Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Texturisers: The other natural hair?

A while back, a friend rocked up at my house sporting a bad a$$ afro and I almost passed out.  I hadn't seen her with her hair out of braids in goodness knows how long and I vividly remember her telling me when I went natural that I'd get bored and return to crack so you can imagine how surprised I was to see her join team kinky. Then she told me it was texturised and I was floored. The texturisers I'd seen before then had all looked just like relaxers but hers looked and felt natural. She was quite pleased with the results as she had been toying with the idea of natural hair for a while.

texturised hair in a fro

two strand twist out on texturised hair

A few days ago, another friend did a big chop and the very same hairdresser who cut her hair suggested she texturise it as he didn't think she would cope with it natural! #kwendakabisa!

So what is a texturiser and why opt for its?

Every so often on various Facebook groups, I see questions from newbies asking for advice on texturising their hair. The appeal behind texturising is that it is always packaged as a healthier alternative to relaxer or as natural hair with the hard work taken out of it. But that is a steaming pile of:


Sorry, it is. A texturiser is essentially a mild relaxer. I'm sure some science geek genius can explain the ins and outs but the rest of us plebs can indulge in the layman's explanation of it giving you looser curl as opposed to bone straight hair.

The trouble with this idea of a looser curl is that it gives the impression that you still have natural hair, just more manageable. Well, hold on to your bubbles because I'm about to burst them. You're not natural if you have a texturiser. (...pause for effect....). Like my friend's hair, some texturisers, if left on very briefly and if you have relatively tight curls or kinks, look like natural hair. However, if treated like natural hair, they tend to struggle. Texturisers need more protein than moisture treatments, just like relaxers, so the frequent dousing with water that naturals do will, ironically, leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. The new growth also needs touching up, although much less frequently than relaxed hair.

Now before you burn me at the stake, I'm not knocking anyone for texturising their hair. As a matter of fact, I very strongly considered doing one before I started my healthy hair journey. I was at my wits end at what to do with my hair, which was hard, dry and impossible to comb. So I know very well how tempting texturisers can be. What I wish though is that hairdressers would give people all the information they need so they can not only make informed decisions, but so they also learn how to treat their texturised hair for optimal health. #weloveallhairhere


  1. I tried that texturizing story several years ago; hated how my hair felt then opted to lock instead. Now open in its natural form but I often wonder to myself if I look like a rebel without a cause. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the up and go feel of it.