Dir. by Jeff Stilson - 1 hr. 36 min.
by Clayton Hollifield
Here's the thing - structuring a feature-length documentary is tough. And I don't think that "Good Hair," was poorly structured at all. But I also don't quite feel like it was quite enough for an hour and a half. Nearly all of the bombshells of the film come in the first half hour or so (mostly about the economy surrounding black hair), and my jaw was on the floor for at least that long. It's entirely possible that I haven't, over the course of my entire life, spent as much money on haircuts AND shampoo as one weave (or "hair system," as one stylist puts it) costs. And as much as I hate Al Sharpton, he makes a good point about literally wearing economic oppression on your head on a day-to-day basis. It's absolutely flabbergasting.
But once the narrative progresses past the financial aspect (and exactly how much harm the chemicals in relaxer can do not just to human heads, but to pop cans as well), there's a bit of time-killing going on until we return to the hair-cutting competition that wraps up the movie. Chris Rock (who is a very engaging host - there's one moment in the movie where he asks another man in a barber shop if he'd ever decided against asking a woman out because he didn't think he could afford her hair that's a little touching, and shows how well Rock knows the results of this situation) travels to India to find the source of the hair, he travels back to L.A. to see how it gets sold into the market, and there is a predictable sub-SNL skit about the value of actual black hair. It's not necessarily bad, but after the first chunk of the movie, it feels like padding to reach feature-film length.
3.5 / 5 - DVD