“Good Hair” Sundance Screening With Nia Long

Nia Long and Chris Rock When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl’s head! Director Jeff Stilson’s camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture.An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people.

Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question. What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.


56 Comments

  1. I ask myself that question too. I wish I had that water hair too. I went naturally and cut my hair off and it is still hard to get use too. I have since ordered me a lacefront wig so that I can cut it again and grow it out so that I can press it.

  2. Please, what is “good hair”. The things we instill in our children sometimes makes me sick! NAPPILY EVER AFTER PPL. I have “good hair” and it still hasn’t made me into a genius, made me pots of money, our the ability to eat what I want and not blow up like the world trade. If only we could get our children to realize that. All hair is “good hair”. Bought, long, short, natural, permed, WHATEVER. Thanks Chris Rock, because I know some individuals that REALLY need to see this.

  3. Chris is hillarious! This sounds like a great movie, cant wait to see it! And he’s touching on such a prominent issue in the black and ethnic community.

    As for me my hair is natural, unrelaxed and I love it! I said goodbye to relaxers nearly 2 years ago and I”ve embraced my real hair. I have noticed that I dont get as much “attention” when Im rocking a fro, but I figured Im gonna be with someone who loves me for who I am and embraces my curly afro tresses.

    I also believe more black women need to send a positive message to their children about hair, when you tell your daughter that her hair is too hard, and you tell your son that he should chase girls with “good hair” what kind of message is that sending? I’ve seen sooo many women do this and it makes me sick.

  4. Well, I have what a lot of people call “good hair” and a lot of people ask me what I’m mixed with, but like De La Soul said…It hasn’t brought me any great fortune. Not only that, half the time I can’t stand my hair and wish it was like someone else’s hair. It’s a nasty cycle that should stop.

  5. Very interesting. I will be watching this. I left those relaxers alone a long time ago, they only mess your hair up. I teach my daughter to love herself fully, hair, complexion everything. Embrace it, Love it, it’s yours for life.

  6. I’m natural. I love it. Hair is just hair. Sometimes it’s curly; today it’s flat ironed. I’m in Houston so it’ll probably poof up on the ride home to work. I’ll just wash it in the morning with conditioner and let it do it’s thing tomorrow.

    It really is JUST HAIR. I don’t understand the big deal. Never have. And I will be damned – DAMNED – of someone has an opinion on how I should wear my God given hair.

    It is so heartbreaking that people are not comfortable with the hair God intended for them to have.

  7. Interesting this new project. Chris Rock is crazy……..can’t wait to see. Nia Long is so gorgeous!

  8. Nia is so effortlessly cute!

    I wear my hair long and straight, I quit getting relaxers over a year ago at the advice of my stylist who told me I didn’t need them. Since the change, I realize that my hair doesn’t get as oily as quick now. I don’t think I’ll ever get a relaxer again.

    I agree with Mzlady, that good hair is healthy hair. With that being said, ladies-take care of your hair. Wash it, condition it, trim split ends, don’t overprocess your hair, and allow your scalp to breathe. Love and embrace your hair, and listen to India Arie I Am Not My Hair

  9. I can’t wait to see the film because Chris Rock can tell the truth in a way that is funny, but true. Great project for him.

  10. Good for chris rock. We live in a eurocentric world, were even our top black female celebrities play into white standards of beauty–Beyonce being the biggest offender of them all (interesting how she stayed mum on the whole Loreal controversy…probably because her camp encourages them to light her up!) and of course she’s been holding steady to the blonde weave for years now.

    We need more natural haired black women role models. Too many young black girls are weaved out. I have never seen so many young girls wearing wigs in my life! At age 15, the last thing I would want to be seen in would be a wig. To me that was something my granny wore! lol! But young black girls today rock them like it’s their shoes, everyday and all day. And that’s probably whats contributing too so many black women/girls with hair problems, like Alopocia (hey stephanie maybe you could do a blog on this!) You can’t constantly relax and wear weaves all the time, and not properly take care of your hair, and then wonder why you hair doesn’t grow! (and it has nothing to do with you not having “good hair”!)

