FROM tying ponytails to fashioning plaits, dads have been learning the basics of how to produce beautiful hairstyles for their daughters at a new workshop.

At the same time as helping dads to style hair, the weekly sessions are aimed at “challenging stereotypes” and “creating communities.”

This is the latest activity to be launched by Rammy Men’s Dads and Kids group, which was set up about one month ago to run crafts, den building and other hobbies “that dads generally veer away from.”

Another key focus is giving dads an opportunity to engage with their children and other dads in an environment outside of the home.

Dad-of-three Daniel Fahy, who runs the group, said: “I had done bunches and ponytails for years, which was fine, but it became apparent that I needed to expand my skills when my three-year-old girl Romilla was invited to a Frozen party; she wanted 'Anna plaits'. Next thing, my daughter Tara, aged eight, wanted them too. My 11-year-old daughter, Imani, taught me.

“Around that time someone mentioned a hair school and, of course, that resonated."

York-based The Yorkey Dads, a monthly hair school which teaches fathers new techniques and designs, was Rammy Men's inspiration.

In mid-December, volunteer-run and non-profit organisation Rammy Men posted a video about Yorkey Dads, describing it as “a great initiative to help men support one another and get closer to their daughters #ChallengingStereotypes #CreatingCommunities.”

Dad Iain Haslam commented at the time: “As a single dad and main parent, I can just about do a ponytail for my daughter. When she was much younger I would use the nozzle from the hoover with a bobble to help.”

Mr Fahy said: “Dads are enthusiastic but they need guidance and opportunity.

“As children we are discouraged from playing with dolls, as teens and young men we will ridicule each other for showing interest in household stuff, as older men we are very aware that showing too much interest in children becomes suspicious. We hope that this group will break down barriers.”

Mr Fahy, aged 42 and who lives in Stubbins, said: “One of the things the community really wanted was something for dads to do that was not football or Lego. This does not really exist otherwise.

"The group has been very well received. It is a very easy, relaxed environment. We want men to know that this is an open door. "

Visitors to the first session on Sunday were busy combing, brushing and braiding their daughters’ hair into various styles, with tutorials provided by Zoe Lawrence, of JJs Barbers Ramsbottom.

More male volunteers are needed to help run the Dads and Kids sessions, which are aimed at children aged four to 14, and held at St Philip's Church hall in Chatterton Road, at 11.30am and 1.30pm on Sundays. The hair styling sessions take place during the afternoon groups.

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