Channing Tatum said he "completely panicked" when he found out he was having a girl and used YouTube to learn different hairstyling techniques

By Georgia Slater
May 05, 2021 12:37 PM
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Channing Tatum's early days of styling daughter Everly's hair didn't always go as planned.

While appearing on Tuesday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the actor, 41, dished on his experience as a girl dad to 7-year-old Everly and some of his failed attempts at trying to style his daughter's hair.

Tatum, who shares his daughter with ex-wife Jenna Dewan, revealed that he once used a vacuum to try and put Everly's hair into a ponytail.

"I completely panicked when I found out we were having a girl," the dad of one admitted. "I literally went to YouTube and started figuring out, like, I think the first one I saw was a dad vacuuming up his daughter's hair with a hair tie on the vacuum and I was like, that's genius."

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"It doesn't work like the guy did it," Tatum shared. "I tried it, and it didn't work as well."

While Tatum's first shot at hairstyling didn't go as expected, the Magic Mike star has stepped up his game over the last few years.

"I learned how to braid hair," he said. "The hardest thing, though, is my daughter has really straight, fine hair. I have to do this every night, or she wakes up with a rat's nest. It's like a giant knot back there."

The actor noted that the "hardest thing" is doing "three close to the head equal strands" as his daughter has layered hair.

"Once I got that, the braiding's easy. The braiding is really, really simple," he explained. "But I'll always get a third of the way through and I'll realize that one strand is a lot shorter than the other ones, and my OCD kicks in, and I have to restart, and then it's just terrible."

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Tatum is continuing to reflect on experiences as a girl dad as the author of his first children's book, The One and Only Sparkella.

"It wasn't like I had this giant idea that I wanted to write a kids' book," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "It was just something that I noticed in my daughter, watching her for the very first time become self-conscious."

Tatum recalls a moment when Everly was hesitant to put on something she loved for preschool. "She would wear a cape that, when you held your arms out, you [looked like] a slice of watermelon," the actor says. "And it was one of her favorites. But she didn't want to wear it to school, and when I asked her why, she said, 'I don't want to get made fun of.' So I wanted to make this little story about this girl who is very unique and really likes to shine."

channing tatum
Credit: Channing Tatum/Instagram

The book, which tells the story about a father and his daughter, was inspired by Tatum's own relationship with Everly.

"A lot [in the book] is stuff that Evie and I do. Like I do call her 'Glitter Poop,' " he says. "I was really nervous when I became a single dad, and having to raise a little girl, not being able to have the resource of a woman there to be able to lean into how to relate to her as she grows up."

What Tatum discovered "was just to go into her world and connect with her in any way," he adds. "If it's wearing a tutu or painting your nails or wearing makeup — who cares? It just worked for me. I see dads sometimes, and . . . being a parent is hard. I wanted the book to be a little bit of a letter to them. Just play — you'll be rewarded with love."