In 2009, Chris Rock, Black American celebrity released a documentary titled “Good Hair”. Inspired by his 3 year old daughter’s question: “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”, Rock questions why African-American women adopt a concept of “beauty” that is not based on the natural characteristics of their hair.
The documentary explored the sentiment behind why the typical black woman only considers her hair to be good hair when it conforms to social norms and standards of white hair. Plus the idea that a black woman is not beautiful if her hair is not white.
In the film, there’s a 3 year old, sitting in the salon, waiting for her turn to get her hair relaxed. When asked why she wanted to go through the process, she said it was so she could be pretty. She probably believed that in moments, she would automatically be turned into some Disney princess or Barbie doll.
How do you convince her otherwise? How many little girls have been told this same thing over these long years? Were they also told of the side effects of applying relaxers long-term? Has there been a research into what happens when you use relaxers from age 3 to perhaps 80?
The active ingredient in relaxers is sodium hydroxide. Is there an active study of the long-term effect of this corrosive chemical on the human scalp? Perhaps that is something black people should be bothered about…
Here are comments from African American celebs on the subject of Good Hair
Tracie Thoms: “The first time I got my hair relaxed I remember thinking “Oh now I’m pretty, now I’m beautiful.”
Nia Long: “There’s always this sort of pressure within the black community, like, if you have good hair, you’re prettier or better than the brown-skinned girl that wears the Afro or the dreads or the natural hairstyle.”
Paul Mooney: “If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed. If it’s nappy, they’re not happy.”
Tyra Banks: “The pressure to have so-called good hair, hair that a lot of black women say is smooth, silky, not kinky, not coarse, starts in childhood for a lot of Africa-American women.
Chris Rock: “I knew women wanted to be beautiful, but I didn’t know the lengths they would go to, the time they would spend—and not complain about it. In fact, they appear to look forward to it