There is a lot of controversy regarding the use of, and benefit from hair texturizers and texture softeners. Knowing the facts, about these products will make help you make informed decisions, regarding your hair care.
Both Texturizers and Texture softeners, have been formulated to chemically alter course/kinky/nappy African American, biracial or multi-ethnic hair. They both contain calcium hydroxide, the same ingredient in many permanent hair relaxers.
There is however, one major difference. When relaxers are applied to the hair, they are rinsed out after about 20 minutes. And cause hair to become bone straight.
Texture softeners, and texturizers on the other hand, are rinsed out after about 8 minutes,and leave the hair not quite so straight. The composition of the hair is still permanently changed, but with a texturizer or softener, there will be less chance of chemical damage.
Texturizers initially were formulated for men, whose hair was too short for curl rods, and could not get a curl or wave perm at the hair dresser. There is only enough product in the jar, to apply to short hair. Today there are texturizers that are marketed to both men and women.
Texture softeners are marketed for young children. There is enough of the product, so that even long hair can be softened. Both products give a look that can be mistaken for natural curls and waves, even though they are chemically induced.
Many times beauticians suggested I wear my hair natural, because I have a soft grade of hair. This is why I know the old adage of “Only your hair dresser knows for sure,” is inaccurate. While my hair may be easier to manage than some, the so called soft texture the beauticians encountered was because of a texturizer.
Unfortunately, after many black women use texturizers, and see their hair looking like what was known in the old days as “good hair”, they being to treat it as such. I and others I know, have been guilty of this. When our mane is easier to manage, there is an increase in combing brushing and styling, and a lack of proper maintenance.
When hair begins to break, the chemicals are blamed, when in truth the damage is due to a lack of necessary care. Here are some tips that will make your experience with texturizers/texture softeners more pleasurable.
Please read carefully the ingredients in all products you desire to use on your mane.
While it is true that texture softeners, texturizers, and the majority of relaxers today do not have sodium hydroxide,(lye), remember that calcium hydroxide is still a potent chemical. Do not be deceived by false advertising.
Chemicals by any other name still permanently alters the texture of the hair. Texturizers and texture softeners are the same thing, just marketed to a different audience. Young girls photo’s on one package, adults on the other. Inside the box however, there is no visible difference.
Don’t set your expectations too high.
The type of curls or waves you achieve after using these products will depend on the grade of hair you began with. You have no way of knowing if the model on the box, child or adult has actually used the product you hold in your hand.
If you decide to gently relax your natural curl pattern, by using chemicals please note that texturizers have only enough of the product for short hair or a new growth touch up. If your hair is long a texture softner will ensure all your hair is covered.
Once done, you will need to care for your hair in the proper manner. Because chemicals have been introduced, your hair will need to maintain proper moisture balance. Shampoo hair no more than once a week. Use a shampoo that is vitamin enriched.
After rinsing, apply a deep penetrating conditioner. Using a wide tooth comb, gently comb the conditioner all the way from root to the ends. Leave on for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse and blot hair with a towel. Next apply the leave in conditioner or moisturizer of your choice. There are many products specifically for curly/wavey styles.
Only comb your hair with a wide tooth comb, while it is wet. For between shampoo maintenance massage your daily moisturizer into the scalp, and hair. Lift gently with hands or a pick.
When curl perms first came on the scene, the only products available were curl activators and gels that left the hair greasy, and often dripping on everything. Today we have curl butter, hair pudding, lotions and oils, and non aerosol hair spray. At times I have to mix products to obtain the desired look.
On a final note, do not allow others to criticize you for choosing to soften the texture of your hair. There are blogs and websites where black women who choose to wear their hair natural, put down those who use chemicals. We are adults and individuals and have the right to choose what works best for us individually.