Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Styling a Black Girl's Hair Is No Job For Daddies!


My daughter, Nee, has absolutely no confidence in my ability to do her hair. Whenever I attempt to style it, she becomes more obnoxious than Rush Limbaugh.

Recently, my wife, KayEm, had to run an errand and I thought I would surprise her by combing and styling Nee’s hair (even though, Nee prefers KayEm to do her hair, it’s not a pleasant experience for either party. If you’ve ever bathed a cat, you can understand how these styling sessions go). I gathered all of the tools and materials and set-up a styling station at the kitchen table.

“Nee,” I said. “Come and sit down so Daddy can do your hair.” A looked of horror covered her face.

“No!” she yelled. “You’re NOT doing my hair.”

“C’mon,” I said. “Daddy, can do it. I’ll make you look beautiful.”

“NO!” she yelled again. “I want Mommy to do my hair.”

“But Mommy won’t be back for three weeks,” I said.

“I’ll wait,” she said as she crossed her arms and dug her heels into the ceramic tile.

When Nee was younger and couldn’t voice objections, I did her hair periodically. Although I had absolutely no experience, I think I managed to make her look presentable. I always stuck with my two default hairstyles: Afro with a head band or one single pony tail. Whenever I tried to get fancy, it was a disaster. Nee wound up with crooked parts down the middle of her head and two lopsided ponytails. Who knows what would have happened if I had attempted three.

Because of my hairstyling shortcomings, KayEm relieved me of this duty.

“I’ll handle Nee’s hair from now on,” she told me. “You just take care of the boys.”

“What’s wrong with the way I do her hair?” I asked. She smiled and gently patted me on the back.

“You just take care of the boys,” she repeated. “Because I don’t want my daughter going out looking crazy.”

“She’s my daughter, too,” I protested. “I would never let me little princess look crazy in public.”

“You’re right. She is your daughter too so we’ll let her decide,” said KayEm as she beckoned Nee over to us. “Who do you want to do your hair? Mommy or Daddy?”

“Mommy!” she said.

I was hurt. My little princess had rejected me in favor of cute hairstyles.

Nee is in third grade now and I know that things such as hairstyles and fashion are much more important to her now. In her world, it’s uncool to wear daddy-inspired hairstyles. I know my baby is growing, but I miss the days when a single ponytail was good enough.

Stay Strong,

Mocha Dad

About our MyBrownBaby contributor:
Mocha Dad, a.k.a. Fred G., is the founder of MochaDad.com, a blog he started to chronicle his life as a husband and father of three, and to counter the negative stereotypes surrounding black fatherhood. His goal is to give a firsthand account of a black father who is intimately involved in his children’s lives and motivate other fathers to be more actively engaged and involved with their children. This piece originally ran on MochaDad.com, where you can find many more of Fred's delightful stories on fatherhood, as well as his new e-book, Mocha Wisdom, Volume 1.

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  1. I'm sorry Mocha dad, but I remember when my dad would have to do my hair and it looked bad. I would have lopsided pony tails and I hated it when he tried to braid my hair. Nothing personal, but you will always be daddy, just let mommy do the hair.

  2. Cute story! I don't know...part of me thinks we (moms) enjoy being the Exalted Keeper of the Comb (spray bottle and barrette box). It's a rite of passage. Dads get to assemble bicycles and chase their wobbly riders down the block! See, it's a fair trade off. *Grimaces*

  3. Awwww. Who knows. Maybe things will change. Maybe you can ease your way back into her tresses by incorporating some of her baby dolls. Ask her to help you make them look like her =). Then, maybe once she sees you do your thang, she'll trust you again, lol. Then you can create styles on the baby doll and ask her if she likes them and would like you to make her look like the baby dolls =).

  4. You hang in there Mocha Dad, your little girl will need you for other things soon enough. No matter what, there are some things that ONLY a Daddy can handle. Let Mommy have the hair.. you've got bear hug/tickle/BBQ & car wash lessons to worry about. ;-D

  5. You must have been peeking through our windows because that's exactly what happens around my parts. I will commend you for your efforts as trying takes a lot of courage. My husband doesn't even try any more because he knows that princess will have no part of it (and she's 3).

  6. Dads just get no respect when it comes to hair. My son even complained that I didn't let him have a Mohawk.

  7. Sadly, I think my husband can relate, and our daughter (the one that has hair) is only 2 and won't let him go near her head of curls. He got a comb caught in there once and oh my goodness...let's just say another comb has never been allowed in the house since.


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