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August 21, 2011

On the Couch with Toya Carter-Wright


Toya Carter-Wright, Lil' Wayne's ex-wife and star of the new reality series 'Toya- A Family Affair' is On the Couch. This self-proclaimed Weave Queen confesses that although she's chemical free, she just really loves the options of rocking a weave.

On her hair journey...
I’ve been natural for the past 6 years. I started getting baby perms when I was like 11 to keep my edges smooth. My hair is naturally very curly and it poofs all the time and while the baby perm did help with that, it was causing it to break excessively.

I started pressing it a lot in the past few years, and I noticed that the heat plus the chemicals was killing my hair, so I gave up the relaxers. The transition period was tough and I ended up cutting it all off... I cut it off into a mohawk style. It was too short to do anything with, so I put a weave in it to help it grow out.

Since then, I've gone through many different stages with my hair, all ending with me going back to a weave.

On her feelings about her natural hair today...
I mean, I'm cool with it. I started relaxing because of the poofiness. It's still poofy, but less so. I don't know, for me, it's just easier to wear a weave. It's a lot of work to wear my natural hair! With the weave, I can just get up and go. At the most, I'll use a little Ampro Styling Jam on my edges to help them lay down, but that's it!

Today, I'm actually wearing my real hair... well, my hair with 2 pieces in the middle for volume. I've been wearing it like this for 3 weeks and I'm ready to put a weave back in it! I've started my workout routine again and it'll be much easier to maintain.

On the weaving process...
My beautician presses all of my hair straight and then she goes in between and clips links throughout. She then sews the hair on top of the links. To be honest, I’ve never seen any other hair stylist do it this way. Fusion Links is an old technique and is different than what I’m talking about. I like it because it's really natural and flexible... you can barely tell it's there. You can wear ponytails and you can switch from a side part to a middle part. You can do whatever you want to do. The only thing is that it doesn’t work for everybody—your hair is out, and some women don’t like that.

On wearing her natural texture in the future...
I said I was going to wear my natural hair out this winter… but I say that every year! And then like 3 weeks in I’m like… um… I’m cool. When you’re used to wearing weave you become accustomed to the fullness and low maintenance routine. It's just different. A lot less work. But I'm really considering it this year. I'll let you know!

On her workout routine...
I just started working out again, like 2 weeks ago. I’ve been doing cardio, squats, running, tennis... kickboxing. A little bit of everything. I’m just trying to get all the way back in shape because after the wedding I started eating a lot [laughter].

On her projects...
I am the new face for Ampro Pro Styl and in the coming weeks we'll be doing shoots for billboards and magazines. I also have two new sites Everythingtoya.com and ShopGarbBoutique.com. On the first site, you can buy my book, Priceless Inspirations, find dates for my upcoming college tour and get links to my Twitter and Facebook. On the second site, which hasn't launched yet, you'll be able to get a variety of different things. Check back soon!

I have also started a little movement-- The Garby Movement. Garbies are women that are finding themselves when it seems impossible, and loving themselves when they feel no one else does. It’s like finding new fabrics in life and shedding old garments and I just want to encourage every woman to love yourself and take care of yourself. Don’t let anybody disrespect you and continue to reach for the stars.


CN Says:

I thanked Toya for her candor and told her that when she's ready to explore her natural texture this winter, to check out the CN community for style and product ideas and for more support than she could ever imagine. CurlyNikki.com is an online therapy session... a place where you can feel comfortable honestly sharing your fears and concerns about your natural hair among other things. Just because we aren't scared of our curls anymore doesn't mean we can't support those who are. We've all been there...

We talked about my staple style (the Twist-n-Curl) and the reasons I don't wash-n-go, as well as the pros and cons of weaves.

My final words, with which she wholeheartedly agreed--
Everyone's journey is different. We all have different reasons for going natural and we all have different reasons for staying natural. We shouldn't be competing to be 'more natural' than the next person and it's not our place to judge other's decisions.

The one thing I hope we all find along the way is confidence. Confidence to let go of the chemicals... the weaves... the pressing comb... the headbands (that was one of my security blankets)... the confidence to rock our natural hair in a world where straight hair reigns. And once you find that place... where you feel beautiful no matter the state of your hair... then DO YOU booboo!



