Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just say HELL NO Texture Softener


I am so tired of seeing misleading information about the Just For Me Texture Softener, that I decided to make a post about it. I do not wish to offend anyone.

Edit: A post on a forum inspired me to make this. Someone posted a lot of misleading information. She deleted the thread after I gave her this link though.

To sum it up, if you or your child has used the Just For Me "Texture Softener", then you have a relaxer. A no-lye relaxer, but a relaxer nonetheless.

After looking at Just For Me Texture Softener's website, I think it is safe to say this product is marketed towards African American/Biracial children. Specifically Biracial children if you read their Advice for Moms section.

First we will talk about ingredients, which I could not find on their website. Surprise, surprise. I googled "Just For Me Texture Softener ingredients" and Walgreens was the first to pop up.

Water- Aqua, , Petrolatum, , Cetearyl Alcohol, , Mineral Oil- Paraffinum Liquidum, , Polysorbate 60, , Calcium Hydroxide, , Propylene Glycol, , PEG-75 Lanolin, , Sodium Stearoamphoacetate, , Aloe Barbadensis, , Oleth-3 Phosphate, , Linalool, , Fragrance- Parfum, , Water- Aqua, , Guanidine Carbonate, , Xanthan Gum, , Denatonium Benzoate, , Green 5- CI 61570, , Green 8- CI 59040, , Water- Aqua, , Sodium Laureth Sulfate, , Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, , Citric Acid, , Polyquaternium-7, , PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, , Polysorbate 20, , Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, , Algae Extract, , Aloe Barbadensis, , PEG-150 Distearate, , Tetrasodium EDTA, , Phenolsulfonphthalein, , Diazolidinyl Urea, , DMDM Hydantoin, , Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, , Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, , Benzyl Salicylate, , Butyl Phenyl Methyl Propional, , Citronellol, , Coumarin, , Linalool, , Fragrance- Parfum, , Carthamus Tinctorius, , Helianthus Annuus, , Glycine Soja, , Mineral Oil- Paraffinum Liquidum, , Zea Mays, , Limnanthes Alba, , Lanolin Oil, , Tocopheryl Acetate, , Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, , BHT, , Amyl Cinnamal, , Citral, , Limonene, , Linalool, , Fragrance- Parfum, , Water- Aqua, , Mineral Oil- Paraffinum Liquidum, , Polyquaternium-22, , Hydroxyethylcellulose, , Acetamide MEA, , Panthenol, , Hydrolyzed Keratin, , Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, , Sodium Cocoyl Collagen Amino Acids, , Algae Extract, , Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, , Simmondsia Chinensis, , Tocopheryl Acetate, , Aloe Barbadensis, , Oleth-3 Phosphate, , Sorbitan Stearate, , Linoleic Acid, , Linolenic Acid, , Triticum Vulgare, , Wheat Germ Acid, , Propylene Glycol, , Sorbitol, , Cocoyl Sarcosine, , Methylisothiazolinone, , Methylchloroisothiazolinone, , Fragrance- Parfum, , Water- Aqua, , Mineral Oil- Paraffinum Liquidum, , Lanolin, , Lanolin Wax, , Petrolatum, , Lanolin Oil, , C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, , Hydroxylated Lanolin, , Panthenol, , Sorbitan Oleate, , Sodium Borate, , Methylparaben, , Diazolidinyl Urea, , Limonene, , Fragrance- Parfum, , Red 33- CI 17200,

So I took a trip over to Teri's ingredients dictionary.

Calcium hydroxide
Often found in “no-lye” relaxers and texturizers.
It is still as harshly alkaline as lye. Highly caustic. Denatures hair and can dissolve it. Can cause severe burns on skin. Of the same pH found in oven cleaners, drain cleaners and hair removers. Pg 155.

Read more about calcium hydroxide here.

Guanidine carbonate
This is mixed with calcium hydroxide to form guanidine hydroxide, a common ingredient in relaxers. Pg 155

This is also listed on the Walgreens website under WARNINGS, which I assume is also listed on the box.

