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Hairstyling/Accidental Texturizer


QUESTION: Hello Dana,
Thanks for taking the time out to help with this! I've been natural going on 7 years now with curly coils and go to the salon twice a year. I went a couple of weeks ago to get my hair cut because I wanted bangs. The hair salons won't cut my hair wet so they have to straighten it in order to cut it. I got a deep conditioning treatment but after the wash I noticed that my hair looked a little limp. I assumed it was the shampoo she used so I shrugged it off. After two weeks I washed my hair and it smelled terrible. My hair was permed in high school so I remember that smell and realized that she put texturizer in my hair without my knowledge. Afterwards, two other hairstylists confirmed what I already knew. Obviously I'm livd about this situation but for now I just want to know if my curls will take forever to come back. My hair is wavy when it's wet but the center of my hair is limp. When I put product in it some curls are visible but whatever curl I do have has turned into a loose wavy curl. All I remember is she washed my hair, put me under the dryer for a deep conditioner for about 20 minutes then I waited another 20 minutes or so to get it washed out since she was doing someone else's hair. I went back to ask what she put in my hair but she claimed she only used conditioner and had me smell it to reassure me....

ANSWER: Hi Gabrielle,

So, the stylist insists that she only used conditioner. If you didn't smell a chemical perm while you sat under the dryer, my inclination is to believe her. There are many things that can create that chemical smell. It's usually due to sulfur but there are other things that can cause it as well. The thing is, those types of products cost money and why a stylist would choose to secretly apply and expensive treatment without charging you seems a bit far fetched. I think it's much more likely that she used a deep conditions treatment that she didn't rinse well enough.  I've had that mimic a chemical odor. I have one client who a,ways smells like vinegar.  We don't know why yet but with clarifying treatments it's getting a lot better.  

That being said, we still have the lazy wave to deal with. If what she applied to your hair was straight moisture, it could relax your curls as well. I would start with a protein treatment and then use a blow dry lotion to allow your hair to air dry.   You can, of course, blow dry or set as well. Protein molecules are tinier and have a heavier molecular weight so the sink deeper into the hair shaft. That, in turn, forces out excess water - which is heavy and on the outer layers of the hair - resulting in springier curls. You may need more that protein treatment.  In the meantime, dry shampoo does wonders for deodorizing hair from all kinds of things, including chemical smells.  

Good luck,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the info! The two hairstylists I went to told me there was texturizer in my hair and the woman who did it charged me $25 extra. If texturizer was used, how long would it take to grow out considering my hair isn't completely straight just limp?

I still find it hard to be,I've that someone would apply a texturizer without telling you, call it a conditioner, and only charge $25. I'm not doubting that there's an odor or that your curls are limp. I just doubt the stylist would do that. $25 is what I charge for certain deep treatments and that wouldn't even pay for the product. I still think it's a sulfur or porosity issue but that's not your question.  

If a texturizer was actually used, it should revert after a bit and the curl will come back. However, it depends on the type of texturizer she used.  Only you know how fast or slow your hair grows but if a texturizer was used and not a straight up relaxer - they're different these days - it will revert. I get the impression that the product was put on at the shampoo bowl and worked through like conditioner and not brushed on like a texturizer.  If that's the case, it will probably revert more quickly because your hair wasn't combed out smooth.  I still think you need protein treatments and a good leave in treatment. The better you treat your hair,my he sooner it will be back to normal.  Plus, proton will encourage the curl.  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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