culture/multiculturalism · hair · Hispanics/Latinos · movies · television

The View on Good Hair

On Wednesday’s episode of “The View,” Chris Rock came by to discuss his documentary of the black hair industry, “Good Hair.” While the white hosts (Joy Behar and Barbara Walters) continually brought up the question of whether the purpose of the industry is to make black women look more like white women, the two black hosts (Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd) talked circles around them. (One Facebook friend said, “This could stir up more controversy than Michael Moore’s movies.”) Meanwhile, Chris Rock just put his foot in his mouth over and over again making unfunny comments about “women in general.”

I agree with @losangelista, who in response to Whoopi’s comment about the manageability of natural black hair, wrote: “I call bullshit on the only reason that black women want straight hair is that it’s manageable. Whoopi, please!” When I read about Whoop’s comment, I thought, wait a minute…having my hair straightened, my ears and scalp burned, once a week for three hours was more manageable?! Sorry, Whoopi, I’m not buying it. (Read more about my torturous journey with my hair in “Bagels & Locks”.)

@losangelista also added: “My natural hair is NOT hard to take care of. It’s EASIER than straight hair!” Too add on to this, I’ll just say something about my own hair: I wash my hair once or twice a week, comb it when wet and the rest of the week, I fluff and spray in leave-in conditioner. I only have to get a haircut every 3-4 months. Tell me again how this is unmanageable? Somehow this is less manageable than getting your hair relaxed or straightened or getting a weave or clips put in. Hello?

But I do wish that when I went to the local CVS to find products for hair like mine, there actually were hair products there that I could buy. The entire “black hair” section is focused on hair relaxing products (even for young children) with black women with luxurious straightened hair featured on the boxes. And the products made for “curly hair” in the other sections (you know, the bigger sections) have never even heard of hair like mine. What’s up with that?

I wish that there were more hair stylists who knew how to work on making my hair look its best, not straightening it to pretend it’s like “everybody else’s.” I also wish those hair stylists weren’t so expensive. AND I wish products for hair like mine weren’t so expensive in general (though obviously hair straightening would be just as expensive if not more). Obviously, someone’s profiting off a world that tells people with “kinky” hair to conform through hair straightening but it certainly isn’t consumers like me. If black people spend the most money in the hair industry, why isn’t anyone making hair products that allow them (and me) to keep it natural?

I’ve seen many white parents, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who are willing to learn how to take care of their children’s hair but most of the Dominican women I grew up with saw a kink or a curl on their child’s head and automatically ran to straighten it. Why? Well, for one, most of them didn’t know how to take care of their own hair, much less their children’s hair. And adding to that is the culture that says “good hair” is straight hair. But Chris Rock says since making the documentary, he thinks “good hair is whatever hair works for you” but he won’t be letting his daughters near relaxer until they’re of age.

To check out the whole show, log onto The View’s website.

Some hair products to check out:

Carol’s Daughter

Miss Jessie’s

Mixed Chicks

Ouidad

Got some more hair products to add to the list? Let me know.

4 thoughts on “The View on Good Hair

  1. I used to have a best friend who was black. (She was anti-semitic and cut me off for converting.) She just wigged it. She would buy the cheap ones and wear them for like 2 months and then throw them out. I didn't think her real hair looked bad. She used to wear it in these little pigtails…

    I always wonder. When I was in my process, constantly, women would tell me how my hair was beautiful and I know I would have to cover it if I convert, right? I wonder if there's anyone out there, black, wearing a wig as a black woman who they tell you this. It'd be funny if they didn't realize it was already covered and they said that.

    Like

  2. I totally co-sign on your sentiments. Caring for naturally curly or kinky hair is only “difficult” when we try to make it do things it doesn't want to do. And if it's THAT difficult, why isn't cutting it short an option before straightening it with caustic chemicals? We already know…

    I've taken to using hand lotion on my hair and calling it a day. My hair hasn't been this happy in a long time. :o) Thank you, Lubriderm!

    Love your blog – been lurking for a LONG time, don't think I've ever posted before now.

    Like

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