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Remembering the life of San Diego Black hair care pioneer Willie Morrow

Remembering Dr. Willie Morrow
Posted at 11:58 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 15:02:01-04

San Diego (KGTV) — Hundreds gathered to celebrate the life of Black Hair Care Pioneer, Dr. Willie Morrow. He died late last month. His inventions influenced the African American culture across the U.S. but it started right in San Diego.

His funeral services were held Friday morning at Bayview Baptist Church in Encanto. Loved ones, friends, and community members shared many stories about Mr. Morrow.

His daughter spoke with ABC 10News before Friday’s ceremony as she reflected on her dad’s life.

“If the old adage is true; people won’t remember what you did, they won’t remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel. That’s Mr. morrow,” says daughter Cheryl Morrow.

Dr. Willie Morrow held many titles like barber, inventor, and entrepreneur but his daughter says what she admired was the way her father inspired others.

“He also had a unique way of making you feel like doing something in your best interest. Which is part of his technique in how to reach in and pour into people.”

His invention of the Afro tease, commonly known as the “pick”, took off in the 1960s. Morrow is also the man behind the Eze-Teze (pronounced Easy Tease) design, which has the shape of the afro-coil.

Another invention that has become a common household item is the blowout comb. The attachment is used with a blow dryer to dry and straighten the hair.

Willie Morrow shaped cultural trends all over the country and world.

“It’s time to allow the world to understand that Afro-natural and Afro-curly hair is ubiquitous. Most of the world has curly hair.”

His inventions also led to the creation of the style “The California Curl.” He even designed an entire hair care line for it.

Cheryl says even though her father had what was equivalent to a high school education, he was invested in science and the art of selling.

“He would always say regardless if you’re going to invent, or what you do in life, no matter what you’re a salesperson. The art of learning how to sell is the art of learning how to connect with people. He could convince you of anything.”

Cheryl says the last conversations she had with her father were about continuing his work. She plans to bring an exhibit of her father’s inventions to San Diego.

“The legacy continues. I’m excited about it.”

One local organization has already reached out to the City of San Diego to request a street be renamed in his honor.