Scott Dry faked his way through his first French braid and learned that the trick to a perfect bun is using more "whatever they're called" — bobby pins.
By the end of class, his smiling six-year-old daughter was itching to race home and show Mom that Daddy did her hairdo.
"I wouldn't say I'm an expert," says Dry, a 43-year-old married father of two.
"I'll never be as good as Mom. I'm OK with that."
Dry was one of 15 fathers who recently took part in a father-daughter hair workshop at the Luna salon in Chestermere, a bedroom community east of Calgary.
It's one of several such classes that have popped up in Canada in the last few months, part of a global trend that started last year.
"Dads are getting a little bit more involved with their daughters and doing their hair," says Luna manager, Reyse Van Gelder.
A Facebook post about the fad caught her eye, so she put together the salon's first free class last October. Another followed in March and another is anticipated for this summer.
And when some moms also in need of hairstyling skills asked to join this year, Van Gelder started a mother-daughter class too. It was held separately from the fathers' class so the men wouldn't feel overwhelmed.
The dads were given lessons on everything from how to brush hair without the squealing and tears to creating fancy French and fish-tail braids.
And not all of them had clumsy fingers.
"I also met a dad who knew how to French braid better than I could, so it was like, 'Why are you even here?'"
For some of the men, Van Gelder says, it was simply a fun way to bond with their daughters.
All the girls left with goody bags filled with elastics, brushes, bows and barrettes.
The father-daughter hair craze — spawning classes as far away as Australia and Europe — even made waves in a heartwarming Super Bowl commercial in February. A hair care product company showed three players in the National Football League attempting to do their young daughters' hair with their rookie fingers.
"I don't know why they make these barrettes so complicated for guys," Pittsburgh Steeler Deangelo Williams says in the ad, as he struggles to wrap a pink bobbled elastic around the end of a braid.
The scene is likely to be typical in many father-daughter hair classes, some of which have morphed into fundraising events with names like "Beer and Braids." The best hairstyling dad usually takes home a six-pack.
In a February class at the Coiffure D salon in Trois-Rivieres, Que., one father reportedly confessed to using a vacuum cleaner at home to suck his daughter's hair into a ponytail. He promised to never do it again.
"There's so much that's targeted towards moms," says Eva Shortt, an event planner who organized a "Hair 101: Dad & Daughter Hairstyling" class at Whipper Snipperz Cuts for Kids in Guelph, Ont., last winter.
She says many of the dads in the class were big and tough guys, some with tattoos.
"They were just so sweet with their daughters. It was amazing to see," Shortt says.
"I definitely want to do it again."