Perms, relaxers, and texturizers are all chemical-based treatments that alter your hair’s natural pattern. These salon services can be challenging to keep up with, especially when they share many similarities to achieve varying results.
These services allow you to change the texture and curl pattern permanently, but each involves varying application methods, tools, and outcomes. Chemical-based treatments are intimidating because they usually can’t be reversed.
What are the differences between texturizers, relaxers, and perms? Perms helps your hair become curlier, relaxers will permanently straighten the hair, and texturizers slightly loosen your natural curl pattern, all with chemical-based products.
Relaxers, texturizers, and perms require a long-term commitment, and it’s advised to avoid combining them with color services like bleach. Each chemical-based service will suit varying hair needs so that you won’t need both a perm and a relaxer.
It’s crucial to analyze your hair’s needs, the desired end goal, and your hair’s current state to see which chemical treatment suits you the best. You can also consult a hairdresser regarding your concerns about relaxers, texturizers, and perms.
What Is A Perm?
Perms have come a long way over the past few decades. They are chemical-based treatments used to increase your curl pattern. You can determine the tightness of your curls based on the diameter of the curling rods used in your appointment.
Once the hair is wrapped in rods, a chemical solution is used to break the bonds of the hair so it can take the shape of the rods to create curls. A neutralizer is then used to repair the bonds so your hair can stay curled permanently.
Types Of Perms
There are two types of perms, and which type you apply will depend on your hair’s characteristics. The two most popular perms are acid and alkaline perms. Each perm will fit a specific hair type or need to help preserve the integrity of your strands.
Alkaline perms are more likely to help coarse, fine, or resistant hair types, and this type of perm is more commonly used than acid perms. However, acid perms can benefit damaged/fragile hair, and it’s said to be milder than alkaline perms.
Who Should Get A Perm?
A considerable advantage of perms is that they can fit most hair types. It’s crucial to note that perms are unlike relaxers and texturizers.
Perms can be easily customized by what type you apply, the size of your curling rods, and the direction the hair is wrapped.
Perms can suit most textures, lengths, and types of hair. However, it’s best to avoid perms altogether if you have highly compromised or over-processed hair. It’s also wise to discuss with a hairstylist if a perm can benefit your hair.
Pros Of A Perm
Perms are the ideal treatment to transform your curl pattern. It’s great to create volume, curls, coils, or even loose waves. In addition, perms allow your hair to retain its curly shape for a few months, depending on how well you care for your strands.
You can also reduce your styling time because avoiding heat on permed hair is recommended. Instead, the hair will be able to air dry in the same shape it was chemically treated to hold. It can also create a uniform curl pattern.
Cons Of Perm
Perms can severely damage the hair if it’s not applied correctly. Also, if you don’t like your perm, the healthiest way to get rid of it is by growing it out, so it’s a long-term commitment. Perms require an intense aftercare regimen to maintain their shape.
For example, you can’t wash your hair or come into contact with moisture for at least 48 hours after your perm. You will need to avoid heat and coloring services, and you may notice the hair feels drier.
What Is A Relaxer?
A relaxer is the complete opposite of a perm. A perm will curl your hair or pronounce the curl patterns, while a relaxer will permanently straighten your hair.
It also uses a chemical solution to break the hair’s bonds and a neutralizer to solidify its new straight shape. Finally, relaxers will eliminate curl patterns completely.
Types Of Relaxers
Like there are different types of perms, there are other relaxers. The most common types of relaxers include no lye and lye relaxers. Each relaxer will fit a specific hair type, need, and texture.
Lye relaxers are the most popular and are formulated with sodium hydroxide. Also, lye relaxers are paired with decalcifying shampoo to eliminate build-up. However, no-lye relaxers are ideal for sensitive scalps and use calcium hydroxide.
Who Should Get A Relaxer?
Are you wondering if you’re an ideal candidate for relaxers? Relaxers can suit most hair types and textures unless your hair is already compromised. Also, it’s suitable for those tired of maintaining curls or dealing with frizziness due to humid climates.
You can also consult your hairstylist to see if you’re an ideal candidate for a relaxer and what type to apply. It’s crucial to remember that relaxers will instantly remove all curls from the strands.
Pros Of Relaxers
A relaxer can eliminate multiple styling requirements to maintain curly hair and leave you with sleek results. It will also minimize frizz often associated with curly hair and make the strands manageable. Overall, it can cut down on your getting ready routine.
Relaxers will usually maintain their straight results until they grow out as long as you care for them properly. They will need to be touched up every once in a while when new curls grow at the roots.
Cons Of Relaxers
Relaxing services can be highly irritating or damaging if done incorrectly, if you’re prone to certain ingredients, or have a sensitive scalp. In addition, you’ll notice your hair texture may feel parched and requires nourishment to prevent breakage.
Like perms, the healthiest way to get rid of a relaxer is by growing it out altogether. Relaxers require in-depth aftercare regimens to maintain sleek results, and it’s best to avoid coloring services or heat styling.
What Is A Texturizer?
Now that we’ve covered perms and relaxers, what is a texturizer? Texturizers can be confusing, especially when compared to other chemical-based treatments. They aren’t like perms but can be misinterpreted as a relaxer.
Texturizer is a less severe form of relaxer. It won’t chemically straighten your hair but will alter your curl pattern.
This service will create a looser curl pattern for tight curls or coils. A texturizer is excellent if you want to keep curls but make them looser.
However, like perms and relaxers, texturizers are chemical treatments that will permanently alter your hair texture.
