BLACKSTRANDS

“GOOD HAIR”: Chris Rock’s documentary on black hair notions

Time Out Chicago- Christina Couch

Time Out Chicago- Christina Couch

An article in Time Out Chicago deals with a pretty common practice in the black community…

Why are so many little black girls being “relaxed?” And in the first place, why are they wanting these chemical treatments so young?

Christina Couch did an interview with comedian Chris Rock who must have been wondering the same thing. In the interview, he talks a bit about his documentary that is scheduled to debut at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

His first documentary, Good Hair, focuses on the ends and outs of black hair, and the cultural and social implications that surround its appearance:

Time Out Chicago: You spent two years researching hair? Really?
Chris Rock: Ha, ha, ha, yes. My daughter’s the star, and I’m a PA. You’ve got to bend over backwards to make sure the star is happy, so if my baby’s not happy with her hair, I’ve got to do something about that. I’ve got to go investigate. [Laughs]

TOC: It just seems like a pretty random topic, especially for someone not all that obsessed with hair.
Chris Rock: On the surface, it seems like it’s not what I normally do, but when you watch the movie, it’s very political, and it deals with relationships. It deals with a lot of issues I would deal with in an HBO special, just in another way. What goes on in the movie most black people know about, maybe not to the extent that we covered it, but any white person who sees it is going to think, Wow, I had no idea. [Good Hair] is kind of a love letter to black women, and it’s definitely a love letter to my daughter.

Whether you choose to relax or not, I think Chris Rock is doing a commendable feat just by asking a simple question. “WHY?

Do any of you regret getting relaxers at a young age? Did you realize what was going on? Why did you want them? Any of you think relaxers are no biggie?

I’d love to hear your responses.

Want to read more of this article? Follow the link:

Time Out Chicago – Chris Rock

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6 Responses

  1. Danielle says:

    http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2007-03-13/andrews-blackkiddiehaircare

    A great article from Columbia University on black parents and their dilemma when choosing whether or not to relax their children’s hair.

  2. Amina says:

    A movie you might love is Nappy Roots by Regina Kimbell
    I hope I can watch this one and hope he did a great job.
    To answer your questions:
    I wasn’t given a choice. it was something pretty normal. Actually I was very happy because finally i could have long hair. Plus the combing sessions were t-o-r-t-u-r-e and I always break combs!

  3. Aaren says:

    I also didn’t have a choice, and I didn’t think it was a big deal. I apparently hated getting my hair washed, to the point where my mom just waited until I cried myself to sleep to do it. Mind you, she only used Creme of Nature on me, so she wasn’t exactly trying to kill my head (unlike some recent videos I’ve seen). I thought it was fairly normal, and I had the longest, swangiest hair of my friends, so I didn’t mind that!

    I’m natural now, but I’ve been through some brutal detangling sessions since going natural, which led me to understand why my mom made the choice she did. She later told me she hadn’t wanted to, but I always wanted my hair straight. Actually, until I went natural, I never wanted my hair curly AT ALL. I didn’t like rollers, curlers, spiral sets, anything like that, so I think for me a relaxer really was a logical choice. I don’t relax now and haven’t for 2 years, but I certainly can’t knock anyone who does.

    • blackstrands says:

      wow, thanks for sharing.

      Similar story here, I had A LOT of hair when I was younger – and all i knew about the relaxer was that my hair would be silky (and not a thick bush like it usually was).

      At the time I ONLY wanted styles that were flat and pin straight (of course what I didn’t have), but I found that as I got older I wanted curlier (and fuller/bigger) styles.

      Over the past several months I’ve actually become hugely fascinated with my natural hair that’s growing in.

      Go figure.

  4. jiya says:

    just like me, being fascinated with my new growth natural hair…theres so much charactrer to it and then it responds so well to tlc. I’m still planning of getting relaxers 2 or three times a year though. I want to see my length and have that bounce every once in a while and I absoulutely detest flat ironing

  5. blackstrands says:

    I hear you,

    I really want to try the FHI Runway flat iron…but its soooo expensive!!

    I may try to find someone in my area that presses hair…for those few, far in between times when I want to wear my hair straight…not sure yet, if i want to break my no-salon streak though.

    As of now, I can get my hair to SWANG with my solia, but the hard part is keeping my hair from reverting the next day!

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