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… Read more »
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… 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… 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… 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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