After Chris Rock’s four-year-old daughter asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have ‘good’ [meaning Caucasian] hair?” the comedian devised a two-year, cross-continental, celebrity-filled answer, all captured on film. Good Hair, Rock’s first documentary, chronicles the history and cultural impact of African-American hairstyles. It debuts this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, just a few days after the three-disc collector’s edition of Rock’s HBO special Kill the Messenger hits stores. We called the comedian-cum-filmmaker to discuss what’s so funny about hair.
Time Out Chicago: You spent two years researching hair? Really?
Chris Rock: Ha, ha, ha, yes. My daughter’s the star, and I’m a PA. You’ve got to bend over backwards to make sure the star is happy, so if my baby’s not happy with her hair, I’ve got to do something about that. I’ve got to go investigate. [Laughs]
TOC: It just seems like a pretty random topic, especially for someone not all that obsessed with hair.
Chris Rock: On the surface, it seems like it’s not what I normally do, but when you watch the movie, it’s very political, and it deals with relationships. It deals with a lot of issues I would deal with in an HBO special, just in another way. What goes on in the movie most black people know about, maybe not to the extent that we covered it, but any white person who sees it is going to think, Wow, I had no idea. [Good Hair] is kind of a love letter to black women, and it’s definitely a love letter to my daughter.
TOC: Is this love letter coming from the same guy who said in Kill the Messenger that a black woman couldn’t be First Lady?
Chris Rock: Well, that’s a joke. It looks harsh in print, but thank God there are cameras on you when you do the joke. And thank God there are black women laughing at it.
TOC: You were very open about your support of Obama and his wife. Do you think you’ll have as much politically driven material in a “No-Drama Obama” administration?
Chris Rock: I don’t know. I’m interested in how politics affects the everyday guy and woman. When it gets to appointments and policies, I don’t know about that stuff. Lately, I’ve actually been thinking about those jobs [in Obama’s administration] going, Do I want one of these jobs? I wonder if I could get one of these jobs. I used to work with Al Franken at SNL, and he’s going to be a senator, so it makes you think, Ooh, could I run for office?
TOC: Sweet holy hell, we would vote for you in a second.
Chris Rock: I don’t know if I’m a senator. I’m, like, a mayor or something. I’m more of a headliner. I’m not really good on a bill with a bunch of people.
TOC: You just missed a Senate seat in Illinois that was up for sale…
Chris Rock: How much is it? I’ve got some Madagascar bonuses I could kick over there.
TOC: Last April, Bill Stephney, Public Enemy’s bassist, said, “Every handful of years, there’s a Chris Rock moment, and we just happen to be in that hot zone.” Do you feel…you know…hot zoney?
Chris Rock: [Laughs] I don’t know. After we finished cutting [Good Hair], we looked at each other and were like, “Hey, is this better than we thought?” We’ll see if audiences like it. I’m doing a movie, Death at a Funeral [a remake of the 2007 British film by the same name], and I’m going to write a book. I’m staying busy, but I don’t know if it’s a hot zone. Then again, you never know what can happen.
From Time Out Chicago
Okay, I admit: I have been wanting to go natural for some time now. My cousin’s wife has been wearing her hair natural for years now, and every time she sees me, I get a lecture about chemically treating my hair. Just to clarify, she is not negative or mean, just really positive-natural hair. So yeah, she definitely put a bug in my ear. Since then, out and about in NYC, I am ALWAYS checking out the sistas with natural hair. I find myself staring actually. I am so tempted to ask questions, but I never know if my interest would be taken as an insult.
In either case, I discovered this fantastic blog: black girl with long hair. I love it. It is a great resource and meeting place for sistas with natural hair from around the world. The author features a Style Series, a New to the Natural Movement Series, Naturals from around the World and more. She does interviews with readers and gets great feedback regarding daily regimes, favorite styles, tips and techniques. I love it!
Okay, I will also confess that I as much as I want to go natural, I am currently in a one year into a 2-year plan to grow my chemically-treated hair out as long as I can before I cut it off. I don’t know why but I am committed – although I will be following this blog to keep the flame burning.
April showers got you down? Nothing is worse that spending an hour or two creating the perfect hairstyle, only to have it ruined by an unexpected rainstorm or dewy spring morning.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your hairstyle as you brave the morning commute:
1. Use a More Emollient Product
Before rolling, twisting or blow-drying your hair, use a thick, emollient product like Jane Carter Nourish and Shine.
A thick pomade or moisturizer will help seal the hair strands, preventing unwanted moisture from rain or humidity from entering the hair shaft and creating frizz.
