At a recent gathering at Daytona State College, a group of men — fathers, stepfathers and even a grandfather — huddled over tiny fingernails and twisted pipe cleaners into festive spider shapes, all in the name of the little girls they love.
Daddy Daughter Hair Factory is an organization that puts together hair classes for dads. It was started by Philippe Morgese, a single father who knows that, when it comes to the art of hair and nail care, it can be tough for dudes to relate.
From braids to a blow-out movement
Morgese says he came up with the idea for a hair class for dads last year.
“As a single father, I had no idea how to handle the hair properly and it was becoming a lot of work to care for my daughter,” he told CNN. “At the time, she was in love with the movie ‘Tangled,’ which only encouraged her to continue growing her hair.”
He learned how to braid, and before long his skills landed him on Tyra Banks’ show “FABLife.” The idea of a guy who actually knew how to deal with a young daughters’ mercurial hair desires opened the floodgates.
“It motivated lots of my guy friends to ask for help,” he said, “This planted the seed to create the class.”
A year later, Morgese says Daddy Daughter Hair Factory has hosted 33 classes around the country, with about a dozen dads teaching others the basics (and not-so-basics) of hair care. The classes are free, and SoCozy, a children’s hair product line, provides donated or discounted products for the cause.
More than mane maintenance
The result is an absolutely adorable and totally useful daddy-daughter experience. However, it’s also an opportunity for men to connect with each other over the challenges and joys of raising little girls.
“Most of the people that come to the class are just excited to have dad and daughter events to go to,” Morgese says. “A few of them have become really good at doing hair and this turns into a bonding activity for them. I love to see the relationships that are inspired by doing hair and it’s also a great way for other like-minded dads to connect. There have been lots of friendships formed in our classes.”
Men also use DDHF’s Facebook page to trade tips and brag on their newfound hair expertise.
“[It] serves as the hub for all of us, it’s where I share events and info, and fathers that share their attempts with hair,” Morgese says.
At the Daytona event, Morgese introduced a new tool for the fatherly arsenal: Manicures.
“This most recent event was the first of its kind,” Morgese says. “It was created because I already knew a few dads that said they would love to learn because their daughters love to wear nail polish.”