Monday, October 19, 2009

'Good Hair'...Is There Such A Thing?

     walking down the street one day you see a pretty little girl with beautiful, long, wavy hair that cascades down her back. In the black community, the first thing we normally say is, ‘wow, that child has some 'good hair’. Good hair? What exactly is “good hair”? Comedian Chris Rock had that same question in mind when producing the upcoming documentary “Good Hair”, which hit select theatres Friday, October 9, 2009 and theatres nationally on October 23, 2009. Rock explained he was presented with a difficult question from his daughter who asked, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?” This is what led him to go on the search throughout the black community to find that exact answer. His documentary takes you to visit many beauty and barbershops, and as far as India.

     I was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show the other day and Chris Rock was a guest on her show discussing his movie. There were clips from the movie shown with celebrities, such as Nia Long and Raven Simone, explaining how the hair they were wearing was not their real hair, but not to my surprise, was a head full of weave. Now there is nothing wrong with wearing a weave, but I sometimes wonder do people not like their hair. Has the media really corrupted our minds so much to the point that we don’t appreciate what we have naturally therefore we try to mimic those we see on television, who typically have hair to their behind.

     Solange, who recently liberated herself from the bondage of weave, said she would spend nearly $40,000 to $50,000 on her hair weave. That could possibly be someone’s yearly salary. Chris Rock even agreed with Solange stating how he now noticed her even more without the hair. He explained with the weave she was just another pretty girl with a head full of weave, but with the fade he could truly see her beauty, her face and how uniquely beautiful she really is. This is not to say everyone should go to their nearest barbershop and request a low fade. But one thing I always say to my clients, ‘You have to work with what you’ve got’. Your hair might not fall down to the middle of your back or even past your shoulders. But if it has bounce, shine and is healthy, that is all that truly matters.

     I think Solange Knowles put it best when she said, “My mother always told us, there is no such thing as good hair, there is only healthy hair”. I strongly agree. You can have hair down to the middle of your back, but it can still be dry, brittle, and unmanageable. I would rather have a head of hair that is short, bouncy and healthy, than a head full of long damaged hair.

     To educate you a little about the different types of hair. There are four different types of hair: straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair, and kinky hair. All hair types have three different sub-types that generally fall under the category fine and thin, medium textured, or thick and coarse. So it goes to show how our hair varies and is unique to us.

  • Straight hair (which is what we as African Americans aim for when applying that “creamy crack”) is actually the hardest type of hair to curl. Although the hair is almost impossible to damage, it is more likely to be oily than dry because it has more cuticle layers. Damaged straight hair is very dry and brittle, with very thin ends.

  • Wavy hair is typically coarse with a definite “S” pattern. This type of hair has a tendency to frizz and is a little more resistant to styling. It is difficult to get wavy hair to look curly due to the fact that it lies close to the head. Wavy hair tends to be normal; neither oily nor dry.

  • Curly hair has a lot of body and is easily styled when it is in its natural state. It can be easily straightened with a blow dryer so it can be styled into a smoother style. Healthy curly hair is shiny with soft smooth curls, has strong elasticity and the curls are well-defined. Damaged curly hair is usually frizzy, dull, hard, and dry to the touch. Curly hair needs to be kept as moist as possible; when it dries it starts to break.

  • Kinky hair is very tightly curled, wiry and very fragile. The hair consists of lots of thin strands densely packed together. The hair typically won’t shine, but has sheen and is soft to touch. This type of hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type and needs moisture. Kinky hair needs protein based products, protein builds elasticity into the hair shaft. If hair is relaxed, products that are formulated for dry or chemically treated hair are best used.

     After completing this article I have received mixed reviews about the documentary ‘Good Hair’. Please click on the comment tab below and share your thoughts on the soon to be released film, or about the subject of good hair period. Thanks for your support and please keep on reading!!!

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