Relaxer Vs Texturizer
Relaxers and texturizers “relax” the hair but in different ways. While they’re both for curly hair types, a relaxer is ideal for those who want to achieve sleek and straight hair.
Meanwhile, a texturizer will only loosen the curls you already have. It won’t make them straight but just loosen tighter coils and curls. So, instead of having coily strands, you can have larger, relaxed curls.
Who Should Get Texturizer?
Texturizers are ideal for shorter hair lengths. The primary purpose of a texturizer is to loosen curls. You may be prone to shrinkage if you have type 3B curly to 4C coily hair. Shrinkage occurs when the hair dries and looks shorter than it actually is.
A texturizer will loosen those tight curls and make your hair appear longer. However, performing a texturizer on long hair lengths can be challenging, especially if you already have a looser, natural curl.
Pros Of Texturizers
Because a texturizer is a milder chemical treatment, there may be less damage. Also, it’s an excellent service for anyone wanting to maintain their curls but also make them looser. Texturized hair can be styled easily to be more curly or wavy.
You can opt for a texturizer if you want to maintain curls but make them more manageable. Texturizers are permanent and may need to be touched up when new growth shows at the roots.
Cons Of Texturizers
It can be very challenging to create uniform curls with a texturizer which is why it’s ideal for short hair. Also, texturizers are often marketed as a “natural” service, but it’s still chemical-based and permanently alters the texture of your hair.
You may be prone to dryness and will most likely need to have a specialized hair routine to care for your texturized stands. It may need time to grow out, or you can cut your hair shorter to remove the texturizer.
Perm Vs Relaxer Vs Texturizer
So, what are the main similarities and differences between perms, relaxers, and texturizers? While they’re all chemical-based treatments, they achieve different outcomes, use varying ingredients, and application methods.
However, they all require extensive care to maintain your results long after your appointment. These are all long-term services that need commitment and can be challenging to eliminate.
Perms, relaxers, and texturizers all fall under the chemical treatment category. They all incorporate some use of a chemical solution to break the bonds of your hair to help it solidify into its new pattern, and the results are permanent.
These services require an intense aftercare regimen to keep your hair’s integrity. It’s possible that these chemical treatments can severely dry out your hair, especially if you don’t maintain your strands.
All chemical treatments will involve some aftercare regimen. These chemical solutions will permanently change the texture of your hair, and the side effect can be brittle hair. So, it’s crucial to maintain a hydrating and supplemental hair routine.
Also, you may be advised to avoid contact with water and moisture for at least 48 hours after your service. Your stylist may recommend avoiding other factors like heat styling and coloring services.
Chemical solutions and neutralizers are bound to take a toll on your hair. As a result, you may feel that your hair is either coarse in texture or extremely dry. This can lead to more breakage if you don’t implement a proper hair regimen.
One way to combat dry strands is to prioritize deep conditioning treatments or use hydrating products that work to bring moisture back into chemically-treated hair.
All relaxers, perms, and texturizers provide permanent results. So it can be challenging to get rid of once the service is complete.
Relaxers, texturizers, and perms are all separate treatments with opposing characteristics. One is made to curl hair, the other to straighten, and the last one to loosen curls. These chemical-based services are actually quite unalike.
They all have their own application methods and processing times, producing varying results.
Processing Times/Application Method
Perms, relaxers, and texturizers all have varying application methods and processing times. Perms are typically done by rolling the hair in your chosen curling rod and direction to achieve a new curl pattern and will process for a few hours.
Meanwhile, a relaxer is applied with a chemical solution to straighten the hair permanently. It takes up to 20 minutes to process, depending on what type. Finally, a texturizer takes less time to process than a relaxer to loosen the curls slightly.
Perms will promote curly, voluminous, and bouncy hair. You can customize your perm by the diameter of your curling rod and the direction in which you wrap the hair around the rod. Meanwhile, relaxers remove all curl patterns from the strands.
Texturizers will only loosen the curls on short hair so you can still have curly hair. It won’t be tight ringlets and instead its a soft S-shaped curl. Each chemical treatment has a different final result.
Suits Varying Hair Types
There is a chemical treatment for each hair type. However, these potent and harsh treatments should only be done once and only once unless you’re touching up regrowth. In addition, you may need to avoid coloring services and heat styling.
Perms and relaxers can fit various hair types, lengths, and textures. However, avoiding these services is wise if you have overprocessed, damaged, thin, or compromised hair.
Texturizers are ideal for short, tight, curly hair. Maintaining a uniform curl pattern can be challenging if you conduct a texturizer on longer hair.
Which Chemical-Based Treatment Is Right For You?
How can you decide which chemical-based treatment is the best for your hair? It will help if you start by analyzing your hair’s characteristics, current state, and desired outcome. Then it can help narrow down which treatment is the most suitable.
Perms are incredible for most hair types, lengths, and textures that want to achieve curly strands. Relaxers are ideal for those who want to eliminate their curl pattern entirely and can fit a wide range of hair types.
Finally, texturizers are designed for those who want to keep and maintain their curls without eliminating them. For example, a texturizer is ideal for short, tight coils that want to be loosened.
Perms will chemically alter your hair and give you a new curl pattern, while relaxers will do the exact opposite. Texturizers and relaxers may seem similar, but a texturizer has a shorter processing time and loosens curls without eliminating them.
You can always consult with a professional hairstylist to discuss the reality of performing a chemical-based treatment.
These treatments are permanent and require commitment because the healthiest way to eliminate chemical services is by growing them out. You may also have to implement a strict aftercare hair routine to preserve your chemical treatment.