    Put down the relaxer (which has the same ingredients as DRANO, for goodness sakes!) and weaves and let your hair breathe! lol

  11. i don’t have what you call “good hair”, the texture isn’t bad, but it’s not that kind of hair that doesn’t need a flat iron or pressing comb ran through it every now and then. You can’t change the texture of your hair, so just embrace it for what it is

  12. To see another documentary that claims it is not White folks but KOREANS who have forced African Americans from their own retail hair biz…yes it’s true and you can see it on a daily basis…..please view the documentary I have made at Blue Box link next to this post (http://www.blackhairdvd.com).

    I have also posted the entire film, and a london england update (it is the same there) all for FREE at youtube, search for Aron Ranen’s Black Hair Documentary, and Black Hair report from London

    I am not a hater..I am a motivator

    Aron Ranen Director Black Hair Documentary

  13. I have natural curly hair, i’m been unrelaxed going on 3 years now, and so some of the black female girls at school always give me nice complement about my hair my being good how Pretty it was..saying that i have good hair, and every single one of them have relaxed hair that said it. I remember one time this White man walk by me and he look at me and he said “i like your afro puff ma’am”.

    I like to have my hair in a ponytail most of the time and for my afro puff to be big lol.

  14. Black folks put that in black folks head about good hair. It’s this westernize society. And seeing white ppl with this straight hair and us thinking we need to be the same way. Just Like light skinned vs. dark skinned. The white ppl made us feel that if you are light then it’s right. Which in some cases it seems that if you are you get better privledges. It was back then and it is now even though it’s more suttle but it’s still there.

  15. You only get one life to live, I say wear your hair however you want, whether it be natural, relaxed, wig’ed or weaved…..it’s just hair people!!!!

  16. Glad to see so many napptural ladies in here! I’ve been natural for 8 years Whoo Hoo! and it has really been a journey. I have the type of hair that no one wants, super dense and super nappy and I love it. The hardest thing has not been my hair, it is finding the appropriate products for my hair! One thing that you learn is that most products for black hair are garbage! But I have finally figured it out and I love it!

    I hope that Chris and Malack keep their girls natural. Hopefully, they will learn that they are absolutely gorgeous young Black women and that everything about them is perfect!

  17. I agree @ candy. That is why I’m overjoyed to see that the Obama girls enjoy wearing their hair, natural at times (braids, twists, etc) as much as they wear straight styles (curly, flips, etc)….Young black girls will see that natural hair can be worn just as attractive as straight hair. I see too many young black girls (and I mean under 10 yrs old!) already relying heavily on ponytail clip ons, imini-weaves, and the biggest offender to me–micro braids!! Black parents need to stop being lazy..and learn how to manage their daughters hair properly!

  18. Good hair is healthy hair.. it doesn’t matter if ur natural, relaxed or anything in between. If ur hair is healthy it’s good. All that matters is if ur happy w/ ur hairstyle & it fits you. I relax my hair & I love it… the next man may prefer their’s natural, it’s their choice. All of these styles still require maintence. The beauty of African American hair is w/ the texture of our hair we can do so much, all the other cultures don’t have this option. I have seen white women lock their hair & it just doesn’t look right. But when a brother or sista locks the hair & it’s done right/taken care of… it’s beautiful.

  19. The reason why we hate our natural hair goes very deep. It would have been nice to look at the historical aspects of why we are like this. Surely we didn’t come over on the boat hating our hair, so the question should be, what happened? Somehow, I don’t think he’ll have a satisfactory answer for his daughter.

  20. That is so sad that some one exposed his daughter to those hurts at such a young age. People can be cruel I know you can’t shelter kids and keep them from these things all the time so it must have really hurt him. I began to discover differences and prejudices in elementary school, and sadly by college, it became full blown knowledge, that there are a lot of racist and prejudice people. I can’t even begin to tell my story, but I think this is a really good idea that Chris has come up with. And he is right, Black people don’t always benefit from black hair products.

  21. I love that he made this movie!….I get pissed off when someone say’s to me “OOOo Girl I like your hair, you got that good hair!”………IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT KIND OF HAIR YOU GOT(BORN WITH), IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU TAKE CARE OF your hair and keeping it healthy.

