Texturizers: The "Other" Relaxer

A lot of people think that texturizing your hair is the same as being natural. This is very far from the truth. Granted, every one's definition of natural seems to vary these days but one thing most of us can agree on is that texturizing your hair is not being natural simply because it is a chemical process that involves permanently altering your hair's natural texture.

What is a Texturizer?                                    
Texturizers are almost no different from a traditional relaxer. A texturizer is simply a less harsher chemical process that is used to manipulate the texture of one's hair. Texturizers will alter your curl pattern by loosening the tightly wound curls for a wavier, more "curlier" effect. The texturizer is left in for a much shorter period than a relaxer. Some people use relaxers as texturizers but only leave the relaxer on the hair for a very short period of time. If you must apply a texturizer, I do not recommend using a traditional relaxer at all.

Although I have never had a texturizer, I have applied them for a few people and must say that the results will vary depending on your natural hair texture. I have even seen some texturizers change the natural texture of a person's hair almost bone straight in a matter of minutes.

How is a texturizer similar to a relaxer?                                                       
The texturizing process is permanent and just like a relaxer, the only way to get rid of the texturizer and become chemical-free is to cut it from your hair. The active ingredient found in a traditional relaxer is sodium-hydroxide (also known as lye), an alkaline based chemical. In order to achieve the chemical manipulation of the natural hair texture, an alkaline-based product is also used to alter the hair when texturizing. Sodium Hydroxide is just one of a few alkaline-based chemicals.

The active ingredient found in a texturizer is called Thioglycolate (Thio) which is the chemical that breaks the bonds of the hair.

Note: Sodium Hydorxide and Thio based relaxers/texturizers are not a compatible mix. DO NOT attempt to texturize hair that was previously relaxed with a sodium-hydroxide based relaxer. The hair could possibly be destroyed, melted or simply fall out.

Thioglycolate is also used in clothing and upholstery, and to make flexible hoses and tubing, flooring, roofing membranes, and electrical cable insulation. It is also commonly used in figurines and in inflatable products such as waterbeds, pool toys, and inflatable structures.

Texturizer maintenance is the same as relaxer maintenance!                      
When deciding to texturize that hair, maintenance is very important in keeping the newly formed curls in shape. Combs should be avoided after texturizing the hair, as combs can break the fragile hair. Cream based hair moisturizers are also recommended over protein based ones. The protein in some moisturizers can cause the hair to become extremely dry, brittle and contribute to severe breakage.

Just like getting a relaxer, you would also have to have your texturizer "touched-up" every few weeks to maintain the curl pattern achieved by the texturizer. By not maintaining your texturized hair and not getting regular touch-ups, this can also lead to severe hair breakage, just like a relaxer.

Thinking about getting rid of your texturizer? Grab your scissors because the only way you'll rid your hair of this chemical is again, to cut it out! You can grow the texturized hair out but it is not usually recommended because this can cause more problems for your hair than you probably have the patience to deal with.

The Conclusion                                                                                               
All in all, I don't see much of a difference in a relaxer as opposed to a texturizer. They are both chemicals, they both smell like acid, both require regular touch-ups and treatments, both are permanent and both use chemicals that are found in poisons, cleaners and more. So, the verdict is in for me and texturizers just will not be on my list of things to try. I've decided to take my natural hair journey free of chemicals that alter or manipulate the natural texture of my hair, especially if its permanent!

What do you think ladies? Would you consider yourself natural if you wore a texturizer? Why or why not?

"What is a Texturizer" via Straight to the Root
"What is Hair Texturizer" via Wise Geek

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