Big kiss to Chris Rock!
Just seen Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ film, and it’s funny and a ‘must see’! Kudos to him for daring to publicly explore one of the most contentious issues amongst black men and women! Pity he didn’t dissect in detail the disgraceful and tired old notion that ‘good hair’ and ‘bad hair’ is the same as ‘straight’ and ‘nappy’.
He only touched briefly on THAT issue and instead spent more time on the composition and costs of relaxers and weaves. ‘Baked and Faked Hair’ could actually be a more appropriate title for the film! For the record, good hair is thick and voluminous, rarely breaks and can be found on people of all ethnicities and races. Bad hair is typically thin and sparse, breaks often, and can also be found on people of all ethnicities and races. It has nothing to do with straight and nappy. Thankfully Rock did vindicate black women of exclusively being the only ones on this planet who ‘do something to their hair’! For the sake of practicality and convenience, and to avoid over-exposure to harsh environmental conditions, the majority of us (black people, white people, male, female, etc) ‘do something’ to our hair almost all of the time. Cutting it into a manageable shape or length; pulling it back into a pony tail or bunches; pinning it up; twisting it; braiding it; corn rowing it, and even shaving it all off, all counts as ‘doing something’! The human hair gathered at the Indian temples ends up on white chicks too!
But were my ears playing tricks or did he really conclude that the use of chemical straighteners amongst black women is automatically due to negative self-image issues owing to slavery and colonialism, and desperate attempts to denounce one’s blackness? Again for the record, natural afro hair – particularly the type that is native to black people from sub-Saharan Africa who have not mixed with any other ethnicities or races – can be inelastic and difficult to get a comb through, and so typically needs more work. Relaxers,wigs, weaves, etc. are needed for the creation and management of practical and convenient styles. Just like scissors and razors that shave and low-cut the hair of black men (err, that’s you Rock); or the corn-rowing, threading, braiding, twisting and other techniques that have been used forever in motherland Africa. So stop accusing all black women of trying to ‘look white’ just for using such products!
However, I do feel the brothas pain when I see sistas using wigs, weaves, etc. to create golden straw-like tresses or super shiny liquorice-like manes that do not match their complexion or features. Other than that, I’ve always believed that the real reason the boys get agitated over the issue of our hair is because they can’t always tell what is real and what isn’t! And they don’t like being banned from running their fingers through it! So I was delighted to hear as much from Nia Long and the barbershop clients in the film. Men simply don’t like being fooled or being told what to do or what not to do!
Black women spend an excessive amount of time and money on their hair (four times their Caucasian counterparts) so no wonder Rock wanted to know why we have become so obsessed. It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind frequently, right? Add hair to that! Plus when you are always searching for a hair style that looks real, this all adds up to time and money. I’m delighted to point out that my ‘SimiWeave™’ U part wig invention is the exception to that rule: I invented it precisely to address these issues. It is a clip on/off one-piece weave, and has already won many awards for delivering the ultimate in realistic-looking, stunning, quick and convenient, and affordable hair styles. Now to get Rock to interview me for Good Hair 2!
Simi Belo, inventor of multiple award winning SimiWeave™ U part wig, 29 September 2009