What's the Difference? Natural Hair Relaxer or Texturizer

Hey Curlies,

I get questions all of the time about products out on the market, specifically natural hair relaxers and texturizers. People constantly want to know the difference between a hair relaxer and a texturizer.

While I personally don't support either of these methods of hair straightening, you deserve to educate yourself.

I feel "teacher mode" coming on...let's break it all down.

Difference between relaxer/perm and texturizer - ClassyCurlies

Here's today's lesson:

What is a natural hair relaxer
Also known as "perm" in the black community, a relaxer does just what it says, it relaxes your curl pattern transforming your curly strands to straight ones. It uses a series of chemicals that keep the hair straight for a few weeks at a time. At some point, more relaxer will need to be applied to touch up the roots of where the curly hair has begun to grow in.

Pros: Straightens hair for a short amount of time
Cons: Touch up needed usually every 4-6 weeks, very high pH, loaded with strong chemicals found in detergents, drain cleaners, etc. (this is one of the many reasons why they burn upon application).

RELATED | 10 Ways to Grow Your Hair | What to tell a Friend who wants to go back to Relaxers

What is a natural hair texturizer
Think of a texturizer as a mild form of a relaxer. It won't give you bone-straight hair, but it will loosen your curls - resulting in many times, a wavy hair texture. It also uses a series of dangerous chemicals to get the job done and a touch up will be needed as the more curlier hair grows in.

Pros: Leaves you with wavy strands
Cons: High pH and also loaded with many of the chemicals found in relaxers

Like I said, I wouldn't recommend either of these methods as they can ultimately cause long term hair damage.

RELATED | Texturizers and Telax 101

NOTE: If you do plan to use either of these methods to straighten your hair (and you already have natural hair) they will impact all parts of your hair...meaning you may lose all of your curl pattern. 

Tune into this episode of Curly Conversations for a more in depth chat about texturizers: