What Is Hair Texture & How To Texturize Hair

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Ah, hair. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Doesn’t it seem like so much of our stress centers around our hair? When we wake up with frizzy, knotty or overall unkempt hair, it totally gets our day started off on the wrong foot. And we’re willing to spend countless time and money on treatments to get our hair juuuust the way we want it, from playing with color to length to hair type.

Yet our hair is also what lets us feel beautiful and put-together. Nothing gives you that bounce in your step quite like stepping out of the house with your hair perfectly placed, your highlights looking just right, and your ends looking healthy. The power of hair is simply amazing.

How exactly does textured hair come into play? And doesn’t all hair have texture? Well, keep on reading to find out what textured hair is and how you can make your hair texturized.

What Is Textured Hair?

Woman with curly hair laughing.

Woman with curly hair.

Textured hair refers to hair which is not straight, but rather, has shape. This includes hair with spirals, curves, waves, or zigzags. Curly, kinky, or coily hair are all considered textured hair as well.

Hair texturizing started becoming popular in the 1990s. It was mostly done by African American women in order to relax their tight curls. The process involves changing a person’s existing curls -- not straightening them, but rather, making them looser.

Texturizing hair requires the use of chemicals, but it’s still less harsh than hair relaxing. The process also doesn’t completely interfere with the curl pattern, whereas relaxing does.

Why would someone want to texturize their hair? For starters, doing so adds volume to your hair while minimizing frizz and flyaways. It makes your curls easier to control, comb, and detangle. Plus it makes your hair shinier. But wait, there’s more! Texturizing your hair will also make your hair easier to grow out than if your hair was relaxed. And it will make it tons simpler for you to straighten your hair or experiment with different hairstyles.

If you’re considering texturizing your hair, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Firstly, doing so might permanently alter your hair’s curl pattern. You’ll have to find the right texturizer for your hair type and make sure that you understand how it will affect your hair before you begin using it. Also, note that texturizers tend to work the best on hair that’s short or medium length. Lastly, remember that once your hair is texturized, you’ll need to adjust your hair care routine as well.

Natural Hair Texture Chart: Different Types Of Hair Textures

Hair is not simply “straight” or “curly.” There’s a whole ton of in-between and levels to take into account! A natural hair texture chart that covers different kinds of hair textures will have four different types of hair, represented by numbers. Within those different types we must also consider thickness, which is represented by letters.

Type 1 hair refers to hair which is straight. The level of thickness increases from A to C. So, Type 1A hair is extremely straight and fine, Type 1B hair has a bit more volume, and Type 1C hair is straight, thick and coarse.

Type 2 hair is hair that has some waves, a bit curly when compared to Type 1 hair. Type 2A hair is typically easy to style and has waves in the shape of an ‘s’. Type 2B hair is frizzier, while Type 2C hair is extremely frizzy and difficult to style.

With Type 3 hair, there’s no doubt that this hair is curly. The curls are springy, and the hair is easy to style. Type 3A hair has defined curls, Type 3B hair has curls that are tighter, and Type 3C hair refers to hair with extremely tight curls or kinks.

Type 4 hair is hair of the curliest level, with hair that’s very curly or kinky. On the one hand, it’s very coarse, but on the other hand, it’s sensitive and can be damaged easily. Type 4A hair is soft and its curls are well-defined. Type 4B hair is hair with tight, yet less defined, curls, and Type 4C hair has curls that are so tight that you might not even be able to see the curls.

Abrupt Change In Hair Texture Explained

Woman looking at her hair.

Woman worried about her hair.

Sometimes, your hair can change abruptly. You finally get a system down and get into a solid hair care routine when boom, everything changes and it feels like your whole life has been a lie. Sorry for being a bit dramatic, but that’s the way it is with hair.

One of the most common causes for this occurrence is age. It’s totally normal that as time passes your hair might go one way or another on the hair texture spectrum, either getting curlier or straighter. Environmental factors, foods, genetics, stress, and hormones can also all play a role in your hair’s production and texture.

The loss of collagen which comes with age is a biggie when it comes to why people might be experiencing an abrupt change in hair texture. As we age, collagen starts disappearing from our skin and scalp. At the same time, your body is likely to slow down production of scalp oils which help your hair be smooth and manageable. Additionally, the natural pigment in your hair has hydrating molecules, and as the pigment fades, so does this hydration. The result is hair that is less bouncy and more prone to breakage. Using hair products rich in amino acids and conditioning agents might be able to help offset some of these effects and help your hair resume its normally textured programming.

Hair Texture Spray: Texture Hair Products Breakdown

Girl spraying her curly hair.

Woman using texturizing spray.

If you want to get into using a hair texture spray, start with a texturizer or volumizer that includes hydrating and nourishing ingredients. You’ll want to make sure to use one that says it’s lightweight if your hair usually suffers from a buildup of residue.

You can check out the Miracle Texture Fiber in order to add volume if you have short hair. This product is lightweight, non-greasy, and it will protect you against frizz. It’s just the product you need if you want to enhance your layers and have a tousled look.

You can even make your own sea salt texture spray at home. All you’ll need is some sea salt, argan oil, lavender or peppermint essential oil, water and conditioner to get started.

When using texture spray on short or medium-length hair, spray from the roots to almost the ends of your hair. If you have long hair, use it after using your curling iron in order to get you a tousled wave. No matter how you use it, use a fine-mist spray bottle to apply it. Hold the bottle about 6-8 inches away from your head, and spray 2-4 times on each side of your head. As you spray, loosely lift strands of your hair so that all of your strands get some of the product. A hair texture spray can help you achieve beach waves, second-day hair, or a textured ponytail.   

Texturizer For Natural Hair

If you want completely natural hair, then you should not be using texturizers -- or any products, for that matter – in your hair. Texturizers add texture to your hair, but they do so by adding chemicals to it as well. But if you want to keep your curly nature yet tone things down a bit while still having your hair look natural, then texturizing is the right next step for you.

Deciding to add texture to hair is no quick thing. For many, the struggle to style curly hair just becomes too much over time, and then they start to search for options and realize that texturizing could be the answer to their prayers.

The benefit of a texturizer is that it lets you keep your natural curl pattern, albeit in a looser form. Depending on where you’re starting, it can leave you with bouncy curls or calm waves. Your hair will look different than it did before using the texturizer, but others who see you for the first time won’t be able to tell that you’ve done something to your hair.

Texturized Hair Before And After

You should always be happy to rock your curl, girl! But let’s be real, curly hair is not always the easiest to handle and tame. Styling can become a nightmare if curls are too tight, or maybe you’re just looking for a less-harsh change with your hair. This is where texturized hair comes in. And unlike relaxers, you only need to leave a texturizer in your hair for five minutes.

All can enjoy the benefits of texturized hair, but people with Type 4C hair especially love it because it gives curls more definition so that people can actually see them. For people with any of the Type 4 hair types, texturizing your hair can give your curls a softer texture and get them down to level 3. This will make it more manageable overall.

You’ll probably be best off going to a professional hairstylist for this type of treatment. It’s easy to get a variety of different textures when you texturize your hair, so best to leave it to people who really know what they’re doing.

Conclusion

It’s always good to have a little bounce in your step. But sometimes all you want is a little twirl, not a full-on tight curl.

If you’ve had enough of hair serums, mousses, gels and sprays and still having to struggle, it might be time to give texturizing a try. Less harsh than a relaxer, it can make your curls more manageable. It’s also a fun way to change your look up a bit. But keep in mind that this treatment is permanent, so once you do it there’s no going back until your hair grows out.