All of us have experienced the difficulty of combing our hair at one point in our life. Meet the 7-year old girl that experiences it every single day.
Shilah Yin suffers from the “uncombable hair syndrome“, an extremely rare genetic condition that only 100 people worldwide have it. The syndrome is characterized by dry and frizzy hair, hair that stands from the scalp and can’t be combed flat. This hair doesn’t grow downward but out of the scalp and many directions.
“Shilah loves her unique mane, but that has come from constant positive reinforcement at home from friends and family. As a little, little girl she often told us she was like a unicorn as they are very special and unique just like her. It brought a tear to our eye,” explains her mom Celeste Calvert-Yin, who lives in Melbourne Australia.
This girl was born with brown hair, but when she was 3 months old, the family noticed a strawberry blond fuzz peeking through. From that moment on, Shilah’s hair kept growing straight out and became blonder and blonder. Here hair hadn’t grown past its current length since she turned 2.
The condition appears in childhood and mainly affects kids with straw-colored or silvery-blond hair. It’s caused by mutations in certain genes that are involved in the hair shaft formation. The condition is often inherited, but there is no history of it in Shilah’s family. Her brother has normal, straight, brown hair.
Shilah notices she was unique and different when she was 4. She got attention from other kids and adults that made her uneasy. That’s when her family explained to her that she really is unique and she should be proud of it.
“Since then she has never really looked back… and now thrives on all the attention. Shilah has the most confident, individual personality I know and it just adds to her character,” says her mom.
Taming Shilah’s hair can be quite a difficult task. Shilah hates her morning routine that lasts around 20 minutes. Her mom sprays detangling solution and combs her hair very gently with a wide-tooth comb.
“Her favorite part of her hair routine is when her dad blow-dries it for her. Together they manage to comb and dry her hair so that it looks super fluffy. Shilah loves it,” Calvert-Yin said.