Ernest Daurham Jr.
, the second child in a family of nine children. grew up in the Alleged Gardens public housing development in Chicago's far South Side.Guided by a family with a strong sense of values and belief in God, Ernest Daurham
life to the. success he
has so deservingly achieved as founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the company that bears his
illustrious hair styling career at the young age of 14, cutting his
friends and neighbors hair in his
bedroom for 25 cents a head.To hone his
early skills. he
started practicing on his
brother William who is seven tears younger.By the time he
went through trial and error with his
"as now good enough to charge for his
skills.Ernest attended the McCoy Barber College as well as the Dunbar school of Cosmetology. both at the same time. splitting the hours of each day between both schools from 1967 until he completed both courses in 1969.
now holds a barbers license, a barbers teacher's license, a cosmetology license, and a cosmetology instructor's license.
After completing his
purchased Irby's barber and beauty salon, the place where he
worked, in the same community where he
started retailing products for his
customers and created a huge market for certain brands in his
salon.When the products became so popular among his
clients and the producer of these brands couldn't keep up with his
took the ingredients from the back panel of the label of the bottles and began to experiment with certain chemicals himself.
The product that Ernest
made seemed to work even better.Being a stylist. he
could also use the product on clients to observe how the hair reacted to them.This allowed him to add or take away different amounts of ingredients to get the perfect results that he
When it wasn't convenient for his
customers to come all the way back to his
salon to purchase his
newly formulated products that worked so well on their hair, they went to their neighborhood stores looking for the products.Their asking for his
product line became so intense that the buyers from Walgreen's
and other beauty supply stores contacted him to start carrying his
product.By 1979, Ernest
was so busy making product to keep up with the demand from the stores that he
didn't have the time to style or cut hair anymore.By 1980, he established D'Orum Hair Products.
Inc. to address the unique hair care needs of the African American consumer market with which he
was so familiar.By 1982. he
invented a no-rod curl kit called Chicago Curl and made his
first million dollars.Chicago curl was so unique because at that time all the other curl companies were rolling the hair to get the curl, but the Chicago Curl required no rollers so it was a lot easier and faster to do.
By 1985, Ernest
came out with another product to address the needs of the African American consumer market--This time it was Leisure Curl.This dry, non-greasy relaxer look required no plastic cap.This product took the market so fast that the retail stores had to create a new category for it called the "dry curl market".This was the company's flagship brand and in 1999 it was succeeded by an even more professional and innovative line called 'Leisure 2000" that took stylists into the next millennium.
Financial success, although welcomed, was never the only motivating factor on Ernest Daurham's path toward success.He
looked back with pride on the family and community background that made him strong.
personal and professional resources to reach back and help others. In 1991, he established the Ernest Daurham Community Foundation to support community, social, educational and employment opportunities in the African American community.
Next year, he
opened and taught classes in the Daurham Institute of Hair Technology
, a free beauty school where unwed mothers and others that were living under a certain income level could attend, and their tuition was paid for by the Ernest Daurham Communitv Foundation
.In addition to the school.Mr. Daurham
opened five beauty salons around the Chicago and Gary, Indiana area to create job opportunities.
Much has occurred since then as Ernest Daurham
has relocated to Scottsdale, AZ in 1994 and continued to develop products for people of all hair types from every background.As you browse through our site, be aware that this is but a very small window into a large, vibrant and thriving company and industry that you too could be part of.