  22. I don’t see why people have to make their hair look like white peoples for it to be beautiful. I respect women with natural hair or dreadlocks! Its beautiful hair and hard to manage. Down here in south Africa women are given the choice to do whatever they want with their hair

  23. ^^^ Is Nia hair really fake? I know her hair grows pretty fast. Any who, I do have a perm. I let it grow out in high school and but I permed it again later. From my perspective, I don’t want to look white, I just want my hair to be easier to manage. When my hair is unpermed it is a lot more time consuming b/c it is very thick AND long, so it is easier for me than get it hotcombed every other week or to deal with the frizz that comes when it rains. That’s why Alicia Keys used to wear braids all the time.

  24. This sounds very interesting and it is a questions and issue that black people think about. I wouldn’t mind seeing this.

  25. Ditto to the other comments – good hair is healthy hair. Keep it washed, conditioned, properly clipped, and stylish (no matter what style you rock). Love you and love your hair. Smile big in the mirror before you leave home in the morning. YOUR hair is good hair; my hair is good hair. A woman’s hair is her crown, but it does not mean much if the woman underneath the crown doesn’t feel like a queen.

  26. I think it’s hilarious when women say stuff like “I get so mad when people call my hair good hair.” Talk about not being able to take a compliment. Those type of girls remain single for a very long time (if they ever get married at all). By saying that, you’re feeding into your own hype. I’m sure no afro-wearing or dread-wearing sistah would be offended. So why should you? lol Anyway, moving on…

    Some people have to overanalyze every little thing. Not all preferences can be traced back to slavery. Some people just prefer curly/wavy-haired people as partners becauase that’s what is attractive to them. I know of brothas who prefer that. I also know of brothas who prefer dark-skinned with natural tresses.

    To me, good hair is hair that is both REAL and healthy. Just my opinion….

  27. @ De la soul: Hair can pay your rent if you’re a hair model. But, I agree with you in that hair cannot counteract any fat genes you might have or make up for any mental or intellectual deficiencies you’ve been experiencing.

  28. @ Sho Ya Right

    Now I have to co-sign on good hair is both healthy and real!!! I wish brown sistas would embrace their own hair and leave the wigs and weaves alone, but hey that’s just me.

  29. Also, speaking for myself, I don’t get offended when I get complimented on my hair, but by them saying that I have good hair leads me to believe that they feel their hair(or other hair) is less than that. I’ve even been asked several times if I have Indian in my family, or if I am mixed

  30. To Tosha :

    Why do you attack beyonce! incidentally beyonce has so called ‘good hair’

  31. If black women stopped being so AFRAID of their hair, and learned how to properly care for it, we could ALL have long, beautiful, hair.

    I cut all of my hair off in December of 07 to go natural because whenever I got a perm, my hair would fall out. I did a GOOGLE search on black hair care and found a WEALTH of information. Black hair is the most SENSITIVE HAIR ON THE PLANET!! It requires DAILY pampering with quality products to be healthy.

    If more black women learned about pre-pooing, no-pooing and co-washing their hair all of the MYTHS about our hair would be laid to rest. Our hair REQUIRES two things: moisture and protein. And it needs to be washed MORE than ONCE A WEEK!!!

    My hair was about three inches long in December of 07. It is not below my shoulders. I wear a very mild perm and I get a touchup every 10-12 weeks. I only use organic and natural hair products and I get a LOT of information from hairlista.ning.com. This is a site where THOUSANDS of black women with BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY hair share their secrets.

    We need to STOP believing the lies and being afraid of our hair. I know from my own experience over this past year that it can be done! I used to hair very dry, course, hair. It is now moisturized, shiny and beautiful. Everything negative we have been told about our hair is a LIE! With proper pampering and QUALITY PRODUCTS, we can ALL have so-called GOOD HAIR.

  32. *correction*

    I typed “not below my shoulders” it should read “NOW below my shoulders. It is now longer than it has ever been. My goal is to grow my hair all the way down to my bra strap.

    I don’t have Indian in my family and I’m not mixed with anything. I have just learned how to take CARE of my hair.

