Many people with afro-textured hair are familiar with what relaxers are but when you mention texturizers to them, they have a “What are you talking about?” moment. Going by the name, one may think that texturizers are supposed to add more texture to your curls. But this is entirely not the case. They do the opposite: help loosen your curl pattern with chemicals.
There are various reasons for people with 4C hair to want to texturize their hair. It could be just to try a new look or wanting an easy way out for wearing their hair. Whatever the reason, there is a lot to keep in mind. What are the pros and cons of texturizing 4C hair? How long do they last in the hair? How can you take care of texturized 4C hair?
The above questions and many more are what we aim to provide answers to in this blog post. By the time you read to the end, you will know all about texturizing 4C hair and you will be able to make an informed decision. Let’s get into it without much ado!
What is a Hair Texturizer?
A texturizer is a chemical that smooths and de-frizzes curly hair by altering its protein structure. It helps loosen up the curls while maintaining some of their natural states. The work of a hair texturizer is to manipulate the natural texture of your curls to make them more manageable. You may use a texturizer on your hair to make your coils or curls easier to work with.
You can think of hair texturizers as pseudo relaxers. They do not remove curls from hair totally or leave hair straightened. The chemical treatment is left in the hair for no more than eight minutes, unlike relaxers that are left for up to fifteen minutes. Also, we must remind you that texturizers do not enhance your curls; they are not perms.
Cosmopolitan advises patience when starting your texturizing journey. The first few attempts may not yield the perfect result, depending on the nature of your hair. Also, you can end up with varying textures on your head at once because the outcome is usually unpredictable, especially for starters. For best results, get professional help.
Do Hair Texturizers Damage 4C Hair?
Texturizing treatments are chemical treatments and chemicals are dangerous for your natural curls. The simple truth is that texturizers will leave a significant degree of damage in your hair, even if your strands are healthy and strong. The degree of damage varies from person to person, depending on hair type and properties.
There are ways to minimize the damage hair texturizers will cause to your hair. Some hair stylists suggest not leaving the texturizer in your hair for too long. It is also advisable to not texturize color-treated hair; they are more susceptible to damage.
Texturizers vs Relaxers
Both texturizers and relaxers are chemical treatments that leave permanent changes on 4C hair. If you think using texturizers doesn’t make you any less a naturalista, sorry to break it to you, but that ain’t the case. In many cases, relaxing products and texturizing products contain similar ingredients such as sodium hydroxide and calcium. A relaxer can be used to achieve texturizing effects, it will just be a matter of how long it is left in the hair. However, their effects on the hair are different.
Relaxers totally get rid of your curls, leaving you with straight hair. This can make relaxed hair particularly hard to style. You cannot alternate between curly and straight hairstyles. This challenge makes a lot of people opt for texturizing treatments. With texturizers, your curls are not removed, they are simply loosened to make them more manageable. With the right products, like curl-defining or straightening products, texturized hair can achieve a range of styles.
Pros and Cons of Using Hair Texturizers on 4C Hair
Like any other hair styling option, texturizing your hair has pros and cons. It seems that many naturalistas focus on the cons because it is a chemical treatment. But there definitely are some advantages too.
Pros of Texturizing 4C Hair
- It improves the manageability of the hair. Since texturizers help loosen the tight coils that make 4C hair hard to maintain compared to other hair types, managing the hair is significantly made easier.
- It is not expensive and it is easy to achieve. Texturizing 4C hair offers you a cheap and easy option of styling it compared to many other choices available.
- It significantly reduces shrinkage problems. Since shrinkage in 4C hair is mainly caused by the tight nature of its curls, loosening the curls with texturizers can solve that problem.
- Hair texturizers offer a permanent solution to your hair styling problems.
- It does not affect hair growth.
Cons of Texturizing 4C Hair
- The main con of texturizing 4C hair is the damage that comes with it. The harsh chemicals contained in texturizing products are harmful to your curls’ health.
- You may end up with varying hair textures with hair texturizers.
- It is a permanent treatment. If you want to get your natural curls back, you will have to transition or do the big chop.
- The harsh chemicals contained in hair texturizers can cause scalp irritation or lack of hair moisture.
- Hair texturizers may tamper with the color of your hair.
