Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Especially as a new parent, figuring out the very basics of raising another human feels like a full-time job. As kids start to grow up, new and unexpected challenges emerge. At this point, we’ve more or less mastered the skill of figuring out how to do things as we’re doing them – even so, if a seasoned expert offers to point us in the right direction, we’re in no position to turn it down.
Al Oldham, owner of Taylor & Burton Salon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, knows hair. For over 20 years, Oldham has spent his time perfecting the art of dying, coloring, cutting, and styling hair. Though the salon professional spends the majority of his day behind the chair, an earnest question from one of his clients sparked a touching idea. The client, a father of a young girl, asked Oldham for advice on styling her hair.
“And then I thought, ‘there’s got to be other dads out there who need something like this,’” Oldham told TMJ4. “So I just made up a quick flyer and put the word out and the class filled up.”
As the dads filed in, Oldham realized that many of them appeared apprehensive. These men spent the majority of their lives catering to their own hair, which required little more than washing and the occasional trim. Working on their daughter’s hair was brand new territory for most of the dads in attendance, but with Oldham’s expert guidance, apprehension quickly turned to excitement.
Oldham teaches regular dad-kid hair classes after his initial success, and the thrill of watching dads build confidence in their skills never dulls for their proud teacher. Each class costs $40 and includes both the small-group instruction and a gift bag filled with everything the dads may need to practice their skills at home.
“It’s so cool to see them learn to do a two-strand braid, or a fishtail braid, which is a challenge,” Oldham proudly told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And when they do it, they’re very proud. The first thing they do is they go home, and they demonstrate it to their wife like, ‘look what I did!’”