  33. Its amazing that black people seem to think that you are only REAL when you rock your natural hair, and then say I am not my hair. Hair is like clothes, fashion, music etc…its all about taste, what you like and what suits you. I have done braids, afro, weave, relaxer and really short hair. And realised i look better with braids and a weave. My face doesnt pull off short hair, and its not about fake or whatever. I am from South Africa, and dont see anything wrong with women of colour doing their hair the way they want. Somehow black people think that you have to be identified by something to be trully black. Your hair, dress sense, the way you speak, where you are from etc… Whatever, as long as you are in touch with you, you can have honey blonde hair if you are comfortable with it on you, no one can tell you otherwise just because they are insecure. Good hair is healthy hair, i agree with someone that said that. Next thing that is up from someone who commented on a celebrity is that u are not black if you are light skinned. Please!!!
    If u hate weaves dont rock them, point blank.

  34. hmm so if hair “doesn’t matter” or “ain’t a big thang” why folks getting angry that someone may call them out on their weave, relaxers, or wigs? lol hair is very important to black women–if it weren’t–it wouldn’t be a million dollar business (mainly for Koreans)–due to massive sells of weaves, wigs, relaxers –etc. For people not be able to see the offensiveness behind the term “good hair,” shows me black folks pretty much are lost these days. But i’m not surprised really. we live in a very white washed world–and people do not realize how much they have succumbed to white standards of beauty. all these people hollering about “it’s just hair” would jump off a bridge–if relaxers were outlawed tomorrow (which they should be considering the harmful chemicals in them–on par with DRANO ingredients–and the fact relaxers have been linked to some illness in black women)–because you all would be shamed to go to work the next day and let white women be able to see your “nappy” hair lol

    who you fooling!

  35. @ kriss incidently Beyonce has a weave and relaxer in her head lol!

  36. It all starts back in slavery , If you were light skinned or mixed your better than the dark skinned people. They also say if you have beautiful hair and beautiful skin b/c your mixed or light skinned! It seems as if we have been passing that down to generation to generation, I’m ready for people to put that to the end!

  37. To Keep It Real: I hate the assumption too and I rock natural hair. When I wear my hair natural I am not trying to be revolutionary, not trying to be militant black, not trying to be a consumer of all things organic. I wear it that way because I can. Granted I get a lot more hair comments (not all of them good) than I would if it was permed and when I am feeling patient enough, I sit down and kindly explain that it’s a personal choice.
    I m however not a fan of questions by people wondering when it is I plan on relaxing my hair again or whether I plan on staying natural forever. It’s assumed to be a phase or passing fad by some. With permed hair nobody asks you when you plan on going natural just like with with coloured hair nobodoy asks you when you will dye it back to its original colour do they? No, this shows many people do not look at natural hair as something positive or even as the name suggests ” natural” .
    I believe in hair well taken care of. Natural haired sistas form communities not because they feel they are more “real” but becuase after a day or days of unwanted commentary we need to touch base and feel REAL about our choice. Perms and weaves are not the enemy, if you feel good about yourself it shows regardless of hair. Just don’t judge me for how I choose to wear mine.

  38. lol@ tosha. I was thinking the same thing about that Beyonce comment. Yes, the girl is beautiful all made up. But, let’s face it. She’s as real as a $3 bill.

    Anyways ladies, we have a beautiful black queen in the white house as our first lady. Let’s learn to be more comfortable with the skin and hair that we’re in. If we were to invest all that money we spend on weaves, wigs and relaxers into our education and future generations, the sky would be the limit for us.

  39. Black women (and our daughters) will not be free until we can freely admit that our hair rules our lives. Sisters don’t exercise because they don’t want to sweat out our head. We don’t swim ’cause we don’t want to get our head wet. When we travel, how much stuff do we drag down the road to take care of our hair? How many times have our girfriends slept with their heads hanging off the bead because they didn’t want to miss up over styled, lacquered updos that can’t possibly promote a health scalp? How much money have we dropped buying chemicals, service and hair to get a look that couldn’t possibly occur in nature?
    I consider the day I got the last of the relaxer cut out of my head my independence day. It has been a learning experience ever since. I had no idea of what my hair looked like in its natural state, and you know, that’s a shame.

  40. I have natural hiar myself and it’s hard to handle due it being a 4b 5a kinky curl. Hair is very important to most black women I would say because some blacks saw that mixed, light skinned and or exotic looking girls were treated differently than those whose hair was shorter. I also noticed that black women love to talk about somebody’s hair even if it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. They just have to say something negative about it and we need to changed that mentality. Spending all this money weaves, wigs and such instead of accepting the fact your hair is beautiful and if they can’t accept you for who you are then they the one with the problem. Not everyone has long hair just like everyone can’t be tall, big boobies, big booty and such. God made us all different and beautiful.

