Relaxers vs. Texturizers - What's the Difference?:
Because hair products sometimes make conflicting and confusing claims, the average consumer may not know what effects a product will have on her hair. Just look at all the "natural" claims on bottles and jars. One drop of olive oil doesn't make a product natural when every other ingredient is five syllables long!
When it comes to chemical processes like relaxers and texturizers, you should be particularly vigilant to avoid serious problems like breakage and hair loss. What's the difference when it comes to relaxers vs. texturizers, anyway?
Relaxers are typically left on the hair anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, while texturizers shouldn't be left on for more than five to 10. The amount of time the chemicals react with the hair is the main factor in differing results between the two processes.
Don't be fooled by claims that texturizers are a natural product. Both relaxers and texturizers contain chemicals that change the hair permanently. In many cases, these products contain the same ingredients -- what alters the results is the time that they're left on the hair.
When it comes to how straight you want your hair to be, there's a big difference.
Relaxers are made to "relax" the curl; in many cases, women choose to relax their hair completely, or bone, straight. This sometimes results in overprocessing and can leave the hair with little elasticity and no body.
Texturizers, on the other hand, are applied when you don't want all of the curl removed from the hair. Done correctly, this process can turn thick, bulky hair into a curly or wavy texture, but it's important to note that hair should already contain S-shaped curls.
Z-shaped curls do not texturize well at all (though they respond well to relaxers). This is when consumers need to honestly assess their hair to get the best results. Texturizers simply give better "curly" results on some hair textures than others.
Qualified stylists who care about the health of their clients' hair can typically get consistent results with relaxers, and even texturizers, although the latter tend to be a bit trickier. While relaxers work well on S-shaped curls and Z-shaped curls, honest stylists should advise clients about unpredictable results from texturizers on Z-shaped textures.