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12 Dec

More Alike Than Different: Relaxed vs. Textured

The physical characteristics of curly hair in comparison to relaxed hair differ a great deal, but why is it so? It all comes down to the alignment of the physical side bonds and chemical side bonds of the hair itself. For starters, physical side bonds are broken by heat or water but the bonds reform once the hair cools down, or dries, which makes it like a temporary breakdown. Think of naturally textured hair when blown out and straightened with a heat styling tool or being manipulated and reformed by a twist out, bantu knot out, or rod set. Do you kinda get the idea?

On the other hand, with relaxed hair the chemical side bonds, the disulfide bond to be exact, is permanently broken which is why when wavy or curly hair is relaxed it has a new straight form. Even with this significant difference both textured and relaxed hair still need lots of TLC. This is why the two types of manes are more alike than different.  We breakdown how curly and relaxed hair are alike, and give you advice on how to care for both types of hair.


Up The Hydration

Like a plant needs water, both textured and chemically straightened hair need moisture, especially with the constant change in weather we always have to consider. Relaxed hair is really parched due to the high alkaline chemical process the hair strands have to endure. Hydrate the hair with products loaded with humectants that will draw moisture to the hair, hydrolyzed protein for strength, amino acids, and panthenols.


Can Lack Luster

Textured and relaxed manes can both lack shine because of how the light naturally reflects off of the outer layer of the hair, otherwise know as the cuticle. In addition to hydrating the hair for ultimate shine, investing in a shine gloss treatment from your stylist will also help to seal in a long lasting shine as well.



The two types of hair should also be handled with care. Textured hair has unique curves and extreme twists for each strand of hair which makes over styling a sure way to cause breakage. Although relaxed hair has none of these characteristics, that does not mean it’s exempt from breakage. The chemical process for relaxed hair itself leaves the hair in a weakened state once the chemical bonds are broken down; this makes the two still very fragile. It’s all right to mind your mane!


Split End Maintenance

It’s impossible to maintain a healthy mane without trimming the ends regularly. The ends of the hair are the part that’s been exposed to the environment the longest and also the most dry. That’s why it is important to have your hair trimmed regularly by a professional to avoid the splitting of the hair’s end.


Endless Styling Options

No matter the texture of your hair the styling options will always be full of variety. A blow-out can transform textured hair into silky smoothness or relaxed hair can be set with rods for volume and springy curls. Keeping your hair healthy is the ultimate #hairgoal for women with textured or straight tresses.


Have you ever thought to view your hair as the same or similar to relaxed hair? If this made you think about your hair differently, tell us why!

Marisa Peal

Marisa Peal is a writer from Philadelphia, cosmetologist, and hair consultant who is a lover of natural kinks, beauty culture, and an undercover foodie. You can find her featured on Ebony.com, TXTURE Magazine, Sisterofthestrand.com + TalkingTexture.com. Check out her work at www.Organixlocs.com. 

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