Perm Vs Relaxer Vs Texturizers – What Are The Differences

Whenever the seasons change you will always notice women going for equal hair changes.

We have all enjoyed the spring season but with the upcoming summer, we all need to make hair changes.

Well, are you going to maintain the chemically treated hair or you are joining the natural hair movement?

Growing up I was discouraged from chemically treating my hair because for my people treating my natural hair meant damaging it.

But is it always true? It doesn’t have to be if you know how to take care of your chemically treated hair.

Some people, for example, think that the perm and texturizers are but the same thing. They are not and you will see the differences here.

What is perm?

Let’s be clear on this, a perm is not a relaxer and neither is it a texturizer.

A perm is a process whereby the hair stylist alters your hair structure using the chemical treatment. So, then you can permanently wave or curl your natural hair.

The chemical you use will break the peptide bonds and then you insert the rods in the hair to make the curls.

You then use the neutralizer to cover for the already broken bonds. There are then two types of perm.

Alkaline perm which works for you if you have resistant hair and especially the resistant grey hair. It further works for those who have non-elastic natural hair, coarse hair and sometimes fine hair.

Acid perm, on the other hand, is the mild type of perm which should be used if you have damaged or healthy hair. You can also use it if you have the tinted hair or any kind of hair that is naturally fragile.

Hair perm before and after

Is there a difference in the modern perm?

You should know that the perm style is a comeback style. It was common in the ’80s where women used their beauty as a form of expression. The only thing that mattered then was how you wanted to feel and not really about anyone else.

The perm today is made in such a way that the rods will alter the structure of your hair by making sure it fits your personal style.

You will discover that most of the difference is in the way you place your rods.

Who can wear a perm?

This perm style will work on most hair types and textures. Unless the hair is already an over-processed one, you are good to perm your hair.

Of course, if you still want a perm with your over-processed hair, you will need to consult a specialist for advice.

Hairstyles that shouldn’t use a perm are

Highlighted hair: as long as you have the hair highlighted, it’s not advisable to apply more chemicals on the hair. This is especially true if you have so much highlight.

The reason why it doesn’t work is that the chemicals you have in the perm don’t mix well with the bleach and highlight. This can cause extensive damage to your hair.

Dry hair: when you are experiencing dryness or too much damage, the perm is not ideal as it will continue to damage that hair. You will then have the hair completely stripped off its moisture.

Short layer perm: it’s never easy to perm your hair when you have the short layers. Using the rod is difficult because if you use big rods then you won’t have curls at all. If you use small rods, on the other hand, it will form very tight curls.

How long does it take to get your perm?

It’s all dependent on the length of your hair. But averagely, it will take you 2 hours.

You will simply discuss the texture you are going for plus the kind of curl you want. Once the hair is permed, you can give it two days after which it can be washed.

How long will the perm last?

Once you have the perm, you can have it on for at least six months. The perm will grow out naturally with your own natural hair.

Is Texturizer the Same as The Perm?

No, they aren’t, there are some similarities but they are totally different from one another.

What Is A Texturizer?

This is a mild form of relaxer that is also chemical based. The texturizer will relax your natural curl patterns.

It normally works to relax your already tight curls. Understand that it doesn’t straighten the curly hair rather it relieves the hair of its tight curls.

You will then develop loose wave making it easy to comb the hair. So, your texturizer chemical will break the bond in the hair protein. You, therefore, develop the loose curl pattern.

Sorry for those who like being natural. Once you have texturized your hair, you seize being natural because the texturizer permanently alters the texture of your hair. It works even for those who have tight kinks.

I know the confusion comes where some companies call their texturizer chemicals as all natural because of the ingredients used.

This is just a marketing strategy you should know. As long as you texturize the hair, you use a chemical process that makes it all artificially different.

Which kind of hair should you texturize?

For those who have short hair, this is the best style for you. If you are looking to shorten your hair, this will be effective especially since you can cut the damaged hair as it grows.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about matching your new growth with processed hair.

More Reading: Long Hair Vs Short Hair

If you have long hair, the whole process of maintaining uniform hair textures is in itself quite difficult. You can have different textures where some strands straighten completely, others stay curly and wavy.

It’s very easy to damage your hair if it’s long. You will make it dry and just know that if you don’t already naturally have S like hair strands, it won’t be easy to attain it with the texturizer.

