Chris Rock talks ‘Good Hair’

chrisrockhair2by Allison Horton

It all started when Chris Rock’s then five-year-old daughter asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”

The question set the comedian on a path to learn more about the importance African American women place on their hair, specifically what they will go through to have straight or relaxed hair. The result is “Good Hair,” an entertaining documentary opening Oct. 23 that takes a look at how women achieve that goal. From visiting beauty shops where perms are applied to traveling to India to see how weaves are created, Rock leaves no stone unturned in his quest.

He also visited the famed Bronner Bros. Hair Show, an annual event in Atlanta with an audience of nearly 100,000, that features the best hair stylists competing to be named tops in the industry and also highlights a wide spectrum of African American hair care products.

According to the film, the $9 billion African American hair care industry only has four Black manufacturers and is dominated by Asian and Indian suppliers, which Rev. Al Sharpton called “economic retardation” by the Black community willing to accept buying their hair care products from other races rather than their own.

During a recent sojourn in Chicago to promote the film, Rock said he wasn’t surprised by this monetary occurrence in the Black community.

“It is just not hair,” he said. “It is pretty much anything that we are in. Part of it is, you could say, is the flaw in Dr. King’s plan. We fought to be a part of something, when we probably should have been fighting to have our own something.

“That just permeates into all business,” Rock continued. “The music business, there’s no Black record companies. You can look at the NBA and go ‘There’s 30 teams, there’s not three Black people owning a team.’ We want to be down so bad that we don’t form our own thing or hold onto our own thing even when we have it.”

What did surprise the comedian was how much Black women were willing to spend on their hair. The movie features several well-known stars such as Nia Long, Raven Symone, Lauren London, Salt ‘n Pepa and Eve all sharing their love for extensions and weaves, which can be as much as $5,000. Other personalities such as Maya Angelou, Ice-T and comedian Paul Mooney also shared their views.

“You know Beyonce spends $5,000 to get ready for the Grammys,” Rock said. “You didn’t know KeKe spends $5,000 to work at AT&T [or] just to go see the new Tyler Perry movie. That is a bit much for KeKe that makes $38,000 a year, so that shocked me.”

So what advice will Rock give his daughter when she is old enough to style her own hair?

“It is a rite of passage,” he said. “She has to go to Mecca herself.”

2 thoughts on “Chris Rock talks ‘Good Hair’

  1. Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

    It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

    It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

    The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

    I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

    Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

    self-funded film, made from the heart.

    Can it be taken back?


  2. Haven’t seen the documentary yet, but I am a living witness evenstill. Let me tell you, if I don’t give a stream of dollars to the Egyptians up the street, I’m giving it to the Africans around the corner. Oh, and I can’t even discount the donation I make quarterly to the Chinese owned beauty supply stores in and around my neighborhood. Right now I’ve been using Neosporin on my inflamed scalp because I allowed an African to attach the weave from the Chinese shop to tightly to my head. I wish I’d continued going to the Egyptian hair-dresser that burned my scalp weekly with the hair-dryer from hell. Basically, I am one of many dumb African-American women! Wish I could just be happy Nappy!

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