Aggggghhhh! You might be hollering this in the morning while staring at your natural hair, wondering what in the world you’re going to do with it today. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Perhaps your over your slick, relaxed bob and want to transition back to the crown of natural curls you haven’t seen since…birth? Well, even if you have the sticky urge to slap that creamy crack back on your scalp be cautious. There may be an alternative route: the texturizer.
You’ve probably heard of these right? But what exactly is a texturizer? And can it help you?
If you want to be chemical free, then steer clear of these products. Texturizers are simply mild relaxers that are designed to loosen curls rather than permanently straighten the hair. There’s a plus in that: it can make your hair easier to manage. However, just like relaxers, they contain those similar heart-wrenching ingredients that might be driving you away: sodium hydroxide (lye) and calcium hydroxide (no-lye). Texturizers are relatively safer than relaxers because they are left on the hair for a shorter amount of time.
So where do issues arise? Texturizers work well on short hair. That’s why you’ll see some guys rocking the S-Curl after a good texturizer (yep, some boys use chemicals too.). Texturizers will give the hair more of a wave pattern and loosen a curly afro. But with longer hair, texturizers can honestly be a go or no-go.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get a uniform texture with each touch-up. Just imagine one stylist leaving it on for five minutes and then the next one leaving it on for eight. Much can occur over the course of three minutes. Moreover, If one stylist decides to do your whole head at once, the areas that endure the texturizer the longest are more likely to come out straighter than you realize. The key thing to texturizers is the application process: how you do it and how long you leave it on. Most stylists recommend parting into four sections and doing each section separately.
Also, if you have kinky curls, they may not become wavy, but rather turn into a dry, damaged mess. You can’t make your hair jump from 4c to 3a with a texturizer. If this is what your thinking, then don’t attempt.
What about texlaxing you ask? Texlaxing is when you under process your hair with a full on relaxer. By underprocessing we mean, leaving the product on for a short amount of time to not experience the full affect of permanently straightening the hair. To get looser curls this way or wavier hair, people often mix the relaxer with a base, such as olive oil, to slow down the processing time. There are varying degrees to which your hair can turn out depending on the application — very tight (10%) or extremely loose (90%).
The biggest con to this option is the same as the texturizer — you could ultimately end up with different textures of hair if you’re not wise about the application. If you overprocess your hair (leave the product on and it straightens) then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it to revert back to your curly hair. Except cut it off. And no one wants to roll around with a multi-textured hair or with strands that are half curly and straight. Don’t try to apply your own texlaxer unless you strand test or know a stylist who is skilled at doing so. Seriously. Go to a stylist who knows EXACTLY what she’s doing. Because some really don’t know and will eat your money and leave with you a bad batch of hair.
A bit scary to think about, huh? If you’re already natural and thinking you can handle it, be patient and give your hair time. You can easily straighten with hot tools and other methods that won’t permanently alter your hair and all your hard work. And if you’re transitioning, consider a big chop. If you do decide to take this route of texturizing and texlaxing, be very cautious and think your decision through wholeheartedly before doing so. You can only go forward and not back.