Chris Rock’s three-year-old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?” This launched the comedian headfirst into the topic of ‘good hair’ – commonly thought of as straight, shiny, European-looking locks. This topic has fueled debates within the African American community for generations.
Rock records this search for truth in African American hair culture in Good Hair, a thought-provoking and entertaining documentary produced by HBO Films and directed by Jeff Stilson. Good Hair tackles the topics of texture, hair relaxing, weaves, and the booming financial business of African American hair care to explore the way that hairstyles impact the relationships, lifestyles, health, wallets, and self-esteem of African American women.
It’s a bold topic – how American culture defines beauty, and the lengths that women to which women will go to in order to conform to that standard. As cosmetologists, we have a hand in this. We know how expensive and painful weaves can be. We know that often, women look even more beautiful rockin’ their natural hair than getting it relaxed. But still, African American hair is a big business – with special standards, techniques and training for stylists.
What’s great about Good Hair is that it doesn’t point any fingers or take sides. The film advocates self-love and appreciation, no matter whether women choose natural or relaxed hair.
Have you seen Good Hair? What do you think?