The difference between relaxers and texturisers

Though both of these chemical treatments have similar effects on the hair, there are a few differences between the two procedures

Although both procedures are chemical and both will permanently alter the hair, there are misconceptions surrounding them with some women thinking they are the same thing. Here we list the differences between the two and discuss ways in which you can care for both.

What is the procedure involved for relaxing hair?
A relaxer literally does what it says – it relaxes the hair. The original curl pattern is permanently altered and straightened due to the hair strand being broken down. Relaxers now come in a ‘no-lye’ option which contains the active ingredient of calcium hydroxide, as opposed to ‘lye’ options which contain the active ingredient sodium hydroxide. It is believed that the ‘no lye’ relaxers are milder on the scalp.
Isn’t this the same thing as a texturiser?
A texturiser does permanently alter the curl pattern as with a relaxer, however a texturiser is used to loosen a curl pattern rather than eliminate it. It is left on the hair for a significantly less amount of time. A texturiser cannot create curls but merely loosens whatever is already there.
Does this mean a texturiser is a lot better for my hair than a relaxer?
Definitely not. Any chemical application that alters your hair pattern will always come with risks; especially if not done correctly. Chemicals are extremely harsh to our hair and can cause scalp burns and/or hair loss.
Is it true that a relaxer makes your hair weaker?
Yes, both texturisers and relaxers make your hair weaker given then strength of them and what they do to your hair. Cons include hair thinning and breakage from the fragile state your hair is left in.
How can I prevent my hair breaking whilst relaxed or texturised?
The most assured way to avoid hair breakage is to not get any chemical altering done full stop. However the relaxer is a staple choice for many afro haired women. Chemically altered hair needs lots of moisture so select products that can provide that. Moisturised hair is less likely to break however chemically altered hair may need moisture re-applications as it loses moisture a lot quickly due to the change in the hair cuticle. Bear this is mind when contemplating getting a relaxer or texturiser. Also avoid using heat on relaxed and texturised hair. Excessive heat is extremely damaging to unaltered hair so make sure you use heat sparingly and at a bearable temperature.

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