For some time now I’ve been contemplating what I should do with my 4c textured natural hair.
You see, I’ve been growing my natural, this time around, for about 2 years now. And my hair has gotten to a length that maintaining it has become such a hassle for me.
I absolutely dread wash day. Because unlike with my short TWA, I can no longer as easily simply wash and go. I can no longer simply wash and go without a couple of hours of frustratingly twisting my hair or looking totally underwhelming.
Texturizer for Black Hair
The goal with wanting to texturize or texlax my type 4 hair (two totally different processes) is I want something that will soften my edges (and my beady beads), make my leave out easier to straighten and withstand humidity, and I also want to make my 4c hair overall easier to manage.
I considered just relaxing my hair (the easy way out). But then I remembered how lackluster and unimpressive my hair looked when it was overprocessed, lifeless, and relaxed (without weave or extensions). I also remember my relaxed hair would always inevitably break off and become damaged. I didn’t want that.
After going down the rabbit hole of the “texlaxed” community on youtube (yea, it’s apparently a thing), I also considered texlaxing my hair. The stretched coils achieved by the ladies with 4c textured hair was quite nice.
Texlaxing Hair vs Texturizing Hair. What’s the difference?
This is a very important distinction that should not be overlooked.
As you certainly already know. A relaxer is a product used with the intention of straightening black hair or African American hair. Now, although the next two terms (tex-lax and texturize) sound the same, they are not.
It’s my understanding that texlaxing is the procedure of underprocessing the hair with the use of a relaxer. This is acheived by leaving the relaxer in the hair for a considerably shorter duration of time than reccomended. Additionally, the strength of the relaxer may also be weakened with substances such as hair conditioner before applied to the hair.
A texturizer, on the other hand, is a product that is intended to specifically stretch and soften curls as opposed to straightening the hair.
I decided to go with the latter, a texturizer. I figured the texturizing “curl softener” would be a milder texture loosening formula. And then still, I would underprocess the texturized by leaving it in for a shorter duration of time than recommended.
I would much rather have my hair be underprocessed than over-processed. Worst case scenario, I can retexturize or re-process my underprocessed hair further. I don’t know at all if this is even a good idea, just my novice logic. The reverse however would not be possible.
The Texturizing Process
While texturing my 4c hair, I followed the directions exactly as instructed. I did however start the process with my leave out and edges as these are the areas I wanted the stretch and loosen the most. This texturizer on Amazon appears to be very similar to the one that I used (I bought mine from my local beauty supply store).
I left the texturizer on my leave out and edges for approximately 14 mins. I left the texuierzer on the rest of my 4c hair, as you can watch in the embeded video on this page, for not more than 5 mins.
*Please find and see embedded video on this page to see my process in action.
Texturizer Before & After Results
In retrospect, I’m very glad I decided to use a texturized rather than attempting to tex-lax my hair by using a relaxer. Considering extremely coarse my 4c hair texture is, if I were to do this process again, I would perhaps leave the texturizer on my hair (especially the back portion) for 7 or so minutes longer to stretch my curl pattern even more.
Although subtle, there absolutely is a difference in my hair texture before vs after texturizing my 4c hair. The texturizing process has stretched my hair as oppressed to straightening it. And my hair overall feels much softer to feel both wet and dry. Overall, I look forward to having an easier time managing my hair.
Although I’m happy with my results, I’m not certain if I would recommend this process to a type 4 natural who is committed to the natural hair journey. Full transparency, my mindset at this point and time, for example, is I am ok with totally losing my hair texture and if need be, transitioning to straighten hair. Had this not been my mindset I would not want to risk losing my texture.