Texturizer: What Is It and What Does It Do for Black Hair

A texturizer can loosen a tight curl pattern.
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Definition: A texturizer is a mild form of a relaxer which is applied for a brief amount of time in an effort to only slightly relax the curl instead of completely straightening it. This is a chemical-based process. A relaxer can be used as a texturizer; simply leave it on the hair for less time than designated for straightening.

Also known as: Texture softener

Pros & Cons of Using Texturizers to Loosen Your Curl Pattern

Although texturizers may seem like the perfect answer for anyone who's not happy with how her natural texture appears, this chemical process isn't the right solution for everyone.

Here's a list of good and bad points when using texturizers.

Pros

  • May be slightly less damaging than relaxers
  • Can make straightening the hair easier if that's your goal
  • Allows you to easily switch from a wavy/curly texture to straight
  • May make hair more manageable for some users

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get uniform results from one application to the next, especially for longer hair
  • Isn't the best choice for anyone wanting to eventually transition to all-natural tresses
  • Is still a chemical process and can therefore damage the hair

What Can You Use to Texturize Your Hair?

While there are products designed for this process, understand that they contain the same ingredients as most relaxers. They're just marketed differently, but come with many of the same instructions and cautions (including having to use a neutralizing shampoo to stop the chemical process). If you want to purchase products specifically created for texturizing, you can check out some of the following:

Alternately, you can continue to use a box relaxer, but cut the recommended application time. How much time depends on your hair's thickness, current condition and texture. Because the time isn't the same for everyone, it's easy to see why getting the same results every time can be tricky, even for professionals.

Bottom Line: A Texturizer Is Not Natural

Sometimes, people believe that texturized hair is natural hair. This isn't the case. Although some texturized hair looks as if it could be natural -- due to retaining a curl pattern, although looser than a person's natural one -- it's still achieved with texture-altering chemicals. Because of this, it's not the best idea to texturize your tresses if your eventual aim is to be fully natural. A texturizer will only prolong your reliance on chemicals, and you'll have to cut away any texturized hair in order to be all natural. You won't be able to learn to handle your own texture as long as you have any processes in it.