Have you been where Toya is?
Who is where she's at right now?
What advice would you give her for the winter?

45 Chime in!:

KARA J said...

Great Interview,

Love your response about supporting those who are not really comfortable in exploring their curls. This is one of the reasons why I love this site

2damnfunny said...

I haven't worn my full hair out. The furthest I've gone is letting the front out when I wear my LaJay wig.

I'm tired of hiding behind wigs and weaves but I've had so many set backs with my hair (breakage) since I've gone natural then I ever did while relaxed that I wonder if I'll ever be able to wear just my own hair like I did when I was younger natural or relaxed...sigh.

Anonymous said...

2damnfunny, you just told my story. I love my weaves and lacefronts and i want to love my natural hair, but its very weak and thin.

Anonymous said...

good job Nikki! i was reading it like how she sounds in my head lol. i love Toya!

Anonymous said...

I love Toya. She is honest in telling everybody what works for her. I love weaves as well and wear them often. Not cause I hate my natural hair but it's ideal for me and my lifestyle. I wish her much success and happiness

Nikki

Sham said...

Thanks for keeping it fair & balanced Nikki!

Toya is gorgeous!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Last relaxer was a year ago but i haven't been out the house without braids or a wig. I wear my natural hair cornrowed and it reminds me of why i begged for a relaxer wjen i was 15. I love my texture but styling...ugh, especially when i work out several days a week...
Thanks for not writing off the many,many natural ladies whose protective styles are wigs or weaves.

Destanny said...

Wow I love Toya she seems to be such a beautiful and honest person! I can really dig that, great interview!!

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I got the book and I love it!

Anonymous said...

I confess I feel a like like Toya too. Like her I became a natural because I was experiencing continuous breakage from a relaxer and decided to go with tree braids to give my hair a break and get it back in shape. I really had every intention of going back to a perm after the breakage stopped and my hair began to heal. However, I saw how well my hair was growing in its natural state and I just didn't want to change it. So I have been natural for about the past 5 or 6 years but I have never stepped out of the house without a wig or braids.

I have nothing against the natural look because I see so many ladies that really rock some fierce styles. However, whenever I have tried a braid out or twist on the weekend it just never turns out right. It will look okay when I first do it but after a few hours it seems like my hair goes limp and frizzy looking. So I just throw the cornrows back in and throw on a wig. Or I make that appointment with my braidist.

A second issue I have is my hair breaks sooooooo easily (as a matter of fact I am going through some breakage now -- getting it to grow back); so it grows best when I just leave it alone. So I just keep it moisturized and stick with my "super" protective styles.

ATribitt said...

Nikki, why DON'T you do wngs?

CURLYNIKKI said...

single strand knots galore, which for me, lead to excessive tangling, and then breakage and splits. I didn't get past shoulder length stretched until I ditched wandgos!

CURLYNIKKI said...

thanks ladies for the comments and your honesty! Toya was super sweet and real real real!

Anonymous said...

My question to Toya and like-minded people like her: What is the point of wanting and loving this growth that your hair is experiencing yet never wanting or willing to wear it in its natural state.

Hope the question makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Love Toya! Thanks for this interview

Anonymous said...

LOL baby perm???????????????come on!!!!!

Jeannette said...

Very interesting article with Toya. I think that she is so pretty! I've only seen her on t.v., I don't follow her though. While I congratulate the fact that she is natural, I'm also concerned with naturals like her. I'm glad that you Curlynikki suggested certain hair styles and most importantly encouraged this site and along with confidence. I may get some naysayers but it seems to boil down to self acceptance, not being confident in ones natural hair. As much as I think a wig or weave is nice to switch up with every now and then, I'm perplexed with those naturals who never or rarely wear their own natural without the wigs and weaves. I hope that the help of sites like this, Toya and many naturals like her finally get the courage to wear their own hair naturally %90 of the time and switch it up with weaves the other %10.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:27pm I would like to know that as well. The definition of natural state to me; btw, simply means no relaxer.) You only need what maybe 3-4 inches of hair to attach a sew in and be able leave some of your hair out for a part etc.

