British Columbia·Point of View

When it comes to our daughters' hair, sometimes father doesn't know best

Even a simple pony tail is outside my wheelhouse. Unless mom steps in, my daughter ends up going through the world looking like Mowgli or Joey Ramone. I needed professional help.

When I heard about a father-daughter hair styling class at a Vancouver salon, I said, 'sign me up'

Ross Bragg (grey shirt) styles the hair of his young daughter, Frankie. At a recent father-daughter hair styling class in Vancouver, some of Bragg's efforts were more successful than others. (Ross Bragg)

Ross Bragg is story producer with CBC Radio One's On The Coast.

When it comes to Dads and their struggle to style their daughters' hair — well, it's a thing.

I face it with my daughter, Frankie.

She is almost two and has beautiful black hair that goes down to her shoulders.

But even a simple pony tail is outside my wheelhouse. Unless mom steps in, she ends up going through the world looking like Mowgli or Joey Ramone.

So when I heard about a father-daughter hair styling class at a Vancouver salon, I said "sign me up."

"We're going to teach you how to brush your kid's hair without hurting them, teach you how to do a ponytail, and then teach you how to do a bun, and then we're going to teach you how to braid," Simona Heger of Locket Hair Salon explained to my class.

No more collecting yogurt and bark chips

We practised using the hair of Heger's "little one," Judy.

Judy is not a real girl: she's a mannequin head on a metal pole with long hair. She didn't seem to mind having her hair combed and pulled into a elastic while I practised ponytails.

Judy the mannequin head was a valuable teaching at Locket Hair Salon. (Ross Bragg)

Frankie had a different reaction, but aside from one primal scream for Mom, I think I did okay.

I created something stylish with a nice little swirl at the top and, most importantly, something functional. It wouldn't be this big flop of hair collecting yogurt and bark chips from the playground.

Things didn't go as well with the French braid.

Frankie basically fired me and I was relegated to Judy.

The showdown

Then, it was competition time. We dads got our chance to show off what we learned in a little competition.

The atmosphere was tense — possibly because it was almost nap time — but Heger and the gang at Locket started piling on the fishy crackers and blaring the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack to keep things under control.

Frankie and I didn't win. Team Nigel and Ruby took home a six-pack of beer for Nigel and a bag of hair ties for Ruby.

Staff at Locket Hair Salon in Vancouver assist local dads with the mysteries of their daughters' hair. (Ross Bragg)

To be fair, Nigel used to be a metalhead with hair down to his waist. Myself, I've been bald since about then. So he has an experience advantage when it comes to long hair.

But really, I feel like we were all winners.

I learned some pro tips and hair hacks that don't involve vacuum cleaners or duck tape.

And I got Sunday with my daughter eating fishy crackers and listening to Beauty and the Beast.

Listen to the full story:

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

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