Pantene campaign gives dads likes Steelers' Williams a boost

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

Navigating through 300-pound linemen is easier for Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams than braiding his kindergarten-age daughter Rhiya's hair.

“The only style that I'm able to do is a ponytail,” says Williams in a new video for the “Strong is Beautiful” campaign by Pantene.

He is one of three NFL dads — including New Orleans Saints' Benjamin Watson and Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten — who have partnered with Pantene to help give dads the tools to spend more quality time with their daughters.

The spots are the perfect mix of big tough men and sweet little girls.

“Hmmm … first, because her hair is curly, I got the detangler. That is what I need. That's my friend,” Williams says in the video. “Nothing like a comb to get these hairdo juices working. I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. You know what's easier for me is running through a defensive line, because I have help running through that defensive line.”

Smiling in her Steelers jersey, Rhiya says: “You're doing a good job, Daddy.”

“I don't know why they make these barrettes so complicated for guys,” Williams says. “They should come with warning labels.”

“I love my Dad-do,” Rhiya says.

So does his younger daughter, Reyna, once he distracts her with building blocks to sit in the stylist chair.

They cheer, “Here we go Steelers, here we go.”

Research shows that quality time spent with dads is key in raising daughters who are more self-confident, self-reliant and more successful in school and in their careers, Pantene says.

The company is releasing a series of four how-to videos and a 30-second commercial featuring the players styling their daughters' hair.

“We know strength and self-esteem start by building confidence in girls at a young age,” says Jodi Allen, vice president of P&G hair care and color for North America, in a statement. “We hope our new series of how-to videos shows dads how easy and fun it can be to spend quality time with their daughters by doing their hair. The quality time spent with their daughters now will foster the next generation of strong and beautiful women.”

Williams is known for his running ability on the field but also is recognizable for bringing awareness to the fight against breast cancer. His mother, Sandra Hill, died in 2014 at age 53, and he lost four aunts to the disease.

He has been a supporter of the NFL's breast-cancer awareness month in October, wearing everything from pink spikes to pink dreads.

Details: YouTube.com/user/Pantene

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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