Saturday, December 1, 2012

Texlaxing: What, How, & Why

My hair is texlaxed but it’s still relaxed hair. I’ve seen this misconception popping up recently but texlaxing my hair still means I’m a relaxed head. Before I continue, let me say that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with relaxing your hair bone straight! I did it for years. I only switched to texlaxing (even if I started texlaxing my accident) because I wanted thicker hair. Whether texlaxed, bone straight, or even natural, the only thing that matters is that your hair is HEALTHY. Mhkay, let's cyber-hug and dive more into texlaxing.

To texlax your hair means you purposely under process your hair when relaxing it, thereby retaining more texture.

There are a few ways to go about texlaxing your hair:
  • Use a mild relaxer that you will know will under process your hair.
  • Add oils or conditioner to the relaxer (applicable to both lye and no-lye relaxers) to weaken it.
  • For no-lye relaxers: reduce the amount of activator you add, thereby weakening the relaxer’s strength.
  • Apply vaseline/petroleum jelly to new growth.
  • Limit the time relaxer is on your hair. For example, if the instructions indicate that the relaxer should be left on for 15 minutes, shorten that time.

How I texlax my hair:
  • I use a relaxer that without aid, doesn’t relax my hair bone straight. Specially: Organic Root Stimulator Relaxer (lye) in normal strength. To quickly answer a "Picking Your Brain" submission, I prefer lye formula because no-lye left my hair limp. I've used lye relaxers for years and my hair prefers them.
  • I don’t smooth a lot and limit application and smoothing to 11 minutes. I relax my hair in halves to make the process easier.
  • Vaseline on my new growth — I actually stumbled across this method by accident. When I self-relax my hair, I use Vaseline/regular petroleum jelly to base my scalp and I am very heavy handed so I get Vaseline all over my new growth. I realized that coating my new growth with the vaseline was contributing to my texlaxed results because it created a barrier between my hair and relaxer, weakening the relaxers straightening effects.

How to determine what level of “texlaxed-ness” you desire (before your actually touch-up/relaxer):
  • Take a few shed strands of hair, because I don’t want you pulling out strands that are perfect content to stay connected to your scalp lol, and using any of the methods above, apply relaxer to the new growth on the strands. Play around with how long you leave the relaxer on the hair, smoothing, technique, etc. until you achieve your desired results.

If you're going to a salon and want to achieve texlaxed results:
  • If you bring your own relaxer each time you go, add oil and/or conditioner to the relaxer you bring with you.
  • If you use the relaxer that is provided by the stylist, coat your hair with oil, conditioner, and/or petroleum jelly before your appointment.
  • Request that the stylist shorten the application and smoothing time. Hey, it's your money and your hair, don't be afraid to request just what you want.

If you want to transition to texlaxed:
  • If you already relax your hair, for your next touch up, simply try one of the methods above, as well as determine beforehand how telaxed you'd like your hair to be.
  • If you're natural and want to being chemically process your hair and achieve texlaxed results:
    • The week before: wash and condition your hair as normal and I also suggest doing a protein treatment to strengthen your hair for your upcoming relaxer.
    • During the week: avoid scratching and irritating your scalp.
    • The day of your relaxer:
      • If you've never self-relaxed your hair before, I'd suggest going to a stylist that you've researched and/or watched in action. It's always good to know whose seat you're going to be sitting in because all stylists are not created equal.
      • If you used to self-relax before you transitioned to natural and feel comfortable self-relaxing again, use one of the methods mentioned above.
  • Don't forget to use the method above to determine what level of "texlaxed-ness" you'd like before you take the plunge.
You can read about my transition to texlaxed here.
Read about breakage and texlaxing here.

Texlaxing is a great way to achieve thicker hair, especially for us fine strand ladies. This is because the relaxer is not processing the hair bone straight. The more the relaxer is allowed to process the hair, the more protein bonds are broken in the hair shaft; relaxers straighten hair by breaking down these protein bonds. Because less protein bonds are broken, texlaxed hair retains more strength than hair that is processed a bit more.

Do you feel that the use of a relaxer prohibits your hair in anyway?
Not at all. If I want to rock big hair, I air dry or do a braid out (but truthfully I haven't done a braid out in months!). If I want straight hair and/or curls, I can either flat iron or roller set it.

Would you suggest texlaxing for someone who wants to go natural, but is addicted to straightened hair?
That depends on why the individual want to go natural. If they want to go natural to achieve thicker hair but want to potentially avoid using direct heat frequently to achieve straight styles, then yes I’d suggest texlaxing.

Aside from that, I think going natural is a personal decision that I try not to give suggestions for to against. If someone wants to go natural, go for it! Pursue, obtain, and care for the hair YOU want for whatever reasons that motivate you.


I hope this was helpful!

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for explaining texlaxing thoroughly. This is very helpful since I accidently texlaxed last relaxer and I love it!

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  2. I just recently started to add oils to my relaxer in an attempt to make it less harsh on my hair, and I always used Vaseline to base my scalp with as a protectant. I never knew I was actually doing my hair a favor! Great post and good information.

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  3. Thanks for an informative post. I never knew the amount of activator added could affect the strength of a no-lye relaxer.

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  4. Hello Jeni! Let me first say your hair is beautiful. I have learned so much from you and just started my hair journey 3 weeks ago. I have a question. Have you ever used a texturizer? Do you know if that is less damaging than a relaxer? I have been using Just For Me Texture Softener for years. I have noticed that my hair is thinner where as before I had thick hair. I also use CD's Olive Oil Infusion for stretching. Do you know anything about that product? Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for the informative post and for answering my question (lye or no lye) :)!

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  6. Haha! Reading this post has helped me confirm that I have been accidentally texlaxing smh. Instead of relaxing for more than the recommended time, I started using the recommended time (using a normal strength ORS relaxer) but my hair did not become bone straight. Rather it was all wavy and I guess, texturised hehe. Don't know if I can bring myself to shorten the time even further as my hair is quite thick now at the roots lol. If it gets any thicker I don't know if I'll be able to find my scalp :D x

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  7. This was so amazing and helpful! My mom thought if I just go natural for a while, a part of my hair that had been breaking would start to grow better. My hair is pretty thick and goes passed my shoulders so, I couldn't cut my hair for the sake of it getting longer. Relaxers make my hair look so flat and i hate it! Knowing how to do this will definitely get my hair even thicker! Thank you so much!

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  8. How long have you been textlaxing, and how often do you touch up?

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  9. So helpful. Learned a lot about texlaxing! Thanks for the information. Keep it up! :)

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  10. My comment wasn't posted...Anyway, I was saying "Thank you for the great tips". I personally coat my entire hair (from the new growth to the ends) with a petroleum based hair grease to texlax my hair, I also make sure I use a relaxer that will leave my hair with texture naturally (I used to use ORS Olive oil no lye relaxer but now I have switched to Creme of Nature Straight From Eden relaxer). Love your texlaxed texture by the way :)

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