This dad is getting schooled by a stylist in the fine art of plaiting and braiding a little girl’s hair. (Photo: Calli Huebl-Bodilis/Envogue Salon)
Let’s hear it for modern fathers, who aren’t afraid to take on many tasks once mostly handled by moms, such as changing diapers, doing loads of household laundry, and even volunteering to be a classroom parent.
But one domestic duty is still mainly the province of mothers: taking care of a young daughter’s hair. That might change, however, thanks to a popular and groundbreaking event designed to bring fathers and their little girls together to master braids, buns, and ponytails.
The event, called Beer and Braids, has been held every few months at the Envogue Salon in downtown Denver since February 2015. After closing up shop early on a weekday evening, the two-year-old salon will host up to six dads (and as many daughters as they want to bring) at a time. Every father gets one-on-one hair “coaching” with one of the salon stylists, getting schooled in brushing, parting, plaiting, barrettes, and scrunchies.
“Each dad learns hands-on how to do three different hairstyles, which we break down step by step and then let them try it on their daughters,” Calli Huebl-Bodilis, the salon’s owner, tells Yahoo Parenting. “The fathers take direction very well. We tell them to grab it tighter, and hold this part here. This is a generation of dads who want to be more involved in their girls’ lives, and their daughters love it, too.”
These dads clearly got the whole two-braid thing exactly right. (Photo: Calli Huebl-Bodilis/Envogue Salon)
The idea for Beer and Braids came from Huebl-Bodilis’s husband, Stephan, who told her about a co-worker of his who came in late to work because his wife was away. He had to style his daughter’s hair for school that morning — but he had no idea what he was doing. “My husband asked his co-worker if he would consider going to a class to learn how to do her hair, and he said yes because he wanted to know how to do it right,” recalls Huebl-Bodilis.
That co-worker wasn’t the only father willing to spend a few hours mastering the difference between a high and low ponytail. The first Beer and Braids attracted a full house of six dads, including some divorced and single fathers, says Huebl-Bodilis. To make them feel more comfortable in a salon, she added a contest at the end of the two-hour event, when each daughter, ranging from preschoolers to tweens, would model her dad’s best style try. “The winning dad gets to go home with a six-pack; that’s where the beer comes in,” she says.
Beer and Braids has been such a hit, the salon is adding more dates and hoping to turn it into a monthly event that works as an unconventional way for fathers and daughters to bond and spend more time together. “The girls often get dressed up before coming in, and after their hair is done, they’ll go out to eat with their dad and make a special night of it,” she says.
“They all leave with the biggest smiles on their faces, and they think it’s cool that their dads get to do their hair,” adds Huebl-Bodilis.