Nfld. & Labrador

New workshop gives dads a crash course on how to do their daughters' hair

"I think that it's important for dads to carry as much as the load as the moms," said one father who signed up to learn how to do buns and pigtail braids.

Dads say styling hair shouldn't just be a mom thing

Matthew Middleton said he had a wonderful day doing his daughter Miranda's hair. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

There were a few screeches and a handful of pained looks, but other than that it was nothing but smiles as dads gathered Sunday afternoon to take a crash course on how to style their daughters' hair. 

"So far I have learned how to do a bun and pigtail braids," said Matthew Middleton, with a proud smile on his face. 

Middleton was just one out of about four dads who signed up for the daddy/daughter hair workshop hosted at Lee York Kids.

He says his wife normally handles his oldest daughter's hair because she can get it done more quickly. But with another baby girl at home, he said he knows those braiding skills might come in handy. 

"I think that it's important for dads to carry as much as the load as the moms," he said.

"I don't have any experience with doing anything more than comb, part, done. So this is really giving me a bit more professional insight as to what I am supposed to be doing with all that hair."

It's not all fun and games. Miranda says sometimes it hurts a little when her dad does her hair — but he is getting better. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

His six-year-old daughter Miranda said her dad is getting better.

"Sometimes it hurts, but I think it is really cool that he is learning how to do a bun," she said. 

"My daddy is my favourite."

'It's something a lot of men don't think about'

It's those type of bonding moments that led to the start of the course.

Kat Clifton, a designer and assistant at event sponsor the Little Chic Bowtique and one of the workshop instructors, said she has fond memories of her dad doing her hair as a little girl and wanted others to have the same experience. 

One of the participants rocking braided "space buns" after her dad mastered the technique. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

"When I was about five years old my dad did my hair for school and that day I told everyone, 'My daddy did my hair today,' and it stuck with me forever," she said.

"I just remember how special it was to connect with him just through doing my hair. I think it's something a lot of men don't think about and they could use a little help with that."

On top of it being a good bonding experience, Clifton said that teaching fathers some tips and tricks to do hair helps mothers out too. 

"The stigma with mom always doing the girly stuff needs to go."

Lee York Kids owner Jennifer Collins hosted the event at her café and indoor playground. She said there was a lot of interest in the event and not just from the fathers. 

Jennifer Collins and her son stand behind the counter in the café, which doubles as an indoor playground. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

"Even moms just saying they had never really been taught how to do hair and they wanted to register," Collins said. 

Collins said she also heard from parents who have children who identify as a different gender and wanted to get some advice on some styling techniques. 

She plans on hosting another hair workshop sometime in the fall, with anyone welcome to register.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meg Roberts is a video journalist with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, based in St. John's. Email her at meg.roberts@cbc.ca.

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