    Look on the television and check out the commericials. When you see a commericial with an african american family the mother and or the daughter looks mixed, light skinned and or exotic with long loosely curly hair. It’s true. How is my brown skinned and dark skinned sista supposed to feel when she sees no one on tv or in a magazine looks like her? This should be interesting and can’t wait for it to come out. I will support it.

  41. BTW I know it’s all about a secure or insecure thing but I don’t care how happy you are, how secure you are, how much you spent on it, how much in tune or in touch or out of touch you are or whatever. NO ONE can’t convince me that it’s right or “natural” for a dark skinned woman to wear a blond, red or blue wig. I’m sorry just stop it! You can’t be too in touch with yourself if you rockin a platinum blonde wig and you’re brown skinned or dark skinned. That’s the type of mentality that needs to cease. Especially with older black women ugh. Looking a mess. If you’re gonna wear the weave then wear it right. The whole point of wearing it is so it can blend it with the natural texture of your hair. I see some black women going out buying that european silky or asian silky hair and i’m like, “you’re hair don’t look like that naturally” Even if that weave was the best weave job in the world it still looks gaudy and WRONG!!! Just had to vent a little. lol

  42. NubianJ [And others who think like her]
    Why don’t you get off your high horse and stop worring so much about other women’s choices. Worry about yourself and your decisions.

    How is another woman who chooses to wear blonde, red, purple wig/weave arming or effecting you directly? If her decision to wear it is not arming you and others, what exactly is the fuss? She can and She will continue to do as she pleases. I will add just like you. What is so hard to understand?

  43. Why is there such an arduous process when attempting to keep Black voices as a home page? Why cant we just click once and have the process complete?

    Just Food For Thought

  44. Natrual is better for black women. That’s all I will say. If you looked up the ingredients in a perm TRUST ME you would never want a perm ever again.
    lADIES do what works for you is all I will say.

  45. I agree with Honeydrop. Women know that the chemicals that are used to straighten their hair are very harmful and toxic. But they use it anyway. To risk one’s health and spend so much of one’s money for a straight look speaks volumes. This is not merely an issue of choice, it’s also one of a lack of self-acceptance and appreciation. It really is sad.

    I’ve watched many a talk show where black women cried at the thought of leaving their homes without a weave or wig on. Many others feel the same way obviously because you never see their real hair (putting relaxers aside for the moment). I don’t know of any other race where over 80% of the women cover up their hair with other races hair and/or alter the chemical structure to make it a different texture that is unachievable in its natural state.

  46. ***sighs*** I figured that this post would make a turn for the worst. I hate to say this, but most of u sistas are being prejudice when it comes to how other sistas choose to do THEIR hair. You can deny it all you may want, but your words say other wise. Like I said earlier, the one thing I love about my Black ppl is that we are the ONLY culture who can style our hair a zillion ways & still be fly. You can rock a natural, relax, flat iron, locked, braid, & etc & STILL be on point. Many of you holler about the chemicals/side effects, but chemicals/side effects are in many things we use in this world. You have chemicals in birth control, food( so I assume that many of you are vegans as well), the air you breathe, the medication you take & so forth. Chemicals are all around you & many of you CHOOSE to still use these things even w/ the side effects. Some birth control methods can cause stroke & cancer, some medications can cause lack of sleep, but yet you faithfully take them. We as humans take a gamble w/ everything in life. Just b/c it happened to one woman doesn’t mean it will happen to the next 10 women. I know you know plenty of women who have relaxed their hair for years & they are still here w/ you… also if they took the proper care of the hair it should & will be healthy too.

    Now YES there is a HUGE difference in a sista who likes to get her hair done & a sista who just can’t fathom herself being w/ o her hairdo i.e. the ladies described on the Tyra Banks show. It was obvious that those ladies problems ran deeper than hair. We are just talkin about the lady who simply likes to wear her hair a certain way… there is NOTHING wrong w/ that. Some styles just doesn’t compliment some of us… where one may look fiya w/ a natural one may just look blah. No matter what you say, it is the person’s choice. It’s their hair & they can & will do whatever they please & there is NOTHING you can do about it. All that matters is that the hair is healthy & taken care of. For the record white women have their issues w/ hair, many hate their tight curly dos, while others hate their straight look & the color of the hair. This is also why you find many of them tryin to capture the looks of famous celebs, b/c they want to have that certain look. Sistas embrace our diversity in hair, it’s one of those things that make us unique… don’t let this one thing divide us.

