What is Texlaxing? Is It Good for My Hair? December 04 2013, 2 Comments
Women have been dealing with the challenge of what to do with our hair from the beginning of time and black women are no different.
We ladies spend BIG money on our hair. So now most companies have at least a few products specifically designed for us and our unique hair care needs. However, some of the things on the market today aren’t exactly new, healthy or even safe. The new big trend on Instagram and other social networking sites is TexLaxing and it is truly a bad idea for those whose goal is healthy hair.
All of the Pain; None of the Gain
Texlaxing means intentionally under-processing at-home relaxers. You still use all the harsh chemicals used in relaxing your hair and follow the same process. The only difference is that you stop the process short of the time required and you don't comb the relaxer through your hair.
Texlaxing has become so popular because it releases some of the natural curl pattern of afro hair for a full, wavy appearance. Fans of the process laud it as a way of transitioning between natural and processed hair while achieving a natural look. Some advocates of the regime even claim it is actually a healthy middle-ground for hair care. It isn't. Here's why:
1.Shorter processing time doesn't mean less damage. Relaxers break down bonds in the hair to stretch the curl pattern. If you texlax your hair for long enough to actually see a change, then the damage has already been done and those bonds are already broken. The difference is that they are broken in sporadic places along the same strand. By not combing through the relaxer, not all of the hair has been touched by the chemical which creates small breaking points along the same strand. The only real place to see a health improvement from texlaxing is the lower probability of scalp burns that often come from over-processing.
2. Texlaxing creates more breakage points. As most transitioners know having two different hair textures to care for can be quite a challenge because it creates a weak point in the hair strand where the relaxer ends and the natural hair begins. Texlaxing multiplies this issue because the relaxed hair is not even relaxed consistently so each little place where the relaxer was not thoroughly applied creates a new breakage point beyond the one created by traditional new growth.
3. You are damaging the pH balance of your hair. Relaxers are a delicate chemical process. The process includes a strong base followed by a strong acid shampoo to restore the hair to its naturally acidic pH. Under-processing a relaxer followed by over-acidifying the hair when you shampoo the relaxer out creates a pH imbalance that the manufacturers of your relaxer did not anticipate.
The way you wear your hair is a matter of your personal taste and style and every woman has the right to color, flat-iron, twist, braid and relax her hair into the style that she chooses. My major point is that if your goal is a healthier way to transition from relaxed to natural or you are looking for a way to minimize the damage of relaxers on your hair, texlaxing is probably not the best move.
Texlaxing offers all the hype and none of the benefits of natural hair, you’re still using relaxers which damage the pH balance of your scalp and strip the protein bonds from the hair shaft. The hair strand is weakened because half the hair is straightened and the other half isn’t. There is usually a lot of breakage that happens at that relaxed-to-natural line and you are creating hundreds of those lines on each strand.
All of the Style; None of the Damage
If you want a natural look with waves or larger curls, there are so many all-natural products and styling techniques that soften and stretch your hair to be more manageable while still showing the natural beauty of your hair. I know shrinkage is frustrating, but banding and cool-air blowouts are much healthier alternatives to texlaxing. Even a single pass of the flat iron followed by a twist out is less likely to damage your hair and it is a fun and easy way to create visually interesting textures.
And it might just be my cheapskate side talking, but texlaxing costs the same as relaxing your hair and only adds more opportunity for breakage. I say, why pay full price for half a hairdo? Transitioning from processed to natural hair can be a challenge, but I have to say texlaxing strikes me as a seemingly appealing, but soon to be unpopular fad.