-This product contains calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate - toxic.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Keep this product and all others away from eyes and mouth.
-Product may be harmful if it accidentally gets into eyes or mouth.
-Contains alkali agent.
-Avoid contact with eyes. Can cause blindness.
-Can cause hair breakage and/or loss.
-If product gets into eyes, wash eyes thoroughly with water.
-If product is swallowed, consult a physician immediately.
-Follow directions carefully to avoid skin and scalp burns, hair loss and eye injury.
-Do not use on bleached or permanently colored hair which is breaking, splitting or otherwise damaged.
-If hair has been previously treated with Texture Softener or relaxed, apply only to new growth as described in the instructions.
-If product causes skin or scalp irritations, rinse out immediately and wash with the shampoo included in the kit.
-If irritation persists or if hair loss occurs, consult a physician immediately.
-Please wear suitable gloves.
-Misuse of this product can cause hair damage.

Here is what I find very interesting when I go under the Advice for Moms section:

"Building Your Daughter's Self Esteem Starts Early
Ethnic and multi-ethnic children, especially little girls, realize the values that society places on outer appearances, especially what may make them different, much sooner than you might think. Little girls form their self-image early and are impacted by messages and other influences in their environment. By the time your daughter begins to interact socially with friends or family members or take in the many messages in the media, she will have some idea about her image and how others may view her. In order to ensure your daughter has a healthy self-concept, it is important to begin talking to her about her identity as soon as possible so that you can instill in her a strong self-esteem and a healthy self-image. It is just as important to de-emphasize the importance of outer beauty and communicate to her that her beauty begins on the inside. Because we believe this is crucial for little girls, Just for Me™ Texture Softener™ tapped nationally renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere to offer ways to start the dialogue with your child. "

Building your daughter's self esteem DOES start early but putting chemicals in your daughter's hair most certainly will not "build" her self esteem. They might be lead to believe that their natural hair is not good enough, or pretty enough.

That's why we as parents need to tell our children every day that they are beautiful, that their hair is beautiful, and it is not some difficult task to take care of.

Do not talk negative about your childs hair infront of them. Kids pick up on things very easily, I think we should all know that.

Now, lets move on to Just For Me Texture Softener's F.A.Q's section:

My daughter's curly/kinky hair is difficult to manage. Why should I use Just For Me! Texture Softener?
Tightly curled hair tangles causing breakage when combed. Just For Me™ Texture Softener™ softens the natural hair texture to prevent breakage caused by combing and styling.*

First of all, ALL hair can break if it is not detangled properly. Kinky curly hair may take a little more time but the Just For Me Texture Softner is NOT the solution! You need to learn how to properly detangle the hair. Simple as that. Work on wet hair, in sections, comb through with a wide tooth comb starting from the ends and working your way up. Try finger combing first for an easier detangling session.

Also, I want to be CLEAR that on the Just For Me Texture Softener's website, they state "Texture Softener™ is so gentle it can be used on girls as young as five years old.", FIVE years old. So yes, to those of you who have said it can be used on children of all ages (in forums) you are wrong. They surprisngly have an age limit.

I am not making this post to put anyone down. I know people make mistakes. I know once upon a time there was not a whole lot of natural children's hair care information out there. I wanted to make this post for anyone considering the Just For Me Texture Softener. I hope that by seeing the harsh chemicals they use and reading the warnings you will change your mind.

Curly hair is not hard to manage, you just need to learn how to properly care for it. Of course, if you have the means (internet access) to do research, then PLEASE, do your research mama's!! Please feel free to email me any specific questions at beadsbraidsbeyond@yahoo.com or you can ask me over at Curly Nikki in the Curl Friends section of her forum.

I also would like to add, I read on a forum that the Just For Me Texture Softener does not straighten the hair, that is untrue. After viewing many before and after's most of the time the hair was almost straight, or just wavy, not even curly anymore. I know this is not the case for all, but that is what I have seen.

From here, it is up to you to decide what you want to do with your child's hair. I am not your mom, I am not your child's mom, but I did want to give you some facts. I am hoping you...

