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Good Hair

384 customer reviews

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(Feb 16, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Chris Rock visits beauty salons and hairstyling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the way hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of the black community in this exposé of comic proportions that only he could pull off. A raucous adventure prompted by Rock’s daughter approaching him and asking, "Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”, GOOD HAIR shows Chris Rock engaging in frank, funny conversations with hair-care professionals, beauty shop and barbershop patrons, and celebrities including Ice-T, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Dr. Maya Angelou, Salt-N-Pepa, Eve and Reverend Al Sharpton – all while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter's question.

When one of Chris Rock's young daughters asked him an innocent question about having "good hair," the comedian probably had no idea just how complicated the answer would be. Fortunately for us, he decided to find out, and the result is this funny, informative, and highly entertaining documentary of the same name. Turns out that for a great many African-American women (and quite a few men, too), "good hair" means "white hair"--i.e., straight and lanky--while the natural or "nappy" look is bad. And oh, the lengths and expense women will go to in order to get "good hair"! In the course of the film, which was directed by Jeff Stilson and cowritten by Rock and several others, Rock first travels to Atlanta, home of the Bronner Brothers Hair Show, where thousands of folks buy and learn how to use new products (the show is also the site of the outrageous and climactic Hair Battle Royale, in which four stylists compete for money and fame). It's there that he learns about sodium hydroxide, better known as hair "relaxer," the "nap antidote," or the "creamy crack" (as effective as the chemical substance is for straightening hair, it can also be highly dangerous). In Harlem and Los Angeles, he investigates the extraordinary popularity of hair weaves, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually to create and maintain; Rock even goes to Madras, India, source of most of the hair used in weaves (for Indian women, tonsure, or shaving their heads, is a ritual act of self-sacrifice). Along the way, Rock interviews a great many young women with fabulous hair (including actresses Nia Long, Raven-Symoné, and Kerry Washington, and rappers Salt-N-Pepa), but he also talks to the esteemed poet Maya Angelou, as well as men like rapper-actor Ice-T and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton, who is very amusing (he's referred to as "the Dalai Lama of relaxed hair"), is about the only celeb who touches on racial issues, pointing out that while it's African Americans who use the overwhelming majority of these hair products, the companies who sell them tend to be owned by Asians. Some viewers may object to the film's lack of a strong socio-political stance, but others will no doubt prefer the lighter touch, including a hilarious discussion at a barber shop about dating women with hair weaves (basically, it's "hands off the hair, pal"). --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Rock
  • Directors: Jeff Stilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TOJOY8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Good Hair" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on October 24, 2009
Comedian Chris Rock takes a look at the lengths some people in the African-American community, especially women, go to for "good hair". Near the beginning and end of the movie Rock visits the Bronner Hair Show in Atlanta, Georgia, a huge trade convention for the manufacturers of black hair products. Here he highlights four stylists competing for the title of champion platform performer, an elaborate stage show featuring music, dance, costumes and, of course, hairstyling. In between Rock discusses all the time and money spent using relaxer and getting weaves as well as the possible psychological and cultural reasons behind this obsession with hair.

Rock's take on the subject seems to be that it is more important what's in your head than on your head. But it also recognizes the pressures placed on black women to fit in with society's beauty standards and understands why these women forsake their natural hair for perms and extensions. The film delves into serious subjects but maintains a funny and playful tone throughout. I certainly found myself laughing more than I did at the usual Hollywood comedy. And I even left the theater feeling a little smarter about a topic I knew almost nothing about. One of the better documentaries of the year.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gayle Tiller on February 20, 2010
Format: DVD
"Good Hair" is an insightful and hilarious documentary by Chris Rock on the issue of African-American women's hair. Chris Rock provides an in-depth view on relaxers and weaves.

I'm biracial with extremely thick out-of-control curly hair. There have been times when my hair has broken combs, curling irons and hair brushes. When I was younger, I used relaxers to straighten my hair. Most of the time, they'd last for only a week or two before my hair reverted to its natural state. And there were times when my scalp was burned by the lye. So I could definitely relate to the coke can with the lye demo in the film.

I wanted to give Maya Angelou kudos for not getting a relaxer until she was 70. When Chris Rock remarked that Ms. Angelou had waited her whole life for a relaxer, I loved her retort that she wasn't dead yet.

I almost fell out my chair laughing when Chris Rock tried to sell African-American hair to beauty shops. At the same time, it was sad commentary. Why is African-American hair worth nothing? Why can't we embrace all types of hair?

I also was saddened that African-American high school girls thought that natural African-American hair was "unprofessional" and "bad." Again, why is straight hair good? Maybe if Michelle Obama and other powerful African-American women started to wear their hair natural, we would finally embrace natural African-American hair. Just a thought.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Emmeaki on September 24, 2010
Format: DVD
This was ok, but I wish the documentary would have focused on women with (real) hair of varying hair textures instead of mostly focusing on celebrities with weaves, because everybody knows that when black folks speak of good and bad hair, they are mainly talking about the texture.

Black hair can be nappy, kinky, wavy, curly, and even straight. What about dreadlocks and their historical significance? What about the political implications of wearing an afro? Why not challenge the perception that unrelaxed hair isn't professional? I would rather he had discussed these things instead of focusing on weave-worshipers and some silly hair show that frankly, makes black people look like fools.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By StylishCurvyGirl on April 13, 2010
Format: DVD
This is a must see for all African American Women. This documentary is a detailed documentary on "good hair" and what black women have been doing for years in order to achieve this so called good hair. From relaxers to 1,000 weaves....average women with average incomes are doing things as drastic as not paying rent to maintain "good hair". If you have a daughter I hope that this documentary will encourage you to let them appreaciate their hair in its natural state no matter what the texture. It broke my heart to see people on this video with 3 year olds already perming their hair.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Saritarater on August 4, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
In the past week, a 16-year-old African American became the 2012 Olympic women's all-around gymnastics champion. This is an amazing feat for anyone, especially one so young. And while some of the press seemed to focus on her hair, how it should have been "done" before she went out to charm the world, her smile and the smiles of her teammates and little girls everywhere didn't really care. So it was purely by chance I came across this wonderful film, which focused on an issue so many don't know about, or understand, or realize is so important. Good Hair takes us around the world, from Atlanta, to Los Angeles, to India, and presents a humorous and very honest look at the attainment of a "crowning glory" - and complete with occasional agony - in the world of hair for many women. Sprinkled with interviews by the likes of Ice-T, Maya Angelou, Raven-Simone, Nia Peebles, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and many others, Chris Rock explores a world of toxic chemicals concocted to create that "ideal" look, the racial economic chasm of who really is behind this multi-billion dollar industry, and the excitement of over the top and the over stylized "do" at a convention for champions of the black female hairstyling world. With the impetus of wanting to explain to his two young daughters what "Good Hair" really is, Mr. Rock has shown America a peek into a world where sacrifice in the name of "Good Hair" begins at tender young ages, and affects aspects of life from relationships to financial gains and losses. So to all those who feel a 16-year-old should focus more on her this and remember that sometimes there is more to life than that good hair.
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