How Do You Know If You Have Scab Hair? Pictures
I started my natural hair journey in January of 2012 and did my big chop in November of 2012. I’m 1 year, 9 months into my natural hair journey.
One thing that I’ve noticed after cutting off the relaxer is that when I twist my hair, there are quite a few straight, wiry hairs that just don’t stay in my twisted sections no matter how much I deep condition, moisturize, smooth and seal my hair. I also have sections of hair where the ends are extremely dry, wiry, and rough feeling, no matter what I do to keep the ends moisturized. These sections of hair tend to always look frizzy when I style my hair. I use steam to deep condition with nourishing ingredients like coconut milk, yogurt, and a variety of oils such as coconut, castor, and wheat germ oil. I opt for air drying, but no matter what I do, I can’t get rid of the frizz in certain sections of my hair. Frustrated, I started researching on the Internet to see if there was a solution to my problem. That’s how I learned about scab hair.
What is scab hair?
Scab hair is the natural hair, (new growth) that is damaged from previous use of chemical relaxers or other scalp damage. Based on the changes to our scalp and hair follicles from the regular use of relaxer chemicals, the hair that grows post relaxers is malformed or damaged so it grows out wiry and dry. It can take a while for hair that is not damaged to grow from the scalp after years of relaxing or other scalp damage. Estimates are anywhere from a few months to a few years before one’s new growth returns to normal.
I have no idea if scab hair is the fate that all newly natural women must face, but it’s been my reality.
My hair has grown about 8 inches when stretched since my big chop, but about a third of my hair looks like scab hair although it’s hard for anyone to tell when I wear my hair out. I think that this has a lot to do with the fact that I deep condition on a regular basis.
Here’s a picture of my hair after a twist out. You can’t see that there is anything unusual about the condition of my hair:
Now here is a close up of my hair just before I took out the twists:
Here’s another twist that is in better condition, but still “scabby” looking close up:
I find with the sections of hair that are more affected by scab hair, my twists don’t stay in and the twisted hair almost looks matted even though it’s not. I used a heavy curl defining creme in the photo of me above so the twist out still looks pretty good, but I do have some un-tameable fly-a-ways and some frizzy ends after the twist out which aren’t evident in the picture but that are noticeable close up. I deep conditioned my hair with coconut oil and wheat germ oil which I think helps to control the scab hair and helps it to look less damaged than it really is.
My solution? I’ll keep deep conditioning, eliminate heat, and make sure that I nourish my hair both inside and out. I’m also gradually cutting off the ends because I don’t want to do another big chop. I’ve also been experimenting with henna which is supposed to help strengthen hair. More to come on my henna results.
Do you have experiences with scab hair? What do you do to keep damaged hair moisturized?
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