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Hair Flicks: Our Favorite Natural Hair Movies & Series

Hair Flicks: Our Favorite Natural Hair Movies & Series

In celebration of Black History Month, we compiled a list of some of our favorite movies and series about natural hair.

“I like that they show the growing pains of Black women,” says Vigor Roots founder Nathalee DuRose. “But that this list is so short shows that there is not a lot of information and education for Black Hair.”

There may not be many of them out there, be we sure found some amazing natural hair movies & series that are well worth the watch. 


Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker (2020)


Where to Watch: Netflix


This enjoyable miniseries tells the tale of America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker (Octavia Spencer). She’s an OG hairpreneur, and she helped the hair industry to become a way for Black women to gain financial independence on their own terms. Despite the best efforts of bad husbands, bitter competitors, and a society just a generation past slavery that was rampant with misogynoir, Walker refused to give up on her dreams.


Why We Love It:

  • Great cast. Spencer is magnificent as usual, Tiffany Haddish is a joy to watch as Walker’s daughter Lelia, Blair Underwood plays a no good husband so good, and Carmen Ejogo plays a great turn of the 20th Century mean girl.
  • The soundtrack is surprisingly banging for a story set in the early 1900s. Granted, they’ve borrowed a more modern sound. but it works in the best way.
  • Contrary to a popular misconception, Walker didn’t try to change the character of Black women’s hair. It was actually a “Magical Hair Grower” that launched Walker’s million-dollar hair career. Shortly before her death in 1919, the real-life Walker told a reporter, “Right here, let me correct the erroneous impression held by some that I claim to straighten hair. I deplore such an impression because I have always held myself out as a hair culturist. I grow hair.”


Nappily Ever After (2018)


Where to Watch: Netflix


A romantic comedy where the true love story has our heroine falling in love with her natural hair. Gorgeous ad exec Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan) is the perfect woman… a little too perfect. As we follow her journey from straight to blonde to bald to natural, we cheer Violet on as she shakes things up and gets what she really wants. Which is not necessarily the guy. A true feel-good movie.


Why We Love It:

  • It’s an empowering and non-judgmental message for women rocking whatever style they want- just so long as they know their natural hair is beautiful.
  • This movie is a brilliant illustration of how our attitudes toward natural hair impact the next generation.
  • Eye candy: fashion & hotties galore.
  • Oh, this one will cheer you up no matter how bad your day was.


Hair Love (2019)


Where to Watch: YouTube


Who knew you could laugh and cry and feel warm and fuzzy this much in less than 7 minutes? This Oscar-winning animated short film is well worth the watch- over and over again. Hair Love follows a young girl’s attempts to emulate her mother’s natural hairstyles- and her dad’s struggle to help her.


Why We Love It:

  • One of the purest love stories ever.
  • The animation is fabulous and adorable.
  • Issa Rae voices the mom.


Hair Tales (2022)


Where to Watch: Hulu


In conversation with Tracee Ellis Ross, beloved Black female celebrities share their life stories through their hairstyles. This intimate and inspiring series counts Ross and Oprah Winfrey among its executive producers. Guests span generations from Marsai Martin to Issa Rae to Ayanna Pressley and Winfrey.


Why We Love It:

  • Our favorites get real about what their natural hair journey was really like.
  • It’s truly inspiring. We see how each woman’s embrace of her crown lights her up as she makes her unique mark on her chosen industry.


Good Hair (2009)


Where to Watch: Amazon Prime


The harmful messaging that Black hair isn’t “good hair” starts young. When Chris Rock’s toddler asks him why she doesn’t have “good hair” he is prompted to take a deep dive into the state of Black hair. From barbershops to hair shows, the weave industry, to the economics behind relaxers and the health effects of perms, Rock takes us on a wild and informative ride. One thing is for sure: when it comes to Black hair, it’s never “just” a hairstyle. There is a wholllleee lot of context.


Why We Love It:

  • Chris Rock.
  • That infamous soda can in relaxer scene is… eye-opening.
  • Who profits from Black hair not being considered “good hair”? Rock raises this question economically, emotionally, health-wise, and in terms of professionalism and social capital. By the time Tracie Thoms says, “Natural hair is freedom” - you feel that.
  • Maya Angelou, Nia Long, Eve, and other greats share their perspectives in interview clips.


