Penny Gabrielsen

NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Penny Gabrielsen: My name is Penny Gabrielsen. I am a wife, a mother of two high school boys and a full-time music teacher.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?

PG: I didn’t embrace my curls until after college. My poor sweet mother spent hours trying to detangle my hair, breaking several combs in the process. Sometimes she would put it all back with a giant bow, because I would never brush it. There were many tears. I spent my middle school years coveting friends’ straight hair and perfectly feathered bangs. They looked so cool gliding around the roller skating rink in their Jordache jeans, big pocket combs and glossy lips. My curly locks simply wouldn’t cooperate with that style.

My hair was a bit more likable in the 80s when big hair was the trend. I would blow it dry and then use hot rollers on my “shaggy” layers. I was actually fortunate to have curl because it gave my fine limp hair much needed body and fullness. In college, I was more comfortable with letting it go natural. It certainly gave me more time to spend on my studies and work-related activities.

NC: What is your current routine?

PG: Currently, the hair diffuser and I are best friends!  I just scrunch, spritz with hair spray and go. This takes only about four minutes, so I get to spend more time with my athletic boys. And because it is natural, I don’t really worry about being out in the wind or humidity.

MORE: Real Texture Talk: Ashley Jackson


NaturallyCurly has been on a mission to educate, empower, entertain and inspire women to have healthy discussions about hair and beauty since 1998. We explore everything from self-acceptance to finding the best hair care products for all textures.

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