by Tay­lor Law of Klassy Kinks

At the end of 2012, I decid­ed that it was time to take con­trol and go nat­u­ral. No awk­ward moments of car­ry­ing two tex­tures and try­ing to con­trol my “puffy” edges. No more feel­ing like my hair nev­er looked as good as that first week out of the salon. I was going nat­u­ral and I was excit­ed about it.

Except, my nat­u­ral hair jour­ney was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than the ones I com­mon­ly watch on YouTube or read about on nat­u­ral hair web­sites.

natural_teens

For me, the journey had an in-between stage. Yes, I had relaxed hair and years later I transitioned to completely natural. However, between the two polar opposite spectrums of texture, I had texturized hair.

 

Why The Texturizer?

A tex­tur­iz­er is tech­ni­cal­ly still a chem­i­cal process on your hair, but not as harsh as a relax­er. The goal is to loosen your curl pat­tern and place your locks in wash-and-go heav­en. Curly hair, but with­out the kinkier tex­ture. Curly hair, but con­trolled, unable to reach big, afro-like heights.

My hair­styl­ist sug­gest­ed a tex­tur­iz­er because, at that point in my life, I was afraid to go com­plete­ly nat­u­ral. I was in high school and there weren’t a lot of stu­dents who looked like me. Also, I had heard too many hor­ror sto­ries about going through the tran­si­tion to nat­u­ral hair. In my head, I was already deal­ing with the woes of acad­e­mia and the stress of social life in high school and I didn’t want anoth­er thing to wor­ry about.

Looking Back

Now, years lat­er, I some­times won­der if this step was tru­ly nec­es­sary. I think about how much longer my nat­u­ral hair would be if I embraced it dur­ing those high school years. At times, a think about how the idea of a tex­tur­iz­er seems kind of sil­ly. A lot of fel­low class­mates thought it was my actu­al hair. I can imag­ine them now, ask­ing, “So you had curly hair, but it wasn’t actu­al­ly yours?”

But what I always remind myself is that I need­ed to go through this stage. It was com­fort­able for me because I sim­ply wasn’t ready to take the full plunge. I need­ed to see those tex­tur­ized curls on my head before I real­ly won­dered what my actu­al curly hair looked like. I need­ed to feel the free­dom of cut­ting my hair in a short bob or dying it to a mahogany col­or and not feel­ing so tied to the length or wor­ried about the con­se­quences.

By the time I had grad­u­at­ed high school my tex­tur­iz­er had start­ed to turn on me. I used exces­sive heat to style my hair for prom and it was start­ing to show. Some sec­tions had limper curls than oth­ers and it was extreme­ly dry. It was dam­aged. My hair­styl­ist con­vinced me that it was the ide­al time to go nat­u­ral and do the big chop. After all, I was leav­ing for col­lege. There was no fear of what peo­ple would say because they had nev­er seen me before. A new stage in my life, a new out­look on my hair. I haven’t looked back since.The Bot­tom Line

I think that it’s impor­tant for the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty to rec­og­nize that the jour­ney is dif­fer­ent for every­one. You don’t want to big chop? That’s fine. You want to wear a weave while your hair gets a lit­tle longer? That’s cool. Want to rock a tex­tur­iz­er before going all in? That’s awe­some. There is noth­ing wrong with “devi­at­ing” from the tra­di­tion­al nat­u­ral hair jour­ney — because the stakes are high, it’s your life, and you have to do what’s best for you.

Do you think the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty needs to alter it’s views on how “the jour­ney” should go? Can you relate to hav­ing a dif­fer­ent jour­ney?

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23 Comments on "Why I Used a Texturizer to “Transition” to Natural Hair"

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Bean

I believe everyone’s hair jour­ney is their own. There is no “right” way to go nat­u­ral. Every­one has dif­fer­ent hair so it’s sort of sil­ly to think we should all share the same steps to going nat­u­ral. Peo­ple should do what­ev­er makes them com­fort­able. Peri­od.

cepfeng

I got my tex­tur­iz­er at the age of 16 after strug­gling for a long time with bul­ly­ing. I as a per­son still didn’t mind it in its nat­u­ral form and thought a tex­tur­iz­er rather than my mums bone straight relax­er would do the trick. It ISNT gen­tler, yes your curl pat­ter is less straight but the end­less burns, tin­gling and incon­ve­nience are the same. It was nice for a while but it’s also been nice to tran­si­tion to com­plete­ly nat­u­ral and learn to love my tex­ture again, with­out my hair break­ing off in clumps when I so much as look at.

Sabi
This is so fun­ny, I actu­al­ly did the same thing. I had been nat­u­ral 18 years to the date but most­ly wore my hair in braids. So I had no idea how to style, care for my hair, etc. Thank­ful­ly I didn’t have dam­age or thin­ning any­where from the years of braids though. I got my tex­tur­iz­er (it wasn’t actu­al­ly the same, but a mod­i­fied ver­sion at a great salon) and even­tu­al­ly it helped me with the basics with­out stress. I didn’t have the inten­tion of tran­si­tion­ing back to nat­u­ral so soon actu­al­ly it just sort of hap­pened the moment… Read more »
Caray

Is a tex­tur­iz­er a Jheri Curl?? If not what exact­ly is?? An “S Curl” kit or kid­die perm, please some­one explain.

