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What you need to know about texturizers

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  • The return of relaxers has also highlighted the use of texturizers.
  • Hair treatment chemically relaxes curly hair and can make curl patterns more defined.
  • A professional hairstylist explains how texturizers work, how to care for textured hair, and what to know before getting a texturizer.

The return of relaxers has led to the resurgence of another popular chemical treatment from the early years: texturizers.

Texturizers have long been touted in the black community as another way to make curly hair “more manageable” while not being as damaging as relaxers — or worse, perms. “Texturizers are very mild and not as strong as relaxers,” professional hairstylist Keka Heron tells POPSUGAR. “The chemicals used in relaxers are less harsh and serve to soften the texture of the hair, instead of straightening it completely.”

The difference between texturizers and relaxants

One of the main differences between texturizers and relaxers is how long the product is actually in the hair. While relaxers can stay in the hair for up to 25 minutes, texturizers can be applied for as little as 10 minutes. However, just like relaxers, texturizers are also semi-permanent. “Texturizers are technically permanent,” Heron explains, but like relaxers, your hair grows, so you can still go natural after using a texturizer.

How to take care of textured hair

If you choose to get a texturizer, you will need to make sure that you are taking the proper steps to maintain optimal hair health for the duration of the treatment. “As with relaxers, you need hair treatments and conditioning between touch-ups,” says Heron. Chemical treatments are notorious for causing extreme dryness, so in addition to making sure you get deep hydrating and conditioning treatments every time you go to the salon, doing a hair mask at least once a week will help keep your well hydrated hair.

Additionally, texturizers are also very similar to relaxers in terms of touch-up frequency. “Most clients touch up every eight to 12 weeks,” says Heron. Note that the longer you wait, the more likely you are to see new growth, which will need to be cared for as carefully as the textured part of your hair.

How much do texturizers cost?

The cost of texturizers will vary depending on geographic location, your stylist’s experience level, etc. Be prepared to pay over $200 in a big city like New York to get the treatment, and maybe more if you get add-ons like hydrating masks or bond repair treatments. Ultimately, texturizers are a viable alternative to perms or relaxers, especially if you’re looking for a gentler way to chemically treat your hair. Much like coloring or bleaching your hair, there is always a risk of damage if you don’t strive to maintain healthy hair practices – so it’s not necessarily a “healthier” alternative by default. What you do with your hair should be your choice. If you decide to go for a texturizer, be sure to consult with a licensed professional hairstylist who will answer your questions and address any concerns throughout the process.