Good Hair - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Good Hair Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 17, 2014
Interesting insight into a morally questionable industry, but as a whole it's uneven, focusing too much on the spectacle of the industry's annual trade show at the expense of the in-depth interviews about what words like beauty, confidence, natural, etc. mean and the connection to one's hair. Worth seeing once for the revelations about "Indian Hair" and the chemical composition of hair relaxant alone... not to mention Chris Rock's stated motive of trying to figure what to tell his daughters about their own hair.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2012
Recommended by a good friend, this is an insightful, amusing, and rather fascinating documentary about the world of hair, specifically the hair of black women, and its important role in African American culture.

Presented and narrated by comedian/actor Chris Rock, who decided to do this documentary after his young daughter asked him, "Why din't I have good hair?", Rock interviews a number of celebrities, business owners, and casual people as he tries to figure out the obsession with hair culture.

It is amusing, but there are some serious undertones, specifically the incredibly dangerous effects of using various chemicals, specifically relaxer to give someone straight hair.

There is some deeper subtext buried within the proceedings, but the film and Rock himself oddly shy away from asking the really important, but tough questions that really get to the hair of the issue, namely exactly why it is so important for black women to have 'white' hair.

That's what keeps the film from being really great. It is a good intro to the subject, and it covers a lot of bases, but it really doesn't scratch the surface, and also neglects to look at parts of history that could have really given a lot more insight as well as answers. I personally want to know how Civil Rights and Black Power affected the hair issue, and see the development of why it evolved away from that.

I'm okay with levity, but I think the film took too much of a diversion by putting a lot of focus on the ridiculously absurd hair competition, and not enough focus on the darker side of things. I mean yeah, the competition still reveals how big of an economic impact black hair makes on the hair care industry, but still, it gets pretty absurd.

Overall though, I did like this. It is a very fascinating topic, and, despite the film's faults, I do think you should give it a watch. Rock does a decent job and tackling a rather tricky issue. I think Spike Lee could have given it the kind of treatment I was expecting, but then again, he may have taken it a bit too far for my liking in that direction as well. Anyways, give it a look. It's pretty decent.
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2010
A film not only on the amazing nature of African American hair and its qualities, but also the industry that takes in billions of dollars a year in order to assimiliate the populus. Delving into everything from the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta which holds the most absurd of competitions, India where most of the hair that goes into weaves is cut and sewed, and bringing out tubs of relaxer that can dissolve a soda can in four hours, this film covers all the bases of a good documentary. Great interviews by African American performers, business owners who are part of the hair movement, and a scientist unknowing of the true use of a chemical so deadly it melts the skin off raw chicken. With a societal scope and being highly intellectual this funny film about what it means to be a woman in our country drastically alters what good hair defines in a person and a race.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2010
Niche doc on black womens' obsession with their hair which skirts around some of the tricky issues - Rock is a lot more restrained than in his stand-up and bottles out on the key question of why black women want to look like white movie stars of old ? Ultimately, it raises a lot more questions than it satisfactorily answers.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2011
In the amusing documentary "Good Hair," Chris Rock is worried about the future of his infant daughters, namely their hair care. He should have cause for concern, considering black parents are already putting relaxer in their children's hair by the time they are 3 in order to straighten it out but at that age, it could permanently damage their hair.(Relaxer is actually sodium hydroxide and given enough time could probably eat through anything.) None of this is really new.(I seem to recall relaxer being referenced in "Malcolm X.")

And occasionally "Good Hair" has some insightful thoughts on black identity and how ideas of black beauty are formed from white models.(That's not to mention the helpful hints on how to make love to a woman who has hair weaves.) However, I disagree with Rock when he says it is all racial. Yes, only about 5% of black owned companies make weaves which start at $1,000 but is it any better when they are in charge of such an exorbitant business, putting people into debt as a result? In any case, this is simply basic capitalism in getting people to buy something they don't need.(Nor is it addiction, since there is no pleasure involved.) While Chris Rock interviews notables such as Maya Angelou and Al "The Dalai Lama of Relaxer" Sharpton, a lot of the other interview subjects are young black female entertainers who talk about their own issues with hair. But Rock does not probe deeply which is a shame since they are cultural trendsetters and could steer some impressionable young black women back towards agreeing with Tracie Thoms when she says "natural hair is freedom." Or no hair, for that matter.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2009
Incredibly entertaining and often fascinating, this documentary about black women's hair is much more than the sum of its seemingly slight parts. Chris Rock and crew explore the topic from angles you coudn't have expected, including a trip to India to find out where the raw materials for weaves come from. Interspersed with interviews and insights are scenes following the contestants in a huge hairdressing competition in Atlanta that is as fun as the rest of the film is detailed. There's nothing surface-y about this film; it's the real deal.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2010
Very interesting look at black womens' obsession with good hair and the lengths they will take in terms of funding and poisons to make sure that they have it. What makes it work is Rock. He is intelligent enough to keep the comedian in him at bay and let her interviewees spin the narrative. Good job Chris.
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2010
A very good movie, very humorous, very informational. "I feel like I've been stung by a thousand bees..."
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2010
I can honestly say I will never look at hair the same way again!
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2010
A delightful movie which gives a good insight on women's hair. Chris Rock gets amazed when his daughter asks him why she doesn't have good hair, he can't understand why she would think this, so he decides to investigate this furthermore. He travels around the country ti various salons and reveals a lot of secrets for women's (especially black women's) hair, This movie was funny and very informative, I didn't actually know how much time and money black women use on their hair.
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2010
I really enjoyed this film\documentary that looks at the business of hair relaxers and weave extensions. More than this though it looks at the lengths people go to get their hair done, the associated costs, politics and the logistics of the business. Running alongside these is a fly on the wall look at the contestants for the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show. This is a competition for hairdressers that deals exclusively with styling afro-carribbean hair. But this is simplifying it greatly as the razzmatazz involved makes a Paris fashion show look like your local church fete.
Sounds bland and boring? Well I can tell you it isnt, Rocks narative and interview style keep this very funny and interesting and some of the guests have genuinely serious points. Ice-T and the Al Sharpton were two that jumped out for me with Ice-T in pariticular giving a real down to earth, truthfull view that had me howling with laughter at times.
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2010
How women, or specifically black woman rely on beauty products; spend their money on it, and live off of "crack hair". You can't help but watch the entire movie, curiosity gets the best of you. But you're well off, because it's a greatly made, structured, and organized truth you didn't know before. "
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2011
Surprisingly interesting and funny too!
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2010
An interesting, light documentary, that reveals a lot about the African American mindset while talking about something as seemingly harmless as hair care.  Well done.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2010
This might just be the best movie Chris Rock has made, second to Pootie Tang. Rock is best when he's narrating and giving his comic jabs to a subject in the background. Everybody Hates Chris was an underrated display of this. In Good Hair, we see Rock standing back letting his subjects say these bits of dialogue that are surprising and honest. Def. worth a look and a fun time.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2010
Nothing fantastic but very entertaining and interesting for a one time watch.
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2009
Good Hair is a intriguing, informative, and funny movie about the history of the "hair world". Chris Rock travels around the world in search of answers to his questions about "black hair". From perms to weave and everything in between this film delivers. Unbe"weave"ably done.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2009
I will always love Chris Rock for creating this film. So eye-opening and informative. It was crazy watching it. Watching this film from my perspective was like I was part of a club all this time that I didn't even realize I was a part of. I went through many of these experiences as a child growing up, never knowing that MILLIONS of other young girls have experienced the exact same thing.

I feel like the criticism towards Rock was unwarranted. This fear of "airing dirty laundry" or whatever. Its a discussion that needs to be had. It didn't make me feel embarrassed or ashamed, just more self-aware. I'm SO glad Rock made this film and it will definitely be added to my film library when the DVD comes out!
½ January 16, 2015
I gave this one a spin in advance of listening to the Projection Booth Podcast review it, and it was very interesting, to say the least.

We follow Chris Rock through the barber shops and hair salons, through the places in India where hair is collected for wigs, all as he examines the major industry of African-American hair care and what people are willing to do to themselves to look 'good'.

Well worth a look, recommended.
½ October 9, 2014
While it's hard to believe he stretched a documentary about hair on black women to an hour and forty five minutes, Chris Rock does a superb and informative job. Though slow in parts, Good Hair is a welcome departure for Rock, who skillfully executes a documentary much better than I thought he was able to.
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