Nia Long, Lenny Kravitz, Ashanti, Rev. Al Sharpton, Padma Lakshmi and Veronica Webb were among the celebrities who gathered for the preview of writer-producer Chris Rock's hair-raising documentary, hosted by The Cinema Society and Target. The film explores the impact of hair styles on the pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of the black community, and Rock uncovered one central theme.
"I learned that women really value their looks," Rock told us. "[Laughs] And there's no such thing as too much effort going into that."
Of course, there was lots of tress talk and coil coveting: "The old Lenny Kravitz dreadlocks, "Are You Gonna Go My Way," that was good hair," said Rock, who also divulged that he couldn't afford to maintain the Jheri curl he sported in 'New Jack City.'
While Rev. Al Sharpton, when asked which celebrity has the best hair, said "Since James [Brown] is gone, that would have to be me!"
Read on for more celebrity hair stories from Rock, Sharpton, Veronica Webb, Salt-N-Pepa, Wendy Williams and Ashanti.
On their most memorable hair moments:
"I had a Jheri curl. If you watch 'New Jack City,' Pookie had a Jheri curl. And its actually mine. Its not like I did it for the movie. It's my actual Jheri curl that I couldn't afford at the time and it had roots growing out."- Chris Rock
"I remember performing downtown in the city and it was like 85 degrees and for the performance my hair was bone straight. But when I came outside and got to the second song I had like a five feet afro thing going on." - Ashanti
"When I started [with hair]. You know James Brown was like a father to me and he convinced me to wear my hair like this. And I did it as a bonding thing because he's like the father I never had. And over the years it became known as my style, my way. But it really started with him. I was so proud to be like a version of James Brown. And then I grew up and it became my own style."- Rev. Al Sharpton
"When I first started in fashion, there were very few black models working. There was no makeup for us, but worse than that I used to get canceled off of jobs because the hairdresser couldn't do my hair."- Veronica Webb
"I don't really have one, but when I had the mushroom cut, everybody had it. But that was my natural hair. And you would wash it, blow dry it and go. I had plenty of hair. I don't perm it. I wear wigs because my hair is thin. Its not the hair that I want! And in that case, its bad hair. A lot of times we as black women categorize bad hair as nappy hair that needs to be permed. To me bad hair is hair that regardless of the texture...that's bad hair." - Wendy Williams
On the stigma of "good" hair:
"No one is satisfied with their looks. One thing we found out in creating the film is that Asian women have issues with hair, blondes...you find out how insecure white women are [about their hair]. While we made a film about 'good' hair and black women's hair, this film could've been created about any women, anywhere. " - Nelson George
On the longest she's spent getting hair styled:
"Six hours. I got my hair colored...got extensions and a cut." - Veronica Webb
On using the term "good" to describe her hair and others using that term to describe her strands:
"Never. People always use to say that about me but I thought it was unfair to those who didn't have hair like mine." - Cheryl James ("Salt" of "Salt-N-Pepa")
On the meaning of "good" hair:
"Hair that is manageable, easy to wash, and doesn't need a relaxer to take care of it." - Sandra Denton ("Pepa" of "Salt-N-Pepa")