Willie Lee Morrow

Black Hair Care Pioneer

Hairstylist, chemist, Inventor, entrepreneur, author, husband and father are just some of the words used to describe Willie Lee Morrow, who worked to support San Diego’s African American community. Born to a family of Alabama sharecroppers, Morrow taught himself barbering and chemistry, and then used those skills to build the foundation of a multi-million dollar San Diego based haircare business and media empire.

Dr. Willie Morrow has taught Black hair care on four continents: America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. In the 1970’s, Morrow was enlisted by the Department of Defense to teach haircutting on military bases. To his credit, Dr. Morrow has amassed more patents, inventions, and product formulations than any other hair stylist in history. Morrow invented the Afro pick and was a pioneer of the Jheri Curl hairstyle and created haircare products specifically for black hair. He also authored several books on how to style and cut black hair.

In addition to his haircare business, Morrow was instrumental in creating a media company and radio station that supported San Diego’s Black community. Morrow was also a philanthropist and worked to teach the next generation about business and success. He was also a preservationist of rare Black art and artifacts.

Morrow died in 2022 at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gloria Morrow and two daughters.

“Willie Morrow was the embodiment of the promise of America.”
Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-La Mesa) – San Diego Union Tribune