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Parents' Guide to

Good Hair

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Funny, smart docu is OK for older teens.

Movie PG-13 2009 95 minutes
Good Hair Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Very educational and interesting

My daughter and I both enjoyed this movie.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Rock's documentary is a fascinating chronicle of how so many African-American women have a love/hate relationship with their hair. It doesn't offer any solutions, but it shows that the African-American community's obsession with "good hair" (in other words, straighter, looser curls rather than coarser, "nappy" hair) is a mixed blessing. For every professional "weave-ologist" who earns a living expertly sewing straight hair onto a woman's head, there's a middle-class woman paying more than $1000 for said hair piece -- money, Rock jokes, that should be going toward necessities. It's fascinating and at times heartbreaking. Mothers put their 4-year-old daughters through the discomfort of a chemical relaxer so they can be "pretty." And once the cycle begins, the interviewees joke that the relaxer is "creamy crack" and they're addicted to it.

Among the interviewees, many of the celebrities make no apologies for spending a fortune on their hair. At one point, biracial model Melyssa Ford confesses that she spends at least $18,000 per year on her hair -- while, on the other end of the spectrum, poet Maya Angelou shocks Rock by admitting that she didn't have her first relaxer treatment until age 70. But the clips featuring well-known African-American celebs aren't nearly as interesting -- or hilarious -- as Rock's interviews with regular folks in salons and barbershops around the country. The movie spends a bit too much time following four hair stylists competing at an annual hair show in Atlanta, but otherwise it's an engaging documentary.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 9, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: February 9, 2010
  • Cast: Chris Rock , Eve , Maya Angelou , Nia Long
  • Director: Jeff Stilson
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors, Female actors
  • Studio: HBO
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 95 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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