Internet • Mom and dad shoot hairstyling videos and gain 100,000 YouTube subscribers.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The hairdos are not your regular ponytails, braids or headband designs.
They're ornate and jazzy stylings seen by millions around the world. And they're done by Utah County stay-at-home mom Mindy McKnight.
With the help of her husband, Shaun McKnight, and four daughters who serve as hair models, the family has gained a large following on YouTube, recently surpassing 100,000 subscribers.
"We just started when these two were little to try make the morning go a little faster. We would take pictures of each 'do and put them in a little photo album and they could just look through it," Mindy said of her twin 11-year-old daughters.
"She just couldn't keep track," Shaun said of the hairstylings she would devise each morning. The couple had two more daughters, and hairdo ideas kept coming. The little album became a staple of the family's daily routine. The Tribune did not name the McKnights' children in this article for reasons of privacy.
The couple decided 2 1/2 years ago to create a blog of the hairdo collection. Their YouTube channel, "Adopt a 'Do: Cute Girls Hairstyles," came next. "And it just took off," Mindy said.
With Shaun behind the camera, Mindy does quick demos on how to style the girls' hair. Most of the hairdos take less than five minutes.
Within six months, YouTube took notice of the videos' popularity and asked about adding advertisements to the page.
"It's crazy. It's a little funny. It's a hobby that has turned to almost a career," said Mindy, who introduced the couple's sixth child on the channel four months ago. "It's just stuff I've picked up from being a mom."
Two months after YouTube's ads inquiry, the McKnights were asked if they wanted to become a partner. As a YouTube partner, the family gets a share of the revenue from ads that run on the channel.
Annie Baxter, spokeswoman for YouTube, said "how-to" videos are a fast-rising category. "The McKnights' videos are also well-made, fun to watch and full of great personality, and we're excited to see their YouTube channel develop."
The channel took the May 2011 YouTube On The Rise spot, a competition that recognizes favorite channels.
The videos are updated about once a week. Mindy and her daughters draw inspiration for new hairdos everywhere they go magazines, people on the street and television. The recording, with no editing, usually takes place on weekends when the family has a little more time to spare.
Some of the more popular videos of hairdos include the waterfall French braid, loony braids and triple-twists in messy buns. Mindy has come up with theme hairdos such as the Hanging Heart for Valentine's Day and most recently the Messy Glow Bun for the Fourth of July. The videos also include tips or tricks for viewers.
"We have daddy 'dos," Mindy said. That included having Shaun, a director of business development at a Provo company, step from behind the camera and do some hair.
"It happened a week when she was out of town and we had a funeral to go to," Shaun said. "I tried my darndest to do it and everybody went with their hair done."
The channel has become so popular, people have begun to recognize the family members while out and about. "We didn't think it would get that big," one of the twins said.
Doing hair with her family has become another way to bond with her girls, Mindy said. "It also teaches them a skill."
Aside from the channel, the McKnights maintain a website, cutegirlshairstyles.com, where they share their work with adoption and their own adoption experience.
How do you 'do?
YouTube • youtube.com/user/CuteGirlsHairstyles
Website • cutegirlshairstyles.com
Facebook • facebook.com/CuteGirlsHairstyles