oprah-chris-475x350.jpg Chris Rock has become a mane attraction. His controversial docufilm “Good Hair” explores the colloquial term embraced by Black America to describe their approval or admiration of the manageability of a man or woman’s hair texture. ESSENCE.com chats with the funnyman about the great lengths that Black women go through to care for their crown of glory.

ESSENCE.COM: As a kid, when everybody hated Chris, what did the girls’ hair look like that you were attracted to?
I’m 44, so I was too young to have ever experienced the Afro. Really, everybody’s hair was straight–kind of.

ESSENCE.COM: (Laughs.) And of course, now we have weaves…
The weave is just an extension of the relaxer, the ultimate permanent relaxer. A relaxer is kind of what Cinderella had to deal with: you had to get home before midnight, or you know what will happen. See the weave allows you to stay out after midnight. You don’t have to run home before things revert back to normal anymore–and you can get the prince! The younger girls are not trying to hide the fact that they have a weave. They put it on the same way they put on boots–it’s part of the arsenal. I got my Manolo Blahniks, my weave…

ESSENCE.COM: So in the end, is there an inherent criticism about us in “Good Hair” or an inherent celebration?
All of the above. I mean, there are things in there you don’t know. Even Black people are going to learn something. So, on that level, there is some message or whatever. But I didn’t set out to send a message. I shoot movies for entertainment.

GALLERY: See Chris Rock’s most memorable moments from his “Good Hair”  promo tour >>

“Good Hair” is in theaters everywhere on Friday, October, October 23.