Reader's Question: Scab hair
Does Scab Hair really exist?
There is no reason to doubt it does because a large minority of people seem to experience this.
What causes it?
Curly hair gets its shape from the hair follicle (International Journal of Dermatology pg 2-3, 2005). This sets the ball in motion
1. In order for hair to change shape, the follicle has to change.
2. In order for the follicle to change shape, the DNA which programs the shape in the follicle has to change
Changing DNA is essentially a mutation. Follicle change has been seen with chemotherapy patients who are given strong medication which DOES change DNA.
So does it really exist?
I think there are plausible explanations such as
1. Curl patterns do vary over the head of some naturals, one part can be curlier and drier than another part. (solution: be patient, wait it out)
2. Possibility that not all the relaxed hair was cut off and some underprocessed hair was retained (solution: observe the hair over time and cut off the troubled part)
I personally do not think that scab hair is just a phantom or figment of imagination but I do think that relaxers have been in use for so long now that if they were mutating cells we would surely know. In my opinion, relaxers are probably more likely to burn the follicles right off rather than subtly change the DNA (scalp burns anyone?).
There is a rather popular article that I have seen people site several times which contrary to my opinion suggests a 'follicle shape change' - Read it here.
I think the article is well written but in my opinion lacks fact. There are a lot of suggestions but nothing to actually substantiate them and nowhere is the key fact mentioned that in order to temporarily change the follicle the DNA actually has to change twice. I do site it here because I think that my opinion is not the only one that deserves to be voiced and as I said before, I like the writing style.
Vote in the poll too - Did you experience scab hair?