Male Spouse, Patrick Donaldson, shares a story about parents with disabilities.
As a male military spouse and Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), learning to properly care for my daughter's hair has been a challenging and rewarding experience.
Doing my hair is simple. I've been cutting my own hair since my Air Force Academy days. I don't waste time worrying about my hair style anymore, I just shave it all off. I cut as low as my shears will allow me to and then I use my Norelco face shaver to shave the sides and back of my head. My haircuts are free and done in 15 minutes, but I could not imagine being able to perfect doing my daughter's hair in the same amount of time.
The big question for me used to be, "How do I do this?" How do I quickly do my daughter's hair in a way that looks nice and still allows me to get her to school on time?
The answer: Twists. I just can't get my hands to cooporate for braids and plaits, so I just stick to twists.
Let me give a little more background here...
Doing my daughter's hair has never really been a problem for me. I've been doing her hair since she was an infant. I've done my wife's hair a few times as well. When I say "done my wife's hair", I mean that I washed, put in a perm or permanent (which is really TEMPORARY by nature), and dried her hair but did no real styling. With my daughter, it's all styling since mom washes my daughter's hair on weekends (no perms, yet).
What was challenging about doing my wife's hair was me getting over the fear of causing her hair to fall out by messing up a perm. I got over the fear by working with my wife, communicating A LOT, asking questions every step of the perm, until we got to the end - clean, straight* hair.
SIDEBAR: The textures of black and white hair are very different and you should consider what water does to different hair textures. Generally, black hair is naturally curly or "kinky", while white hair tends to be straight(er). When black hair gets wet, it gets MORE curly, while white hair tends to get more straight. Perms or "Permanents" are used to make any hair texture curly with the help of chemicals and based on the styling done. Generally, perms make black hair straight before any styling is applied. Why does any of this matter? Your ability to manage and style the hair will depend on its texture. So, the "twists" style may not be as easy to do with white hair.
During the school year, I get to work on perfecting a morning routine that includes working a little magic on my daughter's hair. I have to oil*, brush and style my daughter's hair each morning before I take her to school. It sounds like a lot, but I get it done in 5-7 minutes.
SIDEBAR: Again, we must look at the differences in hair textures. Black hair thrives on oils, but oil is death to white hair. Oiling or "greasing" my daughter's scalp actually makes her hair healthier than if her hair is left dry.
Now, writing a description of the twists hairstyle is going to be odd for me. It is much easier to show how I do it. But here goes nothing...
I start by taking a section of my daughter's hair and oiling it. Then, I brush the hair section a few times until the oil covers the ssection of her scalp. Next, I place an elastic band (no rubber bands - they tear out hair) around the base of the hair section. Then, I split the hair section into two equal sections and begin twisting the two sections around one another from the head to the end of the hair. Finally, I place a hair barrette on the end of the twist. I repeat this process about 6 more times and I'm done.
Here are some pictures of me and my daughter on the second day of school for 2012. I'm finishing her hair before we move into the next step of our morning routine - breakfast.
This is one of the huge perks of being a stay-at-home-dad. I get to spend this time with my daughter, interacting with her and doing her hair. These are things she doesn't even think about now, but I'm sure she will remember when she's older. Me, too.
Taurus James is the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Taurus is a 20-year civilian male military spouse and stay-at-home-dad. He is also a minister and composer of Moody instruMental Music. Taurus is a professional IT Consultant and Web Developer, and he built and maintains the Machospouse.com website for free. Find out more about Taurus through his blog: