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The Truth On Scab Hair – Natural Hair Term

The Truth On Scab Hair - Natural Hair Term

Most Naturals have heard of it or even experienced it and although we all knew it was an unscientific term we believed it to exist.  Scab hair  is a nuisance that many newly naturals complain of during their initial transitioning to natural hair regardless if they BC’d or long-term transitioned.  

See also:   Scab Hair and The Line of Demarcation

Now, not being an actual scientific term had many leery of stating it’s existence. Naturals may be believing it but what are the professionals touting?  Well, over at they decided to take the question of the accuracy of this phenomenon to Dr. Linda Amerson, a Trichologist (branch of dermatology that deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp). 

“There is no such thing.” She (Dr. Amerson) does however explain what could be going on with the alleged scab hair, and apparently it has everything to do with the condition of the scalp.  
“Hair grows from the inside out and the best way to feed the scalp for healthy hair is through a healthy diet. However, the scalp can be damaged by hair styling choices, and in some cases chemicals if applied too frequently or improperly resulting in scalp disorders that can affect the texture of the incoming hair. “- Dr. Linda Amerson. (

Come again?  So basically, it is not just the chemicals that have harmed or changed our hair texture but the rough treatment to our scalp is a huge contributing factor as well? Ouch!  Well, that just let’s quite a few of us know that while we were swearing chemicals were the devil those chemicals had some partners in crime…namely us! 

I can hear a slow clap coming from the relaxer crowd as we Naturals (only the ones who felt this way and that includes me) eat crow and find the need to take several seats.  We all want to blame something bad that occurs to us on something outside of ourselves, but I will humbly take this hit.  

Dr. Amerson goes on to state that the improper usage of those chemicals are more damaging than the chemicals themselves and you know what I mean if you have ever left the relaxer on longer than suggested to make sure your hair was bone straight.  

The Truth On Scab Hair - Natural Hair Term
Photo Courtesy of

“The bottom line is that a damaged scalp can change your hair texture, regardless of the means. 

This can also happen through wearing tight braids, weaves, and other tension bearing extension methods. Amerson warns, “Trendy styles are not always a good choice for all hair textures. By the same token, chemical treatments like relaxers, permanent hair coloring, and other texture altering substances can result in scalp conditions that affect the hair.”  (

See also: BC or Long-Term Transitioning – Which Route to Take?

I am always up for learning and sharing so as I bring this information to you I am taking it all in myself.  Scab hair is not real but the damage we can inflict on our scalp by various means IS and CAN alter our hair’s texture.  It makes you think a tad bit more on being gentle to your scalp, does it not Naturals?  

Learning so much on this Natural hair journey Naturals,


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