Set in the late 1980s, Bad Hair follows a young Black woman’s obsession with achieving mainstream success at any cost. Elle Lorraine (Insecure) stars as as an aspiring video jockey who just can't seem to catch her big break, and she has the correct suspicion that her stalled career has everything to do with her natural hair. In search of a remedy, our heroine heads to her nearest hair salon, encountering a mysterious stylist (played by Laverne Cox) peddling bundles of hair that she swears are infused with magic. As it turns out, she's right; once installed, the weave does open doors. But it also leaves our leading lady vulnerable to an ancient curse tied directly to her new 'do.
"Forget about where it's from," Cox coos reassuringly as she braids and sews the bundles into the heroine's head. "Let's focus on where it's going."
The horror flick may be genuinely scary, but it's also a satirical vehicle for the ongoing discussion about natural hair discrimination outside and within the Black community. For years, many Black women endured painful and damaging chemical processes like relaxers and texturizers just so that our hair could be "presentable" or "manageable," not fully understanding that our skewed perception of our natural locks was often a result of internalized anti-Blackness. Thankfully, the rise of the natural hair movement over the last decade has marked a cultural shift towards styles that embrace of our kinks and curls. While sew-ins and wigs are still very much a thing, they're seen more as protective styling to make sure that our natural hair grows well, rather than the go-to standard of beauty.
But beyond the underlying message of Bad Hair, you might be swayed to tune in to the film because of its all-star cast. The official trailer, which was released today, is really a who's who of Black Hollywood. Lorraine is joined by Vanessa Williams, Lena Waithe, Jay Pharoah, Blair Underwood, Usher, and Kelly Rowland.
Bad Hair premieres on Hulu on October 23. Be right back — shaving my head again.