AfroPen: My Natural Hair Journey

LoudPen (Photo by Alexa Vossler) LoudPen (Photo by Alexa Vossler)

Dear Pennies & Pens,

In today’s post, I’d like to walk you through my natural hair journey. Over the years, I’ve talked about my natural hair with family and friends as well as mentioning it every now and again online but today, I wanted to tell you about why and how I went natural. Through the coming months, you’ll see de la Pen…All Pen Everything featuring more natural hair products so as the Editor & Publisher, I think it’s important that I first talk about my own natural hair journey.

My hair like most Black women has been the most controversial part of my life. It’s not naturally straight. It’s the curly, kinky type. The naturalistas have a name for it 4b or 2Z or whatever. I just say it’s nappy, and I’m happy that it’s nappy. Can’t get a comb through it when it’s dry. But I still love it tho.

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As a child, it was all about the press & curl. Either my Mom or my hairstylist would first wash my fair, blow dry it, press it straight, then they’d curl it. The process took hours and the style lasted about 10 minutes. The Cincy heat and my tomboyishness wouldn’t allow the curls to stand the test of time. And so Mama would whoop or ground me for messing up my hair.

Finally as I started high school, I was old enough to get the coveted “perm” aka relaxer. A relaxer straightens a Black woman’s hair and after years of press & curls and being burned by hotcombs, I was too ready for a perm. My sister told me not to get one but I wouldn’t listen. If everyone insisted that I straighten my hair, I wanted the process to be easy.

LoudPen in Pen.Style: Afropunk Chick (Photo Credit: Megan Mueller Styling by LoudPen)

LoudPen in Pen.Style: Afropunk Chick (Photo Credit: Megan Mueller Styling by LoudPen)

I’ll never forget getting my first perm. I thought I was too flyy. I just knew I was going to bring all the boys to the yard. But no one showed up. I still kept that perm fresh, going back every six weeks for a touch up. In between perms, I rocked braids because those were easier to maintain. I was an athlete all throughout high school so it was important to have a hairstyle that could keep between practices and games.

After graduating from high school, I headed off to Hampton University. Hampton is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Virginia. HBCUs were built after the Civil War for the purpose of educating African Americans (freed slaves). While away at school, I started getting my hair done at the local dorm salons. Basically, I was letting my homegirls do my hair for cheap. It helped them earn extra money and I didn’t have to pay for a salon but got the same results.

LoudPen -- Lifestyle Entrepreneur aka CEO OF ISLP and Co-Owner of 8515

LoudPen — Lifestyle Entrepreneur aka CEO OF ISLP and Co-Owner of 8515

However, the Summer before my junior year one of my best friends and soon to be roommate decided to go natural. She told me that her stylist told her being natural would make her hair healthier since it meant eliminating the harsh chemicals found in perms. I thought this was really cool and started to think about going natural as well. But for me, it was more than healthy hair. It was about embracing my blackness and no longer seeking to fit someone else’s standard of beauty.

So that Summer, I did the big chop. Ironically, my stylist at the time was a friend from high school who is white. But she did a great job cutting and styling my hair. I was sooo insecure about it when I first cut it. I thought I looked like a boy and refused to leave the house. My BFF wasn’t having this and she made me leave the house so we could go out and party. And that’s when it happened.

LoudPen in Pen.Style: Coolin (Photo Credit: Megan Mueller Styling by LoudPen)

LoudPen in Pen.Style: Coolin (Photo Credit: Megan Mueller Styling by LoudPen)

A guy hit on me. He told me he loved my hair and wanted to get my number. Now I know, my existence shouldn’t be validated by a man but the attention was nice. It made me feel good. Like damn, guys still think I’m sexy so idk why I’m running around acting all insecure. And from that point forward, my insecurity just seemed to disappear.

There is nothing like rocking your short natural hair. It’s like taking the mask off. Letting your man see you with no makeup. It’s fuckin liberating dude. I love it and I’ll never go back. That’s why I haven’t straightened my hair or worn a weave since I’ve been natural. And it’s been ten years.

LoudPen (Photo by Alexa Vossler)

LoudPen (Photo by Alexa Vossler)

After 10 years, I have finally found products that work on my hair and a process that has made my hair the healthiest it’s ever been. Sooner than later, I will be sharing my natural hair process and the products I use with you. So stay tuned because this is going to be some dope ass content.

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Love, peace, and hair grease

Penny

 

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LoudPen
LoudPen is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur with two different businesses, 8515 + ISLP. That said, Penny has many different titles that she uses for each company. As far as ISLP, Pen is a Lifestyle Blogger, Influencer, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Designer, Producer, and Director. In regards to 8515, Pen is a Publicist, Event Planner, Creative Director, Casting Director, Stylist, and Makeup Artist. Basically, LoudPen has many different pens and loves to ink the page. On a day to day basis, Pen is usually writing content, developing products, producing, directing, creating a marketing or PR campaign, meeting with clients, planning events, posting on social media, etc. Follow Penny's Ink on Instagram & Twitter: @LoudPen @ISLPDTX @8515Agency @PenniesandPens

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