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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Good Hair/Bad Hair do you care?

Last night I went to watch Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair. Mr Special joined me. This film has apparently been banned in the US because people stopped going to get relaxers and hair salons were loosing cash.

It was showing at Ritzy in Brixton and afterwards Chris was there for a quick question an answer session. Its been out for a couple of years now but it was the first time I have seen it.

At first, like many, I thought that Chris being a comedian was going to be making fun of black woman but it wasn’t that at all. Sorry for those of you who know but the documentary was made because his daughter came home one day and asked him "Daddy why don’t I have good hair?" So he decided to investigate the whole good hair/bad hair thing. He visited India where the hair is shaved off at the temple to be made into weave on hair. He visited salons where people some people were spending $1,000 on weaves! He visited the Atlanta hair show. he had a session with a scientist which showed you what Sodium Hydroxide (Relaxer) does do your scalp. (The way it burned through that chicken it was scary!) I think it was really an overview but what I did like is he didn’t take sides or alienate anyone.

It did put me off relaxer especially in the Q&A session afterwards when he talked about the scenes he took out. There was one with a coroner where they examined the scalps of black women and found that a black women's scalp who has been using relaxer for years is something crazy like 60% thinner than a white woman's. I cant remember the correct figure but I know that this stuff is eating away at your head and seeping though to your brain!

I felt sad as well when I saw girls as young as three getting this stuff put on their heads. Chris said in the Q&A that to him his daughters are perfect he wouldn’t want to change anything so he also felt sad when he was filming those scenes.

It was informative but I did feel he skimmed the surface on many of the issues especially when talking about exactly how much these hairstyles are costing us as a community. Has anyone else seen it??

Oh yeah, there were a few white people in the audience and in the Q&A a long haired white guy stood up to ask a question. Before he asked it he stupidly pointed to his head and said to everyone "GOOD HAIR!" As you can imagine I was afraid for him! The boos were loud and not good natured! Idiot man.

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Redbonegirl97 said...

Yeah over here we went and saw it and had a big Q & A with a bunch of black women with various hair types. It was very interesting as I had relaxed hair and brought my best friend who has locs down her back. I laughed when the women were saying don't touch a black womans hair. I must be crazy because I love for my hair to be touched especially by my man.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

2cute4u said...

I was here,
I read your post,
It was a good read..

12kyle said...

I didnt see the movie but I heard it was good. I may need to get the dvd. I'm a fan of black women's hair. I love the way y'all rock it. Long or short. It's one of the 1st things that I notice on a woman

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ondo Lady said...

Oh so you were there as well!! I really enjoyed the film and loved the Q&A. I also found it really sad to see such young girls getting relaxers. I did not know that the film has been banned in the US because sales for relaxers are down. Even more reason for it to be shown, in fact they should show this documentray in schools to educate people.

Kiri said...

I can't wait to see this documentary. I think I would like to see it before I comment too much, but my first thoughts are that I think every woman should make her own choice - but for the right reasons. Black women should be at ease with themselves and their hair, and doing what works for them.

Relaxer is a strong chemical; but so are hair dyes, peroxide, botox, hair removal cream, chemical peels, the bleach women use for their moustaches...I guess my feeling is that we do many poisonous things to our bodies and while I welcome any challenge of the cultural misconceptions that might push a woman or young girl to conform to an "ideal", I think that relaxer is one in a list of toxins we willingly ingest. We should be proud of our blackness - our hair, noses, skin in all its shades - everything! But if you choose to weave/relax etc, it's not always because you're a self-loathing sellout, which is the vibe I get sometimes from other sites. (not yours, hon)

I do relax my hair, though, so that informs my judgement!

ms.rubies said...

i have never seen it, but i will soon, but the reactions i've heard about it was not good. i do know though that when i went back to perming my hair after being natural for 3 years, a lot of women called me a traitor...ahh such is the life of hair.

Bombchell said...

I still haven't seen it. I guess I felt it would be a diss to black women. didnt know it was banned here. the chicken relaxer bit is intriguing. this might be a fun movie weekend!

Angel said...

@Redbonegirl97, glad you saw it, you are right, I love my hair to be touched by a man too

@2cute4u, lol

@12kyle, yeah get the DVD its not that bad of a film.

@Ondo Lady, didn’t know you would the there too hun, we should have met up!

@Kiri, I also hate the way some naturals make you feel like a sell out for having relaxed hair, I used to get that when I was relaxed but I never want to make people feel bad as I know that on some people it looks great. Also if it works for you it works for you. I think it’s a bit like smoking, know the dangers and then decide I think that the problem is a lot of women don’t yet know the dangers and are doing it to their children. Let your child get old enough to make their own choice

@ms. rubies, lol the life of hair is true. Women feel so passionate about it.

@Bombchell, yeah sis watch it, just for info at least.

Anonymous said...

This hasn't been banned at all in the US. That must be some English urban myth and a silly one at that. Frankly, I don't think anyone cares about relaxer sales.