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Local fathers bond with their daughters while learning how to braid

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NEW PALESTINE, Ind. – A stay-at-home dad is using braiding to encourage father-daughter relationships in central Indiana.

Josh Wikel of “Grateful Dad Braids” started classes to teach other dads how to braid their daughters’ hair.

Wikel taught himself how to braid from watching YouTube videos, because he wanted to send his daughter out with more than what he calls “dad hair,” or the basic ponytail.

Although the dads do gain some skills during the classes, Wikel says “it’s not about the braid, it’s about the bond.”

Wikel says he found that braiding gives fathers and daughters a great chance to bond.

“When you’re out at the store and you’ve done a braid and you have that random person come up and say ‘your hair looks beautiful’ and ‘she says my daddy did my hair,’ you both light up.” said Josh Wikel. “It’s a good feeling.”

The braiding classes are free. Wikel will hold them anywhere with a free venue and interest in the area.