What Is the Difference Between Texturizers & Relaxer?

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Texturizers and relaxers are both good ways to make extremely curly or kinky hair easier to manage. But what makes the two products different, and what should you know before going through the process?


A relaxer is used to completely remove the natural curl pattern from your hair. Relaxers are meant to give naturally curly, kinky hair a very straight, smooth, sleek look. Relaxers are chemically based; the chemicals are what cause your hair texture to change. Relaxers are meant to make tightly curled or kinky hair easier to comb and style; many style options can be achieved with relaxed hair.


A texturizer is simply a milder form of a relaxer. Instead of completely removing the curl pattern from your hair, it only loosens it, defining the curls rather than eliminating them. Depending on your hair’s natural texture, applying a texturizer can result in anything from loose waves to tight ringlets. Applying a texturizer can also make hair more manageable and easier to comb.


In theory, the same product that is used to relax your hair can also be used to texturize it—the difference between the two procedures is the application. When applying a relaxer, the product is applied, carefully worked through the hair, then left on for a length of time to process. Often a fine-toothed comb is used to pull the product through your hair to make it as straight as possible. The application of a texturizer is much shorter and simpler; the product should be applied and combed through with a wide-toothed comb. Also, texturizers should only be allowed to process for about a quarter of the time that you’d leave a relaxer on to process.


With both relaxers and texturizers, maintenance is important to keep your hair healthy and maintain its style. Since both options are chemical processes that weaken your hair, make sure to moisturize it often to keep it strong, prevent breakage and control frizz. You can use curl-defining products to enhance the curly style that a texturizer provides, or apply straightening products to keep your relaxed hair silky and straight.


Both texturizers and relaxers are chemical processes. If applied too often or incorrectly, your hair could be severely damaged. Not only that, but leaving the chemical product on for too long can result in scalp burns or hair loss. If you’re interested in getting a relaxer or texturizer, please go to a professional hair stylist.