Just say HELL NO!!! :)

And learn to embrace your child's beautiful hair.

Please feel free to discuss.


  1. PREACH, NIKKI, PREACH! Girl, you are dead on!!! I was kinda shocked when I went over to the site and read through it.

    This got me in the advice for moms:
    Educate yourself on the hair care products that are available for ethnic and multi-ethnic children’s hair and choose a long-lasting solution that will make the grooming ritual easier for you and less of an ordeal for your daughter. Hair manageability issues can really cause self-esteem issues… no matter what texture it is.

    HUH?!?! Long-term solution? Grooming ritual easier/less of an ordeal?

    How about simply learning to take care of the hair that God put on your head without trying to change it into something different?

    Whew, this one got me riled up, too.

    Regardless, keep doing you and you and your daughter will both benefit! You are both gorgeous and you are doing a WONDERFUL job in helping to promote healthy self-esteem in Little A! BRAVO! Again, keep doing you-

    psst...you have A's hair on lock- LOL

  2. my goodness, they have gotten aggressive with the marketing.

  3. FindingMe-

    Thank you!!! lol! Yes!!!! I forgot to include that part, thank you for posting. It makes no sense. "Educate yourself on the hair care products...." Exactly!!

    Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate it! :)

  4. Right on!!!!

    many cosmetic companies can get away with misleading products like this because 1) regardless if the ingredient can be used in drugs or cosmetics, its the (perceived) INTENDED purpose that dictates how the product is surveillanced by the FDA and marketed , 2) FDA does not closely watch cosmetic companies as much as they watch pharmaceutical companies, 3) although the FDA has been existence in over 100 years, they are still not able to surveillance ALL products in the marketplace.

  5. great post NIK!!! I totally agree. When they launched this product last year they told retailers it was targeting biracial children because they have no hair products specifically for them. We were told to encourage it blah blah. I am glad you are trying to educate people and make them understand curly hair is beautiful and does not need to be straitened or tamed!!!!!

  6. Nikki,
    As a former hairstylist I am not a fan of anyone applying a chemical on their head. Especially if that person is a child! I used to shake my head when I would see little girls in my chair with damaged, over-processed hair. My husband is bi-racial and our daughter Isabelle's hair resembles your daughter's. Not once have I thought to make MY life easier by applying a chemical to her locks. Her hair is beautiful and I tell her so daily. Since when does everybody want straight hair anyway? Please people STOP APPLYING CHEMICALS AT HOME. ESPECIALLY IF THE PERSON YOU ARE APPLYING THEM ON IS UNDER THE AGE OF 13! Relaxers can cause severe damage and should only be applied by a trusted, licensed professional who takes their time to ONLY APPLY THE RELAXER TO NEW GROWTH.
    I'm new to the blog, Nikki, but I applaud your efforts to educate other moms. Keep it up!

  7. Exactly! This kind of highly-targeted, aggressive, totally misleading marketing incenses me, particularly when they are trying to push caustic chemicals on kids while preying on every mom's fear that her child won't fit in.

    It depresses me when I read conversations on forums about how soon a child's hair can be relaxed.

  8. Im a 16 year old natural and last year I saw the add and went to the store thinking of getting it because it said "softner" to loosen curls, I ended up not getting it because my mother told me it was an "early perm" basically a perm you wash out sooner than to get it to go straight. lol thank God, I was tempted over and over to buy that dang texture softner!

  9. ::Standing ovation::

    I considered getting O a relaxer for a split second when we first got custody because I knew NOTHING about her hair. Thanks to the BBC ladies, I've learned a ton and would never ever ever ever do that now.

    Keep doing what you're doing.

  10. Nik,thank you for this very informative post. I'm shocked that the Just For Me brand would advertise this product as a texture softener knowing full well the ingredients have the potential to dissolve hair. Burnt scab hair does not have a soft texture! Texture softener...HELL NO!

  11. **two snaps** This post is soooo right-on. Thanks for spreading the truth!