Cygnet
Some peo­ple mis­tak­en­ly believe that there is no dif­fer­ence chem­i­cal­ly among a tex­tur­iz­er, a Jheri Curl, and a relax­er. At the end of the day, all three are chem­i­cal process­es that per­ma­nent­ly alter the hair to which they are applied, but there is a rea­son why you can’t use them over each oth­er: They are not the same. I’ve read the box­es, and I know.  When a Jheri Curl is put in, the hair is first washed, then the edges are “based”, that is, Vase­line is applied around the edges and over the ears to pro­tect the skin. The pro­cess­ing cream… Read more »
kitso

Thanks for the detailed explaina­tion, well appre­ci­at­ed.

bubblesbakfrmthedead

You are the chief of the tex­tur­iz­er police.

kitso

What is a tex­turis­er? What brands are out there and the names? Thanks in advance

O

It’s a weak relax­er or a nor­mal relax­er left on for a short­er time peri­od.

The type that the a hair styl­ist would use depends on your hair.

So pleased
You should do what makes you feel the most com­fort­able and not be apolo­get­ic … At all. Hair jour­neys are very DEEPLY per­son­al for us all. There is very painful his­to­ry, con­scious and uncon­scious pain. As much as any of us might have liked that you would have just tak­en the plunge, in the end, it’s you liv­ing with your choic­es. We’ve inter­nal­ized a lot about what the world around us says is pret­ty… Or not Even if every­one you knew told you that you looked fan­tas­tic if you had done a big chop, it’s still going to come down to… Read more »
thecooker

I want­ed to try the pasteurizer.…but the cow dung smelled ter­ri­ble!

Tisha

Well I have both Big Chopped and attempt­ed to transition(the ends broke off in 2 months)from a relax­er. As for those AND the oth­er ways men­tioned my feel­ings are as Ole­ta Adams beau­ti­ful­ly sang “I don’t care how you get here. Get here if You Can.”

good luck

A tex­tur­iz­er is just a mild relaxed left on the hair for a short­er peri­od of time. I haven’t see to many good look­ing hair­styles most peo­ple look like a Jer­ry curl or flat iron and end up with looser straight pieces.

Sarita

I nev­er wore it in the wet style nor did I flat iron it. Instead, my styl­ist would braid my hair and I’d sit under the dry­er; after which, she’d take the braids out and I’d wear it for a mon­th. Tak­ing care to mois­tur­ize it and wear a sat­in scarf to bed. I could style it sev­er­al ways from there. I real­ly loved that. If I could do that with my nat­u­ral hair, that would be love­ly. Thank you.

O

You can do that your­self far more cheap­ly it’s called a “braid out”. Have a look on Youtube for it.

Adía

If you’re real­ly try­ing to be nat­u­ral then a tex­tur­iz­er can be a step but not the final step. Or else just like relax­ers, a tex­tur­iz­er is anoth­er chem­i­cal hair­style

Sarta
I agree com­plete­ly. I start­ed this jour­ney quite by acci­dent. I had tried some­thing on my relaxed hair that didn’t work. ACV! I know a lot of nat­u­rals use it, but I’ll nev­er put it in my hair again. My hair was a cou­ple of inch­es past my shoul­ders and the ACV took it out. My hair has nev­er been so short (except for when my hair­dresser mis­un­der­stood my request at age 14, but that’s a sto­ry for anoth­er time); about two inch­es! At any rate, that’s when I decid­ed to get my first weave. In the mean­time, while my… Read more »
Dananana
There are so many resources for nat­u­ral hair! I can see why you might be over­whelmed. Before you leap into main­tain­ing your own mane, I high­ly encour­age you to browse around sites like this one and pon­der a few things: 1. What are your goals for your hair? Do you want to grow it long? Or are you more con­cerned with health than length? How would you like to style it? 2. What’s your lifestyle like? Do you have a lot of time to your­self? Or are you always on the go? Do you want to style dai­ly, week­ly, or month­ly?… Read more »
Sarita
Thank you so much for your sug­ges­tions and help, Dananana. Your ques­tions real­ly made me think. In fact, I don’t know the answer to sev­er­al of them. I will def­i­nite­ly ask my styl­ist the ones in #3 that deal with whether my hair is coily, etc. I do remem­ber her telling me that I have a real­ly nice wave pat­tern. But I’m not sure what that means in the way of typ­ing. I would have thought my hair was some­where in the 4’s, but now I’m real­ly not sure. I do real­ize that wet relaxed hair acts dif­fer­ent­ly than does… Read more »
Dananana

Of course, Sar­i­ta, any­time :) Best wish­es!

Dananana
I think everyone’s hair sto­ry is unique and there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Vari­ety is the spice of life. I nev­er saw my hair in an unal­tered state until I was in my 20s. Up until my first relax­er at 11, the hot comb, the stove, and my moth­er con­spired to keep my neck length hair laid. When I first want­ed to go nat­u­ral my senior year in high school, my fam­i­ly hair­dresser went off on me, told me that my hair wouldn’t grow that way, and slapped a Jheri Curl in my head. It wasn’t until much, much lat­er,… Read more »
shayshay

“It takes time to love some­thing that you’ve been taught to hate your whole life.”

So elo­quent­ly poignant. Thank you.

Kelly

I just said the same thing…

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