The Difference Between Texturizer & Relaxer... Let's Break It Down

Have you ever wondered WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE DIFFERENCE between texturizers and relaxers? We know that damage to your hair and scalp are serious threats from chemicals. But is all damage equal? Do ALL chemical hurt your hair growth efforts? Well, we'll break it all down for you. You'll have no doubts after this article.

So here's the funny thing....  

Usually, when people say "relaxers" they are usually referring to perm. You know, the stuff with the lye, that good ol' creamy crack

DON'T BE FOOLED, whether you use perm or texturizer, they are ALL relaxers. If you leave your texturizer in too long you will have very straightened hair. Or no hair if left in waaaay too long.

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texturizer difference perm relaxer

Learn The Differences & Similarities Right Now.

So we're gonna talk about perm relaxers and the difference with texturizer relaxers, but you'll probably understand the differences better if we talk about the similarities first. So let's get it...

Similarities Between Perm and Texturizer

  1. Just like perm, your typical hair texturizers have harsh chemicals with a high pH balance.
  2. Perm relaxers damage your hair structure and so do the milder texturizers, but to different levels.
  3. Texturizers still weaken the hair cuticles and SOME disulfide bonds are still broken the same as with perm relaxers.
  4. Both can burn your scalp if left in too long.

Difference Between Texturizers & Perm Relaxers

First off, the obvious difference is that perm relaxers usually have Lye in them(active ingredient is sodium hydroxide) and it has a high pH balance, much higher than the pH balance of your hair.

Most texturizers are no-Lye, and the pH level of a no-Lye relaxer is usually lower than a Lye-based perm. The active ingredients in texturizers are calcium hydroxide and sometimes guanidine carbonate. Texturizer relaxers can often cause dry hair due to potential calcium buildup.

The 3 major layers: Medulla, Cortex & Cuticle.

The 3 major hair layers: Medulla, Cortex & Cuticle.

Chemical & Physical Change Differences

Another difference is the effect on the chemical makeup of your hair they have, and the change in the actual physical properties of your hair afterwards.

When you perm relax your hair, you break 2 of the structural bonds that coat the 3 layers of your hair.

So you are basically left with only 1 layer of protection, whereas with the milder texturizers, you break less of the hair bonds(one instead of two), this leaves your hair more protected than perm relaxers.

With texturizers, you spare 2 of the 3 layers that coat each hair strand and your hair isn't as vulnerable to breaking scientifically speaking.

Texturizers do not completely destroy the physical and chemical properties of your hair but they DO cause a lot damage and make a permanent change to the treated hair.

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Texturizers are designed to rearrange the physical properties, giving you a softer curl pattern. I'm sure you've heard of a TexLax or TexLaxing, that's what it's called by the cool chicks, lol. Clutchmag has a pretty cool article on things you need to know about texlaxing...

All in all, texturizers are milder and less-damaging relaxers. Perm relaxer on the other hand, tears your head up! Get ready for MAJOR destruction to your hair structure that can't be reversed.

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Are You Natural If You Texturize?

In the natural hair community, there has been a raging debate about those who TexLax, Coco & Creme wrote an article titled "Is It Natural With a Texturizer or Silkener?" that I found interesting.

I think that it's obviously not "natural" because it's changing the structure of your hair, BUT, atleast with texturizer it's not a COMPLETE change, it's your decision honey.

The real problem is that there aren't many non-chemical options for relaxing your hair, but there is one really great one that I found for you! I wrote about it here and check out our article on the best black hair growth pills

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