The pros and cons of a texturizer

  • You will have the texturizer being less damaging than other relaxers. The chemicals, in this case, are left on the hair for a shorter time than other relaxers.
  • It allows you to just keep the same curl pattern on your hair in their loose form. This usually creates the bouncy curls while also making the loose waves.
  • If you want to straighten your naturally curly hair it’s easier when you have texturized the hair first. Nevertheless, you won’t have the bone straight hair.
  • They will allow you to switch from wavy or curly hair to straight one. When you use styling products and tools.
  • Your hair is manageable and easy to style. You will no longer need to detangle the hair.


  • It’s problematic when you need to get uniform results especially when you have long hair. It will work best if you have short to medium hair.
  • If you ever want to shift your style to permanent locks and tresses, you shouldn’t use this style as it changes the texture of your hair completely.
  • The chemical used makes it a non-natural process. Don’t be cheated.

What Is A Hair Relaxer?

This is a method that is used to straighten out your hair completely. It will leave you with sleek straight hair that no other method does. This is closely related to the perm style. Its no wonder some people mistake the two.

This process works by breaking and resetting the keratin bonds. In this case, the hair isn’t made to a curl or wave pattern, it’s simply straightened.

Forms of relaxers

There are two popular forms of relaxers as you will see below. Also, there are different opinions of the two forms but the relaxer you use is more dependent on your hair type and texture.

No lye: here the chemicals will disrupt the protein bonds in the hair but it’s never destroyed. In this process, your natural oils are often depleted than when you are using the lye form. This will ultimately cause hair breakage.

No lye method uses the calcium hydroxide which can easily dry the hair and scalp.

Lye: this is the most loved one. They work fast and they contain sodium hydroxide making the more of an alkali relaxer. On the downside, the same way they are quick to change the structure is the same way they will wash away from your hair.

If yours is a sensitive scalp, the no lye hair is better for you. For the no lye to work effectively, it’s important to use the decalcifying shampoo as that will get rid of calcium build up.

Who is a good candidate for the relaxers?

Let’s just say that relaxers work with almost every hair texture. Unless yours is a thin hair already that is even damaged sometimes, you can use the relaxer.

It’s an ideal style for anyone who is looking for the easy management of their hair. If you really don’t like your curly hair, this is also the best choice.

For those who live in a humid environment, you can have and enjoy the straight hair.

Should you get the relaxed hair?

I can’t answer that for you. Remember, you will completely alter the structure of your hair. Relaxed hair further requires you to take good care of it. This is to say if you know you are the one who gets bored in styling the hair soon, you shouldn’t apply it.

You will need to moisturize the hair regularly as you deep condition it. You can also use leave-in conditioner for your day to day use. The other requirement is for you to eat healthily and drink a lot of water.

Before the process, use the reconstruction shampoo and conditioner to make the hair stronger and able to stand the chemical change. Also, don’t use heat as it will dry your hair before you take on the procedure.

Once you relax your hair, know that you have to take special care for it or else you risk damaging the hair.

Preventing the dryness and flakiness once you have relaxed the hair

You must have heard people complain about their hair being dry and flaky immediately after the relaxing.

  • You may use apple cider vinegar after you wash out the relaxer as this prevents the scabbing.
  • Ensure your salon has a base to use on your scalp before they begin to relax the hair and if not use the Vaseline or oil on the scalp.
  • When you know you are about to apply a relaxer, don’t scratch or brush the hair because it might cause abrasion and therefore pain.
  • You can either use the steam treatment or the different natural oils for the hair hydration.

The pros of relaxing the hair

  • You will develop the sleek straight strands. Just know that you won’t have them curls anymore for a long time.
  • It makes it easy to style the hair than when you have the naturally curly hair.
  • It will rarely cause frizzes.


  • It’s sometimes overwhelming when you realize that you won’t wear curly hair any longer.
  • Taking care of the hair require a lot of commitment otherwise you risk developing breakages.
  • Remember you are using very powerful chemicals to cause the change in texture thus you can cause hair thinning, breakage and it will cause stagnant growth.
  • It sometimes causes scalp burns and irritations. This is why it’s never advisable to apply it at home unless you are quite familiar with the process.
  • It will strip your hair of its natural oils.

Important tips for relaxed hair

  • You will need to constantly treat your hair when you have relaxed the hair. This will help you retain the hair moisture. Try as much as you can to deep condition the hair as frequently as you can.
  • Use the right store-bought deep conditioner for your relaxed hair as opposed to the ones you make at home.
  • Don’t relax your hair when you know the scalp is inflamed or broken.
  • If you find that your scalp inflamed after the relaxing process you should use a solution of cold milk and water to help sooth the hair.
  • For virgin hair, the relaxing process should be a non-issue. However, if you have already straightened the hair before you may cause damage and even hair breakage. This normally occurs at the ends especially.
  • You can use unsalted butter to protect your ends while you are styling.

