I think it is normal and not damage. A few of us on 4a were talking about how we cant stand the random loose curl and straight strands that dont blend with our mostly tightly curled hair. I used to cut the devils off and some 4as still do because if you wash and go they will hang down longer than the rest of your curls that have more shrinkage. Mine dont clump either unless i finger coil and put it in my twist or braid.
Yes, it's real. No, you can't touch it.