For Transitioners: A Lesson on Scab Hair

For Transitioners: A Lesson on Scab Hair

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Via Let Me Let You Know

To start things off, here is a poem I wrote about my fears concerning scab hair:

Oh my!

What a surprise!

My “real” hair is hiding somewhere deep inside.

I treated it bad,

It got really mad

And may not come out for 2 years?!

HAHA! Now onto a serious discussion:

I have been researching natural black hair stages of growth lately, and I have to say, some of the stories and facts I learned along the way struck fear into my heart about this whole “transitioning” thing.  Scab hair is definitely a problem for those who’ve had a relaxer in their hair for too long, and I know I had mine in for 10+ years.



Scab hair is new growth (and existing growth) that grows in damaged.  Basically what happens is that your hair becomes over processed from relaxers and starts to grow in very course, rough and dry.  It doesn’t respond well to anything!  Rumor is, no amount of moisturizers will save you.  When you relax your hair for an extended number of years, the chemical residue from your relaxer remains under your scalp, affecting the new growth that comes in.  It’s very difficult to manage, and has discouraged many from continuing on with their transition.

I think that I have a lot of scab hair on my ends, which is why my hair stopped responding well to relaxers, even the super strength ones, which is how I wound up wearing wigs.  It may be a good thing though, because I did not relax my hair very often while I was wearing wigs for the last two years. I think that is how I have so much scab hair towards the end of my hair.  My new growth is coming in somewhat soft, so, yay!

Ladies, if you have scab hair, it’s time to give your hair a break.  I MEAN it.  Your hair is trying to tell you something whenever it grows in damaged, dry and rough! It’s telling you that it wants better treatment, more love and more care.



*Scab hair is very coarse, dry and brittle, no matter how much you try to baby it.

*Scab hair does not respond to moisturizers, relaxers and sometimes not even heat processing, and it doesn’t hold styles very well.

*Scab hair lacks elasticity, making it break easily and it doesn’t feel soft to the touch.  It’s like wiry thin straw.



You can either chop it all off, or trim it off slowly over time.  Either way, you have to remove it from your head.  You can style it, but it may not last for longer than a day.  I am currently having this problem.  I can’t get twist outs or braid outs to last overnight.  So I, gently, re- twist or re-braid every night.



It depends entirely on the individual and the amount of damage their hair has experienced.  It can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, in extreme cases, more.  It may take a while, but your natural hair should come back through once all of the scab hair is gone.



Scab hair was really frightening to me at first, but I then realized, I have already been dealing with it for a while now.  I can get cute styles, they just don’t last as long as I like, and I can keep trimming off inch by inch until it’s finally all gone.  It sounds like it’ll be a rough road, but I’m up to the challenge!


Have you ever had or do you currently have scab hair? If so, feel free to share your experience.  I’m always open to tips, tricks, and the like.


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