I began using this product on my twin nieces' hair this year. The reason? Because their mother is absolutely clueless about their 4a hair. She had already given them a kiddie relaxer at 4 years old. (They're 9 now) Of course their hair got damaged and luckily for them I was able to salvage their hair with expensive conditioners and regular trims. It took about 3 years for the relaxer to get out of their hair.
But this year, they're hair had grown very long, and they themselves were encouraging their mother to get their hair relaxed because ALL of the kids in their classes have relaxed hair. Their mother was convinced that the only reason their hair got damaged before was because they were too young.
When I saw this product advertised, I knew it would be a very mild relaxer. It was a case of the lesser of 2 evils. Those No-Lye Kiddie Relaxers are the worst.
So I used the product first on my sister/their grandmother, whose hair is curly like theirs and thinning due to age. My sister's hair actually came out great. She still had curl, but her hair was not hard and felt very conditioned. She actually liked the results. She was able to maintain texture, and get a straight style if she wanted. I noticed that the damage in terms of hair breakage was neglible to be honest, none at all. She suffered no hair breakage and being that her hair is thin now, that was a blessing.
Just For Me is a mild relaxer which leaves the hair with a texture different from kiddie relaxers. Yes, if you leave the product on too long you could ostensibly 'relax' your hair and release most of your curl. But you can, if applied correctly, not destroy your curl pattern.
But of course, that's the problem with texturizers, the application. It's a hit or miss situation.
The end result on my nieces' hair has been great. They can wear their hair curly, or straight. Hair breakage, again no different than without the product. And when new hair grows in, there is not such a drastic difference in texture that they have to get a touch-up right away. Depending on what level loose curl pattern you're going for, you could probably apply this twice a year certainly no more than 3 times, some even once-a-year.
This summer for example, I did not re-apply the product and their hair pretty much looked like their regular hair, only easier for them to manage. They were able to go swimming everyday, condition wash and air dry into a curly look, wear loose braids, twists or wear a pony tail with texture. And considering how damaging chlorine is, I have to say I was impressed. Of course they use good products, like Shea Moisture leave-in and monthly Olive Oil packs as a DT.
But of course, the key is always hair maintenance with good conditioning and trims.
If I were their mother, of course, I would not use this product. But since I'm not, I think this product is far superior to the no-lye kiddie relaxers and I would recommend this to parents who insist on chemical processing, instead.
It's a sad reality that AAs are reluctant to leave their kids' hair alone. But it's a fact that I've come to accept. This weekend at a community fair, I saw nothing but little AA girls with relaxed hair and many of them were under 6 years old. Their hair looks dry, damaged and dull. My nieces' hair in contrast still looks like healthy hair that maintains the integrity of AA hair texture. I'm sure some people would say their hair looks nappy. Yes, that's crazy.
I have a neighbor who is a barber and raising a 4 year old daughter. He is a great guy who understands AA hair. Recently, I noticed that his daughter had her hair in a blown out style. He assured me that he had only let a co-worker blow her hair out, but confessed that his daughter was already beginning to pressure him about getting her hair relaxed. (Peer pressure).
I told him about this product and frankly, since it's impossible to convince these young mother's otherwise, I recommend the texture softener over the relaxer any day. The images these kids see influence them. Right now, I'm watching the woman's USA basketball team at the Olympics and not one of the AA players is wearing their natural hair. They either have relaxed ponytails or braids/extensions.
I tell any AA mother I talk to about this site. I recommend learning how to manage your own hair texture. But the bottom line is if these women are resistant to learning, there's nothing anyone can do. In that case, I think this product, compared to no-lye, is a terrific product.
I recommend finding out about texturizing techniques before using it. Knowing how much curl pattern you want to release, and drawing a 'hair map' of your hair so that you know how to apply the product. For example, the bottom back of one of my nieces hair has very soft silky tightly coiled hair, so I apply only a small amount to that area last and smooth it lightly. The result is that she still has that curly pattern only slightly looser.
I took the time to post this to give a wider perspective. Again, leaving the hair natural and learning a curly girl hair regimen is the best. But, for those who simply don't want to do that, the texture softener is a better option than no-lye kiddie relaxers.
Sorry for the long post.