No matter how glamorous natural curls are, sometimes wearing them naturally can be difficult to maintain. Naturally, curly hair is highly porous in nature and struggles to maintain moisture and softness, leading to frizziness and difficulty in managing. The result is you are living in messy buns and only wearing amazing hairstyles on special occasions. But sometimes you might wish for a change that makes your curly tresses easier to manage, which is where a texturiser for hair comes into play. A chemical process, texturising can help loosen and soften your curl pattern and control frizz without having to completely straighten your hair. Here's everything you need to know about it...
- What is a hair texturiser and what are its benefits?
- What is the process of texturising your hair?
- What kind of damage can hair texturisers cause?
- How long do texturisers last?
- How to take care of texturised hair?
- Texturiser vs Relaxer
- FAQs about texturiser hair
What is a hair texturiser and what are its benefits?
As mentioned above, hair texturising is a chemical process that relaxes the existing texture of your naturally curly and frizzy hair. It does so by breaking down and altering the structure of proteins (keratin, amino acids, and cysteine) in your hair. Lye texturisers (sodium hydroxide) or no-lye texturisers (calcium hydroxide) are used to break the protein bonds and loosen your curl pattern. Unlike the name suggests, texturisers won’t add texture to straight hair, it only changes the look of existing natural curls and shows varied results depending on the level of a coil of the hair. The process does not fully straighten your hair, but works as an instant relaxer for a curly mane. Some of the visible benefits of a texturiser are-
- Addition of visible volume to your hair
- Reduction of stubborn flyaways
- Improvement in manageability and shine in unruly hair
- Makes your curls lighter and easier to work with
- Keeps hair detangled and makes it easier to achieve and maintain new hairstyles
What is the process of texturising your hair?
Hair texturisers can be applied at home as well, but given the nature of the chemical process, it is highly recommended to get it done by a professional. The process is as follows -
Step 01: Prep - Since hair texturising is a potentially damaging chemical process, your hair needs to be prepped for it at least 2-3 months in advance. Cut down on harsh chemicals and heat-styling to give your tresses a chance to bounce back to their original healthy state before the procedure.
Step 02: Protect your scalp and skin - Texturising products can cause chemical burns on your scalp and skin. As such, use a scalp protector before the appointment and cover your exposed neck and ear with petroleum jelly to avoid the skin coming in contact with the chemicals.
Step 03: Application - Texturisers are usually consisting of a cream, an activator, an essential oil and moisturising complex. The mixture is applied to your hair in sections in order to cover from root to tip and even the edges of your hairline. It is then left on for at least 5 to 10 minutes in order to get the desired results.
Step 04: Wash and condition - The texturiser is first neutralised with water and rinsed off completely from your mane. Then your hair is washed with another neutralising step, a gentle shampoo that makes sure to not strip off any more moisture from your hair. This is followed by a conditioner mask for a few minutes and rinsed off with water when done.
What kind of damage can hair texturisers cause?
Similar to any chemical treatment done on hair, texturising also has its fair share of cons-
- The products used can disrupt the pH balance of your scalp and cause irritation or burns. Which is why it is important to do a patch test to rule out sensitivity.
- Using texturising products on broken, cracked or injured scalp can lead to further infection.
- Even though the level of damage is not so high as compared to other treatments, your hair can still feel very dry after the appointment. This can be combated a little by introducing a lot of hydrating boosters to the texturising mix, an option you can discuss with your hairstylist.
- The final result of a texturiser depends solely on your natural curl pattern to begin with. Which means, you can be left dissatisfied by the end result as it differs from person to person.
- If not done properly, texturisers can also change the base colour of your hair; although the change won't be too drastic, it will definitely be noticeable to you.
How long do texturisers last?
Even though texturisers are not left on for too long, they are quite permanent in nature. If the end result is to your liking, you need to touch it up every 8 to 10 weeks in order to cover the new hair growth. If you do not like the end result, you can just let your hair grow out and wear your curl in a protective hairstyle to minimise damage. Sometimes, you might also have to touch it up as early as 3 months because some curl patterns can be visibly different at the roots and that can make your hairline look out of place.
How to take care of texturised hair?
A few key rules to follow to maintain texturised hair are -
- Only use the shampoo and conditioner recommended by your salon that suits your hair type and will be able to maintain the hydration level of chemically-treated hair.
- Sleep with protective hairstyles covered in a silk scarf in order to maintain the curls for longer. You can also just lay your head on a silk pillowcase as that will help with controlling frizz as well.
- Spritz your hair with water before combing in order to maintain the curl pattern better.
- Use a deep conditioning mask once a week in order to speed up the repair process and keep your tresses moisturised.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair in the shower and try to air dry as much as possible.
- Simplify your hair care routine and cut down on too many gels, creams or leave-on serums to avoid overwhelming your hair.
Texturiser vs Relaxer
Both texturiser and relaxer are chemical processes, with the former being a milder version of the latter. Texturising only loosens up your curls, whereas a relaxer fully removes them and makes your hair as straight as possible. Relaxer treatments are longer as well; they are permanently transformative and thus can cause a lot of damage to natural hair. Also, while you can still use a texturiser safely at home to an extent, a relaxing treatment has to be done by a professional in order to avoid excessive breakage or permanent cuticle damage.
FAQs about texturiser hair
1) Are there natural alternatives for chemical texturisers?
A. No, even though there are texturising products with the label of 'natural' on them, they can never be fully chemical-free. A product that claims to permanently straighten or relax your hair will need a chemical-based formula to do so. If you need a less damaging alternative to texturising, salon services like blowouts can help loosen your curl pattern and smoothen your tresses as well.
2) What is the best way to get rid of texturised hair?
A. As mentioned above, texturising is a permanent process, which means the only way to get rid of it is to hit refresh by cutting off the treated sections and new hair growth replacing it. Which is why it is important to consult your stylist before making the commitment of going through a texturising process.
3) Will a hair texturiser stop hair growth?
A. One of the biggest misconceptions about hair texturising is that it tends to stop your hair growth. It is not possible for a chemical process to stop the natural process of hair growth. If you do notice your hair growth being stymied after a texturising process, it will be for another reason and not because of the product itself.