Sadly overlooked at the box office, Chris Rock’s documentary on black hair – and the billion-dollar industry built around it – is a fascinating, if tragic, look at what black women will do in order to “fix” their naturally curly hair. Rock examines the products that “relax” hair (which will eat an aluminum can in four hours), and the weaves that they buy as a means of getting around using the relaxer. (Raven-Symone actually pulls her weave out of place on camera.) Rock even travels to India to meet the people who collect the hair that’s used in weaves. There is a sub-story involving four stylists competing for a $20,000 prize at the semi-annual Bronner Bros. hair convention in Atlanta – one of whom, surprisingly, is a white boy – but it doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the movie. The meat of “Good Hair” comes from women discussing the hair tragedies they’ve suffered at the hands of relaxer (that asymmetrical haircut in Salt & Pepa’s video for “Push It”? Yep, the result of her hair falling out) and how they handle having sex while wearing a weave (“Stay on top”). And Rock, being an ace comedian, knows a good last line when he hears one, so he wisely lets noted philosopher Ice-T close the show: “I just think that women shouldn’t be pointing their fingers at other women for what they doin’ to help each others’ bodies. Other than that, do whatever makes you feel good, because trust me, if a woman ain’t happy with herself, she gonna bring nothin’ but pain to every-fucking-body around her.”

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