When Chris Rock’s little girl runs to him crying, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?” he tries to find out what’s wrong with this question. He travels to India; witnessing people with straight hair shave it in a religious ceremony, unaware that people across the world without straight hair will adorn their heads with it. The sacrificed hair is washed and picked free of lice, and then turned into weaves which are flown to the US and sold for thousands of dollars. A piece. Yes. At a visit to a beauty shop the staff jokes around that some women will forgo paying the rent to pay for their weave.
Rock also travels to Atlanta’s extravaganza, the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show. He witnesses competing stylists and browses lots of products for sale, mostly by Koreans. Rock is shocked to discover that Bronner Bros. is one of the few Black-owned companies in the African-American hair care industry which is dominated mostly by Asians.
He interviews African-American actresses who wear their hair straight. He visits a chemist who explains how dangerous the relaxer chemical sodium hydroxide is. He interviews young black women who agree that someone doesn’t look professional unless she has straight hair. All this sociological insight sounds depressing, but with Rock conducting the interviews it’s more like comedic commentary that happens to be about an important social issue. And with celebrities like Chris Rock bringing awareness to such issues, hopefully more of us will realize how beautiful we are just the way we are.