Exploring Beauty with "The Hair Dad"
October 6, 2020
Greg "The Hair Dad" Does his daughter's hair on YouTube!
A few years ago I heard about this guy, this dad, dubbed “The Hair Dad.” It was a viral story about a dad doing his daughter's hair. I remember thinking it was cool and I had some sweet, tender memories of my dad brushing my hair. There's an epic photo of this floating around somewhere in all of my things.
Years later, I was thinking about all the potential people that I would want to interview for this project. Wanting as much a variety of people that could be a part of this project as I could get, I reached out to the few men I know that actively do hair. I was unsuccessful in getting them to schedule an interview with me. So, when Greg said yes, I was stoked to have a male be a part of my project. Even though Greg wasn't a "professional" hairstylist with a clientele, working behind the chair I had a gut feeling he would be someone that would enrich this project.
I was so right.
At first, my conversation with Greg seemed like an average exchange with someone, talking about their story and what they're up to in their life.
But as we got more comfortable -- as I got more comfortable -- I was able to lean in and see him and really hear him and his precious heart...
The beauty industry means a lot to Greg. He used to enroll people into cosmetology school. During this process, one of the main questions he would ask was, “Why are you wanting to be in the cosmetology industry?” He said the main reason was that they wanted to help people feel good about themselves, to help others feel pretty.
Our conversation continued and I asked Greg a bold question that I probably wouldn’t ask just anyone. I said, "What's it like not having any hair?!"
Greg was immediately playful with me and said, "Wonderful!" He talked about how amazing and easy it has been since the day that he shaved it. He also mentioned that about once a year, he has dreams that he has a full head of hair and he feels so confident.
It reminded me of seven years ago when I shaved my head. It was such a fearless move! I wanted to do it, SO I DID IT... and the lessons of compassion and understanding how hair plays such a large role in our lives started flooding in.
Greg started doing his daughter's hair by cutting her bangs and as time went on, it began to grow like hair does. As he says, "I didn't want her to look like she was being raised by a single dad because she was being raised by a single dad." He wanted her to have the option of being whoever she wanted to be -- Tomboy, princess, whatever. At first, learning how to do even just a ponytail was hard for Greg. But he asked for help, persevered, and ran with it. His daughter liked him playing with her hair so it turned into a wonderful and fun opportunity for them to spend time together.
One huge take away I got from Greg was his desire for the equality of motherhood and fatherhood. He talked about how single mothers and single fathers are viewed very differently in society and wished that it could just be called “single parenthood.” However, it was this very thing that got him to go viral with doing his daughter's hair and this changed his life dramatically. He was all over the news with his story and soon people were asking him if he could show them how he did the hairstyles. He got a camera and now he makes Youtube videos.
The bond between a hairstylist and client can be something that is hard to describe, yet full of magic and wonder. I asked Greg what it's like to have that with his daughter. He talked about the connection and the example he is setting. He has shown her that he is gentle, even though he has a large body compared to her tiny stature.
Doing his daughter's hair has built trust between them.
I asked Greg what he thought people get wrong about the industry. He said that it takes a tremendous amount of training to get good at doing hair and when people say they don't want to spend money on it, it feels disrespectful. That's how they make their living.
To me, I see it as disrespectful to the craft and to stylists. People that are uniquely skilled and need to pay their bills should be able to charge and get paid a decent wage. Something that always seems to stay true to me is the outlook of: "That's out of my budget." Taking responsibility instead of pointing the finger, “Your price is too expensive."
Learning to charge my worth for my time and talent was one of the most challenging things to learn. I'm still not a master at it. It's something I see arising soon in other projects. It's not easy, yet it is necessary. And since I am on the topic, support your craft and artist friends by paying full price, if not more if you can, and don’t ask for a discount because you know them. It hurts and drains the relationship. If you cannot pay full price, maybe ask yourself, “How can I support this person to get more business because they are being so generous and not asking for full price?” Give out their business cards to your friends at lunch. Share their posts on social media. Talk about them to other people. Think about what you could trade with them. It goes a long way.
Greg reminded me of the importance of adaptability, learning to overcome challenges to be your best self, and to show up and serve the people in your life and humanity. I appreciated his story of saying ‘yes’ to supporting his daughter in her self expression and finding all the ways that he could help her do that. Greg wants to inspire people and I believe he does exactly that by leading with his heart. He believes that beauty is treating people how they should be treated.
I loved this time with Greg. I loved how he talked about his daughter and her beauty. It reminded me of how my dad talks about me -- in awe of her beauty and all that she is made of.
Also, I am grateful that I get to have a dad like that. I believe it's a massive reason why I am the way I am! Thanks DAD!!!
And thank you Greg for being so cool.
And thank you for all the moms that rock socks!!
Love and gratitude,
Greg's Beauty Statement: "Beauty to me is treating people the way you want to be treated and being treated the way you deserve.
I am beautiful because I think I am.
My daughter is beautiful because she makes herself that way, not because I make her that way."
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