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FEATURES Jun 11 2012 9:10AM

I havent permed my hair for 18 months, but the ends of my hair are still relaxed and I have no curl pattern. Is this my natural state of hair?

ELLE SAYS: The beginning of your transition is a very good time to decide your goal and what exactly you want to get out of your natural hair. If you only want to go natural to “have curls,” then being natural may not be “for you.” Yes, I said it. Natural is not for everyone. And by that, I mean if you cannot learn to love your natural texture and will fight it constantly, there are other options to consider. Women have various textures and curl patterns, and no, not everyone will have curly hair when they explore their natural texture. And there is nothing wrong with that.

However, there is also the notion that some women have “scab hair” when they start growing out their relaxer. Scab hair is basically hair that is damaged by previous chemical processes before it even exits our scalps, as relaxers can damage the hair follicle underneath the scalp surface. It is wiry, dry, hard to moisturize, and usually a very different texture than the rest of your hair.

Do I believe in scab hair? In a word – yes. When I first cut my hair, I had a patch on the back of my head (that was the same area that I ALWAYS burned with a relaxer) that was bushy and dry. I had to pay extra attention to it because it was more fragile than the rest of my hair and would dry out, while the rest of my hair was just fine. I didn’t cut my hair again after my BC though, I just babied that area. If it’s still growing like that, I haven’t noticed it and my hair seems to blend pretty well, but my scalp is STILL weird in that area – years later!

That being said…it would be very rare for your entire head to be full of scab hair and 18 months is a fairly long time for it to grow out. But, if you’re wearing weaves, another factor is making sure you are caring for your hair while it is in the weave – many women do not know how to moisturize their hair while it is weaved up, so when they take out the weave, they are left with dry, frizzy hair. Before knocking your natural texture, I recommend leaving the weave alone for awhile and concentrating on caring for your natural hair with deep conditioning and letting your scalp breathe! If you still have relaxed ends, try playing with twist outs using Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter or Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Both of these products provide moisture to your hair, which is essential to alleviating frizz and letting your true texture show.


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