Mothers are usually known for doing their daughters’ hair, but that’s not the case in Darious Bland’s household.
Bland, a single dad from Alabama, initially struggled mightily when it came to styling his child’s locks. But, he soon overcame the obstacle and now wants to help other dads do the same through hair tutorials and workshops. Bland says the workshops not only help dads learn how to do their daughters’ hair, but also gives them a way a bond with their daughters.
It’s been a long journey for Bland, though. Even something as simple as a ponytail proved a huge challenge for him initially.
“My mom would style [his daughter’s] hair for the longest,” Bland said. “Then, one day, my mom was MIA and I couldn’t do a ponytail. So, I knew I had to learn at least the basics.”
So, he sought help from family and friends and, through trial and error, eventually learned which products were best and how to do different styles.
“My daughter actually prefers me to do her hair above anyone else now,” Bland said
Bland said a business trip showed him just how much his daughter had come to appreciate him doing her hair.
“My mom called … and she told me that my daughter told her, ‘That’s not how my daddy does it. It’s not coming out right. Call my daddy,” Bland said.
Bland’s first workshop featured six single dads and was self-funded. According to him, the class turned out “perfect.”
The class is free to all participants, but Bland plans to eventually hold fundraisers in his community.
“My daughter would get many compliments from various women about her hair while we would be out, only for her to say, ‘My daddy did my hair,’” Bland said. “The looks the women gave me was the look of complete astonishment. They would tell me about the time daddy did [their] hair as if it was a horror story.
“So, I figured if I knew I was in this position before that other men would be, too, and if I wanted to learn then so would they.”
Even though Bland has the hang of doing his daughter’s hair, he still is improving his skills and learning new hairstyles. He also wants to gain knowledge about different hair products to use on his daughter’s hair.
“I’m actually still learning and reinventing my skills,” Bland said. “I first started out doing the basics and it took an entire summer to learn to mature my skills. The things I learned first were parting, twisting and how to put rubber bands and hair bows on. … I have learned how to flat twist, do bantu knots, and I want to learn to braid. Also learning what types of products, brushes, and combs to use are things I learned along the way.”
Bland is planning to take his workshops on the road to help fathers everywhere learn to style their little girls’ hair with ease.