How to Texturize 4C Hair
As we said in earlier parts of this post, to get the best out of texturizing treatments, it is better to get professional help. But with the right guide, you can texturize your hair yourself or even get a friend to do it for you. Emphasis on the right guide. However, we advise that you should not get your first texturizing treatment on your own if you are not a professional. Let your hairstylist help you formulate a regimen that will work for you.
Tools Needed to Texturize 4C Hair
- A texturizing kit
- A mixing bowl
- A wooden stick or spatula
- A rat-tail comb
- An application brush
You can follow the steps below to texturize your hair at home:
- Prepare Your Hair for the Process
One step you must not joke with in texturizing 4C hair is preparing the hair for harsh chemicals. Naturally, 4C hair is fragile and this makes it more prone to damage than any other hair type. To prepare your hair, avoid any form of chemical treatment one month before texturizing to minimize damage. Also, ensure your scalp does not have any injury to avoid infection and irritation.
- Protect the Skin Surrounding Your Hair
The chemical components of hair texturizers can cause major damage if they come in contact with your skin. It is best to not let the product come in contact with your skin at all. You can protect your scalp by applying coconut oil to it before the texturizing treatment. It is also great to apply petroleum jelly such as vaseline to the skin surrounding your hair (like your ear and nape region) before texturizing your hair.
- Mix the Texturizing Products
Texturizer kits come with a few products, including a texturizing cream, an activator, a moisturizing complex, a neutralizing shampoo and essential oil.The texturizing cream, activator and essential oil should be mixed in a bowl and stirred with a wooden stick. Follow the instructions on the kit keenly to get the best results. Remember to avoid getting the texturizer in contact with your skin to avoid burning yourself.
- Apply the Texturizing Treatment to Your Hair
Before proceeding with the application process, make sure you get your gloves, comb and application brush ready. You, or the person helping you, must wear gloves while applying the cream to protect your hands from a chemical burn. Part your hair into sections and apply the texturizer with a brush or with your hands from the roots to the ends. Ensure that the cream is evenly and thoroughly distributed to your hair. Leave the texturizer on your hair for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Wash and Moisturize Your Hair
You must wash the texturizer off your hair thoroughly to prevent breakage. Start by rinsing it off totally before following up with the neutralizing shampoo that came with the kit. Dry your hair with a towel and then apply the moisturizing complex that also came with the kit. Let the mask sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. And you’re all done!
How to Care for Texturized 4C Hair
- Avoid Using too Many Products
With texturized hair, less is more! Applying too many hair products to your texturized hair will cover your hair cuticles and weigh your strands down. Instead of using every product you find on the shelf, it is better to select a few products and stick with them. As long as they work well with your hair.
- Use Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
4C hair, in whatever form it’s in, is prone to dryness. But with texturizing treatments, it is synonymous with desert! We cannot overemphasize the importance of avoiding shampoos that contain sulfate and paraben. The best shampoo for texturized hair is a moisturizing one and the same goes for conditioners. Always check the ingredients that your hair products are made of to make sure that they won’t leave your hair dry.
- Use Wide-Tooth Combs to Detangle
Detangling with brushes when your 4C hair is texturized is a no-no. Opt for wide-tooth combs. This is because chemically treated hairs are often highly porous and damaged; using brushes on them can cause further damage.
- Don’t Overwash the Hair
Since texturized hair is prone to dryness, washing it too often can lead to more dryness. It is better not to wash your hair more than 3 times weekly. Also, washing your hair with warm water is a safer option than washing it with cold water.
How long do texturizing treatments last?
Texturizing treatments, like any other chemical treatment, leave a permanent effect on your hair. It cannot be reversed.
When don’t texturizers work for 4C hair?
Although, how your hair reacts to texturizer may differ from how another person’s hair does, texturizers generally work for 4C hair. With professional help and being mindful of your hair’s needs, you can find a regimen that works fine.
Is texturized hair still natural?
No. Texturized hair is no longer natural because it has undergone chemical processing; just like relaxed hair.
Wrapping up, we want all our peeps with 4C hair to know that there is no shame in doing what you want with your hair. Many people face judgment from friends and family for not wearing their hair in its natural state. But we leave you with these words: the best way to wear your hair is with pride!