Ok so the opening scene with Chris Rock “rooting” (running his fingers through her scalp to prove it was her real hair) Oprah was hilarious ! I loved it. I thought it was funny though how defiant Oprah was right off the bat about her hair. Like “uh uh, you not about to call me out on some weave and embarrass me today Chris” LOL
But let’s be honest, she wouldn’t have to be so defensive had she not had the weave and perm before. She just recently (like the last 2 seasons) started leaving the weave and the perm out. Because back in the day she would wear her own weaveless yet permed hair. So now it turns out that she is back to the weaveless yet permed hair. Which for me is backwards because why take all that time to go natural and grow out your hair just to put the creamy crack back in it that had it messed up to begin with ?
I think it’s beautiful that his daughter was the spark for this project of his. According to Chris, His daughter Lola, was a little too in awe of her white friends hair in the car one day. This bothered him enough for him to tackle the topic of why we as Black Women and Black People in general are so obsessed with the idea of “Good Hair” .
For those of you who are familiar with me and my work, you know I feel the nappier the better. But in all honesty, whatever hair you have on your head, no matter what the texter, is “Good Hair”. I mean let’s face it, there are some out there who have no hair at all and would give almost anything to have any kind of hair on their head. That alone makes it silly for us to be out here worrying about whether the texture of our hair is “Good” or not.
By now we hopefully all know that this whole “good hair” issue is something that is a direct result of slavery and we as black people being told that our hair, features and culture as a whole were ugly, savage and unacceptable. We were trained to think that all things White are right. Because of this, we grew to hate our own hair texture and features.
As a natural hair stylist , I know for a fact that 80 – 90 % of African Americans don’t have “nappy hair”. The most common texture that I have seen is between a very soft curl to a sponge like texture. As a loctician I can tell you that the “nappier” a persons hair is, the easier it is to loc. Locs are the one style where people wish they had kinkier texture so that the locks could come out a certain way. Now again for me locs are beautiful no matter what the texture of the persons hair is.
Ok so back to the Oprah show 🙂 So when they started to show clips from the movie I had an irritating moment, because there was a scene where Nia Long was speaking about perceptions of women who wear their hair straight vs those who wear it kinky. When she mentions the woman who wears Dreads (which is a word I don’t like either, call them Locs / Locks people) they showed a woman with extension braids in her hair. NOT a woman with Locs / Locks. I am soooooo tired of people calling Locs / Locks, Braids. They are not now, nor have they ever been the same thing.
So my next favorite part of this interview is when Oprah and Chris Rock point out the fact that White Women wear weaves and bleach their hair out also. See for those of you who don’t know Black Women spend hours on end trying to get their hair to look like what they think is White Women’s natural hair. The reality is that they don’t have all the “good hair” that you think they do. White Women spend just as much if not more money than Black Women do to make sure their hair looks long and luxurious. And the blond hair thing is just as much of an epidemic for them, as the relaxer “creamy crack” is for Black Women.
Just like slavery did a number on us, it also did a number on White Women as well when it comes to how they want to be viewed. For them the goal is usually to be as pure and white as the driven snow, which means Blond hair and Blue eyes. Now due to all the racial mixing that has taken place throughout history, it is nearly impossible for all the women you see with blond hair to be natural blonds. So at the end of the day you have this ridiculous circle of us trying to look like White Women when they aren’t even trying to look like their natural selves anymore. Crazy huh ?!
I found out that over 14 billion dollars are spent in hair color every year mostly in White Hair Salons !! And it’s mostly on blond dye. I mean I knew that White Women colored their hair, but $14 billion just blew my mind.
Is it not also crazy that Black Women get perms to straighten their hair, While White women get perms to curl their hair ? Black Women bleach their skin to look White, while White Women tan their skin to look Black. It’s just straight up insanity people !! It’s a circle of sheer nonsense. I don’t care what race you are. Women in general need to learn to love their own, NATURAL selves.
Now the weave segment was crazy LOL Did you know that there are women who put their weave on layaway !?! Blew my mind. Now I wasn’t mad at the woman who flew from Colorado to New York to get her hair done. When you have a good stylist price and distance usually won’t stop you from getting to them LOL. Seriously though, I have had and still have clients who waited until they got to Atlanta to get their hair done by me and they live in Chicago, Alabama & Florida. Yes, I’m that good 😉 LOL
I think it’s horrible that the people in India who shave their heads in order to get rid of vanity and offer their hair to the temple and their Gods, don’t know that their hair is being sold for thousands of dollars by the church. There is an underground market in India that takes the hair offerings from the temples and sells it around the world to different exporters/importers. It’s horrible #1 to exploit the spiritual beliefs of the people in order make money, but #2 it’s even worse that you don’t even share the profit with the people you are taking the hair from in the 1st place.
The Solange Knowles segment, was great for me ! I love that she has gone natural (for now) and that her reason was because she wanted to be free of all the stress that comes with the perms and weaves that she had worn most of her life. She said that her 1st perm was at 4yrs old ! That is insane !! But she came to a point where it was too much and she wanted to be free of it all, no longer being a slave to her hair and embrace her natural beauty. I love it !!
I also Loooooove that Oprah made it mandatory that all the girls at her school in Africa wear their hair natural and braided so that they wouldn’t have to wake up everyday worrying about what to do with their hair so they could focus on their school work. Bravo for that one Oprah !
Cudos to Chris Rock for telling Black women “do your hair for you ! don’t worry about what this white person thinks, or that man thinks. do your hair for you and you will be happy”. Good stuff Chris !
There was also a part of the show where a mother named Vanessa, wrote in about her 3 year old daughter who cried because her hair wouldn’t go down like the girls at school. Her daughter was the only african american child in her class, so she wanted to look like the white girls she was in class with. In order to show her daughter that her hair was beautiful and that she should want to look like herself and not the girls in school, Vanessa decided to cut all of her permed hair off and go natural in order to set an example for her daughter. Bravo Vanessa !!
In the Final Thoughts, Chris Rock said that he feels that “kiddy perms” should be abolished. I couldn’t agree more. It’s bad enough that adults put chemicals in their hair, but it’s even worse when you are putting it in your kids hair. Many girls got perms put in their hair at such a young age that they have no idea what their natural hair actually looks like. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had that swore all black people had “nappy hair” without the perms. It’s sooooo not true. As I said before, most have a curly to soft spongy texture. And so what if your hair is “nappy” !?! As I said earlier we have all got to start loving ourselves in our NATURAL state no matter what race we are or what texture your hair is !
This is all my view on the matter. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs !
Nyesha Samuel – Publisher/Master Loctician for healthylocsblog.com