What causes breakages

If you leave the hair on for too long when you already have growth, chances are that you will cause breakages.

The straightening process though beautiful, sometimes causes damage to your own hair. It will get rid of the elasticity and when overdone, chances are that it will begin to break.

Does it burn the scalp?

If you don’t apply the chemical correctly, it will cause burns. This will then cause infection and eventually hair loss.

Important things to know before relaxing the hair

  • Notice that the relaxed hair will be weaker than the natural hair and for this reason, you should only relax your hair if it’s healthy.
  • If you are considering the relaxing process, you shouldn’t agitate your scalp or wash your hair. Ensure the hair is last washed at least five days before to give it time to release its natural lubricant oils.
  • Buy a hair relaxer which is gentle on the scalp and hair. You can have mild, regular and super hair relaxers. Choose these factors based on the texture and nature of your hair.
  • Keep off of curly hairstyles a week before you relax your hair. Ensure you get rid of tangles and knots as well.
  • Once you have the hair relaxed, don’t install the weave or braids for the next three weeks. Give the hair some time to reconstruct itself.
  • Moisturize your hair as regularly as possible. This will avoid the dryness that relaxing the hair causes.
  • Keep all the required supplies handy. Before you start the straightening process, you should have all the supplies on the table. This is not the time to the rush to the shop for the neutralizer, for example, when you already applied the chemical.
  • Conduct a strand test: before you make a conclusive decision as to which chemical you will use, conduct a test. You don’t want to use a chemical that will cause allergies.
  • Follow the instructions: remember the instructions that come with the product are meant to guide you into how to safely apply the chemical. Don’t assume that you know.
  • Use a timer to guide you into when the hair is fully treated. This even reduces the chances of your scalp burning during the process. You also minimize the risk of hair damage.
  • Relax the hair regularly: you should do the relaxing every after 8-10 weeks. This ensures that your hair maintains its strength and you also minimize the chances of hair breakage and damages.

How to choose the right relaxer

The best relaxer for you is ideal for you and not any other person. There are factors of concern when you are choosing the relaxers. They include the following

  • What is our hair type?

Before you choose your relaxer, you ought to know the hair construction you have. If yours is the thick and wiry strands, you will use a totally different hair relaxer than anyone who has thin hair with fine strands.

This will guide you in picking the right strength formula that works for you.

  • The results you are reaching for

This is a question of how straight you want the hair to be. If you simply want it to be a little straight, use mild relaxers over a short time.

  • What are the ingredients used in the relaxer?

Depending on the hair type you have you can use the mild formula or super one and not damage your hair. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to begin using mild hair relaxer first as you grow your way up.

You can then give yourself the touch ups for effectivity. Remember some formulas are going to be better than others.

  • The included products

If you have bought the relaxers over a long time you will realize that some relaxers have different products. You can have them coming in with conditioner, neutralizer, and shampoos.

There are shampoos designed to stop the relaxers from working on your hair after its fully relaxed. If you use the normal shampoo you will experience hair breakages as the chemical continues to process.

With the right neutralizer, you then also stop the process. If you don’t use it then your hair will continue to be eaten through.

The conditioner will work to regain the hair moisture and even regain its natural strength.

1. Ogilvie Salon Styles Home Perm for Normal Hair with Extra Body

To begin with, if you have the normal and thick hair you will enjoy the perm experience. This will give you the results you are after and you can use it even at home. You will condition the hair and that safeguards you from frizzes and dryness.

It will ensure it gives you a long-lasting shine and curls. The conditioner gently prepares your hair for a natural-looking perm. It then has the after conditioner which will help moisturize your hair making it silkier.

2. ORS Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer Extra Strength

Extra strength is designed for those who have coarse and resistant hair. It will give you more protection as it straightens your hair. The relaxer will make your hair silky but it’s also manageable.

This relaxer makes it easy to straighten your hair by reducing the over processing. The hair will have long lasting shine. You can also have the extra strength version if you have coarse and resistant hair texture.

How long will your perm last?

Generally, the perm will last between 3-6 months. However, it all depends on how well you take care of the hair. It also matters the kind of hair you have. For the application expect to spend at most five hours inclusive of the consultation

Remember to let your hair be after 48 hours of application. Don’t wash it.

The factors that determine its length of stay

There are a number of factors that will determine how long the perm lasts.

You can use the DIY method for the process but know that going to a professional is way better as they will know which chemical to use at what time.

The maintenance and care you decide to impart on your perm are quite important. One thing is that you should avoid heat styling. Also, avoid alcohol and silicone and that will keep the perm intact.