PICK (2021)


Where to Watch It: buy it on iTunes


This beautiful and heartbreaking short film won a whole slew of awards- and it’s easy to see why. Alliyah (Hazel Downey) had plans for her picture day hairstyle that didn’t work out. Showing up to her predominantly white school with her full, luscious afro seems to bring out the worst in many people around her. PICK is gorgeously shot and the teenage star packs quite an emotional punch into a mostly silent performance.


Why We Love It:

  • The cinematography is breathtaking, percussive, and unique. That glorious afro is always center stage.
  • So many layers to this story. You could watch it over and over again (I did) and pick up on new things every time.
  • Oh, the contrast. The hairstyles of the white classmates that are accepted without comment (even a blonde with braids and beads) really show the disparate weight and significance society puts on even children’s hair.


Bad Hair (2020)


Where to Watch: Hulu


Justin Simien, the writer & director of Dear White People, takes an all-star cast back to the 80s for this horror comedy about bloodthirsty weaves. When Zora (Vanessa Williams) takes over the production company she works at, Anna Bludso (Elle Lorraine), an aspiring music TV host, quickly learns that with her natural hair, she’ll never get promoted despite all her talent and good ideas. So she goes and gets a weave installed… but at what cost?


Why We Love It:

  • Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox, Kelly Rowland, Usher, and James Van Der Beek are in it.
  • The goriest scenes in this movie are a chemical burn from a relaxer and a weave being sewn in… So, it’s not the demon hair monster that makes you cringe in fear, but something that countless Black women have been told they must do to advance professionally. Says a lot, doesn’t it?
  • After that painful weave installation, Anna is told over and over again that she is beautiful. She gets promoted. Her trifling ex looks her way again. Society often puts blame on women of color for going to extremes to change the texture of their hair… but in real, material ways, punishes them when they don’t. And rewards them when they do. It’s the system that’s killer- and, in the movie, everyone who tries to assimilate gets devoured and becomes killer themselves.


    Black Panther (2018)


    Where to Watch: rent or buy on Amazon Prime or iTunes


    Everyone had Wakanda fever when the first Black Panther movie came out. We fell in love with the powerful characters in this action-packed superhero story… and their hair. “We did a totally Afrocentric, natural hair movie,” Camille Friend, head of the Black Panther hair department told the New York Times. “There was not a pressing comb or relaxer on set. That wasn’t happening. We’re in a moment when people are feeling empowered about being Black. And that’s one thing you see when you watch ‘Black Panther.’ The hair helps communicate that.”


    Why We Love It:

    • Black Superhero Excellence.
    • Absolutely phenomenal cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, Michael B. Jordon, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett… the list goes on.
    • We want to live in Wakanda: the gorgeous, wealthy, technologically advanced homeland in the movie.


      Black-ish Season 6 Episode 11: Hair Day (2019)


      Where to Watch: Hulu


      Diane (Marsai Martin) grapples with whether to relax or not to relax and everyone has an opinion. Luckily, she has her mom (Tracee Ellis Ross) to support her. “There is no such thing as the wrong choice,” Bo tells Diane. “And despite what the world tells us, all Black hair is beautiful.”


      Why We Love It:

      • Jill Scott plays Diane’s hairstylist!
      • The fabulous musical numbers. Is there anything Marsai Martin can’t do?
      • The humorous salon depiction. Bo and Diane show up 35 minutes after their scheduled appointment and are told they are “early.” Everyone weighing in on your style. Your stylist as your therapist.


      Hair Power: Me and My Afro (2020)


      Where to Watch: BET+


      Through a series of interviews, this documentary covers the historical and cultural significance of Black natural hairstyles in the UK. “We lost so much documentation and we lost so much history through slavery and colonialism. There are archives where we don’t exist,” says Shahira, a junior content editor and one of the interview subjects in the documentary. “...A lot of our ancestors weren’t even recorded as born. So, our hair is our history. It’s part of who we are. I feel like we can in a way go back and remember our ancestors in a beautiful way.”


      Why We Love It:

      • Emma Dabiri, a writer & historian, does an extraordinary job of contextualizing the many interviews in Black hair politics and history.
      • The beauty and diversity of natural Black hairstyles are celebrated throughout this documentary.

      ***PS There were some natural hair classics we couldn’t find anywhere to stream! DM us if you know where to stream:

      • Hair Stories (2000)
      • My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage (2007)
      • The Hair Revolution (2018)

      If you’re ready to start your natural hair journey, Root22Serum will be your best friend. Make sure you’re following @vigorroots for scalp care tips and tricks.

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