Thursday, July 1, 2010

Movies! Good Hair

Chris Rock hosts this documentary, and says he got the idea for it when his five-year-old daughter asked him, "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?" Rock examines African American hair--from relaxers to weaves to hair shows, from a semi-humorous point of view. I forgot how funny Chris Rock can be, and I absolutely loved this movie.
As someone who can be kind of hair intense, I was still shocked by the realities of how much work and cash African American women put into their hair. I probably have thirty different hair products under my bathroom sink right now, and I color my hair religiously. I had one perm in my entire life, and ended up looking like Ronald McDonald, only not as cheery. In the hair lottery, I really got pretty lucky; it's thick, shiny and has a ton of natural curl, especially in the summer. Yes, I have too much gray and got my first gray hair at sixteen, but I really shouldn't complain.
However, I do complain. And use goops and sprays. And flat irons. And curling irons. I fight against the texture. I fight against the color. I've been fighting my hair for ages. And why? Is it really because I see all of these stars and TV commercials and magazine ads, drumming the idea of perfectly shiny, often stick straight, hair into my brain until I think I need to achieve that ideal? Or is it just human nature for women to fight with their hair? My mom is the queen of hair fighting. She has a short spiky do and spends more money and time on it than I have ever been willing to.
Let's make a pact, okay? For the next two weeks, let's allow our hair to do what it wants. No product, no heated tools, no wasted time staring in the mirror and trying to fry or spray it into submission. Let's go natural. We can do it!
Yeah, there's no way I can do that either. Sigh.
The movie is worth a watch. Wait until you see where the hair for weaves comes from, or the effects of relaxer on a soda can. Scary stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Curly hair - a curse! I tried it all to have the straight hair look of the 70's. I even had my hair chemically relaxed and suffured burns on my scalp which weeped and hurt for weeks! But I went on spend hours every morning for the slick big hair look of the '80s. By the '90s I was getting tired and went back the ponytail of my childhood. About 5 years ago I had an 11 inch ponytail cut off and donated. I still use spray and goop to control the frizz, but at nearly 50, I've made peace with my bad hair. Ain't it crazy what we go through!