Someone forwarded me the new trailer for Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” film which debuts in October. For the documentary, Rock takes us behind-the-scenes into the African-American hair industry.
But this story will definitely appeal to Hispanic women like myself who grew up being told they had “pelo malo” (bad hair) that was only “good hair” when it was straightened (chemically or otherwise). In fact, a white Jewish woman told me that she had recently had her own curly hair relaxed so the appeal of this movie is far bigger than I could ever have imagined.
15 thoughts on “Good Hair, Bad Hair.”
It may sound odd but being Asian, I can relate to the pressure of conforming to certain ideal of beauty. In our case, it has to do with colour. I see a lot of women dye their naturally dark hair into all shades of blond!
Honestly, I can't wait to get married and cover my hair. For me, I consider that to be my protest against the beauty industry.
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?
OMGawsh I'm so happy you posted that. I didn't know that was coming out & it's one of those things thats Sad but True.
I'm 1/2 Jewish 1/2 Black, very fair skin & I have “pretty good hair”…lol.
Me & my “Darker the berry the sweeter the juice” Best friend were just talking about this “Racial Divide” among Black women, in regards to hair and skin tone as well & how it has affected us in our lives.
I'll have to tell her about this & we will be going to see it.
2 funny but, has soo much truth and sadness to it!
See, I was always told that I had the good hair in the family (being half white added to this when my Puerto Rican relatives would comment) and they would play with it for HOURS. At the time I was 5 or 6 years old and felt so pretty and so honored, but as I grew up, I got more and more angry. I didn't see what made my hair better or worse than others and felt so bad when my friends (African American, Dominican, Puerto Rican, etc) would sit there and just openly hate on themselves for their “bad” hair. I went along with the crowd and went to get my hair straightened at 15 years old. Yeah. It burned my SCALP OFF in three places. I screamed, she removed it and I ran home with band-aids stuck to my head. I decided there and then that I would learn to just love my unruly curls, figure out a good haircut, and use the appropriate (non scalp searing) products and have come to love my hair, even when the humidity is OUT OF CONTROL. It still kills me to see young girls and women talking about how they “hate their hair” and feel the need to go to such drastic measures (and spend SO MUCH MONEY OMG) to “fix it”.
I had straight hair until I was 9, then it all fell out (I have alopecia) and grew back in HUGE. 😦 My life from that point was a curly hair nightmare. Happiest day of my life was when I realized covering my hair was an option. Though I totally have to skin it back while it's wet or else it's too puffy for the scarf to cover.
It feels like in some way we have all been affected by a white beauty standard that has been imposed on us by outside forces.
Did you mean me? I didn't have it “relaxed” per se. YOu see, the summer and slight humidity make my hair quite frizzy and unmanageable, maybe ONCE a year I go to my great hair dude who actually PERMS my hair. He has these huge perm rods that end up making my hair a natural wave. In a month my curls will be back but they'll hang different. It's about the only thing I can do to change my hair style. With these tight curls in fine hair, there is no straightening or bangs. Just au naturale.
And so you know, I love my curls and a little change is fun now and again 🙂
And I might as well add what I shared with you before, in high school, the African American girls; many my friends, used to give me hell saying that I HAD to be mixed and that I was just ashamed of my other side. I got lots of comments about my “good hair” 😀 I had to convince them it was just my JEW Hair 🙂
No, not you Tamara, it was another curly-haired Jewish woman who told me about “relaxing” her hair. She seemed sort of sheepish about it sitting next to my huge, obviously never relaxed hair.
Tons of Jewish girls I know go through this (including my little sister – since none of us in my family have curly hair we didn't know how to properly take care of hers ((aka NEVER BRUSH WHEN DRY)) – the kids called her 'Afro Thunder' in elementary school, slightly ironic since we were the only 'non-minority' children in the entire school).
I met tons of girls in seminary that the only way they could deal with their hair was taking half a bottle of conditioner and leaving it in and their hair was still a foot tall…
I cannot wait to see this movie- I'm half- Caucasian/half-Jamaican, and I got 'worse' hair than my sister, I've been having it relaxed since I was..oh…4 years old?
I have really thick, curly hair- not 'nappy' per se, but ringlets that you can wrap comfortably around a pencil. My sister got really thin hair, and big curls- I've been jealous my whole life. Though, I guess thick hair worked out better, since my hair can handle being relaxed, while my sister recently burned off a good portion of her hair when trying to get her hair straightened.
I've been FLYING home from Calgary to Toronto during school for the past year, literally just to get my hair relaxed. Oh yes, that is a $600 flight. The 4 years during my undergrad, I took a $200 train ride to get my hair done at home. I can't believe I've spent so much money over the past 18 years getting my hair done.
But, you're really not taken seriously as a professional with un-assimilated hair. I've been explicitly told this by both lawyers and accountants, so I guess I'm sorta stuck? Plus, I honestly have no idea what to do with my hair in its natural state, since I've been having it relaxed for so long.
I don't think people realize how racist it is to tell someone that their natural hair is not professional. So the only way to be professional is to look white?
Incidentally, I've mentioned this before, an editor at Glamour magazine told someone that an 'afro' was not professional for work and was lambasted.
If I had to work in the kind of environment you're dealing with, I'd probably keep it very short and natural, M. Certainly that would be cheaper.
Keep hope alive. Maybe by the time the next generation is our age, things will have changed.
I can't relate to the relaxing, but I can definitely sympathize with all the craziness surrounding weaves, wigs, and other devices as I have a disorder that has resulted in significant hair loss. I could never figure out how all the black women kept their weaves so nice – mine always got all dry and frazzled-looking right away.
Shalom my sisters!!! As a 20 something african american Jew I can relate. Growing up I was ashamed of my thick nappy hair and found many ways to straighten my hair, such as using the hot comb, which left burnt marks on my ears or using an iron yes you read it right an iron to straighten my hair but after long talks with wise people and living in brooklyn, I decided to not be ashamed of my hair and begin to grow locs!!! Yes as women of color we do go through the process of being ashamed or proud of your hair which reminds me of the scene in Spike Lee's movie School Daze. Nevertheless, as Jews we know that Hashem Has made us to be fearfully and wonderfully made!!! you should not feel ashamed or embrassed because of hair type. P.s. @naamah the reason how are our weaves are not dry is because some of us use razaac weave moisture to prevent the hair from drying of course you can go to a hair supply store and look for a weave/wig moisturizer!
Shalom my sisters!!! I will go to the movies to watch that!!! As a 20 something african american I can relate. Growing up I was ashamed of my thick nappy hair ( which I am totally proud of) and found many ways to straighten my hair, such as using the hot comb, which left burnt marks on my ears or using an iron yes you read it right an iron to straighten my hair but after long talks with wise people and living in brooklyn, I decided to not be ashamed of my hair and begin to grow locs!!! Yes as women of color we do go through the process of being ashamed or proud of your hair which reminds me of the scene in Spike Lee's movie School Daze. Nevertheless, as Jews we know that Hashem Has made us to be fearfully and wonderfully made!!! you should not feel ashamed or embrassed because of hair type. P.s. @naamah the reason how are our weaves are not dry is because some of us use razaac weave moisture to prevent the hair from drying of course you can go to a hair supply store and look for a weave/wig moisturizer!