Anonymous said...

some people get tired of wearing weaves/wigs some don't...at the end of the day it's her hair but I really hope she gives her real hair a chance to shine as much as her weaves. She'll be able to save ALOT of money too LOL...

Anonymous said...

This is a nice and candid interview and I don't mean this to be rude but who is this woman?? Lil Wayne's ex wife? Is that the only reason why she has tv shows and is considered famous? Doesn't take much to be idolized these days but I guess we can thank Paris Hilton and the Kardashians for that trend. SMH

Anonymous said...

I just love this site. Very encouraging and inspiring..I am new to this natural journey (transitioning now) and I have learned so much and really pumped up about being natural. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:27. I am not a weave wearer but I imagine it probably has something to do with NOT wanting a chemical in their hair or not wanting to work with a short style while they transistion. I wore a drawstring afro puff for months before I was able/willing/mentally ready to start wearing and working with my natural hair.

And everyone transitions to (wearing) their natural hair at their own rate. I honestly never thought that some of those ladies might be natural under their weaves but it actually makes perfect sense to me. If you aren't going to "wear" your hair, why damage it?

I appreciated her candor.

Anonymous said...

Nikki, I'm so glad that you are interviewing celebs that I would have never expected to appear on CN. Love it!!

I really like Toya and always wondered about her hair. So cool that she was so honest about her feelings & dealings with her natural hair. It made the interview really feel like I was reading about a homegirl and her hair journey. :D

tasha25 said...

This was the most unexpected interview....but in the best way! I love toya and I think it was so amazing and honest of her to share her story. Other women have left comments stating that they can relate to her and that alone proved her story needed to be told. I would have loved to hear about reginae's hair also because it always looks so full and healthy. Also wish we could've seen more pics of toya's hair. Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Just because a natural opts to wear weaves or wigs as oppose to her natural hair a majority of the time does not equate to a lack of self acceptance or confidence. Toya explained her reasoning plain and simple, "for me, it's just easier to wear a weave. It's a lot of work to wear my natural hair! With the weave, I can just get up and go". She also mentioned that it is low maintenance which is something she prefers. Everyone does not have the patience, time, or skills that you may find "easy" or "normal" to regularly and carefully treat and style our natural texture. There are some textures that can be slightly more difficult or time consuming to deal with than others which makes getting accustom to taking care of it a much more difficult task. Speaking for myself, I spent the better half of my natural journey in braids because of time constraints as a full-time student, employee, and heavy involvement in both on-campus and off-campus activities. My opting for a more low-maintenace style was not because I lacked self acceptance or confidence, but rather I lacked the amount of time needed to truly research what was right for my hair, experiment, and the time needed to carefully tend to my hair when styling. It just was not a feasible option. Although I now have the time, skills, and knowledge to take care of my natural hair, I still often opt for braids and other protective styles for months at at time (as I actually plan to do this coming weekend). However, this does not and should not be an indication of a lack of self confidence or acceptance. I love myself and my natural hair...every last kink!

So to Toya...kudos for knowing what works for YOUR lifestyle as a full-time mother, wife, author, reality television star, and all other endeavors you dabble in now-a-days!

Anonymous said...

@August 21, 2011 7:56 PM - Well, I don't even know WTH Lil Wayne is. LOL Though I am still young (early 30s) I am soooo far out of the loop it seems.

pinkgirlfluff said...

I am so glad that you did this interview! I have not had the same experience even though I love a great weave (which Toya rocks fiercely). I know quite a few naturals that are not feeling wearing their hair out for whatever reason. I totally respect that. You have to do what works for your lifestyle. I wish Toya and her family the best!

