Live

Watch CBSN Live

Alexis Ohanian says he joined natural hair Facebook groups to learn how to do his daughter's hair

Serena Williams's husband, the tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, opened up on Twitter about learning how to do their young daughter Alexis Olympia's hair. "Just applied to join 4 private Natural Hair facebook groups," the new dad tweeted. "I hope they don't auto-reject my application when they see my profile photo,  I told them it was to keep getting better at doing my daughter's hair."

It's unclear how natural hair groups responded when they saw a white man was seeking entry into their private pages. Ohanian, however sparked a conversation on Twitter about fathers learning how to care for their daughters' natural hair.

Several dads shared photos of their hair masterpieces — and others of their hair fails. One person asked Ohanian if he has ever read former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry's popular book "Hair Love," which highlights the relationship between a black father and daughter.

Ohanian said he has, in fact, read the book on love and self-confidence. Cherry also joined the Twitter thread, writing: "I do really think you all would enjoy it. It's really about what parents are willing to do when their kids ask them to do something and they'll do whatever it takes to figure it out for them."

Some moms also joined in on the discussion, giving advice and inviting Ohanian and his daughter to join them on their hair journeys. 

"There are a ton of excellent YouTube vids; I'll bet there are also local meetups," one dad suggested. "BUT ... I'll also bet that you could go to the salon once a week with your daughter (date!) and they'll teach you. I have two daughters and have been too reliant on YouTube. Godspeeed!"

"You are an amazing dad, and there is so much that is said in this simple gesture. This is more than hair. This is you saying I care about my little girl. Hair is typically an important thing in a girls' life. This is you showing her you value her interests," one Twitter user wrote.

"Especially in a little black girl's life," another person replied. "We don't have 'wash-and-wear' hair, or 'sleep-and-wear-and-just-shake-it-out' hair or 'swim-and-wear' hair. It requires A LOT of maintenance. Bless you for taking that on and for caring."

Ohanian and Williams regularly post adorable photos of their daughter on her own Instagram. They have posted about Olympia's hair before, sharing a cute photo of the toddler with a new hairdo. "My momma did something called 'laying down my baby hair?' But she did it with a tooth brush. I have a lot to learn," the caption read.

Ohanian has been a very involved father ever since Alexis Olympia was born in 2017. The Reddit founder and venture capitalist was vocal about taking off the full 16 paid weeks available to him when his daughter was born in 2017. He then became a champion for parental leave, pushing for nationwide legislation and launching a campaign on the issue with Dove Men+Care in 2019. The campaign aimed to give 200 grants of $5,000 apiece to expecting fathers who otherwise couldn't take paternity leave. Ohanian also said he will lobby Congress later this year to pass a federal leave law.

2019 Hopman Cup - Day 6
Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams, holds their daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. as Williams competes in women's singles at the 2019 Hopman Cup on Jan. 3, 2019 in Perth, Australia. Getty Images