Have you seen the #TexLax hashtags on Instagram? Heard people talking about it online? Well, the process of tex-laxing has gained popularity recently among women with natural hair who are reverting back to chemicals but want to avoid a straight, relaxed look.
Though it doesn’t process your hair as heavily as a relaxer would, texlaxing still has drawbacks when it comes to your hair’s health. And some naturals criticize it because the hair has a textured, ‘natural’ look but it’s not fully chemical-free.
If you’re considering giving it a try, here are 10 things to know.
1. The Definition of Texlax
“Texlaxed” hair refers to hair that is is intentionally under-processed with the same chemicals as relaxers. The final look is more textured than relaxed hair, but straighter than natural, chemical-free hair.
2. “Texlaxed” hair is no longer natural.
Though it may yield a textured look, once relaxer chemicals are applied to the hair it is no longer natural by definition.
3. It’s important to put up a barrier when texlaxing.
To help protect your hair and slow down the relaxer, base your hair with an oil barrier before applying the chemical.
4. You can texlax by pick a mild relaxer.
You can also choose a relaxer that’s not as strong. Mild, sensitive scalp and no-lye are all ideal choices for tex-laxing.
5. Another option is to dilute your relaxer.
Some women who texlax choose to dilute their relaxer by mixing about 1/4 cup of oils or conditioner to a relaxer kit to reduce its strength.
6. To texlax, it’s crucial to reduce processing time.
The key to texlaxing is minimizing the time your hair has contact with the relaxer and you can do that by keeping the chemicals on your hair for a short amount of time.
7. Don’t smooth down or comb the relaxer through the hair.
Most women who texlax avoid this process altogether to maintain a textured look. Smoothing your strands breaks the hair’s disulfide bonds which manipulates it into a straight position and eliminates its natural curl pattern. To maintain a textured look, apply the relaxer without smoothing or combing it through to the ends of your hair.
8. Texlaxed hair is weaker at the demarcation line.
Similar to naturals who are transitioning from relaxed hair, women with texlaxed hair have two or more textures on their head at the same time. Thus, texlaxed women have to be mindful of the demarcation line (where the texlaxed hair ends and the natural hair starts) where the hair is at its weakest point. Keeping the hair moisturized, strengthened and protected (through protective styling) will help texlaxed women avoid major breakage.
9. Blending the hair textures may be difficult.
In the same vein, it may be difficult to blend the various textures on texlaxed hair. Women who texlax may turn to styles like twist-outs or roller sets to achieve a uniform look.
10. There is room for error.
If your texlax process isn’t done correctly, your hair can straighten more or less than you desire. You can also damage your curl pattern, and if your hair has other chemicals in it (i.e. dye), texlaxing can result in a lot of breakage. If you have concerns about the chemical process, you should get your hair texlaxed by a professional. But note: using chemicals on your hair is never 100% safe and you should proceed with caution.
Shop a few products for texlaxing.