Dad Beauty Advice Is The Best Kind Of Dad Advice


Father’s Day is just around the corner, and if you plan to celebrate your dad or dad-like person in your life, put down the whisky stones—really, he has enough. You could spring for something creative, like a playlist of podcasts that you know he’ll like (after, of course, you explain what a podcast is), or you can go for something simple and yet sentimental—a card. In it you can tell a story that’ll make him feel warm and fuzzy, even beauty-related! We are beauty website after all, so pardon us and our extremely focused line of thinking. To prep for your card story, we tapped a few writers to tell us about how their fathers informed their relationship to beauty. From writers Fariha Róisín to Or Gotham, here are some feel-good stories to carry you into this holiday weekend.

From Tanaïs

Author (Bright Lines) and founder (Hi Wildflower)
“My father is a chemist with a very straightforward grooming regimen, and in some ways I attribute my affinity for the chemistry of perfumery and a good old three-step beauty ritual to him. We'd stand side by side in front of the bathroom mirror, lather up with shaving cream, and though I skipped the shaving part, I loved the cologne scent of his Ralph Lauren aftershave. Whenever my mom would go to work, my dad would be the one to get me ready for school. He'd comb my hair and try to braid it, but it always came loose. The word for that sort of messiness in Bengali is elo melo, like it's better not not try too hard, to be even a bit unraveled is the most beautiful way to be.”

From Fariha Róisín

A writer living on Earth
“A beauty tip I keep returning back to is how my father once told me to never dry my face with the towel I used on my body. He explained to me that the bacteria would be transferred onto my face and that your face—primarily because it was your forward-facing persona—should be a revered, sacred place. I'm sort of obsessed with the ritual of this—to me it's very Muslim, this obsession with cleanliness, and I like there are different objects to cleanliness. I like the specificity of a face towel, or a hair towel, a nail brush... and how they each have an objective. It has more to do with efficiency than it has to do with indulgence.”

From Or Gotham

Illustrator and writer
“In the ‘90s, my dad had a set of cologne that came bottled in little test tubes. Being the little scamp that I was, I thought it would be a good idea to mix them together, like a chemist. I can't even fathom how angry I'd be if someone did that to me, but I just remember he didn't even get mad. He still wore them. That must be where I get my irreverence from.”

From Morgan Jerkins

Author, This Will Be My Undoing
“When I was in college, I used to beauty myself up in hopes that I would get some guy—any guy's number. My dad told me, ‘The people who are supposed to see you are going to see you.’ And I know he meant that in a spiritual sense, but as I've gotten older, I've begun to interpret it as ‘beauty has to be mines and only mines.’ That's the most important purpose. It has to be with me when I leave my place and when I come back. It's not going to be taken away because I don't get a guy's number. I have to see myself first and whoever sees me second is a bonus.”

From Arabelle Sicardi

"I'm lucky that my dad has been my best friend and beauty co-conspirator for most of my life—he used to dye my hair every month in high school, and even starred in a tutorial about it for Rookie (RIP). He's a former rock musician, so he has always been generous and supportive of my beauty adventures, and has taught me to commit to a look with my full heart, and to not do anything halfway. Also, if dyeing your hair at home, do it in as open air as possible. Bleach smells terrible."

From Ashley Weatherford

Senior Beauty Editor, Into The Gloss
“Whether he realizes it or not, my dad is a big reason why I got into beauty (I talked about this in my Top Shelf many years ago). My mom leaned into beauty when I got a bit older, but when I was a kid? It was pretty much all my dad. I remember going to Sally’s with him, and hauling out of there another tub of grease to try out. We worked our way up from Soft Sheen to Pink Lotion, and then we jumped ship completely and got Carol’s Daughter. He’s the reason why a scalp massager was always in the shower, and why I owned a wide-tooth comb. When I was maybe 10 or 11, my dad introduced me to face steams and clay masks. With those, I would give myself a “self-care” Saturday a decade before I knew what “self-care” meant. He brought me up on the joy of the process, and not the excitement of achieving a specific result. I think that’s why I’ve never seen beauty as vapid or surfacey—because it’s not. It just feels good.”

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