Recently, we had the opportunity to join a roundtable with Raven-Symone for Chris Rock‘s new documentary, Good Hair. In the film she takes part in the discussion about emotional attachments that African-American women have with their hair and what they are willing to go through to attain “good hair”. Below she quite bluntly talking about her hair, or better yet, her weave.
Check out what Raven thought about Rock’s vision, jumping into a pool with her weave, and her thoughts on what makes “good hair” below…
Did you learn anything new from this movie?
RS: I learned about the lye in the perms and the fact that it can actually eat through a can. I am really big on stuff like that, so I can say I promise to never use lye again. I promise never to a perm again. I have issues when it comes to things like that. Weaves aren’t penetrating my skin. I can take that out at any time. When you start putting stuff into your hair that can, eventually, penetrate into your scalp and mess with your molecular structure, that’s a problem for me. I learned a lot about Al Sharpton. He was coiffed!
You have been in the entertainment industry for a long time. Do you remember any pressure, when you were younger, to change your hair?
RS: No. I believe, and I don’t want to miss quote, but I don’t think Mr. Cosby wanted us to do anything fake to our hair. If you look back, the main characters didn’t have weaves. They may have had braids, or something, but it isn’t the same. If you can work with your hair, that’s beautiful.
Do you have a pool and swim in it?
RS: I do have a pool! I clip this out real quick, put it on the chair and hop in the pool! I clip it back on before I see anybody else!
Do you feel any sort of resentment that you can’t where your hair naturally?
RS: On every level whether it is body shape, hair, or whatever. It is not necessarily resentment, just hopefully one day.
Do you think this issue with hair will change eventually?
RS: I don’t think it will. I really don’t. All you can do is hope for it. You have people like India.Arie, even Halle Berry, and people in the movie. There are people who stand up. I stand up sometimes, but not all the time. At the same time, I understand. I’ve been on red carpets with my natural hair and I’ve been called a poodle because people didn’t understand curly hair. It is a business.
What did you think of the scene where the girls from the high school were talking to the one girl with the natural hair?
RS: That was rude. Rude. I think that is partly because of what happens in Hollywood and I will, in my little world, take responsibility. At the same time, why are we still judging people? I don’t understand. I know it is going to be that way forever, but we should be over it, especially, over something as small as hair because it can be changed. Her hair was beautiful! When I see girls like that, I want my hair to grow so I can wear it like that. She has bomb hair. I would die for her hair. I would pay for her hair.
Do you find that African-American men encourage women to get weaves and relax their hair?
RS: I have definitely had people in my life that are like, “I like your hair long and blonde.” I said, “Right, well you need to go talk to somebody else because that only happens when I do College Road Trip.” With guys, it is funny, I will invite my guy friends and say, “You better watch this weave go in, ‘cuz just so you know, it’s not real.” I don’t mind it because I think they need to know what we go through. I think they will be more comfortable and appreciate that we are saving our personal hair.
If you were to have a son, what would you tell them in terms of dealing with women and their hair?
RS: I’m going to say he should be in love with someone who wants to make sure their hair is healthy. That could be wearing their hair in twisties with conditioner on it or braiding it up. You should be in love with someone who cares for the naturalness of their hair so when they go to the beach together, she can take it out and go through the water. He should support her either way because it is a female’s decision.
What would you do in a situation similar to Chris Rock’s?
RS: I would say, “Is your hair strong? Is your hair healthy? You have good hair. Do you want a weave? What kind of weave do you want and can you pay for it yourself? Wait till you can pay for it boo boo.” I would put her in cornrows all day.
Was there anything you wished Chris put in the documentary that wasn’t there?
RS: It would have been kind of cool to see before and after pictures of all the people wearing weaves in it. I wouldn’t have minded doing it if it was done right. But, it also depends because some people never take it out. It definitely depends on what that person is comfortable with.
What do you hope viewers take away from this film regarding their hair?
RS: I really think that people need to stop hiding it. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I think that as long as you are comfortable with it. If you are not comfortable, then you need to start working from the inside out. I am comfortable with it. That is why I can be so blunt and honest and tell you what it is. If I take it out I know that I am okay, but I know that in this business, there are certain things that I have to do. I understand that part.
Good Hair hits limited theaters on October 9 and nationally on October 23
Watch the trailer…