    P.S. A lot of Black women don’t swim b/c they can’t. It is no secret that a big protion of our ppl don’t like the water & it’s NOT just the ladies. I have heard Black men say, I don’t do the water thing. I know plenty of sistas who rock naturals& wear relaxers and LOVE to swim( I happen to be one). Last summer I stayed in the pool & will do so this summer. Just put on a swim cap & keep it rollin… when ur ready go in & wash & move one. This technique of wash & move also has to apply to the natural look as well( like I said ALL these styles REQUIRE maintence) Remeber HEALTHY hair outshines everything.

  47. Sho Ya Right
    it is an issue of choice to put perm, wig, weaves. It is the individual choice /right to F up her live and to make what others consider ‘bad’ decisions your own. No one is pointing a gun at anybody’s head, and saying you have to wear perm, wig, and weaves. It is ultimately your choice. One exception is parent’s decision to put perm on their daughter’s hair at a tender age. The child is too young to make that kind of decision one her own. It is wrong for the parent to make a decision that may [in some cases will] put the child’s health in jeopardy.

    Now, wether the individual choice is a wrong or right one is a secondary issue. In the sense that, you can not force others to follow your rightous ways. You may lead by examples [Show others how beautiful, and acceptable natural hair is]. You may continue to educate your friends, family and others on how to keep their hair healthier. You should be aware that having your hair in its natural state doesn’t automatically equal healthy hair. You may continue to inform other on expert case studies. In other word, avocate healthier hair in a non-irate, non-interventionist, non- judgemental way. You don’t want to push and build barriers between those who have a different view with you policing ways.

  48. My tone is definitely being misconstrued on this forum. Believe me there isn’t enough time in the day for me to take this on as a cause (and if there is, I’ve got better things to do with it). I was merely (casually might I add) commenting on my observances in our community. Yes, it is sad that the vast majority of black women can’t accept that they are black (which comes with not blond/ red/ light brown and straight hair, but usually dark and curly/kinky hair). But, no it’s not sad enough for me to try to convince others to subscribe to my views. To each her own. The Koreans thank you.

    I really think some of you on here really take internet comments way too far. lol.

  49. After all the relaxers, braids, afros, twists that I have endured in my life I have finally realized “good hair” is hair with no split ends or other damage , just healthy hair. Because frankly I would rather have my healthy “nappy” short hair than damaged relaxed hair any day.

    I just feel people have to accept and start to love the way their hair is. My hair is to my neck and doesnt grow beyond it. Its black and generally classified as nappy. But it is healthy and I will not go bald.

    We just have to start learning to be happy with ourselves.

  50. I hear you about Nia Long, she has a weave. I too as a girl wanted the so called water & grease hair. I now have stopped getting perms, I know wear braids in all styles. It’s super easy to maintain, I wash and condition my own hair. I also stopped going to the salon, I found a woman that can braid my hair in her home for much less than I was paying.The moral is HEALTHY hair is GOOD HAIR, take care of what GOD gave you,a nd wear it the way you choose. What we need to do is stop giving these Koreans our money and open up OUR OWN beauty supply stores, and keep the prices reasonable.

  51. As a young woman with “good hair” that was honey blonde 2 weeks ago and is now dark brown, I must ask, why does my affinity with haircolor experimentation automatically translate into self-hatred?

    No one knows that I attended an HBCU, and that in my family I am the darkest member and that my hair is considered “nappy” compared to everyone else, all they can focus on was my former hair color. I find it annoying and shameful, because quite frankly, my decision as to how to wear my hair often is more closely related to what outfit I have on than some deep seeded loathing for my natural brownness.

    I am thrilled that Chris Rock has done this documentary, and am even more thrilled that Nia Long is involved in the project. It is my hope that women of all ethnicities and complexions can begin to embrace the variety that our diaspora has produced and STOP hating ourselves and each other.

