#HeyThereHair with Pennyfroreal
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Penny, a student from Birmingham and a natural hair influencer. While I was in my first year of university I created my Instagram page “@pennyfroreal” where I talk all things natural hair and ethnicity in the most humorous way possible. One of my life mottos is to not take myself too seriously!
2. Describe us your hair.
I have curly hair which is always very difficult to describe when you can’t see and feel it! My hair is low porosity and I generally have a type 3b/c curl type! I get my hair highlighted by my dear darling mother once(ish) a year, as you can see photographed. My hair is medium length (just past my shoulders) when dry and lower back length when pulled down! The shrinkage is very real! Like most curly people, my hair has a mind of its own and tends to
look different from week to week. However, there are some general things I know to expect from my hair in terms of how different parts of it react to different products. The lower back part of my hair has a definite 3c curl pattern and is extremely soft. It tends to grow much faster than the rest of my hair. The mid-section of my hair is the most tightly coiled part of my hair with some of it nearing a 4a curl pattern. This section of hair always seems like it grows more slowly but it is all due to the difference in curl pattern! Finally, the top layer of my hair which is the most manipulated section of my hair has the loosest curl pattern, being 3b. It’s very important to understand how your hair works in order to be able to effectively
choose hair products that will work for YOUR hair as well as learning which styling techniques are necessary to get your desired look.
3. How much does your hair mean to you?
My hair means A LOT to me!
As black and mixed race women, for years we have been taught to hate the hair that naturally grows from our heads because it doesn’t fit in with western beauty standards. I
personally prefer the explanation that it’s too cool for people to cope with. So, walking around and hearing people say “it’s just hair”, doesn’t quite do it for me. My hair is ancestry,
history, struggle, celebration and personality. It’s a part of me that took years to love because I was taught not to love it by society.
4. Tell us about your hair care regimen. What does it look like on a weekly basis?
My average hair routine or wash day which I do each week consists of a shampoo, rinse-out conditioner, hair mask, leave-in conditioner and gel/ curl cream. I tend to use an oil to scrunch out the crunch or cast from the products once my hair is dry. The products I use from week to week tend to change depending on how my hair feels and its moisture/protein balance. I have too many favourite products to name but some of my favourite brands which
I have used for years are: BigHair, Shea Moisture, Jim + Henry, Nylah Uk and Boucleme.
I always sleep with either my satin bonnet or satin pillow case in order to prevent breakage and preserve my curls throughout the week!
5. Do you suffer from any hair issues or troubles? And how do you handle those?
I don’t really suffer from any hair problems.
6. Protective styles or Wash and Gos? Why?
Wash n Gos are the easiest and quickest form of styling for me but I do like to mix it up from time to time with a protective style like twists, braids or faux locs!
7. What is your Number One tip to maximise hair health?
My number one tip to maximise hair health is to be patient! Take your time when washing and styling your hair. Rushing through your routine can cause more breakage, failure to
distribute products properly and not getting the results that you want.
8. What's your go-to DIY hair treatment?
My go-to DIY hair treatment will always be my masks. I usually end up doing these when I am low on my normal hair mask.
The remains of my normal hair mask, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil and honey make up my DIY treatment. I only use the things I already have in my house so you will never catch me adding avocado or mayonnaise because I hate them and don’t eat them haha!
Once I have mixed up all of those ingredients, I just use them as I would a normal hair mask.
9. Do you ever compare your hair and beauty to others? How do you fight against that? What advice would you give to those struggling to embrace their own beauty?
I think one of the hardest things about transitioning to natural hair was seeing these girls with beautiful long, curly hair on Instagram while I was sporting some form of curly mullet. It can be quite easy to lose hope when you don’t feel like you are beautiful while simultaneously not quite feeling like yourself.
While I was transitioning, I am 90% sure I went through an identity crisis lol. I didn’t quite know who I was or who I wanted to be. It was a really confusing time. BUT I think the core thing to remember is that who we are and who we want to be, isn’t always in our consciousness. It’s something that grows from within and we don’t notice it until we look back on the moments where we weren’t as in tune with ourselves.
In terms of right now, I don’t compare my beauty or my hair to others unless in reference to hair health or making texture comparisons. Never in a negative way.
Social media has made it incredibly easy for people to feel bad about themselves, but there are safe spaces within it. Find those people who are positive, who make you laugh, and who educate. That way you’re more likely to feel inspired and motivated rather than miniscule
and self-conscious. Don’t entertain the triggers of negativity. Unfollow. Block. Keep it moving.
10. Where can people find out more about you?
You can find me on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok @pennyfroreal .