Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Good Hair!

Last night I went on a cinema date with my mum to see Good Hair. In brief it's a documentary film made by funny man Chris Rock about Black women and their hair.
I enjoyed it A LOT!
I read about it a while ago and hoped to go with my sister to see it, so we could sit there and say, uh-hmm, that's right i hear you sister.
I did this anyway, mainly when the women were talking about being addicted to relaxer (the dangerous chemical we put on our hair to make it straight) or 'creamy crack' as they called it and when Salt of Salt 'n' Pepa fame said the reason she rocked the asymmetrical do was because her hair fell out (this happened to me the night before a Gravy Train!!!! gig, I knew it would as bleached hair+Relaxer= BAD HAIR!).

The whole film was a look at how black women strive to get Good Hair, good hair meaning white or Asian hair.
A look into why black women spend so much time, money and effort into achieving this, this hair, as Chris rock puts it 'that might blow in the wind'!
I think a lot of it, aside form just wanting slightly more manageable hair, is that is more socially acceptable to have straight hair, or again as Chris Rock said, relaxed hair to have relaxed people.

I wrote an article about this in some awful zine I wrote in my late teens, about how in order to be taken more seriously as a black women I think you have to go Au Naturale.
I think about famous black women, black women who have natural hair and I immediately think of activists and writers.
Maya Angelou said in the film she didn't have a relaxer until the age of 70 (I read in a book of hers when it first became all the rage she got put off as a lot of the girls she knew had it done and their hair fell out!).

Tracie Thoms put it best when she said it's strange who it's seen a s a revolutionary act just keeping the hair that grows out of your head as is!! Funny but true.

There were some laughs to, like the myth of not being able to touch a black lady's weave, the pain of the hair treatment,not being able to get wet (a lot like Gremlins!!) the jokes about Prince!

I think about my hair a lot and think what I want to do with it next and how I would achieve it. recently being in touch with my two half sisters who have their hair natural made me think I want mine that way too (but I wasn't only blessed with Afro hair form my father but thick hair form my mother, something that is still a novelty at the Afro-Caribbean hairdressers!).

But just yesterday morning, relaxing my hair, then later watching the film, I realised it's true what they say I am addicted to Creamy Crack!!!

Here's a brief (pictorial history) of my hair:

I was born with hair pretty much like most babies, but quickly grew to this:
I wore it natural for quite a few years:
Until I got plaits which I had for most of my mid childhood:
Up until just before my brother was born (1992), when I had a perm probably because my sister did: Then I went to high school, hair a bit iffy in year 7, got MY FIRST RELAXER in year 8 (I wanted a bob like my idol Brian Molko and because my sister had her hair relaxed.) Haven't found a picture of this yet, but can remember my school photo from that year, hair quite thick and had to wear top bit up in a scrunchie as long bob was too triangular.
Then for some reason I didn't like that and went for perming second time around in 1998:
Then that mid teen part of your life where you're really awkward and ugly occurred, my hair was AWFUL mid perm mid natural with some plaits or something!OBVS year 9!:
Then I went back to the plaits! Used to have it out in two big bunches, my friend Zara bleached the ends, my first bleach job, (Zara also pierced my nose for me, twice). This is Leeds 2000 and Ladyfest London 2002, so that growing out took a while! Must have re bleached too!: This was shortly before my hair fell out, I got a dye that said no bleach required (obviously bleach in it) gave hair relaxing another try as natural wasn't sleek enough, tried to relax and colour my hair, it all snapped off the night I was going to see Gravy Train!!!!, mid noughties: As the noughties went on, so did my relaxing and the length of my hair got shorter, I quite enjoyed rocking the Kathleen Hanna style high pony, but between that and the bunches I cold only wear my hair down when I'd been to the hairdressers, so started with the long bob, to this what I thought was a short bob, it has doubled in width here due to humidity in a club (hence the face!):I eventually went for the chop, always fearing I would have to much of a mushroom head if I went short, but it worked well and I'll be rocking the crop for a while. This is what my hair looks like fresh form the salon, like an extra on Ricki Lake, weavetastic:I took advantage of having short hair to go for an all over colour, had this until very recently, miss it now: And that's more or less it. Before writing this I thought I hadn't had natural hair since I was like 8, but then remembered that whole period mid high school to late teen where it was natural! This means that in the 26 years of my life I've had two periods when I've been natural, two periods where I've had perms, two periods where I've had braids, two periods where I've had relaxers, so all that's left now is the weave!


李冠文 said...
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Knit and Destroy said... it babes!!!

zomboy6 said...

I remember when you let Paul afro half of your hair. It was ace and HUGE!

凱許倫 said...
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家唐銘 said...


melisajane said...

hullo, i haven't seen good hair yet. i think i'm avoiding it because i have hair guilt. i relax mine and i'm wondering if i'll be doing that forever. i can see myself as an auld grandmother, getting the spatula out, mixing the relaxer, burning my scalp.

i've had perms, cornrows, single plaits, natural (for about 5 minutes in adult life). a weave is the only thing waiting for me now!

i know i'll never get a weave (i have hoity toity views on those), but i sometimes wonder how i will explain myself to my baby niece when she asks why i put chemicals in my hair to make it look this way. i don't want my hair to be political, but i know that it is. that's why i hate weaves, but am i really that different to someone with a weave??

淑涂涂華 said...


红十字 said...