Michael Worthington and his daughter Asia, 4. (Photo: Instagram/icemikelovesasia)
As any parent of a long-haired young daughter knows, brushing and styling those locks into a decent form each morning is something that can work your last nerve — unless, of course, your name is Michael Worthington.
Worthington, of Dallas, is a single dad to Asia, 4, who has been impressively dedicated to learning a few essential daughter ’dos. He has turned his cool, calm, and collected styling sessions into an adorably addictive series of online videos for Instagram. And his page, called “The Ice and Icyss Show” (his nickname, her middle name), has nabbed 620,000 followers in the process.
“I learned from YouTube, my mom, and just playing with her hair,” Worthington, who works in marketing, tells Yahoo Beauty. “After I learn a style [on YouTube], I just stare at her hair for a little while and then try it in my head, then attempt it and see what happens.”
And usually — at least judging by what gets posted online — it’s a beautiful thing, whether it’s a neat braid, a ponytail, or a bun that’s perfectly sculpted around one of those essential bun donuts. He has been sent various products from viewers around the country, but Worthington sticks with the family fave: Dare Care, particularly the shampoo, conditioner, and smoothing lotion (which he and Asia adorably argue over in one popular video).
“I try my best to make her look presentable,” the 29-year-old dad says, regarding his flawless braids and buns. “That donut has been in my household for a while. Asia’s mom used to wear it a lot, and I saw how to use it on YouTube.”
Worthington explains that he and his ex share custody of Asia, but in a non-court-ordered way that they agree upon themselves. “She goes back and forth; we live 30 minutes apart,” he says. “I feel like she’s safe with me, and that I make good decisions. Time, sacrifice, and commitment is what makes someone a father or a mother, not just having a child. I try to get as much time as I can with her.”
That, along with his impressive stylings and clearly loving, playful way with Asia, has gotten Worthington a major online fan base. “Obsessed with this family! So much love,” notes just one of many glowing comments, with others like “You deserve a daddy award honestly,” “This dude knows how to do hair better than me,” “He is my role model,” and “I just love love love how you get soooo into doing her hair — I never get tired of watching. That’s a perfect example of a good father, and the buns are always right on point.”
The Internet definitely has a big soft spot for daddies — especially men of color — doing daughter ’dos. Doyin Richards hit viral fame in 2013 for brushing his girl’s while wearing his infant in a carrier, and, a year earlier, white dad Frank Somerville scored some major points for braiding the hair of his daughter (who is black). Then came the pair of African-American dads, Kordale and Kaleb Lewis, who gained so much attention for doing the hair of their two daughters that they were tapped by Nikon for an ad campaign in 2015.
For Worthington, grooming together with his daughter represents a fun and special time for them to share. “I do my hair first and then hers when I’m done. Mine is easy — I use a sponge for that curly look and then a brush, and I do my own dye,” he says, referring to the bright burst of scarlet above his left eye.
Another important part of this dad’s beauty look is his vast collection of tattoos, of which he says he has “lost count” and “maxed out, really. I’m pretty much done.” His ink represents various outlooks and experiences — “my lifestyle, struggles, happy times, good times,” he says, including one that reads “Laugh now, cry later.” Asia plays a big part in her dad’s body art too, of course, appearing in three portraits done at different ages, including a recent one inked on the back of his neck. “She likes to tell everyone about it,” he says.
For any fellow parent who just hasn’t got the hang of doing a daughter’s hair yet, Worthington has got some basic advice. “I know it’s hard — trust me, I know. But that’s what YouTube’s all about,” he notes. “Plus, somebody in your family’s good with hair, so ask them. And practice.”