Movie Review: Good Hair

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 12:00 am.

goodhairSummary: Comedian Chris Rock tackles the epic history of hair in the Black community.

Review: The term “good hair” has lived with the African-American community for ions, cementing itself into the Black American lexicon. Most of us can remember, or some still say, lines like, “She got good hair!” While the term has often been brushed off as one of the things we just “do” as Black folks, Chris Rock has analyzed this mindset, the history and the choices behind Black folks and their hair.

Good Hair could have easily gone the way of judgmental and didactic — I’ve known many women who wear their hair “natural” and deem Black women who use perms and weaves as sell-outs and adhering to standards of Whiteness. On the other hand, I’ve known weaved out females who stress the natural looked is played and, “I’m not gonna get a job looking like Angela Davis!” Therefore, Rock had a risky topic on his plate — plus, he is a man. However, quite brilliantly, Rock skillfully peeled back the archaic layers, opening up a dialogue that could’ve been volatile.  His talent made the doc hilarious and thought-provoking, rising above race and gender.

One of the first steps to becoming a good documentarian is to realize you are not the star of the show. So, when a celebrity as A-list as Rock makes a documentary, you have to wonder if his star power will overshadow the message. Thankfully, it doesn’t. Rock uses himself as the vessel by interviewing women at salons, chatting with men at barber shops, talking with a chemist about the chemicals in hair products and even traveling to India to discover the origins of weaves.

Don’t think Good Hair is a rambling of facts and laughs. Skillfully moving the story forward, Rock highlights the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show in Atlanta, Georgia. This legendary hair show and the quirky yet extremely competitive personalities he features, give the movie a bloodline, linking together the profit of hair and style. One of the most astounding revelations: African Americans spend $9 billion a year on all things hair.

Rock has others voicing their thoughts on the good hair philosophy like Nia Long, Maya Angelou (she got her first perm at 70!), Salt-N-Pepa , Andre Harrell and two perm icons: Ice-T and Al Sharpton. Rock balances a story that could easily be too specific or agenda-pushing — with his style of humor and wit, even if you can’t relate to Good Hair, you will be informed, laugh and come away with sensitivity to the African-American experience.

Good Hair opens in select cities Friday, October 9th and nationwide Friday, October 23rd.

  • Digg It
  • Delicious


jill Said on

Well, I think it is a nice conversation piece. I think it is funny. And it was done in good taste. As far as the term (good hair) I will say this. Anyone who has hair on their head its good and anyone who can’t grow hair or hair just won’t grow that bad hair. White women do things to their hair they wear weaves. Look at alot of the news people. Wigs, weaves, and extenstions are just fun to wear. They make your hair look fuller. I won’t wear a weave because it hurts too bad and I won’t get my hair braided anymore because when you get your hair braided that hurts too bad. That’s makes your hair com out doing all of that. I don’t need an instant face lift to look good. But I did just last year or the year before get a wig. When I don’t want to roll my hair at night I put my wig on and people think it’s my real hair. And that’s good.

SAC Said on

I have never been one to use the term “Good Hair”. There is no such thing as good or bad hair. I think that it is degrading. As blacks, we have been taught that we are bad, and everything about us is bad. If our hair is so bad, then why are Whites and and Hispanics trying to get their hair thick like ours. I have been asked many times by White colleagues, how do I get my hair to stay in braids. They won’t admit it, but they would kill to have our hair. My daughter’s father is half German, I get asked all the time, how did she get that good hair. I simply say God created her so everything about her is good. It just frustrates me to hear my people say goo hair and bad hair. All hair is good as long as you have some on your head, whether it is store bought or natural.

Wifey Said on

I have to say that I think this movie is gonna be a hit! I know for a fact that women go crazy about our hair. We’ll do just about anything to it to please ourselfs. We will cut it ,dye it, Hot comb it, put weave in it, maybe even throw on some kind of wig. But what we fail to realize that there’s nothing wrong with wearing your hair natural. Many pepole would say that it’s easy for me to say because my hair is long, soft ,& curly. In my eyes I dont care if it’s long, short, curly, kinky, learn how to love & rock your natural hair it’s yours! Everybody’s hair is’nt meant to be the same.

Janell Said on

Why isn’t Good Hair being shown in Louisiana? We are pissed about this!!! What the HELL??????

hiphopInterview: *Nia Long* Speaks on *GOOD HAIR!* 2009 « BeatMakers and HipHop Said on

[...] “Touch The Sky” video.  Born in New York but raised in Los Angeles, Long is now featured in Chris Rock’s witty documentary, “Good Hair,” which is in theaters [...]