In recent months, I’ve had many ask me about texturizers, texlax or whatever other names they seem to go by these days. They’ve read or seen advertisements leading them to believe that it is a natural way to create bountiful curls, loosen tightly coiled curls, and make hair more manageable. It’s also portrayed as a safer way (less damaging) to “elongate” natural curls and still remain natural. Is it true? Is it safe? Can it be used to help in the transitioning phase? Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about texturizers.
Texturizer – defined as a mild form of a relaxer, applied to the hair for a brief amount of time; usually applied with a comb through method allowing tightly coiled curls to be given a “more desirable, loosely defined” curl pattern.
“Texturizers are completely safe.”
The myth that texturizers are completely safe is left open for interpretation. Texturizers are usually composed of the same ingredients as a relaxer. The difference that make them “safer”, is that they are usually milder, containing more conditioners and oils. BUT…At the end of the day, it’s a relaxer. The fact that it is required to stay on the hair for a shorter amount of time than a relaxer, also has companies marketing them as safe, but, if you leave it on too long, curls will be completely straightened with no chance of them reverting back. Safe? Unlikely.
“Texturizers are the perfect way to elongate curls.”
Texturizers are the perfect way to elongate curls. This is not a lie. But, hair will no longer be natural, it will be chemically treated. Also, because the curl pattern has been loosened, hair strands will be finer, losing some of the denseness to the hair. So, if you are looking for products to elongate your curl pattern, but not completely and permanently alter them, try products such as:
Products such as those listed above will give the desired look of elongated curls, without the permanent stain of chemically treating your hair.
“Texturizers allow curls to be more manageable”
The reason most find their curls to be unmanageable is because of the multitude of curls patterns that are intermingled on one head. Texturizers provide curl uniformity, thus making curls more manageable. But, keep in mind, the curl uniformity is caused by chemically treating the hair, and cannot be undone. It is my suggestion that if you fight to manage your different curl patterns, try utilizing the twist out or braid out methods, finger coils or flat twist outs.
“Texturizers give great, beautiful bountiful curls”
In my opinion, though texturizers may loosen curls, it doesn’t create huge bountiful curls. It may allow for better definition, but most have experienced limp curls. Now it does make for a great foundation for setting on rods or rollers, but the curls themselves may come out a bit “lifeless”.
“Texturizers help make the transitioning process easier”
It has been said that texturizers make the transitioning process easier. This is a catch 22. Though it makes the transition easier by loosening the texture, putting less stress on the line of demarcation, it makes for a longer transition because you will still have to transition out of the texturizer in order to be completely chemical free- doubling your transitioning phase. Also, remember that because the curls have been elongated – making for an “easier: transition, as the new growth comes in, you will have to reapply in order to have matching curl patterns. Otherwise, you will be left with two different textures, a line of demarcation (where the different textures meet), defeating the purpose of texturizing. Also, you risk overlapping the previously treated strands, which can lead to chemical damage and/or straighten hair.
“Texturizers are curls-in-a-box”
When I first went natural, I would get stopped 4 to 5 times a week with the question: “What did you put on your hair to get the curl??” Thinking they were referring to my definition, I would tell them gel or water or a combination of sorts. They would reply “No, I mean what did you use to get your curls??” Puzzled, I’d ask what they meant by the question, and they’d make reference to some type of texturizer. I’d laugh and reply, “You can’t buy curls in a box”. This is the biggest misconception. BUT it’s important to know that if your hair is loose or doesn’t have a curl pattern, such as those described as having “z” pattern textures, and you apply a texturizer, it isn’t going to deliver a curl pattern, but quite the opposite. I have seen this happen, and the results are horrifying. The hair usually ends up bone straight and/or limp, leaving the individual having to Big Chop or transition all over again. Texturizers merely loosen tightly coiled curls, but don’t supply curls to already loosened wavy or undefined “z” patterned hair.
It is so very important to be aware of ingredients, application process and risks of texturizers. I am not against them, but as with all chemicals, pose as a potential risk if misused. Also, the use of them depends upon the desired look you are wanting to achieve.
There are pros and cons to texturizers, so do a little research, and become informed before proceeding. The worse thing ever is to experiment with your natural hair, only to have to start over. I went through the whole, “Oh it’s just hair”, but when you have to start from scratch, its a different story. I big chopped for the umpteenth time back in November after “texlaxing” and wearing my hair in a cute style that I loved for maybe 2 weeks. And though I knew the risks, knew what I was doing, and loved my results, it pained me to start over after no longer desiring to wear my hair in that specific style.