Texturising and Texlaxing

Monday, March 23, 2015

I am not my hair
India Arie

When I was little all I wanted was relaxed hair and I was so happy when I finally got my straight,sleek put a comb in and it glides straight through,no worries-no problems.

Mission Accomplished.

However 2011 had me rethinking all my earlier motivations for getting relaxed hair and then came the part where I begun laying blames around.I didn't like my hair anymore because it had length and no volume and from where I stood it didn't seem to be bouncing back.Even that chemical gunk we call relaxers had begun to sicken and irritate the crap out of me so I plotted and planned when I was going to start from scratch to grow my hair and go natural.Didn't eventually go natural till 2013 simply because I wanted to do it right and give it time so yes I jumped on that bandwagon and my guiding principle was 'No more chemicals'.

So when my friend was thinking of using a texturizer a while back and ran this by me,I flipped and had my own version of a heart attack which had me attacking her right back full on.It might sound like I was being mean and all but I think you would have done same if you had been in my shoes simply because she had the hair I've been working my butt off to get and then she was considering texturising-HECK TO THE NEEZY NO!!!

Her hair was lush,still is...length and volume all wrapped up in that one pretty bundle...every nappy girl's dream.When I calmed down some,I understood that she was tired of trying to comb her hair and manage it so I did my due diligence and explained to her that she honestly shouldn't be combing her hair everyday,told her a couple more hair care tips to try out and I put it out there that if she still wanted to go ahead she should just do me a teeny favor by doing her research on texturisers before she got on that boat.I think I was happier than she was when she didn't eventually texturise that you would think it was my hair in the mix (yep my being obsessed and in love with my friend's hair doesn't make me any less sane).So when someone else posed a question to me yesterday about texturising natural hair I felt it would be nice to share and address a couple misconceptions.

Several trends have evolved over the years since the natural movement came into play and texturising and texlaxing just happen to be two of those-nobody is saying either is bad,it's you who gets to decide what is for you.

What is Texturising and Texlaxing?
Though they sound alike,these two trends refer to two different things but most importantly they both involve the use of chemicals on our poor hair.So if you are trying to be chemical free you really should steer clear of these.
In a regular relaxer system,we usually have strong chemicals of sodium hydroxide and calcium ( or guanidine) hydroxide penetrating the layers of the hair shaft and in the process permanently breaking down the disulfide bonds in the hair, which causes a loosening and finally a straightening of the curl patterns of our hair. Texturising and texlaxing are similar to this except that they do not permanently straighten our curls.

Texturising involves using a texturizer which is simply a mild kind of relaxer used in the hair with a shorter processing time to loosen your curls.This makes the hair more manageable but unfortunately it is riddled with those infamous chemicals that we naturals try so hard to flee from-sodium hydroxide (lye) and  calcium hydroxide (no-lye).

Texlaxing on the other hand, entails using your usual relaxer kit (sometimes  mixed with an oil like olive oil to help slow down the process) on your hair for a shorter time so your hair gets processed slower and not as much as if you were doing a full blown relaxing but the comb-through part might be skipped altogether.All this is based on the hair texture you hope to achieve whether it be loosed curls or wavy since the motivation for texlaxing or texturising most times is to create more manageable volume,less breakage and a looser texture for that natural look.

I find it necessary to mention that what is key to both texturising and texlaxing is the process of application-timing and method, so never overlook this because you don't want to end up with different textures all around your entire head of hair or a completely straight-textured hair which we all know would never revert back to being curly unless it is chopped off.Also being natural generally means wearing your hair in it's natural state without altering the texture so ultimately the use of chemicals on our natural hair leads to a change in our hair's texture.It's okay to not be #teamnatural,there is no law written that suggests 'natural or I die' so if texturising or texlaxing is the way to go just remember to stay true to your decisions and maintain your new hair.

Why do I want to texturise or texlax?
I believe that this is a question every natural should ask themselves before embarking on this quest...what is your motivation for texturising or texlaxing?
I know it can be a pain maintaining a 4c  textured hair (I can testify, currently living that life) and most people want to texturise to a 3c but the hard truth is that sometimes you might not get your desired results-just might end up with a 4a,4b or a dry damaged excuse for a hair. Other times you find out that texlaxing might have been the way to go rather than texturising or neither of the two-nothing is set in stone when it comes to this.However,finer textures like 4a might find using a texturiser more beneficial in attaining looser textures like 3c so it is key that you recognize your hair's texture and what you would like it to be,this way the issue of expectation is addressed.Also weigh the pros and cons of both so you know which benefits your situation more-this one is something I do in almost every life situation (what can I say,I'm anal that way mixed with an amount of obsessive-compulsive so try understanding this sister right here and cut me some slack pretty please).

I would suggest that if you decide to texturise or texlax,go see a professional stylist who is knowledgeable and do not do a DIY in your bathroom-this is serious business cos in my opinion loss of hair equals loss of property (*sighs*) and you don't wanna go out like that.Otherwise, you could patiently use other heat styling tools to straighten natural hair and allow your hair breathe in between if you don't want to take this permanent route of texlaxing or texturising.

Remember to pay close attention to your hair whether texturised or texlaxed so you don't run into any problems down the line and breakage doesn't become an issue (deep condition as per usual).


That's it from over here guys,I apologise for the length of this post.
Till the next one,
Love your hair...and me *winks*



  1. Sometimes I honestly think some naturals have got it easier than others. I've met some with really disagreeable hair and have done the "you don't need to use chemicals" speech a number of times. Some would go ahead and texturize and have since been a lot happier with their mop :)

    1. Lol @ 'mop'...and I completely agree-I confess I find myself envious of some 4a naturals during my bad hair days,sooo not pretty


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