Women of color are now, more than ever, waving good bye to relaxed hair and embracing their natural curls and waves. Some relaxed ladies, however, are opting to transition to texlaxing as opposed to relaxing bone straight or going completely natural. It is a way to keep a little of one’s texture and thickness without fully committing to being natural. For some, it is easier to maintain and allows for more versatility than hair that has been relaxed completely straight.
What is It?
Texlaxing is the process of purposefully under processing one’s hair in order to loosen the texture of the hair without completely straightening it.Many women prefer this method over Relaxing bone straight because it is less damaging and leaves the hair thicker than a relaxer.
It is less damaging than relaxing bone straight and offers a lot of versatility. For those that enjoy wearing their hair straight, texlaxing makes straightening hair easier and often results in better results if done properly.
Believe it or not, texlaxing can also aid in the transition to going completely natural. Many of my acquaintances who once thought they could never go natural changed their minds after texlaxing. They fell in love with having textured hair and slowly grew accustomed to learning how to care for curly hair. They began weaning themselves off of “the creamy crack” until they were fully natural. This is a major plus for those of us who are slow to change. Many of us jump in to going natural, cut all of our hair off, become overwhelmed and then regret it and return to relaxing. Texlaxing allows for a slow transition so that you can have ample time to decide whether or not it is the right decision for you.
Another reason many women choose to texlax is to soften the texture and weaken the hair at the line of demarcation. The line of demarcation is where your natural hair meets your relaxed hair. When going natural, avoiding breakage at the line of demarcation is nearly impossible. This can be upsetting for women who are not ready for the “big chop” and can put an end to a natural hair journey. Texlaxing this portion can help prevent the relaxed hair from breaking off for those of us who do not wish to part with the length of our hair any time soon.
How is it done?
Despite what some may believe, you don’t have to run out and go in search of new products that you are not accustomed to. The most popular method of texlaxing is by using a normal relaxer and weakening it on your own. This way, you don’t have to stress over whether some “new product” will fair well with your hair because you are using a relaxer that you have had previous experience with(assuming that you’re relaxed). If you are the type who is not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, then you can purchase a texture softener and see how you like it. If you are not going to a licensed, trusted professional, then it is imperative that you thoroughly follow the directions that come with the relaxer. When i texlax, I prefer to use the “Just for Me Texture Softener”. I have had nothing but good results with it and it does what i want. My hair texture is slightly looser and is – surprisingly- no longer frizzy. Because products don’t work the same for every one, I recommend using a relaxer that you’re already used to and weakening it.
Steps for self Texlaxing
What you will need:
Rattail comb (for parting your hair in sections. If it is a small toothed comb, don’t you dare come through your hair with it! Small toothed combs are damaging)
- Select a relaxer (Optimum, Mizani, dark and lovely, motions etc)
- Prep your hair. A texlax is still a relaxer so the same safety precautions should be taken.
- Part hair into four sections
- Apply a pre relaxer treatment to hair not being processed( vaseline or olive oil). This prevents The already chemically processed hair from being overprocessed or damaged during the texlaxing process. If you have a sensitive scalp, however, oiling immediately before a relaxer can cause irritation so do it a few days before instead. Mix the relaxer according to the directions
- Add a conditioner or oil to the mixture. I normally add 1/2 cup of either one ( 1/2 cup oil (most prefer olive oil) or 1/2 cup conditioner) this weakens the relaxer so that it takes longer to straighten your hair which gives you time to cover all of your hair in relaxer without having to worry about it making your hair straight.
- Add a lighter oil like safflower oil to your hair
- Relax your hair according to to the directions, but DO NOT comb or “work” the relaxer through your hair. This may result in straight hair. Instead, smooth it a little with your GLOVED hands if you want slightly straighter results.
- Wash out using a neutralizing shampoo. Neglecting to use a neutralizing shampoo can have horrible consequences. A neutralizer Stops the the relaxing process. When you don’t neutralize, the chemicals continue to straighten your hair and do major damage. Be sure to wash ALL of it out. I prefer to use a relaxer that comes with a shampoo that changes color when there is relaxer left so i know that i have washed it all out.
- Do a protein deep conditioner. If you would rather have a homemade one, I recommend using cholesterol and egg or mayonnaise. If you choose to buy one, “Aphogee two step protein Treatment” works wonderfully.
- Apply a moisturizing leave in
- Dry your hair and style as desired
There are many reasons for wanting to texlax – it is less damaging, more versatile, and is a good way to transition. Whatever your reason may be, love and have confidence in your hair and keep it as healthy and beautiful as you can.