Toia is an AWESOME photographer I had the pleasure of meeting, and working with on multiple occasions!!!! I was drawn to her work, because she has no boundaries. Toia doesn’t limit her work to rail thin, salon perfect hair wearing, flawless skinned, 6’8″ models. Her spectrum and mind are much more open than that. She is very true to herself, her work, and life. I love that in her! Even though she’s been SUPER busy she managed to help me out by answering some questions, and providing great info for me to pass on. Here’s your turn to Naturally Meet, Miss Toia!
When did you become natural? May of 2006 was my last relaxer.
Did you transition, or do the Big Chop? I transitioned first and then did my big chop on January 26, 2007 after watching Malcolm X.
What influenced you to become natural? I admired the uniqueness of being natural. I had tried to transition for five years before I actually went natural. Then, I met a local photographer who traveled all over the world taking images of beautiful people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. I saw one image of a girl with really strong African Features. She was from West Africa. I thought she was not attractive, and I wondered what made him choose her to be photographed. He told me that he thought she was beautiful. I felt a bit guilty, because I realized as old as I was that I had been taught to hate those features that are unique to Africans and African Americans. It was self hate. I felt ashamed. I kept looking at the image, and I realized that I shared the same features (wide nose and full lips), but that I was somewhat of a hypocrite, because I hid mine behind a long silky wrap of chemically relaxed hair. I decided at that moment to go natural and to stand firm in my decision this time
What’s the best thing about being natural? The cost! Economically, it is cheaper (besides experimenting with different products on my hair). I no longer have to spend 65 dollars for a relaxer. Also, I do not miss sitting in a chair for hours on end. I’m so glad that’s not me anymore!
Top 3 fave products? Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner, and Apple Cider Vinegar.
What’s your hair routine? In the summer, I wash with an apple cider vinegar rinse in the shower. I then use a cheap conditioner to comb through to detangle. After that, I rinse thoroughly and then apply either the hair milk OR the conditioner (depending how my funds are). I never comb it after detangling. I allow it to dry with the product on, in ringlets. In the mornings, I shower and allow the mist to spray my hair and I may apply a little more product as needed. In the winter, I have my hair wish, blow dried and flat ironed professionally, or sometimes I do it at home.
What do you love the most about being natural? I love the versatility and my hair seems so much healthier. It’s growing like a wild fire!
- Rustic Beauty via YouTube (she doesn’t have a channel anymore but you can search for old videos)
- Curly Chronicles via YouTube
- Pretty Dimples via YouTube
- For Networking
- Grow Afro Hair Long
The following are some photos of me that Toia has skillfully taken! Remember these photos are protected, copyrighted, and permission for any and all use must strictly have permission from Toia herself.
|Wearing a Twist Out|
|Two Strand Flat Twists on the side with loose two strand twists in the back|
|Small two strand twists|
You may find more about the wonderful Toia, her craft, and maybe a photo or two of me H E R E !!