Are Texturizers a Good Way to Transition to Natural Hair?

Woman wondering if a texturizer is the answer to her transitioning woes
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Many women who decide to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair get frustrated at some point, particularly if they don't cut all of their permed locks off at once. However, even women who do the "big chop" can find their natural hair difficult to work with at times.

Consider this: If you've had processed hair as long as you can remember, that's what you're used to styling on a daily basis, so natural hair can take some getting used to.

But, is a texturizer really the answer?

Are Texturizers a Good Way to Transition to Natural Hair?

If your eventual goal is to be free of texture-altering chemicals, then avoid texturizers as your hair grows out. Some companies tout their texturizers as "all natural" or say that the product will loosen your texture and make it more manageable. Texturizers do loosen your curl pattern, but they are chemicals, regardless of how many so-called natural ingredients are listed on the box.

Consider a texturizer to be "relaxer lite." Relaxers are designed to completely straighten the hair, while texturizers loosen curls, but in reality, they both contain the same straightening ingredients, either sodium hydroxide (lye) or calcium hydroxide (no-lye). What makes a texturizer seem less potent is the fact that it's left on the hair for a shorter period of time.

Make no mistake with this product, however.

Texturizers do alter your natural texture, and as long as you have any texture-altering chemicals in your tresses, your mane is not 100% natural. In some cases, a stylist may try to talk you into getting a texturizer, usually in the form of making your hair more "manageable," but learning to accept your texture (with its good and not so good aspects) is a big part of returning to your natural hair.

Hair Texturizers: When They Work Well vs. When They Don't

Texturizers work much better and produce more uniform results on short hair, so if you plan to sport a short style and you feel the need for more of a wave pattern vs. an Afro, a texturizer may be a good option. Your hair will be continually trimmed, allowing you to get rid of damage and not worry so much about matching your new growth to previously processed hair.

It's when you want longer hair that texturizers can be so hit-and-miss. It can be difficult, even for stylists, to maintain a uniform texture from touch-up to touch-up. Some strands of hair can straighten completely, while others stay wavy or curly. In some cases, kinks won't turn into waves, even with a texturizer: the hair may go from afro-textured to a dry, damaged mess instead. If some kind of curl pattern (S-shaped) isn't already present, you can't create it.

Bottom Line

Anyone who wants truly, 100% natural hair should steer clear of texturizers, which will only prolong your journey to completely chemical-free tresses. You won't know what your real texture is like and how to handle it, including knowing the best products to use, as long as you have any kind of chemical process on your locks.