  52. To the person who said…

    “I get a lot more hair comments (not all of them good) than I would if it was permed and when I am feeling patient enough, I sit down and kindly explain that it’s a personal choice.
    I m however not a fan of questions by people wondering when it is I plan on relaxing my hair again or whether I plan on staying natural forever. It’s assumed to be a phase or passing fad by some. With permed hair nobody asks you when you plan on going natural just like with with coloured hair nobodoy asks you when you will dye it back to its original colour do they? No, this shows many people do not look at natural hair as something positive or even as the name suggests ” natural”

    That is an interesting observation, that it is assumed to be a phase or fad. It does bother me that among the famous people who have the most power to influence the masses it ALWAYS is a hair today gone tomorrow trend. Remember when Lauryn and Erykah were out at the same time. Everyone followed them in their styles. Plus at that time models were wearing the hair in loose afros or lightly blown out un permed hair. So at that time it was very in vogue among us “artsy” common folk. It never became totally mainstream though.

    I long for the day when Michelle Obama and her girls can wear their hair natural on a day to day basis and still not be looked at like, “Oh HEEEELLLLL no!” I”d love for lawyers and News Reporters to wear their hair in Braids or Twists or Braid Outs or in Afros when working. That would be great, a real sign that we are moving away from this collective feeling that to let our thick, coarse, kinky, afro type hair be itself is not only to be unpresentable, but also to be less beautiful and less desirable, and less sophisticated as a person. Our hair does not define us, our character does. But sadly we subscribe to the idea that silky smooth hair is what we need to get ahead.

    Another thing, to all the black men who say, “Oh! I want sisters to stop doing all these weaves and perms and colors to their hair and just be natural! I respect you the way you are.” To all of them…Yeah, you respect me and call me queen, but you still want to bed the sistah with the long wavy or curly or straight hair. You find that woman sexy. Hey, you may even want to go so far as to procreate with a sistah like that because then your daughters will have “good hair” and you will have made a beautiful person, not someone ugly like yourself. You will finally have the validation you feel you need. That is a sad scene, but one I have seen over and over.

    I wear my hair “Natural” and have been all my life with the exception of two years from age 11 to just before I turned 13. I then cut the relaxer off and wore my hair in it’s natural, Afro type, NOT Curly state. SInce then I have gone through many hair phases. I’ve done the huge unkempt afro, the twists, the blow out afro, the curly fro, the bald ( I mean razor to the head) thing, the skinny mohawk, the thick mohawk, the color thing, and everything else I can do with it. I have also done the flat press. I like many black women have spent a fortune on hair care just recently and it hasn’t made it any more healthy than it was when I left it alone (as in no special no poo cleanser, deep conditioner, pre wash, leave in conditioner, curly pudding.) Our hair looks healthy and is healthy when we eat right and drink lots of water and excersise. If we are healthy on the inside and take care of our stress levels, our hair is healthy. No need to make these hair industries that do not have our best intrests in mind rich. We can better spend our money elsewhere.

    Women, love ourselves. Challenge our need to feel like we must be values based on our so called beauty. Our beauty alone is not our worth. Though society will have us think it is. A woman’s worth is always measured by her beauty where as a man’s is measured by his power or intelligence. It is not fair! Some say it is due to science, that somehow a woman’s symmetry and body shape, and youth (which supposedly long shiny hair and glowing skin are signs of) determines her ability to procreate and therefore makes her more desirable on an instinctive level by men. This may be true. But now a days, in theory, natural procreation is not the only way to go and honestly not everyone needs to procreate. So I believe we may evolve away from these types of instinctive measures of desirability. Maybe as we women push the envelope, and put our foot down about these standards we can change the instincts to measure a persons worth based on their intelligence and sense of community and leadership. It is clear that our survival instincts have now led us to excess and the sure demise of the world if we don’t stop this madness! Ok sorry, I have gone on a deep dark apocalyptic tangent here. I Know I’ve lost people now. But for those who may have ever been with me at all…

    In the end, having what is known as “Good Hair” will not bring us closer to God, nor to true love with another human being, or to loving ourselves. The same goes for having “Bad hair”. Lets all snap out of this. Feel free to do what we want with our hair and our bodies without pressure to fit into some social ideal. Lets focus on other things like helping others and saving the world we live in. There is no better way to feel good about ourselves.

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