Hair is very important in many cultures. The way we choose to wear our hair says a lot about us. People take pride in their hair and spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on it each year. A bad hair day can cramp your confidence and really put you in a funk. This little girl was born with a hairstyle that looks fuzzy and uncontrollable. She has learned to embrace her condition and rock her unique hairstyle with confidence.
Girl With Uncombable Hair Syndrome Wears Her Hairstyle With Confidence
We can all learn something from Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin from Australia about confidence. At just 10-years-old, she’s already learned to love herself and embrace what makes her different better than most adults ever do. This comes from years of having to rock a very unique hairstyle. What many have likened to Albert Einstein or Doc Brown from Back To The Future, her hair is light blond with a silvery sheen and stands basically straight up from her scalp. (1)
Finally diagnosed by a dentist at age 7, Shilah has what’s known as Uncombable Hair Syndrome. Her mother Celeste, however, knew that there was something a miss much earlier than that.
“Her brown baby hair had fallen out as it should but this weird fuzz started to come through and grow straight up,” Celeste said of her then three-month-old’s hair. “It was like nothing you’d ever seen before. It didn’t seem to calm or settle, but I didn’t really think anything of it until people started to make comments.”
What Is Uncombable Hair Syndrome?
Uncombable hair syndrome is a real condition and is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the proteins involved in the formation of the hair shaft. Typically, it is characterized by a condition of the scalp in which hair grows up blond, staw-like, brittle, and straight up. It cannot be combed flat, no matter what you do (2).
The condition is extremely rare and often regresses during puberty, but not always. It can occur in association with some other diseases and usually means weakened tooth enamel and bones. This is why Shilah’s dentist spotted it. He noticed her weak tooth enamel and, looking at her hairstyle, put two and two together.
“Her dentist was concerned about how weak her teeth were and the anaesthetist who was scheduled with Shilah was the one who noticed her hair and told us about uncombable hair syndrome.” said her mother.
It Was Hard At First
At first, Shilah really struggled with her unique hairstyle. It gets very matted and is extremely painful to comb. When you try to comb it, the hair breaks and it ends up being very short at the back. When she was just four years old, Shilah got fed up not being able to put it in a ponytail. She cut her hair off herself, and it took nearly two years to grow back.
People aren’t always very nice, either. Some try to take her photo or touch her hair, and often she finds herself at the end of rude comments. Shilah and her parents don’t give them any attention. Shilah has learned to accept her uniqueness and now she doesn’t hesitate to tell people that it is one of the many things that make her special.
“I get teased a lot and called ‘fluffhead’ at school – it’s not nice,” Shilah says. “I personally like it now but at the same time I hated it – especially when there’s wind. Let’s just say I can’t see!”
Celeste and Shilah now share information about the condition and Shilah’s different hairstyles on Instagram. They are doing their best to spread positivity and promote self-acceptance.
Shilah’s Not The Only One
Shilah isn’t the only one rocking this rare hairstyle. 7-year-old Wynter Seymour from Great Britain also has the same condition. She has not been officially diagnosed, rather, her mother did some research and came to the conclusion. Her mom says when she was born, Wynter had jet-black hair. Around age two that hair began falling out and this fuzzy, golden-colored straight hair began growing in its place. (3)
“It’s a little bit like Afro-carribbean hair, but however it is slightly different. It’s a bit unmanageable compared to their hair. So we’ve gone down that route with Afro-caribbean hair products and still nothing has worked,” explained her mom. “It’s very difficult to brush, it’s sore to brush, it’s quite matted, that’s the only way I can describe it, Because it’s longer now you can hide it a bit more but underneath it’s very wiry and matted together.”
The mom now shares the adventures of Wynter and her two older sisters on their Instagram as well. One thing is for sure, Wynter has not let her difficult hair stop her from anything. I think we can all take a bit of inspiration from both of these little girls and learn to embrace our differences a bit more, too.
- “Girl embraces fluffy hair caused by rare condition that makes her ‘look like Einstein’.” Mirror. Paige Holland. December 2, 2020.
- “Uncombable hair syndrome.” Rare Diseases
- “ITV This Morning fans skeptical of girl’s “uncombable hair syndrome”.” Liverpool echo. Sophie McCoid, Vickie Scullard. April 2, 2019.