Good Hair

Released 2009


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Movie Summary

Jeff Stilson

Good Hair is a 2009 documentary by director Jeff Stilson, featuring producer Chris Rock's trademark sense of humor. The movie takes a light-hearted, but still intriguing, look at what 'good hair' is and why it is so important, especially within the Black American community. Inspired by his own two daughters' hair worries and woes, Rock takes on the tangled issue of African American hair. He visits salons and barbershops, as well as the popular Bronner Brothers' annual hair convention in Atlanta, asking questions about hair. Why do many women, some unknowingly, massage sodium hydroxide into their hair? What exactly does this chemical do? Rock travels to India, where Tonsure ceremonies provide much of the hair that ends up on a Black woman's head in her 'weave.' Since weaves are so expensive, yet the Indian women give their hair for pennies, if even that, who makes all the money in this hairy industry? And, with all the effort put into hair, what exactly is its purpose? Rock asserts that it is fairly common knowledge that touching a Black woman's hair, even when in a relationship with her, can lead to disastrous results. If such is the case, he asks why the hair is there at all. Notable African American women Maya Angelou and Tracie Thoms throw in their two cents to the film's lively discussion. Good Hair was well received, winning three awards and receiving an additional five award nominations.



Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    Spirited, probing and frequently hilarious, it coasts on the fearless charm of its front man and the eye-opening candor of its interviewees, most of them women.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    The result is a documentary that weaves as much comedy as fact into the narrative, making the experience a satisfying entertainment even for the lucky few who have no hair cares at...

  • 80

    Variety Justin Chang

    A raucous and rigorous inquiry into the subject of African-American hair -- the stigmas, the secrets, the shocking price of maintenance -- that gets at universal but rarely discuss...

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Comedy, Documentary