Good Hair DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Total 7.5
Distributor: Madman
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 96
Reviewer: Hannah Lee

7.5


Good Hair

The quintessential black hairdo that has been forever played up in popular culture is the Afro – an eye-catching mass of tightly curled hair sitting on top of one’s head like an all-consuming cloud. If only we knew how much distress this caused black women and the lengths they have to go to in order to change that. Chris Rock certainly went out of his way to find out.

After being asked by his own daughter, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?”, Rock sets out on a personal quest in Good Hair as the inquisitive documentary uses humour, wit and Rock’s charm to dig into the preconceived notions black women have about what is considered “good hair” – a daring and rather challenging endeavour for any man. With a look at the nine billion dollar black hair industry that thrives on hair shows such as that held by the Bronner Bros., Rock enters the fascinating world of fashionable hairstyles celebrated by the black community, using the personal thoughts, opinions and experiences of various celebrities, hair stylists and hair-lovers to back all these crazy discoveries. Good Hair not only points at the humour behind such a bizarre obsession but also examines the implications behind the maintenance and taming of black hair and what this might say about our views on race, culture and beauty.

While black hair doesn’t seem like the most engaging subject to be exploring in a documentary film, Good Hair does an impressive job in braiding a series of topical issues that are funny, interesting, and well worth a thought. From health concerns regarding the use of sodium hydroxide to straighten the hair of three year olds to the comparative prices of weaves and perms, Good Hair balances serious issues with light-hearted entertainment. Such topics are also thoughtfully sequenced in the entirety of the documentary so that no moment is dull. Interviews with notable celebrities such as Maya Angelou, Salt-N-Pepa, T-Pain, Raven Symone and many more, are intercut with personal investigations made by Rock that take him to science laboratories, India, hair dressers, barber shops and the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show stage.

Despite the wide range of locations and issues visited by Rock, it is his close encounters with ordinary hair salon regulars and the comfortable, friendly conversations exchanged between them that make the film incredibly enjoyable. Rock’s curiosity and humorous reactions to the world of hair sustains the viewer’s attention, but I have to admit, without this, there wouldn’t be much appeal for a documentary simply on black hair. Indeed there are moments where the documentary seems to pack superfluous material, especially involved in the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show, as it neither adds to nor supports the documentary in an effective way. Even so, Good Hair is an original and consistent documentary in its feel-good tone and investigative work. Bit of a round-a-bout way of answering a little girl’s question, but fun nevertheless.  
 






 
 



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