  12. Thanks so much for all of the comments everyone!! :)

  13. very well put. I so regret the day I ever put it in my DD's hair. :( I absolutely LOVEEEE your blog! This is god sent. i added a couple of your buttons to my blog as well. :)

  14. I completely agree with you here...I hate the fact that it talks about doing your childs hair as an "ordeal" I do spend alot of time on my childrens hair but it's time to connect and an expression of Love!

    I can see alot of time and love goes into your styles...

  15. love reading this post. Not so long ago I saw a commercial on TV for this product and for a brief momment I considered using this. I asked hubby what he thought and he refused immediately. I think, some people like me don't really understand what a "relaxer" really is and the extend of the damage a product like this can do. I no longer want to use any of these products and reading your post only reasures me that I've made the right decision.

  16. I am truly thankful for finding this site (from a post on LHCF). I agree with all of your thoughts about the JFM relaxer. It is sad that people are being fooled through the marketing of this product.

  17. I use this product and I love it. More importantly my daughter loves it. She still has beautiful curls, but her hair is much easier to comb through it. She use to cry every time she had her hair combed, now she can even do it herself if she wants. The reality is curly hair is beautiful but it's also much more work. In America we don't have loads of time for our hair. It's pratical to make it eaiser to manage. Cutting your hair short makes it eaiser to manage but that doesn't mean you hate long hair. It's no diffrent.

  18. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote! Build self esteem by implying that their hair is hard to manage and needs to be changed! That kills me.

  19. There is many things that black and biracial women and girls do to their hair that changes it's natural state. From the texture softner, to relaxers, to hot combs, and flat irons, and even changing the curl pattern it's self. Then their is weave and wigs. Do you feel all of these things are wrong b/c basically the all promote not keeping hair in natural state and most are making hair more Euro Asian like? But then what about the product you use in your kids hair everyday to make it softer, neater, etc. Wouldn't that also be telling your kid that their hair isn't good enough in it's natural state (like the white and Asain kids)and needs something extra to help it look better. How do you explain to your kids that there is something wrong with changing how their natural hair looks when the majority of black or biracial women around them also changes the way their natural hair looks? Do you critize the majority of black women and allow your child to think the better b/c they don't change thier hair type? I don't get why women aren't allowed to just love who they are while wearing their hair how ever they would like.

  20. But what if the child does not have curly or kinky hair? What is the mom to do! I have curly hair so I do not deal with that issue but I am curious? There are some ppl who do not have curly or kinky hair. They have really coarse hair and a relaxer is the only option for them to manage their hair in an easy manner. I am not talking about curly or even kinky hair but coarse hair. What are they to do? I agree curly and kiny hair is easy to manage once you learn to do it but what about other types?

  21. I was always hated this kind of things your daughter's self esteem DOES start early to know that their natural hair is beautiful. I have super straight hair and my daughter super curly hair and she knows both are just as beautiful, we are all different. And I agree with you Just Say NO!

  22. To the anonymous morons that are trying to say that the product is good or it doesn't matter if you use it makes maintaining hair easier. You sound like a bunch of babbling idiots sorry to say but you do. There are other ways trust me. And she is not saying that you hate your hair just because you use it, NikG is just trying to give you facts to make BETTER choices because in the long run your daughter's hair will eventually look ugly and fall out if you keep using it. And for the moron who tried to say that NikG puts stuff in her daughter's everyday so what different does it make you sound dumber than the others. What she puts in her daughter's hair does not permanently change it. And she is putting products to maintain her daughter's natural hair. Hair is supposed to be moisturized naturally and that is what she is doing. Do your research as NikG did before you talk smack.

  23. I'm a parent who decided to add the product when my daughters was 8 after she begged me & the Dominican Hair Shop I attend said they wouldn't style it without the texturizer (sp). My daughter went from a curly bush to straight hair down to the middle of her back. She got attention from EVERYONE, for example, was the face on her school brochure etc. She went twice a year. About three or four times in... OMG... chemicals mixed with the heat from the dryer mixed with limited was to style her hair totally started thinning her hair out in a way that made me cry & freaks me out to this day. I was looking at old pictures of her & decided we are both going natural. I have to set the standard for her. She also will never go back to that shop. Now I'm starting to pay attention to balding women who still perm their hair. She's about 1/4 back to the way she way. :0/

  24. I wish I had seen this blog about 2 years ago. I used the texture relaxer (under the advisement of my hair dresser) and it has been horrible. My daughter swims weekly and the two things put together have been deadly to her hair. She has been growing it out since August and most of her hair is doing well. The sides and front are still badly broken off, though. I just found your blog and I can't wait to read more!

