About two years ago, as I was transitioning from my relaxed hair, I heard about scab hair. The idea behind scab hair is that the scalp still contains residual chemicals from the use of chemical relaxers and as hair grows out of the scalp, these residual chemicals cause that hair to be very dry and rough. This rough, dry hair is what is considered scab hair. It supposedly takes time for the residual chemicals to completely leave the scalp and after that point the hair growing out with no longer be rough and dry and have a definitive curl pattern.
There are still a lot of people within the natural hair community that don’t believe in scab hair. However, I am not one of those individuals. I didn’t whole heartedly believe in scab hair until my own experience with it.
I ended my transition and cut my relaxed hair off in May of 2014. When I cut my hair I immediately noticed that about 1-2 inches of my ends were extremely rough. I mistakenly thought that I just need to pamper my hair to alleviate the dryness and that’s just what I did regularly. By August I realized that despite months of deep conditioning and regular moisturization techniques, the ends of my hair were consistently dry and rough. I also realized that twist outs of any kind, curl former sets, or any styles that required me to manipulate my hair look terrible because my ends refused to cooperate. I would spend hours detangling my hair because my ends always tangled horribly even though the rest of my hair shaft was soft and manageable. Eventually I connected the dots. My ends were extremely rough, dry, and prone to tangling while the rest of my hair flourished. I knew that the state of my ends wasn’t because of over manipulation because I had only recently cut my relaxed ends off so it made no sense how unmanageable my ends were. This is when the light bulb went off in my head and I realized my ends were considered scab hair. I had been relaxing my hair for over 13 years when I went natural so it only made since that my scalp was adjusting to being chemical-free and that adjustment had an effect on the first few inches of hair growing out of my scalp.
I tell you my experience with scab hair not only to make you a believer but to also help you see the signs if you are contemplating transitioning, in the midst of transitioning, newly natural, or maybe you are already an established natural and this article made you realize you dealt with this issue without even knowing it.
Realize the signs of scab hair which are extremely dry, rough, and wiry hair that won’t match the rest of your natural hair as it grows in. Scab hair is still a fairly novice topic in the natural hair community so there is no guarantee that my experience will be the same as someone else’s experience. Some naturals may not even experience scab hair or they may have 2-3 inches of scab hair or maybe just half of an inch. In my case, there was nothing I could do about my scab hair but to cut it off. I was happy to do it and since the cut the time I spend washing, detangling, and styling my hair has been drastically reduced. Overall I am less frustrated with my hair.
Has this blog made you a believer of scab hair? Have you expierenced scab hair? Leave your thought’s below and I’ll be sure to comment back. If you are discuss thing on social media be sure to use the #HairMomentwithMarsha hashtag on social media!