Philippe Morgese a single dad from Florida decided to set up the Daddy Daughter Hair Factory last year to help other dads with things like doing their daughters hair and nails. Now the one off event, started a year ago, has turned into a series of classes which are frequented by dads, stepdads and grandfathers.
In an interview with The Metro Philippe says: "I can remember being clueless with Emma's hair in her younger years. As time went by, I learned so many things that made life easier for both of us. I knew starting a group like this would help make it more acceptable to reach out for help."
But more than that he wanted to create an opportunity for fathers and daughters to connect: "Fatherhood involvement is very important for childhood development, this is well known already. Hair and nail maintenance is part of life for everybody. Doing your daughter's hair is another way to connect, but it's more intimate than many of the other activities us dads normally do. This provides excellent one-on-one time which gives us the opportunity to discuss our day ahead and our dreams."
The idea of these events being that they are completely judgment free zones and Philippe describes that they can be quite emotional too, (I'm welling up just thinking about this, so hardly surprising!) "one story that always stands out was about a dad and his adopted daughter. They came to an event I was doing last December and he requested before the class if I could hang out afterwards and show them how to do a french braid, which I was happy to do. So him and a few of the other dads hung out after our basic maintenance class to learn the French braid and although their first attempts weren't that pretty, they picked it up pretty quick.
That's when I learned that his wife had recently passed away. The french braid was something the wife knew how to do and would do it for their daughter before every dance or cheer competition, it became a tradition for them. I believe that her father learning to french braid bought them one step closer to feeling normal, which helps greatly after the loss of a loved one. That story still brings tears to my eyes, it was powerful."
He hopes to continue growing the classes and has even created a website with the basics of hair care on it for dads who aren't local or needs more help and finished the interview by saying "the only rule is that the classes are free of charge. I don't want to prevent anyone from attending these events because of their financial situation."
And can I just say, this is the GREATEST THING EVER. I obviously don't have children so will probably be called up for saying this by a real mother, but I just love the whole thing. My Facebook newsfeed is often awash with quotes from angry mothers about how 'dads aren't babysitters, they're just parents' which I GET and totally agree with, but let's be honest, there are just certain things that they are going to struggle with, and this is one of them.
There's nothing in the world that makes me want to burst into hysterically soppy tears than seeing a dad with his little girl, and just look, here they are - how cool that they're getting this great time with their daughters. Three cheers for Philippe - bloody love this!!