Good Hair

2009

Good Hair

Critics Consensus

Funny, informative, and occasionally sad, Good Hair is a provocative look at the complex relationship between African Americans and their hair.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 83

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,221
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Movie Info

"Good Hair" is an insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African-American hair culture. An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, "Good Hair" visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of black people. What Rock discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn't always benefit the black community.

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News & Interviews for Good Hair

Critic Reviews for Good Hair

All Critics (83) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (4)

  • It's an eye-opener, if a blatantly chauvinistic one: Rock's main beefs seem to be that men have to pay for it, and upkeep of such a coveted accessory is a barrier to intimacy in the bedroom.

    Jun 30, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • All Christopher Guest-allusions aside, this is a crucial documentary about race and gender today.

    Jun 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Rock fronts this informative rummage through the $9 billion US black hair industry in a style much like his stand-up comedy: hilarious, insightful and charming enough to let him get away with the flammable stuff.

    Jun 24, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Full of sweetly sardonic observations, the docu-comedy is one of the funniest movies of the year.

    Oct 23, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • Rock sheds new light on this old story through a poignant mix of interviews, investigation and his trademark satire.

    Oct 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • It's funny, clever and marginally educational. You can tell your friends you went to a documentary without having felt as if you saw one.

    Oct 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Good Hair

  • Jul 17, 2014
    Interesting insight into a morally questionable industry, but as a whole it's uneven, focusing too much on the spectacle of the industry's annual trade show at the expense of the in-depth interviews about what words like beauty, confidence, natural, etc. mean and the connection to one's hair. Worth seeing once for the revelations about "Indian Hair" and the chemical composition of hair relaxant alone... not to mention Chris Rock's stated motive of trying to figure what to tell his daughters about their own hair.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2012
    Recommended by a good friend, this is an insightful, amusing, and rather fascinating documentary about the world of hair, specifically the hair of black women, and its important role in African American culture. Presented and narrated by comedian/actor Chris Rock, who decided to do this documentary after his young daughter asked him, "Why din't I have good hair?", Rock interviews a number of celebrities, business owners, and casual people as he tries to figure out the obsession with hair culture. It is amusing, but there are some serious undertones, specifically the incredibly dangerous effects of using various chemicals, specifically relaxer to give someone straight hair. There is some deeper subtext buried within the proceedings, but the film and Rock himself oddly shy away from asking the really important, but tough questions that really get to the hair of the issue, namely exactly why it is so important for black women to have 'white' hair. That's what keeps the film from being really great. It is a good intro to the subject, and it covers a lot of bases, but it really doesn't scratch the surface, and also neglects to look at parts of history that could have really given a lot more insight as well as answers. I personally want to know how Civil Rights and Black Power affected the hair issue, and see the development of why it evolved away from that. I'm okay with levity, but I think the film took too much of a diversion by putting a lot of focus on the ridiculously absurd hair competition, and not enough focus on the darker side of things. I mean yeah, the competition still reveals how big of an economic impact black hair makes on the hair care industry, but still, it gets pretty absurd. Overall though, I did like this. It is a very fascinating topic, and, despite the film's faults, I do think you should give it a watch. Rock does a decent job and tackling a rather tricky issue. I think Spike Lee could have given it the kind of treatment I was expecting, but then again, he may have taken it a bit too far for my liking in that direction as well. Anyways, give it a look. It's pretty decent.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2011
    In the amusing documentary "Good Hair," Chris Rock is worried about the future of his infant daughters, namely their hair care. He should have cause for concern, considering black parents are already putting relaxer in their children's hair by the time they are 3 in order to straighten it out but at that age, it could permanently damage their hair.(Relaxer is actually sodium hydroxide and given enough time could probably eat through anything.) None of this is really new.(I seem to recall relaxer being referenced in "Malcolm X.") And occasionally "Good Hair" has some insightful thoughts on black identity and how ideas of black beauty are formed from white models.(That's not to mention the helpful hints on how to make love to a woman who has hair weaves.) However, I disagree with Rock when he says it is all racial. Yes, only about 5% of black owned companies make weaves which start at $1,000 but is it any better when they are in charge of such an exorbitant business, putting people into debt as a result? In any case, this is simply basic capitalism in getting people to buy something they don't need.(Nor is it addiction, since there is no pleasure involved.) While Chris Rock interviews notables such as Maya Angelou and Al "The Dalai Lama of Relaxer" Sharpton, a lot of the other interview subjects are young black female entertainers who talk about their own issues with hair. But Rock does not probe deeply which is a shame since they are cultural trendsetters and could steer some impressionable young black women back towards agreeing with Tracie Thoms when she says "natural hair is freedom." Or no hair, for that matter.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2011
    Surprisingly interesting and funny too!
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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