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Who doesn’t love Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Tolliver’s Oscar-winning short, Hair Love? Well, did you know that it was inspired by a real-life Black father and daughter?

See, back in 2016, Milwaukee father DJ Hines posted a video of him trying to put his daughter’s hair in a ponytail for the first time. Man, it was a struggle for the Dad who really thought it was going to be easy peasy! From the video, it took 20 minutes and some extra help for him to get it semi-right.

According to CBS 48, after Hines sent the video to America’s Funniest Home Videos, somehow Cherry caught wind of that video and something about it caused a lightbulb to go off in his head. Welcome: Hair Love.

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Hines and his daughter Chloe were recently interviewed by CBS 48 to talk about how the film has impacted their lives and how the 7-year-old views her hair.

“I feel happy and I just feel happy,” Chloe said about seeing her hair.  Her favorite part of Hair Love? “When she took off her bonnet. Her hair went poof,” she added.

For Hines, to be celebrated in this way matters to him as a Black father and a #GirlDad.

“Sometimes as black men we’re raised to have this strong exterior and only deal with raising our boys to be tough, to be strong and all of those things are great,” he said. “But there is a sensitive side that I’ve learned to connect to through my daughters.”

He adds that despite the negative messages out there about Black hair, he reminds Chloe that hers is always a “gift.”

“I think sometimes when people see things that are different, it can be intimidating. I’ve always encouraged her that her hair may be longer and bigger and crazier than other girls her age, it’s beautiful, it’s uniquely hers and it’s a gift.”

Take a look:


Hines and Chloe, along with Cherry, were also recent guests on a recent episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. 


Love to see it!

As I’ve written before, Hair Love is a love letter to African-American fathers and daughters is a much-needed reminder of the beauty of our tresses and the bonds they can create. It’s also important because it not only allows our girls to see themselves as heroes but also to see their hair celebrated. Given the countless news stories of our babies being punished at school or teased because of how they choose to wear their hair, like Lupita Nyong’o’s book Sulwe, our girls need these types of affirming representation and empowering messages.


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Meet The Milwaukee Father And Daughter That Inspired Oscar-Winning Short ‘Hair Love’  was originally published on