Hair Love: The Endearing Oscar-Winning Short Film

Hair Love is an Oscar-winning, short film that conveys a beautiful message. Keep reading to find out more about this animated tale.
Hair Love: The Endearing Oscar-Winning Short Film
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Hair Love is an animated Oscar-winning short film written and directed by Matthew A Cherry. Also, it was co-produced with Karen Rupert Toliver. Both audiences and film critics have given very positive reactions to this short film. In fact, it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2020. 

This short film, which is only seven minutes long, hooks its audiences and makes everyone who watches it fall in love with it. So, what are you waiting for? Watch this Oscar-winning short film full of tenderness and family love!

Hair Love: an Oscar-winning short film

Hair Love stars an African-American family consisting of a mother, father, and their seven-year-old daughter Zuri. During the first scene, sweet little Zuri decides to comb her voluminous and curly hair. To do so, she follows some instructional videos created by her own mother. However, despite her efforts, she fails to successfully comb her hair.

hair love

That’s when her father notices the damage his daughter has done to her hair. So, he immediately tries to solve the problem. However, he soon realizes that combing his daughter’s hair isn’t as simple of a task as he originally thought. He even starts to think that the little girl’s hair can’t be tamed.

This situation makes both Zuri and her father feel sad and they’re about to give up. Luckily, they come with a great idea: to follow the step-by-step instructions from the video that Zuri’s mom had previously recorded. Success! After a lot of effort and dedication, the father manages to give his daughter a beautiful hairstyle!

The most emotional part of this Oscar-winning short film comes during the last scene. In this scene, we see Zuri and her father entering a hospital room to visit Zuri’s mother who has cancer. And, because of chemotherapy, she doesn’t have any hair. Lastly, the family members hug each other and happily go home together. 

Lessons behind this Oscar-winning short film

There are many lessons hidden inside of Hair Love’s beautiful story. One of the main ones is that every person should love their hair, regardless of what it looks like. This is a message of self-acceptance and helps people with all hair types claim their own identity.

In addition, with Zuri as the protagonist, the creator of this film is working to normalize and give visibility to natural African hair. Generally, this topic is rarely presented in cartoons.

In addition, through the different scenes, we see the value of persistence and effort. With that perseverance and motivation, the father is finally able to comb his daughter’s hair correctly.

oscar winning short film

Hair Love’s great success

There’s no doubt that Hair Love has had great success and has impacted society. However, what many people don’t know is that this animated film was made possible by donations from people on Kickstarter. In fact, it raised even more money than people expected. 

In addition, audiences and critics like Hair Love so much at its premier that they also published a book telling this wonderful story. Vashti Harrison completed the illustrations for it.

Also, we know, the streaming service, HBO Max, has approved the creation of a series called Young Love. And, it’s inspired by this already famous and popular animated short film. The adventures of little Zuri and her family are sure to give you a lot to talk about!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cherry, M, A. (2019). Hair love: A celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. UK: Penguin Books.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.