BTW I love her reality show because so many people can relate to having a broken family because of another family member's addictions or mental health issues. So I give her mad kudos for putting her business out on the streets like that. It's inspirational to watch her family try to put the pieces back together and I pray that the rest of us can follow suit! Godbless

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, to Anon 8:08 I understand where you are coming from. However, when you say that they shouldn't damage their hair with relaxers instead go natural and put a weave on top, I would have to disagree. To me, relaxers don't automatically mean damanged hair. I've seen waist length relaxed hair, lets be real. Taking care of your hair makes it grow. You cannot properly take care of your hair when you are constantly throwing weave in it. Natural hair is very dry and fragile and needs constant moisture and TLC. It makes it downright impossible to mositurize your hair when it is in braids under fake hair. I've seen so many natural women who've had major setbacks due to breakage caused by improperly taking care of their hair while they have sew in weaves. But instead of dealing with the issue, they just slap back on a weave. SMH.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8/22/11 11:03
"My opting for a more low-maintenance style was not because I lacked self acceptance or confidence, but rather I lacked the amount of time needed to truly research what was right for my hair, experiment, and the time needed to carefully tend to my hair when styling. It just was not a feasible option." I really like your thoughts in regards to the interview. I, too, felt that a correlation was being made to opting for a more low-maintenance style and self acceptance. On the other hand, I was extremely excited to see that she took a firm stance on what truly works for her lifestyle. It is great that she is satisfied with her decision.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article!

Anonymous said...

Nice interview. I want to know why the hell she married Lil'Wayne? I don't understand that at all.

NtrlGAGirl said...

Excellent interview with Mrs. Carter-Wright and follow-up comments. Oh--I couldn't imagine giving up my headbands! I hate hair on my forehead, especially in this heat!

Most importantly--"DO YOU booboo". WAAAAAAAAAY more people should follow this credo.

Anonymous said...

I love this interview so much! I myself am natural and I wear weaves/extensions 70% of the time. I have worn them since middle school when I wore braids. I love my natural hair but I also love my extensions and thats just fine. Im just as confident with my real hair as I am with extensions. Its just a preference, some women prefer to wear their natural hair and others decide not to. However it is possible to have healthy hair under extensions. My hair is healthy and I am always wearing extensions. I wear extensions depending on what style I prefer. Sometimes I want a shoulder length bob and instead of cutting my hair, I will wear extensions. Right now I am loving long hair so I have extensions that are past my bra strap. I can do things to my extensions that I will never do to my own hair. For instance, I just bleached my extensions for highlights, and I would NEVER bleach my natural hair. I have colored extensions multiple times and I would never color my hair as much as I have my extensions. I love my natural hair and I do wear my natural hair out alot but I also love my extensions too!!!

Ashleigh said...

Hearing her opinion and hair journey is just what I needed. I have been natural for 2 years and I HATE it. Initially it was liberating and I loved discovering my true image, and not to mention the compliments but as it stands I am no longer happy with the journey of my hair and just want straight hair again. I dont want to relax it but may go to weaves to allow for some convenience and just a better look. call me self-loathing or whatever but, I like myself better and feel more confident with straight hair. PERIOD. The kinky life has been real but its just too much of a sacrifice for me. In short, I feel her on the weave.

Anonymous said...

No such thing as a healthy relaxer. There are some which are LESS damaging and can, therefore, allow for length achievement. Long isn't necessarily healthy. I don't believe natural is for everyone, but I do believe in living in the truth. By definition of what a relaxer does to the hair to achieve its intended purpose, it it not and could never be 'healthy'.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 8:08 p.m. to Anon 8:08 a.m. (lawd I need a screen name.)

I don' think I said (at least I hope I didn't) that you can't have long relaxed hair. If you have a skilled hairdresser, I'm sure you can and its probably the same way for a weave. If you have a skilled technician (which I'm sure she does) a weave doesn't necessarily have to be damaging. The key, of course, is finding a skilled technician and taking care of the hair beneath which I'm sure is difficult but not impossible. I've had a weave once in my life so I'm certainly no expert but I do remember being able to moisturize my scalp. I'm certainly not a weave advocate (or even a weave liker) but I think it is possible to take care of your natural hair while wearing a weave if you have skill, time, and a desire to do so.

Anonymous said...

@Ashleigh

Did you know you can straighten your natural hair? Wanting straight hair doesnt AUTOMATICALLY mean wearing weaves ONLY.

U canhave straight or kinky natural hair, that is the beauty of it...

