I checked out Chris Rock’s new movie documentary, “Good Hair,” that recently became available ON DEMAND with RSN (the cable company in my area). Here’s a little of what I liked and didn’t like about the movie.
Here’s the trailer:
What I liked:
I liked the initial premise of the show, which was one of Chris’ little girls came to him saying she didn’t like her hair, that she wanted “good hair.” So he went on the “mission” to create this documentary to show his little girls that black woman has so-called “good hair.” Black women who have what she might think is “good hair” is either fake hair or hair that is chemically treated. That’s what I liked about the show the most.
Which leads me to my fondest of his research of what is in a chemical relaxer and is it safe. He visits the factor where relaxers are made, speaks the world’s biggest black-owned hair company, and even visits a chemist to see if the main chemical in hair relaxers is safe.
Likewise he travels to India to find out how the human hair that black women wear as weaves, wigs and pony tail clips, and the hair comes from women who grow and sacrifice the hair during a religions ceremony by having it cut off. Most Indian woman make this “sacrifice” 1-2 times or more per lifetime. It’s quite extroadonary after seeing that clip realizing I can go to the black hair supply store and buy a bag of human hair for about $13.
He shows how black hair products is a very lucrative business. We only make up 10% of the world population, but yet black women alone make up about 85% of the hair product sales. Women pay as much as $1000 for weaves and participate in layaway plans in order to afford it. Many will neglect paying rent in order to have the money it takes to pay for hair.
What I didn’t like:
There are two things I really didn’t like about the documentary.
First, there was a little too much emphasis and footage on the the “hairstyle show competition” where hairstylists from all other compete in this show where the stylists are doing outrageous things on the stage (.e.g, cutting hair under water, cutting hair while wearing glamour designer boots with heels, cutting hair while amonst a half dozen nearly nude women, etc). What in the world does a hair show like THAT have to do with the topic of “good hair”? That show did not capture the “norm” as it pertains to how most black women get their hair styled or anything like that. It seemed to me like a misfit in the documentary, particularly since the coverage of it was so extensive and it kept taking us back to the show, even ending the documentary with the show coverage.
Second, and more importantly, I was very disappointed and surprised that Chris failed to cover (for the sake of his little girls especially) footage of black women who are wearing their hair naturally. He may have had one woman in the entire document who had her hair in sister locks or twists, but I’m talking about the new hot thing of black women wearing their hair in its original state. Women all over America are doing the “BC” (Big Chop” where they cut off all the relaxed chemically treated (“permed”) hair and wear their hair naturally using products like www.kinkycurly.com, www.carolsdaughter.com, and many many others. Women are finding they can use the “CG” (Curly Girl) method to was their hair, and as long as they keep hair super moisturized, they can wear styles in their natural hair state that look good. YouTube is filled with hundreds, probably thousands, of women documenting their “natural hair journey.” I even anticipate on writing a blog about my own little “story” regarding that. I feel that including all the rave of this new method, as women are learning about how to have healthy hair, naturally, would have been a perfect conclusion to the movie. In fact, take out the hair show stuff and replace it with the natural hair care salon stories, and I don’t mean locks and twists, although those are styles women can get when deciding to go “all natural.” I’m talking about women starting to wear their hair “out” in its natural state using those special products and methods.
For more information about that, check out some of the videos in this playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C31D06659C79B7B1
Tyra Banks’ Show On Black Hair
After Chris released his documentary, the Tyra Banks show discussed this same topic, that is “Good Hair” – what is it, does it exist, is it just a bad label, etc.
Check out the video playlist below.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good documentary. While some persons in the black community are upset that our “secrets” were supposed “exposed” in this movie (e.g., some black people have spoken out saying they didn’t think White people should know that most black women have fake fair), it is education and informational, except that it didn’t inform women about the natural hair alternatives other than dreadlocks.
Opray Winfrey also interviewed Chris Rock about this documentary on her show. Here is a link to a transcript with video clips of that show: http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/Girl-Talk-About-Good-Hair-with-Chris-Rock
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