2. Work with Rain and Humidity
If you get caught in an unexpected rainstorm, quickly braid or twist your hair into medium size plaits or twists. Wear loose or cover with a cap.
When you get home or arrive at work, remove the twists or braids and enjoy loose waves or spirals. The moisture in the air will help set the curl pattern from the braids or twists. The waves will last all day long.
3. Carry a Silk Scarf
A silk scarf is a great way to keep your hair protected during a rainstorm and still look chic. Tie hair back in a loose bun and cover tightly with a scarf. Tuck the ends of the scarf into your rain jacket and use an umbrella to shield the hair from direct rainfall.
Even though the scarf is light, it acts as an effective barrier against humidity.
From Gennifer Miller
Application: Kinky-Curly Knot-Today Leave-in Conditioner, detangled and then applied the Curling Custard throughout hair.
Rating: Like it! (♥♥♥♥)
Price: $26.00 (16oz.)
What they say:
CURLING CUSTARD TM gives moisture and curl definition, hold and brilliant shiny hair all in one product!
It reduces bulk, defines & elongates your curls helping them to ‘hang’ better. CURLING CUSTARD TM will bring out the natural curl or wave pattern you never knew you had!
It is an advanced botanical formula made with ALL NATURAL ingredients that nourish and strengthen the hair. Utilizing the humectant properties of the Agave Nectar, CURLING CUSTARD TM will give weight to your hair, define your curls, remove frizz, provide long lasting hold and shine without ever being greasy, crunchy or drying to your hair.
This high performance product is very concentrated so a little goes a long way.
**TIP- This product is designed to work alone but ultimate curl definition and length can be achieved when used with KNOT TODAY TM as a leave in conditioner.For very kinky and tightly coiled hair use KNOT TODAY TM as a leave-in conditioner then apply CURLING CUSTARD TM to soaking wet hair in small sections. Smooth each section with fingers from root to tip.
For best results apply CURLING CUSTARD TM to soaking wet, freshly washed hair.
The new spring weather means abandoning those thick wool hats and letting our hair blow in the breeze. However, even though the weather is mild and the sun doesn’t seem very intense, UV rays can still damage our fragile tresses.
For light sun protection, try Sesame Oil. It’s perfect for low to moderate sun exposure. Plus, its cheap and easy to find at any grocery store.
Sesame oil has been used for centuries as a natural hair conditioner and sunscreen. It can block up to 30% of the sun’s harmful rays and will act as a protective barrier between the unforgiving wind and our fragile strands.Apply a dime size amount to dry hair daily, concentrating on the ends, before heading outdoors.
If you need additional sun protection or plan to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, there are dozens of products that can help. L’Oreal, Sunsilk, Phyto, Rene Furterer, Kerastase and Ojon all make a wide range of products that contain SPF.
My personal favorites are Phyto Plage Sun Veil or Rene Furterer Summer Fluid or Summer Oil as they help condition the hair and add a nice long lasting shine.
From Gennifer Miller
Fox Chicago news anchor Robin Robinson had an interesting report on April 9th, on Fox News at 9 regarding the fact that many African-American women do not exercise regularly – because of their hair. More to the point, the fact that their chemically-straightened hair doesn’t allow them the convenience of a workout/shower/go to work process that the rest of us take for granted.
This is a fascinating an eye-opening report, (especially about health issues, and not just the issues about all the dangers of chemical relaxers). The video is here for your convenience, and it really gives us a LOT to think about. Robinson herself is sporting a “natural” curl to her otherwise “anchorwoman ‘do”…. see what you think. Apparently there is a study that supports Robinson’s claims.
Thoughts, ladies? Does your hair prevent you from working out?
I’d like to say that’s my excuse, but it’s not. Me? Simple lack of willpower!
Soooo true. I admit it, unemployed or not, I go to the hair salon every 2 weeks, alternating wash & sets and touch-ups. When I moved to NYC in 2005, I made a promise to myself to keep my hair a priority. Previously living in Boston, I found the black hair salons to be particularly expensive, averaging at least $75 per visit. As a result, I maintained my hair myself, splurging occassionally on professional visits. Over time, I found that I increasingly damaged my “African-strong,” kinky, thick hair.
Now that I live in NYC, I make 2 trips each month to Your So Fine, the Dominican hair salon in Harlem. It is not fancy, and the wash lady always manages to get water down my back, my boobs and all over my forehead, BUT it is cheap and I don’t have to do it.
My wash and set is about $20, including the deep conditioning, and my touch-ups are $40, including the deep conditioning. Recently, I started bringing in my own shampoo and stopped using their crappy house shampoo (which smells funny.)