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.
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?