Arts & Entertainment

Entrepreneur who brought Jheri curl to masses dies

Michael Jackson's sixth studio album
Michael Jackson's sixth studio album "Thriller" (Epic) was released on Nov. 30, 1982.
CBS Records/Epic

Comer Cottrell, an entrepreneur who made millions on black hair products — especially a cheap kit that brought the celebrity Jheri curl style into the homes of average African Americans — has died. He was 82.

Family spokeswoman Taryn Brown says Cottrell died Oct. 3 at his home in Plano, Texas.

With $600, Cottrell founded Pro-Line Corp. in Los Angeles in 1970. It became a multimillion-dollar success after introducing the Curly Kit, an at-home hair relaxer.

For a fraction of the salon price, the kit allowed people to adopt the loose, glossy Jheri curl style popularized by Michael Jackson and other stars.

Cottrell eventually sold Pro-Line for $80 million.

Cottrell promoted black civil rights and education. He also was part-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team from 1989 to 1998.