What is "Tex-Lax"?
Tex-Laxing is a method that involves applying relaxer to your hair for a very short amount of time. The results obtained are basically a looser curl than you would get with a texturizer, yet not straight like you would with fully processed relaxer (hence the name). If succesfully tex-laxed, your hair should be curly.
What kind of hair types can benefit from Tex-Laxing?
Tex-Laxing only loosens your natural curl pattern. If your hair doesn't already have a natural curl pattern you will not obtain good results. Tex-Laxing is recommended for hair types 4a and looser. 4b hair will slightly wave but it will not curl! Tex-Laxer is not like a curly perm. It is an extra strong texturizer. It will therefore not damage your hair as much as a relaxer, but since it's still a chemical process, you should be sure to moisturize daily and deep-condition at least weekly to maintain your hair's health and prevent breakage.
What kinds of styles can I wear Tex-Laxed hair in?
Tex-laxed hair allows for alot of versatility. Because your natural curl is loosened but not eliminated it allows you to wear it a wash-n-go much like you would with naturally curly hair and it also allows you to straighten your hair easily. You can wear your hair wavy, loosely curled, tightly curled or straight. Options are endless. How much your hair curls will depend entirely on how much you scrunch your hair. The more your scrunch the tighter the curls. If you do not scrunch at all your hair may look loosely waved or even straight.
How do I scrunch my hair?
Grab a chunk of hair, squeeze and push the ends up toward your head, causing it to 'crinkle'. If you are using a diffuser, direct the air flow toward the chunk of hair you are working with. Drop that piece of hair and grab another chunk. Repeat the process until you have worked with all of your hair. Go over it again and again until your hair is dry.
Grabbing small chunks of hair and working more slowly will give you more curl.
Larger chunks of hair will give a larger wave effect.
(no i didnt draw these lol)
What Relaxer can I use to Tex-Lax my hair?
I recommend you use a very, very mild relaxer to avoid mishaps. Revlon Realistic in Mild Strength is perfect for this reason. You can try any relaxer but you will have to watch much more carefully if you go for a stronger brand/make.
How To Tex-Lax:
What you'll Need:
If you have a friend you can trust it will be much easier for you. If not, you can still do it o your own (I always did). You will obtain the best results if you apply the relaxer and wash hair out in sections (Apply to the bottom, wash out. Apply to the center, wash out. Apply to the top, wash out).
(**note: it is always smart to deep condition your hair a day before chemically treating it, and right after as well. )
1. You should first separate your hair into at least 6 sections. 2 at the top, 2 in the center, 2 at the bottom. You should apply the relaxer to 2 sections at a time starting from the bottom.
2. Take the bottom 2 sections and apply relaxer. Monitor closely every 1.5 to 2 minutes. When it's as loosely curled as you want, wash it out, being careful to not get the other untouched areas wet. You should not have the relaxer on for more than 6-8 minutes or you will risk ending up with relaxed hair. Virgi hair may take slightly longer but even then 10 minutes should not be surpassed. There will be no exact figure of time I can give you. Everyone's hair is different so monitoring every 2 minutes or so will be your best bet.
3. You must wash it out each section immediately with a one part shampoo/ one part vinegar mix to neutralize asap. Household vinegar is a better neutralizer than those shampoos. It will ensure that you do not overprocess your hair. If you like you can apply a good conditioner on the processed areas while you move on to the next sections.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with center sections.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with top sections.
How to determine when your hair is sufficiently processed:
To determine if hair is loose enough remember this:
If when you comb it with a fine tooth comb, and it curls back up, you need more time.
If you comb it and it stays straight it's over processed and you have ended up with relaxed hair.
If you comb it and it turns to "s" waves, then it is done.
How large the "S" waves are will determine the curl of your hair. Example: If you have 4a hair, For 3c curls, wash out the relaxer when your the "s" waves are about a half inch ot 3/4 of an inch. "S" waves that are about an inch with give you very loose 2c to 3a curls. The bigger the "S" waves the looser the curl. It will process fast so you will need to monitor closely and often to catch it at the right moment.
For looser curls or waves, you should use a mild relaxer anyways.
When chemically loosening your curls, it is always better to be safe than sorry. This means quit while you're ahead! If you underprocess and it's too curly it can always be fixed by reapplying a relaxer after deep-conditioning. If you OVERprocess however, there is no going back.
Styling Tex-Laxed Hair:
With all afro hair, retaining moisture is key. A good moisturizing shampoo, conditioner and leave-in will be very useful to you. I prefer to use Nexxus Humectress as a conditioner and leave-in. You can get other suggestions on the boards. You will also need a good moisturizer. My personal favorite is currently Qhemets Amla and Olive Heavy Cream. Popular choices are S-Curl or Stay Sof Fro. Again, for other recommendations you can always browse the boards.
For maximum curl definition, apply conditioner in the shower and detangle hair while in this state. While you take care of other things in the shower, leave conditioner in the hair. When you are done, rinse conditioner thoroughly and then reapply conditioner a second time. Rinse out gently with cool waterr out without tousling hair and make sure to leave a little bit of conditioner in. Towel blot very lightly.
In order to get frizz-free curls, moisture will be very important. Sealing in moisture will be the key to soft, shiny curls. You should always apply moisturizer and seal it in with your favorite oil while your hair is still damp.
A good product for frizz-free curls is Garnier Fructis Soft Curl Creme though it is only good when used in very small amounts. You should apply only a little dab after your moisturizer and oil. Don't forget to scrunch more for tighter curls or less for waves!
Do not comb hair outside of the shower or you will get frizz.
For straight hair:
Style the same as you would relaxed hair.
Where does Zahira1983 get off knowing so much about tex-laxing?
Well, I know because I alternated between texturizers and tex-lax'ing for awhile before I went natural. (Edited to add: My natural hair type is a mix of 3c/4a/4b)
Here is a pic of what my natural new growth looked like:
here is my natural texture:
Here are the results I obtained with tex-laxing (in a curly state):
Edited by Zupreme - Mar 19 2008 at 3:03am