, or up-do.

This is where the spirit of Madam Walker comes into play for modern-day entrepreneurs like Lash. With similar drive and ambition, by 2011, Lash recognized these common challenges and promptly organized focus groups with natural-hair women. These women could relate to the same problems with the same desire to wear their hair natural, improve the condition of their hair and scalp, and wear up do’s and styles that wouldn’t take away from or cinch the beauty of their naturally thick and curly puffs. She spent countless hours of testing prototype designs and materials until she was able to create her first PuffCuff—the only unisex hair clamp for people with thick, curly, or textured hair.

Entrepreneurs like Madam Walker serve as an inspiration—and in Lash’s case she also was inspired by the spirit and drive of another—her grandmother, whom to this day she credits for her motivation. In recounting the memory and life of her grandmother before she passed on at age 99, Lash often wondered “Did she do everything she wanted to do in her long life? Did she pursue all her dreams?” The answer was a resounding and confident YES.

As Lash remembers, she was at total peace in knowing her time was at hand, so Lash asked herself “Would I be at peace with how my life turned out if the Lord blessed me to live to her age?” Lash used this motivation and resolved to try to launch PuffCuff forgoing her employment as a graphic designer—and if she failed, it wouldn’t be for lack of trying. PuffCuff LLC began in August 2013, and the first PuffCuff Hair Clamp was available for purchase February 2014. Since then, PuffCuff has grown year over year in revenue, staff, and the product line is serving thousands of men, women, and children in need of solving a textured hair problem only PuffCuff can address. Lash is well on her way to joining the ranks of female millionaires in America.

Article written by Sonja Crystal Williams

Social: @thepuffcuff

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