But feelin more confident with straight hair is something you have to deal with on your own sweetie.;-)

Tara Jean said...

It is very unsettling to me the comments that I have read all over the web lately about celebs (reality stars, personalities, whatever you would like to call them Lol!) who have been revealing that they have natural hair under their weaves. I've said it before and I'll say it again...the "natural" hair world is sometimes the most critical. Although I have never been a fan of weaves I can totally understand why someone who is in the limelight would opt to wear a weave. I mean photo shoots, cameras, repeatedly changing your hairs style, color, length at the request of a manager. All of this would be extremely taxing on hair. Why are people being judeged for that? I wouldn't want to ruin my own hair just to keep up with the high deman of my work. When pics of Angela Simmons appeared on her twitter page showing her hair after taking out a weave (and before putting another in) people jumped on her and nearly tried to burn her at the stake for not wearing her hair out more. Why is that any of our business. To me natural means chemical free hair...now what we do with that chemical free hair (press, weaves, blow outs, roller sets, etc, etc) is totally up to the individual.

LaShayla said...

i'm interested to find out more about the weaving technique her stylist uses. if her natural hair is all left out and she flat irons, blow dries, and curls her weave daily or however often she does it, isn't she still applying heat to her hair as well???

Anonymous said...

@August 21, 2011 7:56 PM
I agree! When real talent as opposed to the 'talent' to sign a reality-show contract took over I dropped cable tv. There are legions of celebs, actors and regular old citizens who hide their hair under props for years on end (Kardashians, Jennifer Aniston) to have camera-ready hair, highlights and spontaneous cute cuts, so this is not new.

We are engaged in critically re-thinking natural hair as frustrating, ugly, one-dimensional and other and re-imagining it in popular mythology and media as easy, pretty, versatile and the norm. If the visible reality of Blacks in media is always relaxed versus a closet natural reality, how do we really transform natural hair in media and outside of it with these schizophrenic hair messages?

Ashley Jane said...

I don't understand Toya's rationale for wearing weave but hey it's not my hair so I don't really care. I'm not a fan of weave as a way of covering hair for any other reason than to prevent damage or growth set backs to a person's real hair. I get wanting to wear a funky cut or wanting a different color for a month as opposed to several months so I get the fun in wearing a weave on occasion. But the idea that weave is more versatile and easier to manage than natural hair is odd to me. If you're properly maintaining your real hair under that weave, that is a lot of WORK. So on top of making the weave look good you also have to take steps to maintain the hair underneath which seems like double the work to me. Either way, I'm not bashing women that wear weave cuz if you like it I love it but don't give me that lame excuse of easier maintenance. Anywho, I love Toya and I'm happy she's a natural and her weaves are very pretty.

Virgos Very Own said...

Thank you soo much for this interview i would never have guessed she uses clips if not for this interview! kudo's

http://virgoveryown.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

it's interesting how on one hand the author of the article says, i'm not here to judge anyone, but on the other hand, she implies that people who wear weaves do so b/c they don't have the confidence to let go of it.. it's disappointing to read.

i think it's ridiculous. like one of the commenters above said, wearing wigs, relaxers, weaves does NOT equate to a lack of self-confidence. like toya said it takes a lot of work to maintain a natural hairstyle. the author should know this because she has an entire blog dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of natural hair. bottom line, it ain't always easy.

honestly, i'm so tired of some women with natural hair looking down their nose at other people who decide to relax, straighten, perm, curl, flat iron, press, or wear wigs/weaves. it's not that serious. as long as the hair looks neat, it shouldn't be your concern what others do with their hair.

i will say that i really enjoy this website/blog because it has awesome tips on how to maintain natural hair (i stopped relaxing my hair several months ago, and the tips on here have been on point). i could just do with out the implicit and sometimes explicit judgment.

Cache said...

This was a great interview. Also , it's a one stop shop for my annonated biblography that I'm writing on Toya. All the information is here. I don't even feel the need to stress over where I'm going to get my information about her anymore nor how to say because it's all here. Antonia, stay beautiful and continue to make things happen as you impact the lives around you. I love you.

Signed,
Cache
#YourBiggestFan

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