#FroNation Celebrates Natural Hair

Moravian students Janiya Punzalan ‘20 and Joanne Augustin ‘20 started the club FroNation to create a space where students could learn to love, appreciate, and embrace their natural hair.

“Lately, there has been this trend [supporting] natural hair among women of color, but that has not always been the case,” said Augustin. “Before this movement, and still today, the social climate has suggested that natural hair is ‘ugly’ and unpresentable. Growing up, many women of color, and men as well, struggle to accept their natural hair and use chemical processes to change their hair. We decided to start FroNation in order to create a space where students could come learn about their hair as well as grow to love and [develop an] appreciation for it.”

The club received USG approval on September 12, 2018 and began hosting meetings. The club is under the advisement of Gloria Chibueze-Azinge, assistant director of student development, who helps oversee club meetings and events.

The mission of the club is to teach members how to begin the natural hair journey, as well as manage their hair. At the meetings, members do hair masks, watch hair braiding tutorials and cut and style hair. In addition, members participate in discussions of the best and worst hair products to use.

“FroNation isn’t a club that’s supposed to be stressful,” said Punzalan. “It’s supposed to be relaxing. The natural process doesn’t happen overnight, so it takes time and patience to get the results that are wanted.”

On February 26, FroNation brought their meetings to a bigger space and hosted a Natural Hair Showcase in the HUB Snyder Room. The event was intended to bring awareness to the club and showcase the different techniques that can be used to take care of hair and make it healthier.

“Our goal for this event was to bring awareness to the campus about natural hair as well as to encourage people to take care of their hair,” said Augustin. “A goal for our club in general is to make sure that people are engaging in self care. College can be really stressful so we encourage everyone to use our meetings as a time to relax, do homework with friends, and learn more about their hair and themselves.”

The club currently has 20 to 30 members that regularly attend but is always encouraging more people to join.

“Our club has created a group of people who care about each other’s well-being and in many ways we are like a big family,” said Augustin.

The club meets every other Monday at the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) house from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

“One day I hope to see that FroNation has a legacy, and gives a space for women of color to be able to do their natural hair and learn how to safely manage it,” said Punzalan.