Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout Good & Bad Hair

Hey muchachas,
News flash: Tito and Miko Branch, owners of Miss Jessie's curly girl hair products, are teaming up with to sponsor the first ever 2009 Grow Out Challenge! How much do I LOVE this? From October 5th to March 31st, Miss Jessie’s will award over $3,600 worth of products to the participants who show the most spunk and determination as they embark on the life-changing journey of "transitioning," ie, growing out their perm and embracing their natural hair (lest you thought I was referring to gender reassignment surgery). As many of you know, transitioning starts when you A.) snip off your relaxed ends little by little, or B.) chop off the relaxed hair in one fell swoop (the gangsta option). This is a HUGE deal for most women, so having the support of your curly community is totally empowering! To start the process, register on, create your first blog post and begin uploading pics of your transition. Each month, four winners will be selected to receive a personal hair prescription and products from Miss Jessie’s valued at approximately $150.00!

Cute, right? And somebody involved is a marketing genius, because the contest coincides with the premiere of Chris Rock's buzzy new documentary, "Good Hair." Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of seeing a screening of the film with my dear friend and creator, Marcia Cole, as well as a brilliant bunch of girls from the site's blogger network (and after the movie, we had a blowout party at the hottest new black salon in Manhattan, Anjels' Salon, on 37 W. 46th Street. Just so you know, my hair is still looking glossy and sexy and bouncy, SIX DAYS LATER. Ask for Brenda, she's the truth). I wish I could say that I loved the film. I mean, in terms of the business of weaves of relaxers, it was definitely eye-opening. I certainly didn't realize that most black haircare companies are white or Asian-owned. The global implications of the weave trade never really hit me, either (not to give it all away, but most of the hair used for weaves comes from Indian men and women who've chopped off their hair during sacred religious ceremonies--and who have no idea that it's being sold for gazillions). And the commentary for actresses like Lauren London, Megan Good, and Nia Long (WHY doesn't Hollywood come up with great roles for the sexy, smart lady?) was hilarious and truthful and refreshing. But I really wanted Rock to touch on the reasons WHY black women feel the way we do about our hair. You know, the social history of the whole thing. The centuries-old notions about "good" and "bad" hair that are ingrained in us, passed down from our great-great grandmas. That's what's truly interesting to me about the whole debate. But baby steps, I guess.

Definitely see it, though! If for nothing else, to come full circle from the barbed hilarity of the "Good and Bad Hair" scene from School Daze. In any event, I love us...and all of our hair, in every incarnation!


Blogger 1969 said...

Now that song is in my head "Talkin bout good and bad hair, see if I care..good and bad hair!"

I can't wait to see the movie!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Kia said...

Hi Tia! I've never commented before - I'm one of those lurkers. I've been reading your blog for about two years and I love it. I saw youa couple of months ago in Blue Ribbon with sunshine and some friends. Anyway, I have long hair and I'm looking for a place that can give me long flowy (sp?) Kourtney Kardashian waves. You think Anjel would be good for that? If you dont mind, how much was the blowout?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most honest, meaningful review of the movie I've seen so far. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely (still) see it, but it's good to hear something a little deeper than a regurgitation of the jokes and the buzz. Also intrigued by the giveaway and campaign that the Branch sisters have put together. Beauty always was very serious business and I'm happy to see those sisters become stronger players in the game.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous tabitha said...

I can't wait to see the movie just because I know it'll be funny. That Al Sharpton interview has to be hilarious. Perhaps Rock didn't feel that he had the right to delve into the complicated history of black women and their hair since he is a man (not that black men didn't "conk" before). For that, I'd recommend renting (if you can find it) "Nappy Roots", which was produced and directed by a woman. I knew the thing about the Asian and white-owned multi-billion dollar businesses, but I found that out when I found out that places like Sally Beauty are primarily Asian-owned. Hopefully, the movie also discusses black salon owners who don't seem to be hurting during the recession that we're in. Enough of my dissertation, though. All hair is good hair to me :D

12:08 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

So glad you touched on the topic of WHY we relax our hair. And why we even want straight hair anyway. I wanted to see the movie because I wanted to see him bring that up. Now that I know it's not there, I am a bit disappointed. I will still see it though. It comes to my neighborhood on Friday.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer-Rose said...

As an African stylist with a primarily white clientele, I will tell all of my sisters this:if black women knew how crappy white womens hair truly was, I don't think we would have the issues with our hair that we do. Most of my clients suffer from extremely thin, lank hair with absolutely no body or style support. Frizziness is extremely common and the habit of washing it every day has left most Caucasian heads severely damaged. Just a heads up (no pun intended...)

8:37 AM  

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