  25. Thank you so much for this blog and this post! At 5yrs my daughter had very long natural hair that I ruined because I totally fell for this texlaxer hype. It looked great at 1st ("wow, I didn't realize her hair was waist length!") and really did make wash and go easier but then after a few months all her beautiful hair started breaking, thinning and falling out! I was beyond devastated! I felt bad that not only had I exposed my child to what was really a product that contained harsh chemicals early on, but I was also hurting her self esteem when she too realized her hair was not as nice as it used to be. This horrible product has since grown out of her hair (she's 7 now) and not only will I NEVER use anything like this on her hair again, but am vocal about the true effects of using any chemical products to alter children's hair texture. Its not worth it and this company is lying about this product! Your blog and this post would have helped me greatly in the beginning and I know it is helping other moms right now! Thanks again!

  26. wow thats interseting you put it all out there like that because even at the age of 15 which i am now i was tempted to go out and buy this product. Question: do you know a product that can smoothen out kinky/ coarse hair without those chemicals. natural hair can be tought at times especially when your in high school and everyone around you rocks the same look.

  27. I will NEVER use that Just for Me Texture Softner again!!! I let my two girls get this put in their hair for Christmas. One is 8 the other is 10, they wanted to wear their hair down. I paid $120 every two weeks for them to get their hair done at the salon and as of April 3, the day before Easter by 10 year old's hair is completley gone!!! She has a short little afro all over. Not only that I also put this product in my hair. I have not had perms, relaxers, straightners etc in my hair for 10 years. My hair immediately starting coming out as I was combing it through. All I can do now, it just keep apologizing to my baby and pick out her little afro and keep it mosturized. Luckily, it really looks good on her. But I HATE this product. I absolutely think it is false. I think the little girls on the box never got this put in their hair. I will never subject myself or my babies to this torture again!

  28. Let me start by saying I do not believe a child under the age of 16 should get relaxers, I have a one year-old and I will not relax her hair. However, I do not agree with some of the comments about women with relaxed hair. I have been relaxed since I was very young (my mom's cousin did it without her permission)and my hair is very thick and long (when I let it airdry most people believe it is natural), so to say we are all balding, etc... is unfair. I think the difference is when most people get relaxers they believe they do not have to do anything extra to the hair, this is not true, I still have to retain moisture, take my time while detangling and wrap it at night. Just as natural women have to learn we relaxed women also have to lear what is best for their hair. I do wonder sometimes though how my hair would look natural and I love natural hair on other women.I also love this blog It had given me so much help in doing my daughter's hair .

  29. I just bought this at Dollar General yesterday :(

    Thankfully I haven't used it on my daughter and will be throwing it away

  30. Anonymous at January 2: When you are grown, you can do whatever you like to your hair, as long as you know the options and the pros and cons of each. Children don't have the luxury of knowing all that about their hair. The most healthy way of maintaining hair is keeping it natural, period. Unfortunately, people have no idea how to maintain natural hair, even though it can be as easy as properly maintaining pressed or permed hair.

    Straightening a child's hair at that age speaks volumes to that child about what you think about their hair, and the fact that you don't think that what they are born with is up to par. This is where the difference lies from products that don't alter the hair texture but help in maintaining natural hair (like conditioners and moisturizers). While straightening products subconsciously tell the child that their own hair is unmanageable, the other products say quite the opposite.

    It is important for a child to build esteem in their hair in its own natural state before exploring other options. That's how they truly become other options and not "requirements to fit into society."

