Friday, December 16, 2011

Hair Memories: Males Helping You With Haircare?

I remember a few times as a kid where my mother hadn't braided my hair and sent me to my father's house in Brooklyn. I grew up Muslim and mostly had my hair covered, but my hair still had to be neatly groomed to fit a scarf over my head!

 Age 8 with one of my younger sisters, "N"
I've always had a lot of hair and it seemed to frighten my father whenever he had to manage it by either ponytails or braids, neither which he could do! Once when I was about 6, we stood in front of the full length mirror trying to pull all my hair back. I was annoyed because what he was doing was NOT how my mother or Nana did it; he was using Vaseline and water to slick my strands back, and by that I mean that he "sprinkled" water on my head with vaseline just sitting there on top; and I have no idea what he was trying to use as a ponytail holder. Am I doing this right? he kept asking. Eventually I shoo'd his hands out of my hair and took matters into my own hands and decided to do my own ponytail. Hey - it was better then him trying to deal with my hair!

To this day, my father does not deal with hair. My younger brothers have thick bouncy wavy/curly hair and he keeps it cut low; when one of my other sisters "A" - who has the same texture as mine but with larger curls - was younger, he would always ask me to put it in braids because he had no idea what to do with it ("A" also tried to convince my dad at age 10 to let her have a relaxer, and he would've had I not explained to him what a relaxer was). The point is my father seems mystified and bewildered about haircare with three girls, and while he marvels at how nice it looks, I will forever remember his attempts that could've made me bald.

Since I'm a "grown-up" now I do my own hair. Occasionally Mr. Smooth helps me wash and comb it, and he used to help me take my box braids and twists out. I told him that if we were to procreate, hair care for the rugrats would probably fall on me but that he needs to have some skills so that the poor children don't look back on their childhood pictures and remember that their dad did that to them.

Do any of you have memories of Dads or Uncles trying to do your hair? If you have kids, do you let their fathers or other males in the family tackle hair care? Share with us!


  1. My dad was actually decent with my hair! He used to wash it and deep condition it for me on weekends when my mother was studying (working on her PhD). He would usually put it in what I called "baby braids" though...5-6 chunky braids done on damp hair slathered with Pink Oil Moisturizer and barrettes on the ends. I actually preferred him doing my hair sometimes because, while my mom gave me cuter styles, my dad was WAY more gentle. Part of the reason I took over my hair when I was 9 was because I got tired of her trying to run brushes through my dry hair.

  2. @KB you're very lucky. I don't even like when my dad touches my hair now, he's so damn rough with those hands of his lol


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