More Information on Scab Hair!

A few weeks ago, I posted a QOTD on scab hair, and needless to say, the reactions were a bit varied. Some people believed it exists but not for everyone who claims it, and some just flat out rebuked the notion. I personally stand by my belief in scab hair, although I readily admit that I do not think that everyone who claims to have scab hair truly has it.

Yesterday, Diane Da Costa of Carol’s Daughter’s Transitioning Movement site explained the phenomenon in expanded detail. In short, she explains that “scab hair” is “hair that contains relaxer residue” and can take anywhere from 7 months up to two years to grow out and for your true texture to grow in without any residue of the relaxer left on the new true texture.

Now, I’m not exactly sure about the two years part, but the relaxer residue on your scalp/hair does not seem to be unrealistic.

Check out the rest of the article on Transitioning Movement. What do you guys think? Are you a believer? Sound off in the comments!


15 thoughts on “More Information on Scab Hair!

  1. pgwats says:

    It makes sense to me since our skin (scalp) is porous/absorbent, then a potent chemical made to be absorbed by the hair would certainly affect the scalp and what lies underneath. Not sure it would take as long as 2 years but I know I experienced the ‘scab’ hair phenom.

  2. BeckyT says:

    Um, yeah, so buy our transition kit so you won’t have scab hair! LOL, no, I don’t believe it scab hair, it’s like the tooth fairy.

    • Elle says:

      Um…that wasn’t her point. Honestly, I didn’t even read the second half of the article about the kit. Obviously the CD Kit is not the only thing you can use – it’s just an example a product that contains ingredients beneficial to scalp health. It’s their site, obviously they are going to talk about their products if they apply.

      • Nic says:

        I mean, it kind of DOES seem like their point. Carol’s Daughter has been around for a while, and they are singing a different tune now to cater to women who have natural hair. They certainly weren’t talking about relaxers being bad for your hair and scalp and offering products to mitigate the damage 2- 3 years ago.
        Now everyone who makes haircare products is adding natural lines, and making sure to feature ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, or that “moroccan” oil. (I am glad that people can find things at every price point though).

        It is sound business practice and good marketing that they are all doing this, but it is very opportunistic, and I wish they’d just say “hey, we know that you have natural hair and you want/need something different” instead of suddenly “discovering” that these things are bad. They certainly weren’t singing that tune before. Are they dumping their previous celebrity models who have relaxed hair in favor of naturals now too? (And can they take a picture of Solange with her REAL natural hair?)

        I just can’t with Carol’s Daughter. Years ago when I first tried to use them, they were always stocked out of too many things. They have definitely established themselves as a premium brand, but I’m glad that my hair never “liked” the few products I tried.

        And I guess that while everyone’s individual experience is different, the lady commenting isn’t a scientist and I’m loath to trust her “expert” opinion.

        I think I dislike the whole notion of scab hair b/c i feel as though it just started with a bunch of women hoping/waiting for their hair to start growing out curly or wavy instead of kinky. And that is kind of sad, b/c now they will be prolonging their wait for something that isn’t coming for most of them. (And sad that they even need their natural hair to be a certain texture to be happy).

      • Elle says:

        I was under the impression that Carol’s Daughter made products for natural hair initially, then expanded to cater to RELAXED hair. I could be wrong, but I initially remember them releasing butters and the like, then making products that catered more to straightening and relaxed styles to widen their audience. I wasn’t familiar with the line before though, so my apologies if I’m talking out my ass.

        Regarding your notion of scab hair, it’s kind of…blanketed to me (not regarding the author, you’re entitled to your opinion about her and her article). I’ve said several times that I had a patch of scab hair and I have a patch of weird scalp (still, 3 years later), and I certainly don’t need to wish for my hair to stop growing out kinky. I understand what you saying for SOME women, and I’ve even stated that I think some people are bsing, but to generalize like that is a bit self righteous, no? It’s the same thing as people saying all naturals have to live completely natural lifestyles or we are all trying to make a political statement with our hair…

  3. Naomi says:

    It seems scientifically absurd – Two years!! our skins regenerate really fast and we could thus get rid of relaxer residue pretty quickly – i would think that ‘scab hair’ would be simply like what happens to our nails after removal of gl nails and thus depending on how you handle your hair post big chop you could minimise scab hair. Two years is like a broken bone in an adult. LOL

    • Elle says:

      Hmmm…like I said, I don’t know about two years, but I certainly don’t think it’s like glue and nails. Our scalps are way more sensitive and absorbent, and I do think that continuous chemical burns could have a long term impact.

    • Shawn says:

      It’s funny that you mention the nail comparison because when I went natural over a year ago, I also decided to remove my acrylic nails after having them for over 20 years. It took my nails close to a year if not longer to seem like they were normal and not thin and brittle. I would think a process that you have been doing for extended period of time especially year after year would not just return to it’s natural or normal state overnight or even over several months. I believe I have scab hair in the middle part of my head so I do believe the 2 year theory.

  4. Jessica says:

    It is definitely a fact that relaxer can affect more than our hair, including our scalp and growth pattern. I agree Elle, although there are many other factors that can contribute to the porosity change in hair and frizz etc. It could be a matter of you finding more suitable products, or a better routine that your hair likes. The fact that a process that has been done repeatedly for years has been abruptly discontinued and the treatment/caring for your hair and scalp completely transforms (i.e water is a curly’s best friend) could be a factor as well. While I agree there is probably residue left behind I would really inspect other factors like environment, your hair just evolving (we know that curl patterns do change over time and even while I relaxed my hair sometimes I had to switch relaxer manufacturers or rotate products). It sounds like “scab hair” is really a universal elixir for undesired hair textures while other contributing factors are pushed into the background. After all hair is trained so if you stop a routine cold turkey why wouldn’t it go through shock??

  5. Ria says:

    Sounds more like a way to sell more natural hair care products or a way to scare folks away from relaxers.

    • Elle says:

      Can you explain that? I mean…it’s a fact that relaxers can burn and damage our scalps (I speak from personal experience).

  6. Arie says:

    I really believe that scab hair does exist, and that relaxer residue may be left on the scalp/hair. Reason being, when I first started to go natural, I had high/normal porosity hair. Things would absorb into my hair easily. I never had a problem. But, a year or so into my hair journey, products wouldn’t absorb. I felt like water was sitting on top of my hair. Things that did work weren’t working anymore. Of course I have learned how to deal with my low porosity hair, but I never understood the change. Relaxers are highly alkaline. Perhaps some residue is left on the scalp.

  7. Sunny says:

    ~Relaxer free since October 2007

    I had about a half an inch of scab hair after my last relaxer before my true texture came through fully. It felt “brillo-pad-ish” and was moreso around the center of my hair. I don’t recall if it softened up on it’s own of if I eventually just cut it out. I have about three different textures in my natural hair (lucky me) and where I feel I experience scab hair was were my hair is the most spiral curliest.

    So my vote is yes, scab hair does exsist.

  8. Che says:

    I don’t agree with Da Costa’s findings. 2 years? That a quite a while, and several shedded hair later ,but I do agree that not everyone who claims to have it experiences it.

  9. JoAnn says:

    Well, I read the article and it did make complete sense.

    When I big chopped last May, I did not experience “scab hair.” However, I do notice that my scalp doesn’t go through changes with dryness/flakiness like it did close to touch up time when I was permed.

    Since I have been natural my scalp has been normal 24/7!

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