What kind of lifestyle do you live? If you like the gym or you like to swim, the perm may not suit you. In fact, the chlorinated water is particularly harmful to your hair.

What should you do to make it last longer?

There are a few things you ought to do if you will make the hair last longer.

  • Get the hair cut regularly this will get rid of split ends and allow for proper growth.
  • While you may be tempted to frequently wash your hair, you shouldn’ However, if you can condition it as regularly as you wash it the better.
  • Go for protein treatment. Remember when you perm the hair you tend to make the hair weak and the protein treatment will work to reconstruct it.
  • Avoid chemical treatments: if you want to apply more chemicals to your hair you should wait until a month has passed after the chemical application.
  • When you sleep wrap your hair on the silk scarf or sleep on the silk pillowcase.

The difference between the relaxer and perm

Perm is used to introduce the waves and the curls to already straight hair. The relaxers, on the other hand, is used to straighten the hair

In the beginning, your hair is manipulated mechanically. The technics are the same since they lift the outer layer of your hair strands then break the disulphide bonds. This will then alter the appearance of the hair.

The difference comes when the stylist decides how long the chemical is left on the hair. If you are perming the hair, you will use the rods to make the curls or waves.

The chemical composition of both of these hair types is different. For the perm, you will have it being in liquid form. However, if you are using a relaxer, expect a paste for the composition.

When applying the perm chemical, you simply take the liquid from the bottle and onto the hair. For the relaxer, your cosmetologists mix the solution and this then creates a paste. The paste is then applied to your hair.

There is also a difference in the PH since the relaxer is more alkaline than the perm one. The regular relaxers come in at a PH of about 12-14. The perm, on the other hand, is acidic. It has a PH of 9.0-9.6.

This is important, especially because if you use more PH you damage your hair over time.

Regardless of the differences, both styles are great but you should make sure you have a rich and healthy hair before applying them.

3. SEXYHAIR Big Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder

There are hundreds of texturizers in the market and this is one of them. The one thing that makes it one of the most popular texturizers is that it liquefies the moment you apply it on the hair. It then creates hair volume.

It will then add more texture to the hair. You won’t have powder showing on your hair. You should use it on the roots of dry hair as that will lift it.

4. Sebastian Texturizer

This is a great product for you if you have naturally curly hair. It constitutes of wheat and soy protein liquid gel. This is what works to tone each strand of your hair. It gives you the texture definition and energized body.

When you use it, you will add body to your curly hair. In the end, it boosts hair energy. The texturizer is flexible.

Key differences between the hair texturizer and the relaxers

How much time: the main difference here is normally on how long the hair takes to process. For the hair texturizer, it will take only 10 minutes for you to have the chemical alter your hair strand composition.

The relaxers, on the other hand, takes 20 minutes to completely straighten the hair. Notice the time factor as it gives totally different results when you have the texturizer and when you have the relaxer.

Often times, the texturizer and the relaxer both contain the same chemical composition no wonder some people use them interchangeably. The major difference is in the time it takes to have the chemical processing the hair.

Since they both have either the calcium or sodium hydroxide, you should use neutralizers once the hair is processed.

The end results: you expect a difference in the end results since the relaxers work to give you a bone straight hair. Texturizer, however, is used if you don’t want to remove all of the curls.


When you are wearing the perm or texturing and relaxers. Once you have it on keep it for 48 hours before you wash it again.

Remember to moisturize your hair and hydrate it. The shampoo and conditioner work to moisturize your hair. Thus, buy the right shampoo and conditioner with the aim of keeping the hair healthy.

Use a hair mask as well to treat both the perm and relaxed hair. This is a deep conditioning system that you use when you have chemically treated hair.

Use the right combs or brushes. You can use small toothed combs for relaxed hair but a wide one is needed for the texturized hair and permed one.

Trim the hair once you have it treated to keep its ends strong and healthy.

The styles aren’t as costly but for the maintenance, you will spend money and time.


Whether you are applying the texturizer, perm or relaxer these treatments are best chosen based on the strength of your hair and whether you are ready to take care of them. Otherwise, you could have damaged your hair forever.

3 thoughts on “Perm Vs Relaxer Vs Texturizers – What Are The Differences”

  1. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this site daily, this site is actually pleasant and the visitors are in fact sharing fastidious thoughts.

  2. “Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!”

  3. Thank you for this article. I have always heard the 3 used interchangeably and you have set the record straight. You have now given me a clear understanding of what a perm, relaxer, and a texturizer does to hair and it’s make up.


Leave a Comment