The hot new trend in fatherhood, according to the New York Times, is a super-exclusive 45-minute course on the Upper West Side of New York City called “Dad Braiding 101.” Welcome to the Thursday Style section!

At “Dad Braiding 101,” led by a person named Cozy Friedman, groups of very white, very helpless men, accompanied by their grumpy daughters, learn a set of extremely easy skills that I picked up from an illustrated book at the age of 7: the course includes “brushing and detangling techniques,” ponytails, pony-braids, and the braided bun, the last of which, I will allow, is kind of tricky. Apparently “Frozen fever never thawed,” and braids are an absolute must for any 3-to-9-year-old girl worth her salt.

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“Dads want to learn. I hear it all the time. But you can see right away on the playground whose hair was done by her dad. We’ve really had to start with the basics here,” Friedman told the Times. Acronyms are involved.

For the clueless, Ms. Friedman offered some “cheats,” like tackling tangles with the acronym DAD: Distract (hand the kid an iPad), Arrange (divide hair into manageable sections) and Detangle (a spritz or two of detangling spray doesn’t hurt).

How can a simple task be so difficult? Why do I feel like I’m going to start crying?

“With boys you just part it one way or the other way,” said Ricky Zinn, a clothing manufacturer who brushed the glossy locks of Chayse, 5, with delicate concentration. “With her, it’s up, down, one braid, two braids. I grew up with brothers, so I don’t know anything about it. My default is the ponytail, and I’m not even good at that.”

Power through it, Ricky! Be more like this single father of three, who really has his braid game down and should probably be spending his free time not in Dad Braiding 101:

John Bown, a single dad to three girls, who works in sales and trading, plaited the hair of Ava, 7, so neatly, he could have taught the class. “Oh, she’s my youngest, that’s why,” he said humbly. Ava had her own thoughts on the matter: “He needs to learn to not pull my hair so hard.”

Ugh, do it yourself then, Ava!!!


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

Image via Paramount Pictures