    Anonymous from January 7th:
    I'm not sure what you mean by coarse. There's is actually no such thing as a "coarse" curl pattern; coarse is normally used to describe the thickness of a strand. Kinky/"nappy" is the furthest you can go as far as texture.

    That said, there is no hair type that "needs" a relaxer. My sister has hair that people incorrectly referred to as "coarse" (it was actually just highly textured and dense) and that people often put the super relaxer on from childhood. She is now natural and having as easy a time of it as anyone else. It just takes education, which, with sites like these, is easier to get these days :)

  31. I'm so glad that i read this. i almost bought it to put in my little girl's hair and in mine. i will certainly try detangling with fingers first.

  32. all of you parents misunderstood the use of this product. You are putting all of the chemicals in your daugthers hair at such a young age, their scalp is way too sensitive. Their hair texture and scalf is not developed enough to handle ALL of the harsh chemicals in the liquid activator. Just use a liitle bit of the chemical and cream is the trick!!!
    You only need to take 3 to 4 drops of the liquid activator along with only half of the cream, and half on the anti sunflower mixture in the cream, and the rest in the childs hair. the trick of this is that the application time and the process time should altogther take no more than 4 min.(you are putting the application on the hair not the scalp)
    Then rinse and wash. This product worked well on my childs hair texture is still the same natural way the only difference is that it is detangled and soft. ~also for conditioner put hair mayonnaise from the organic root stimulator in their hair and leave in for 10 min.

  33. Omg.. i wish i read this post 2 months ago! I had put the "just for me texture softner" on my 2 yrs old hair b/c i fell for the advertisement. Please is there anything i can do to save her hair from eventually falling off? Reading some of these comments iam now afraid of her hair eventually falling off. Please any advice i would appreciate. my email is stephaniebazo@yahoo. THX

  34. Well I agree but I've already use this product in my daughter's hair and I didn't like the results...so is there anything I can do to remove the chemicals???

  35. i made this mistake once on my daughters hair(she is 12) a few weeks ago. I left it in as long as they said for really kinky hair and it got straight and she told me it burned after only a few seconds of having it on. She found this natural curl enhancer on the web called kinky curly and now i know that its my mistake for not using it. they are relaxers in disguise. I dont believe in kiddy perms any more. or no lye. After this we are ust going natural!

  36. I can tell you from experience my daughter had her first perm at 2 years of age, but I didn't know her grandmother put it in there, I was so mad. So I let her go to the hair dresser every week and found out that was not working her hair was coming out so bad because I didn't know how to care for it. So I let her hair grow out naturally. It had grown out in a years time to shoulder length. She has very course hair and it gets dry fast. So I decided when she was 5 years old I would try it again, now that I knew how to take care of permed hair, but little did I know her hair broke off again. It's been almost two years now since she had a perm. I will never ever put a perm back in her hair. Mothers I know your child's hair may look dry and may not seem the best hair, but leave it out their hair. It's very damaging. My daughter's hair is thick and getting long, it's manageable and I keep it moisturized by putting a moisturizer on it 2 or 3 times a week. Natural is beautiful no matter what texturer you have.

  37. Iv'e been a quote unqoute natural for 8 yrs. I have done the big chop,dreadlocks,twists, and a host of other creative things with my natural hair. What bothers me is the critism and pointing of the finger when a sister decides to relax her hair. I find it to be ironic how someone is always telling someone how unatural they are based on there hair preference. I have seen sisters with long flowing locks and a ton of unatural make up which looks hypocritical. I have also seen women with natural hair who eat any and everything. I am so tired of the snub nosing. Just because someone chose to embrace thier natural roots does not mean that they are more righteous or self informed than the next woman. I have seen natural women with unhealthy hair as well as women with relaxed unhealthy hair. Whatever is a persons preference is between them and them only and to judge someone base on what is growing out of the top of thier hair is unbelievably shallow.

  38. Thank goodness I found this post. Just bought this at sally's and will be throwing it away!

  39. Alot of friends and family including me have believed that this product called "softner" is just that and i have advised a friend ti use it in her daughter's hair to "soften" up her hair to make it more managable...now i need to apologize to them both ...thanks for the info


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